Read Venetia: una passione irresistibile by Georgette Heyer Anna Luisa Zazo Lidia Zazo Online


Condannata a vivere nella solitudine della tenuta di famiglia da un padre misantropo, la giovane e deliziosa Venetia Lanyon deve per giunta occuparsi della proprietà alla morte di lui: suo fratello, infatti, ha preferito dedicarsi alla carriera militare. Ma un giorno la nostra eroina incontra il vicino Lord Damerel: un gentiluomo dalla pessima fama di libertino, che tuttavCondannata a vivere nella solitudine della tenuta di famiglia da un padre misantropo, la giovane e deliziosa Venetia Lanyon deve per giunta occuparsi della proprietà alla morte di lui: suo fratello, infatti, ha preferito dedicarsi alla carriera militare. Ma un giorno la nostra eroina incontra il vicino Lord Damerel: un gentiluomo dalla pessima fama di libertino, che tuttavia si comporta con lei in modo irreprensibile, riuscendo a portare una ventata di novità nelle sue opache giornate. La loro amicizia scatena però un vortice di pettegolezzi e il morboso interesse di parenti e vicini: quali sono le reali intenzioni di Damerel? E Venetia, la buona, virtuosa Venetia, a che gioco sta giocando?...

Title : Venetia: una passione irresistibile
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788873390305
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 345 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Venetia: una passione irresistibile Reviews

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2018-09-24 04:35

    News flash: I'm not 18 any more. So even though I still have a soft spot for romances in general and Regencies in particular, my appetite for reading about sweet, silly young girls who do brainless things and have Big Misunderstandings with the guy has dwindled to almost zero. When you're yelling "TALK TO EACH OTHER, PEOPLE" at a book, it's not particularly conducive to the romantic feelz.Which brings me to Venetia. Venetia herself is one of my favorite Heyer heroines: intelligent, witty, resourceful and not easily fazed by events that would make most ladies throw up their hands in despair. She's 25 years old--just about on the shelf by Regency standards. Because her father was a damaged soul, Venetia has spent her entire life in a small town with a very limited circle of friends and acquaintances, but she's nevertheless well-read and socially adept, if rather innocent in the ways of the world.Enter Damerel: an older man who's a confirmed rake and pretty much doesn't care about anything any longer. Or at least he thinks he doesn't, but underneath there's an intelligent, kind man that his growing friendship with Venetia brings out of hiding. He starts out intending to seduce her--hey, she's a lovely girl and he's bored--but his growing friendship with and respect for her and her brother soon make him realize that he can't do that. Which leads to a moral conundrum for Damerel: his life has been so reprehensible that he's no longer accepted in society, and marrying a sweet younger lady like Venetia would make people despise him even more, and shun them both."[I'm] something worse than a fool. Would that she could make of me a saint, or I of her a sinner-- For the first part it's too late, old friend, too late! And for the second--it was precisely my intention, and a rare moment this is to discover that if I could I would not!"What to do? The resolution isn't as simple as you might expect.It's lovely to watch Venetia's developing relationship with Damerel. They trade literary quotes and allusions and they just understand each other. Their relationship is in turns witty and heart-wrenching. And way sexier than any other Heyer romance I'm aware of! Heyer never gives you anything more than a kiss--no tangled tongues or groping or anything like that--but you can almost feel the heat rising off the pages when these two are together.I loved both the humor and the literary allusions and references in this book. I think it's the most intelligently written of the Heyer books I've read. I can feel my brain cells multiplying while I read it. Or expanding. Whatever it is they do. I found a handy online guide to the literary references in Venetia, which might help other readers too: This was invaluable in keeping my brain cells from exploding from trying to expand too fast.And I've changed my mind on this second read: Venetia gets all 5 stars.P.S. re "orgies": at the end of the book(view spoiler)[ Damarel jokes that they're going to have a lovely orgy, or something to that effect. This has bothered a lot of readers, including me. But here's my evolved take on that scene: The first time I read that orgy comment I thought it was cynical; the second time I decided he and Venetia were just joking around. Then we were discussing it in our Georgette Heyer group read a few months ago, and someone said that what Damerel really means with that comment is that they're going to have a great wedding night and love life generally--a nice little "orgy" with just the two of them.(hide spoiler)]I read the scene again and personally I'm convinced that that's the right interpretation. Hope that helps!

