I’m glad this was a buddy-read. Reading this with others and being able to write many ranting updates made it far more enjoyable. You see, this really wasn’t a good fit for me. Overall, the plot is rather ridiculous, and I never really felt the attraction of the romantic couple. Yes, Heyer somewhat redeems Damerel, but she also manages to paint Venetia in almost the worst light possible by the end.
Venetia goes from a fairly intelligent independent woman to a love-struck imbecile. I looked forward more to the scenes with the other characters than the scenes with the romantic couple on their own. That shouldn’t happen in a romance novel. Or at least not in a good one. Venetia is just as selfish as the rest of her family; I’m not entirely sure how but I think we’re supposed to sympathize with her just because she’s the heroine of this novel.
The novel was saved from a one-star rating by its supporting cast of interesting characters such as the younger brother Aubrey, the annoying Edward, and the Byron-wannabe Oswald. Later on we find the amusing and infuriating Mrs Scorrier and the poor Charlotte.
It’s just not very good as a romance novel. If you want a tepid, mediocre soap-opera with a dash of Regency, sure, but you won’t find much romance.
Also, notice how we never actually meet Conway? And we never see Charlotte again! This just seems sloppy, from the story point of view.
I will admit that I chuckled at the second rose-petal reference (Damerel’s). He just sounded so bewildered.
I hadn’t read any other Georgette Heyer before this, and I’ll admit that now I’m a little afraid to. The Grand Sophy is still technically on my to-read list, though, so I may still try that. If that’s a dud I think I’ll be forced to conclude that her books just aren’t for me.