I was given the opportunity to read a couple of Ms. Heyer's books. I'd never read anything by her before and was curious, but not curious enough to spend my money on her (if that makes sense). I'm always a bit leery about reading historicals, because honestly? I'm never really sure where it'll take me. Will I like the book or hate it? It's kind of a weird dilemma to find myself in, but there you go.
As for the two books I was given to review, I'll start with Charity Girl. I actually read Faro's Daughter and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to reading Charity Girl. And that's when I hit a snag. If I have one complaint about Ms. Heyer (and it's a pretty major one), the woman LOVED her slang. She used it over and over and over again. None of the words used are words we use in our current venacular, so honestly? I had no idea what on earth any of the characters were talking about in 99% of the book. It got so bad in Charity Girl that I actually skimmed to the end (which I never do) just to see what happened. I just didn't like it!
Which surprise me considering the fact that I did enjoy Faro's Daughter so much. Is it the best book I've ever read? No, but it made me laugh and had a lighthearted bent to it that was quite enjoyable.
The basic idea of FD is that Deborah Grantham, a young woman of questionable breeding is being romanced by the only son of a peer. His cousin, Max Ravenscar, offers her a ridiculous amount of money not to marry his cousin (it says on the back cover it's his nephew, but in the book it's his cousin). Offended and affronted, Deborah then goes about doing her best to one-up Mr. Ravenscar and that's when the insanity begins.
I've gotta tell you, this book was completely and totally nuts. I don't know if Ms. Heyer intended for me to laugh out loud as much as I did or if that was completey unintentional, but I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time! This book has everything: tempers, arrogance, kidnapping, big misunderstandings, etc. etc. Basically, it was a hoot!
Do I recommend it? Yes, but only if you can handle the ridiculous language used. I know she was trying to be current for the time period she was writing about, but if she were still alive and writing I would have recommended she quit with the crazy verbiage and just concentrated on the romance.