This review of the The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer was originally posted to Goodreads on May 24th, 2012.
*There are some slight spoilers ahead*
This was my first Georgette Heyer novel, and I admit I expected to be slightly bored as regency romances are not precisely my cup of tea. However, I’ve been trying to expand my reading horizons lately so I plunged into The Reluctant Widow. At the outset, the plot seemed rather silly and contrived. But as I continued with the story it got progressively more interesting and intriguing in every sense of the word. What really drew me in were the characters though. The heroine was snarky, sarcastic, and while she was somewhat typical in her inability to act without a man she didn’t lack for decision and a certain understated independence. The hero was also compelling, and while he was masterful, he also was eminently practical and well-spoken.
I liked and enjoyed the protagonists of Heyer’s story, but I admired how she dealt with the villains/antagonists. None of the antagonists were flat, and they were all varied in their types and degrees of villainy. Most interestingly however was the antagonist who turned out to be working towards the same goal as the protagonists (avoiding scandal and preventing treason) but remained a generally not-nice guy. He was a thoroughly dangerous, unlikeable, rather creepy character…but in the end you couldn’t hate him either.
In the end, I expected to take several days working my way through this book and instead I finished it in one sitting.