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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer

The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Genre: Regency Historical
Length: Full (261 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Walking home at dawn, quite drunk, Sir Richard Wyndham encounters heiress Penelope Creed climbing out her window. She is running away from a dreaded marriage to her fish-lipped cousin, while Sir Richard himself is contemplating a loveless marriage with a woman his friends have compared to a cold poultice. Sir Richard can't allow her to careen about the countryside unchaperoned, even in the guise of a boy, so he pretends to be her tutor and takes her on a fine adventure. When their stagecoach overturns, they find themselves embroiled with thieves, at the center of a murder investigation, and finally, in love.

This rich, Regency romance sparkles with wit, “adventure”, and “misadventure”—truly a keeper.

Georgette Heyer creates a delightful tale of two people escaping unwanted marriages. A drunk and depressed Sir Richard Wynham, happening upon an escaping wealthy orphan girl, reasons he cannot let her travel protected. In his drunken state, he decides to see her safely to her destination—a decision that sets them on a road trip fraught with mishap, thievery, mystery, murder, disguise, deception, and delightful deeds. Wonderful plot!

Sir Richard Wynham, the consummate Corinthian, that heretofore devoted himself to the pursuit of pleasure, finds himself away from the amenities to which he is accustomed. Moreover, he must personally deal with country locals, thieves, murders, Bow Street runners, and any number of irate people as he scrambles to keep his and Penelope’s reputations intact as he untangles the web of deceit he and Penelope wove as they set out on what seemed such a simple journey.

Sprightly, irrepressible, seventeen-year-old Penelope Creed bubbles with excitement about all the adventures they are having. She stirs up trouble without even trying but has an imagination to wiggle out of most. However, when she slips away from Richard and a Bow Street runner takes her into custody saying she is a thief; her situation brings a surprising revelation to both her and to Richard.

Georgette Heyer’s remarkable plot hardly lets one catch a breath as one misadventure after another propels the characters along pell-mell with events threatening to wreck lives before mysteries can be solved and deceits cleared up.

Superbly written, with an undercurrent of humor throughout, THE CORINTHIAN is a sheer joy to read.