Arabella, by Georgette Heyer

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As a longtime Georgette Heyer fan, I was tantalized by the recent rumor that one of her books (The Grand Sophy) is being developed into a feature film. News on the project is scarce, but my hopes are high. The Grand Sophy would make a wonderful movie, but so would any number of Heyer's other books—not least her 1949 novel Arabella, one of her lightest and most beloved regency-era romances.

The titular heroine of Arabella is the lovely daughter of a country clergyman. Arabella Tallant is on her way to spend a season in London with her godmother when her coach breaks down, stranding her outside the hunting lodge of the wealthy and handsome Robert Beaumaris. When Arabella realizes that her reluctant host has dismissed her as a fortune-hunter, she impulsively pretends to be fabulously wealthy. Amused (and totally not fooled), Beaumaris tells everyone in London that Arabella is a rich young woman—subjecting her to a host of unanticipated social pitfalls.

Arabella is an unalloyed pleasure to read. Arabella is a delightful heroine; Beaumaris a charming hero, and the story is stuffed to the brim with ridiculous situations, witty dialogue, and memorable side characters. Over the course of her long career, Heyer wrote more challenging, romantic, and funnier books, but Arabella is perhaps her most unabashedly sweet.
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Posted by: Julianka

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