A Civil Contract
by Georgette Heyer
Mass Market Paperback:
Released: January 1, 2005
Source: Bought through Half.com.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Adam Deveril, the new Viscount Lynton, is madly in love with the beautiful Julia Oversley. But he has returned from the Peninsular War to find his family on the brink of ruin and his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt.
Then Adam is introduced to Mr. Jonathan Chawleigh, a City man of apparently unlimited wealth. He has no social ambitions for himself, but he's determined to marry off his only daughter, the quiet and decidedly plain Jenny Chawleigh, to a suitable man who has a title. Adam feels forced to sacrifice his happiness to provide for his family and so cuts things off with Julia, but he feels ashamed by his mercenary marriage.
Jenny has long loved Adam, but can she win--in her quiet way--his love away from Julia, or do too many things stand in their way?
A Civil Contract is a Regency romance. It's not highly humorous like Heyer's usual writing. If you believe that a true, lasting love can occur between two people who have decided to honor and behave in a caring way toward each other, then you'll probably enjoy it.
The characters were all nice people who were trying very hard to make things work out so everyone ended up happy. But the characters were also realistic, so they're not always successful. For example, Jenny's father kept trying to give Adam gifts, but they don't have the same tastes or ideas about what makes a good gift. Not to mention that Adam didn't want "handouts."
Most of the suspense came from relationship tensions as Adam, Jenny, and her father learned to appreciate each other for who they are while all hope that Adam and Julia grow disillusioned with each other. The high suspense came at the very end, with Adam's great gamble...perfect.
There were no sex scenes. There was a fair amount of "God" being used as a swear word. Overall, I'd highly recommend this well-written book and count it as one of my favorites.
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.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.