These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer – A Review

Guest review by Keira of Love Romance Passion

For a truly exceptional read, Regency or otherwise, that makes you giddy with glee you need to pick up These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer. It’s a delightful story about a cross-dressing female who goes from rags to riches and from unloved to abundantly loved. It’s even a guardian/ward romance! Not to mention the kidnapping sequence and the revenge plot! It’s positively action packed.

The hero is a cross between a dandy-like Corinthian, with his scented handkerchief, heeled shoes, and fan — and — the veriest devil of a man with fierce eyes, keen intelligence, and a merciless thirst for revenge. The heroine is a Nonpareil who can sword fight, capture princes with a flutter of eyelashes, and shock matrons with her language!

What really pleased me is the slightly different formatting. There seemed to be much more dialogue in this novel than in others also by Heyer. In addition, every chapter has a little summary-like heading telling you what you’ll find in the upcoming section. It was very nice and a source of amusement with titles such as ‘Lady Fanny’s Virtue is Outraged’ and ‘Mr. Marling Allows Himself to be Persuaded.’

One of my absolute favorite parts is a reflection of what’s going on between some side characters:

‘I don’t trust him.’

‘Why, I think I do for once.’ Hugh laughed a little. ‘When last I saw Léonie – Léon she was then – it was “Yes, Monseigneur” and “No, Monseigneur.” Now it is “Monseigneur, you must do this,” and “Monseigneur, I want that!” She twists him round her little finger, and, by Gad, he likes it!’

‘Oh, but there’s naught of the lover in his manner, Hugh! You have heard him with her, scolding, correcting.’

‘Ay, and I have heard the note in his voice of – faith, of tenderness! This wooing will be no ordinary one, methinks, but there is a bridal in the air.’

‘She is twenty years behind him!’

‘Do you think it signifies? I would not give Justin a bride his own age. I’d give him a babe who must be cherished and guarded. And I’ll swear he’d guard her well!’

‘It must be. I do not know. She looks up to him, Davenant! She worships him!’

‘Therein I see his salvation,’ Hugh said.

These Old Shades, pp 274

I hardly have the words to describe how awesome that last line is and indeed this whole section. The only thing that could make this story better is more of it! I did not want it to end!

These Old Shades is a must read for Heyer fans and one I would very much recommend for new comers to try first. You will not be disappointed.

Read an excerpt on Scribd

Keira is the webmistress of LoveRomancePassion, a website featuring the latest news, reviews and interviews in the romance world. She’s a longtime romance reader, a new Kindle owner, and a junkie for USA TV shows. She loves marriage of convenience plots and angst ridden breakups that ultimately end up in gooey happily ever afters. You can follow Keira on Twitter as ReviewRomance.

These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer
Sourcebooks (2009)
Trade paperback (384) pages
ISBN: 978-1402219474

Celebrating Georgette Heyer – Day 03 Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one copy of These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer (Sourcebooks, 2009) by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you about the plot or characters, or if you have read it, which is your favorite character or scene by midnight Pacific time, Monday, September 6th, 2010. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Shipment to continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Upcoming event posts

Day 03   Aug 04 – Review: The Masqueraders
Day 04   Aug 06 – Review: Devil’s Cub
Day 04   Aug 06 – Review: The Convenient Marriage
Day 05   Aug 08 – Review: Regency Buck

Celebrating Georgette Heyer   •   August 1st – 31st, 2010