I’m not really a romance reader. Oh sure, I’ll read Jane Austen and Mary Stewart, but I don’t really venture much into ROMANCE. But so many people recommend Georgette Heyer, and she is consistently touted as being the Queen of This and the Mistress of That, so I thought I might as well give her a whirl.
I chose Beauvallet, mostly because it featured pirates. (I like pirates.)
And oh, what a fun, frothy, silly book it was! Sir Nicholas Beauvallet is a privateer, if you’re English–or a pirate, if you’re Spanish–who dashingly sails around capturing fat prizes, which he then bring back to Queen Elizabeth. On one of his jaunts he captures a Spanish vessel that is not only brimming with treasure, it is also carrying the lovely Doña Dominica de Rada y Sylva and her father on their way back to Spain. Sir Nicholas gallantly decides to escort the lady and her father to their destination (possibly because the ship they were sailing on, which he looted, is sinking). During the course of this journey, Sir Nicholas declares his intention of marrying the lady before a year has passed; she feigns indifference, but is secretly pleased.
Time passes, the lady is deposited in Spain with relatives after her father dies. Relatives who lust after her fortune, and are determined to keep it within the family. Can she escape the clutches of her cousin Don Diego? Can Sir Nicholas dodge certain death as he races across Spain to claim his lady love? Is there any doubt how this will end?
I enjoyed this book immensely. Pirates! Faux-Elizabethan slang! Swashbuckling and derring-do! Sir Nicholas reminded me a bit of Lord Blackadder, except not quite as louche. And maybe a bit more successful at life and plans and things. (Baldrick is no Joshua, that’s for sure though.)
I’ll probably never go out and buy the complete Georgette Heyer Library, but I may just read another of her books one day.
Source: borrowed from library