The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer
I don't think I'll ever be a great fan of this author. I can't say I dislike her books, only that after reading two of them I didn't find much to make me want more. The things I don't like about them outweigh the those I do.
By the opening pages of the second chapter the direction of the story and the ending can be easily predicted. There is never any question how it will turn out so it was hard to stay interested. I kept going because I wanted to write about it and it wouldn't be fair to write about a book I hadn't finished.
I was disappointed with the way the author worked out certain situations toward the end. Instead of moving the story forward with interaction between characters, she gives them a page to think and take giant leaps to conclusions, then ta-da!, suddenly they understand all and know just what to do. I guess she got tired of writing. I felt cheated.
Another irritating thing was the excess use of Regency-era slang. Using it with restraint can create authenticity but she's trying too hard in passages like these, and the book was full of them:
"Stop trying to make a pigeon of me! You'll only be gapped, you know! What's the matter? Are you in the suds?"
"She wouldn't have raised such a breeze if I'd had the sense to have taken off my bars. The thing was she'd put me in such a tweak by that time that I was hanged if I'd cry craven! Told her that if she tried to shab off I'd squeak beef..."
Stereotypical characters, weak writing and a predictable ending add up to just another formula romance. I liked the setting of 1800's England because I like the manor houses, vicarages, horses, carriages and such, and I liked it for what it didn't have - violence, steamy bedroom scenes, vampires - but that wasn't enough to overcome the book's flaws. I don't think I'll read any more of them, but then you never know. Sometimes I want something light and easy to read and if there's nothing else at hand one of these might do.