  • Anne
    2018-09-25 03:44

    Yorkshire, 1818*WARNING! Spoilers, gushing, swooning, quoting and rose-petal strewing ahead! ;) (no orgies though, I promise -- read on safely :P)*O Venetia! Thou hast utterly captured my soul!"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."And a Damerel by any other name would be just as swoon-worthy!"I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself."Because my name is Venetia and I'm one of the most wonderful heroines in all literature. I have lived one of the dreamiest romances possible, and have remained perfectly poised and ladylike through the whole thing, without seeming aloof or uninterested. I am simply awesome, that is all. I am sorry that no one else is ever going to have a romance as breathtakingly beautiful as mine. ;) "I am determined that nothing but the deepest love could ever induce me into matrimony."OK, Anne. I know Venetia has completely addled your brain, but there is no need to start quoting classic literature like some foolish bluestocking. You'll never be able to pull it off as swiftly as Damerel and Venetia. NOTHING COULD EVER COMPARE TO DAMEREL AND VENETIA. (Yes, I know, I know, I use N&S gifs WAY TOO MUCH. But I don't CARE. It's PERFECT here. #sorrynotsorry)Quite simply, this book is exquisitely sublime. No amount of words to describe its peaceful, quiet beauty and entrancing depth would ever be sufficient. This is a masterpiece of the first order. Possibly Heyer's best novel in terms of perfectly blended substance and romanticism. I.Just.Love.It.Everyone had been telling me to read this for ages. I knew I would love it, and was so excited to read it that a part of me did not want to read it too soon because...once you read it for the first time, you'll never read it again for the first time. Sure, re-reads are sometimes even better, but they're not the same. You already know just how swoony Damerel really is when you re-read it ;) "Fair Fatality, you are the most unusual female I have encountered in all my thirty-eight years!" (finally Anne is quoting the right book!)In what is assuredly the most famous “first encounter” scene in all of Heyer’s books, a returning Lord Damerel looking devilishly handsome on his horse stumbles upon Venetia picking blackberries on his estate grounds, and immediately just starts throwing out quotes and kissing her ruthlessly, you know, like any normal landlord would do. And Venetia? She quotes back. I kid you not, this girl may be inexperienced, but she knows what’s up. You want to act like a cad? Well so be it. "'[y]our quotations don’t make your advances a whit more acceptable to me – and they don’t deceive me into thinking you anything but a pestilent complete knave!'"And Damerel is all OH MY GOSH, SHE QUOTES BACK. SHE UNDERSTANDS. SHE’S THE ONE. Thus it begins, my friends. One of the most beautiful romances I’ve ever read, solidly grounded on friendship, mutual understanding, and true love. ”’Or don’t you know how beautiful you are?’‘Yes,’ replied Venetia, taking the wind out of his sails. ’Item, two lips, indifferent red – ‘ ‘Oh no, you’re quite out, and have gone to the wrong poet besides! They look like rosebuds filled with snow!’”Aren’t they something??! What I wouldn’t give for such an encounter when I go blackberry-picking! Maybe I should try trespassing on some hot guy’s property? ;) From that first meeting it is obvious that Damerel and Venetia are kindred spirits, and that probably no one else will understand them. Venetia may be “on the shelf”, sheltered in the country, inexperienced and optimistic, but she ain’t dumb. She’s not a chit who can’t tell love apart from attraction, or who is likely to have her head turned just because some swoony hot lord quotes poetry to her and calls her his “dear delight”. No. She falls for