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Wow, that Harlequin-style synopsis does nothing to convey the true feel of reading this novel. Venetia is smart and has her wits firmly about her. She's very encumbered with family obligations, but she's not unhappy about it. Just wistful, maybe--almost but not quite regretful that she has not yet had time and opportunity to really pursue a life for herself. But she's not a mope, and she doesn't pine away by any means. And her brother is absolutely delightful, with his cynical and classics-laden commentary. His exchange with Ventia's uptight, upright neighborhood suitor toward the end of the novel about 'racy stories' is golden.
If you love a good rake, this is the story for you -- as well as the titles mentioned by the other reviewer. You might also like the similar heroes in "The Grand Sophy" and "Lady of Quality." If you're looking for a contrast, try "The Foundlilng," "False Colours," "The Toll-Gate," and/or "The Masqueraders." That's the great thing about Heyer -- you never run out of heroes, and you can always find a heroine to identify with.
Heyer's regency romances are my guilty pleasure, and Venetia is one of my favorites. Dameral - who doesn't love/ believe they can reform a rake? This is along the same lines as These Old Shades and Devil's Cub, I'd say. Witty heroine who's not quite the ingenue others would have.
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