by Georgette Heyer
Mass Market Paperback:
Released: 1962, 2000
Source: Bought through Half.com.
Book Description, my take:
Sir Waldo Hawkridge is a most desirable catch due to his wealth and his reputation as "the best," especially at athletic pursuits, which earned him the title of "Nonesuch" in his youth. When he inherits an old mansion, he goes to see about fixing it up and turning it into an orphanage. His young nephew comes with him.
His nephew immediately falls for a beautiful but extremely self-centered heiress, but Waldo is taken with the girl's genteel and sensible governess-companion, Miss Ancilla Trent. As they work together to subtly open the dazzled eyes of Waldo's nephew, Ancilla realizes that her initial prejudices against Waldo--based solely on his reputation--are unjustified.
The Nonesuch is a historical romance set in regency-era England. While the story was very funny, it was based on an excellent portrayal of human nature instead of outrageous but charming behavior by the heroine. The characters were engaging (except the spoiled heiress, and she wasn't supposed to be), and they acted realistically. I always understood why the characters acted like they did, and I enjoyed the romances.
The story didn't have much suspense since there didn't seem to be much danger of anyone truly not ending up with the right person. The spoiled girl made for a bit of excitement near the end with her escapade, and I was always wondering what she would do next and how Waldo and Ancilla would cleverly handle it. Personally, I loved every minute of the story and didn't find any of it slow-paced. The historical details about their everyday lives were vivid and flowed naturally as a part of the story.
There was a misunderstanding at the end that wouldn't have lasted long if they'd just discussed it (and it didn't last long in any case), but I had to laugh when it happened. The source of it had been worked into the story from the start, and the reasons why it didn't immediately get cleared up (including it being something that a woman with good manners wouldn't talk about) were convincing.
There was some explicit bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I loved this novel and would highly recommend it to those who like slower, gently unfolding romances.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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