Damerel because he’s her soulmate, and she has sense enough to recognize that. Never mind that he’s the rakest rake in England, with a shocking past of wild orgies and seducing married women, or that he’s up to his eyeballs in debts. WHO CARES. VENETIA HAS FOUND A FRIEND. A real friend.And no one understands. No one gets it. They all think Venetia is going to have her heart broken, that she doesn’t understand what Damerel is up to, that she’s too good and innocent to be with him. They warn her and counsel her and beg her to stay away from him, yet they never once ask her what she feels or what she thinks about him. If only they knew how alike they are, and what good jokes they share. “OMG YOU’VE JUST HAD THE MOST DIVERTING THOUGHT??!!?!”Their only ally is Venetia’s hilarious younger brother Aubrey, a smart and sassy scholarly boy who prefers books to people (see? People who prefer books usually understand people better! We know), and who had wonderfully good scenes and witty lines as sharp as rapiers.The first part of the book passes by quietly, with autumn settling in and Damerel and Venetia being wrapped up in each other, being the best of friends and accomplices. Damerel takes to calling Venetia his “dear delight”, his “fair fatality”, “Admir'd Venetia” and other similar heart-melting nicknames, he keeps telling her she is a beautiful, desirable creature, and that he wouldn’t at all mind kissing her again, and well everything is just so sigh-worthy that you never want it to end.”’[…]he should have taken you in his arms, like this, and not as though he were a bear, bent on hugging you to death. Nor am I in favour of dabbing kisses all over a girl’s face. If you cannot persuade her, by a ruse, to look up, you should make her do so, with a hand under her chin – thus, my dear delight!’”BUT THEN, MRS. SCORRIER ENTERS THE PICTURE AND UTTERLY RUINS EVERYTHING. She meddles, she disturbs everything at Undershaw, she insults Venetia, and she drives everybody batty. I will be honest, the bits about her and her interference in the house were pretty boring, and maybe a bit too long, but mostly, they were infuriating. She was intolerable. But her arrival is also a catalyst that strikes up a series of unforeseen twists and turns, and the second half of the book is definitely more fast-paced and surprising than the first. Having been pushed to her limits by Mrs. S., Venetia declares her intention of setting up house in London, which unwittingly prompts Damerel into a most moving love declaration, although interrupted by Aubrey (Aubrey interruption # 1 of about 5000!!), but that leaves you swooning nonetheless.”’You call me your friend, but I never called you mine, and never shall! You remained, and always will, a beautiful, desirable creature!’”Ooooh if only Aubrey hadn’t come in at that moment! And if Venetia’s uncle had never come to Yorkshire! How things would have been different! But as it is, the aforementioned people DID meddle, and in one of the most poignant, heart-breaking scenes I’ve ever read in any romance novel, Damerel suddenly decides to act like the noblest of noble knights, and in so doing breaks Venetia’s heart (and mine!) and his own. ”’Well – thus ends a charming autumn idyll, eh?’”I just need to give Venetia a big hug. I was so SHOCKED, so SPEECHLESS when I read that, that I basically dropped my book and sat there gaping for ages. OH DAMEREL YOU INFURIATING DARLING. HOW COULD YOU!!!Poor Venetia goes to London with her heart sunk to the lowest depths of despair, but still she’s no fool, and knows something must have happened to make Damerel suddenly change his mind when she had been so sure of his love. She just doesn’t know what. But oh, when she finds out…oh, when she finds out, Damerel better WATCH IT. Oh, she ain’t gonna let him get away with his darned newfound chilvalry, OH HECK NO! HE BETTER START STREWING THOSE BLASTED ROSE PETALS!!ALL THE WAY TO YORKSHIRE!Venetia: *bursts into Damerel’s dining room while he is quietly intoxicating himself*Damerel: OH GOD, NO!!! (this is the actual line!! :P :P)Venetia: OH GOD, YES!! Why do you have to be drunk just now??Damerel: ASJFKJLKJLK VENETIA!!! VENETIA, IT’S VENETIA! VEEEEEENEEEEETIIIIIAAAAAAA!!!!