A quick witted, hot tempered, “i-will-do-as-I-please-the-world-be-damned” heroine; a high handed, roguish and equally temperamental hero; Regency
England replete with its gossip, glitter and graces. The Bath Tangle has all the ingredients that have made Georgette Heyer’s romances instant best sellers. The main protagonists are intelligent, and therefore in the language of regency romances, “unconventional”, hot headed and egoistic. Their battle of wits and egos leads to a series of misunderstandings, mistaken engagements and an interesting tangle. And the setting for all these misadventures is, of course, as the book name suggests, Bath.
When 25 year old Serena Carlow discovers that her eccentric father has entrusted the Marquis of Rotherham, the man she jilted and therefore publically shamed, as her guardian she is furious. As if that is not sufficient, the old Duke also willed that Serena would get all her entails if and only if, she married with the consent of the “infuriating” Marquis. To cope with her changed circumstances Serena escapes to Bath with her step mother, the soft hearted, albeit dim witted and very young, Fanny. Here she meets an old flame and promptly becomes engaged to him. What follows is a series of misadventures till all is set right in the end.
The Bath Tangle is above all Serena’s story. The male protagonist is present but more in Serena’s thoughts and reflections than in actual scenes. In Serena we once again find the almost “stereotypical” Regency heroine – daring, intelligent, unconventional, proud and loyal to those that she loves. Yet Heyer’s writing ensures that there is not a dull moment in the book. The characters of the hero and the heroine may seem somewhat familiar, but their exchanges and indeed their interactions with others are so lively that nothing in the book seems repetitive. The Bath Tangle is full of Heyer’s trademarks- vivid descriptions of life in Regency England, strong characters and brilliant characterization, charming if somewhat obsolete Regency vernacular and lots of sarcasm and witticisms. Of course some times the reference to the politics of the era leave the modern reader a bit bewildered but then these are minor distractions.
An interesting read for those who enjoy well written historical romances.
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