Book: The Grand Sophy

Title: The Grand Sophy
Author: Georgette Heyer
Genre: Regency Romance
Length: 416 pgs

Summary: The Ombersley house is in a turmoil. Cousin Sophy Stanton-Lacy has been left by her father, Sir Horace, to find a husband…the problem is, Sophy cannot do any such thing until the house has been put to rights. After all, cousin Cecilia is in love with a foppish poet who has no concept of reality, cousin Charles is about to marry a prosy prig, and no one is doing anything about it! That is, not until Sophy walked through the door…

Why should you read this book?
For one thing, if you’re a regency romance reader you’re supposed to already know about Georgette Heyer. Shame on you if you don’t. And now comes my shocking admission: this is the first Heyer book I’ve ever read. I hadn’t ever heard of Heyer before I started trolling writing blogs a year or so ago, which is scandalous, I know. Heyer is often described as the new Jane Austen, and I can see the resemblences in the writing tone. The Grand Sophy is fast-paced. So fast-paced that I didn’t find an excerpts to post. This isn’t because I was so drawn in the story, but more…the pace was so fast I would almost feel physically tired and had to put the book down.

The book starts with a very long conversation between Lady Ombersley and her brother, Sir Horace. They talk for almost thirty pages! And while it’s an amusing conversation, and we learn a lot of backstory, I almost put the book down because really, what was going on but two people talking about people I don’t care about yet? This book, I feel, would have started better with the arrival of Sophy. Heyer does a good job of defining the characters, so the immense backstory at the beginning is unnecessary.

So, if you’re going to read Heyer, I’m not sure this is the book to start with. I have another Heyer on my list to read, so hopefully I’ll like that one more. Read this book to see how an author can make a manipulative character the hero, keep the pacing fast, give each character definition, and write a snappy love story where the two main characters don’t fawn over one another (they actually argue the entire book).