*passionate-kissing-fond-embraces-insert-disgusting-sounds-here*Damerel: * reluctantly pulling away* Ohhhhh why did you come back??! Noooo!! I can’t DO THIS!!Venetia: I need money to pay the driver, do you have your purse?Damerel: Venetia, noooo, you weren’t supposed to come back, you can’t – I can’t – ARGH!Venetia: Please, your purse, I really need to pay my driver!Imber: *quietly coming in* Uuuhhhh….miss? You don’t mean to stay here do you?Venetia: Oh hell yes I am staying HERE! I have been anxiously traveling all day long just to get here, and now you think I’d go away? Uh-uh!!Damerel: NOOOOOOO!!!Venetia: YEEESSSSSS! AND I AM STARVING, SO PLEASE GET ME SOME FOOD!!Damerel: Venetia, please no, YOU CAN’T!!Venetia: Oh, I see, you have decided to be idiotish again, is that it???Damerel: Awww “idiotish” *sniff* I never though I would hear you say that again!Venetia: Oh, I didn’t even notice I said it a lot! Must be quite a number of idiotish people in my life, LOL!Damerel: Lol!! But….you can’t stay here!Venetia: Oh, come on, don’t start again, if you kick me out of your house, I am building me a cabin outside, and will probably die of an inflammation of the lungs, and it will be all your fault!Marston: Heyyy, Venetia!! Good to see you!Venetia: Hey, you too! But Damerel here isn’t happy to see me at all and threatens to kick me out!Marston: No, what a jerk! Here, come upstairs with me.Damerel: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!***Damerel: Alright, so, I have an idea, since you refuse to leave, I'LL leave and go to the inn, that way proprieties will be respected, and isn't that nice? I love proprieties :) And I love how you do your hair now! Very pretty!Venetia: (Oooh man, is he ever difficult!) Well thank you!Damerel: A la Sappho it's called right?Venetia: Oh you wretch, do you know the names of all the types of coiffures??!Damerel: Yup, pretty much! So, really now, what brought you here?Venetia: Well duuuhhh, the mail-coach of course!!Damerel: Don't sass me you little vixen! OHHHH WHY DID YOU COME!!Venetia: (Ohhhh boy, here he goes again!) Why don't you just kiss me again and stop acting like such a stoopid??!Damerel: NO! I DO NOT WANT TO KISS YOU! I WAS DRUNK, DARN IT!Venetia: Aahhh never mind! My food has arrived :D :D***Mr. Hendred: Oh thank goodness I arrived just in time! Venetia! What the heck is this I hear about you wanting Damerel to strew rose petals all over for you?Damerel: Hahahahaha!! At this season??? Venetia: Oh, shut up Damerel! You should've done it a long time ago, so hush!Mr. Hendred: Or maybe she just didn't want you to indulge in such wasteful habits? I mean, who wastes rose petals like that???!!! But anyways that's NOT the point, the point is, I am here to prevent you from ruining yourself, Venetia!!Damerel: Yes!!! I second the motion!Venetia: *major eye roll* HOW ABOUT I TELL Y'ALL WHAT I WANT!! There is no need to overreact! Damerel may be a little older than me, but at least he won't turn out to be my father! ;) Mr. Hendred: WHAT??!!!Damerel: HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA OEDIPUS!!! But it's the other way around honey, YOU won't turn out to be MY mother!Venetia: Oh, same thing! Be quiet!Mr. Hendred: Geeee...I don't understand anything! Venetia, you seem to be living in a - in a, a....Damerel: Soap-bubble?Mr. Hendred: Yes!! Exactly! A soap-bubble!! Girl, WHAT IS GOING ON??Venetia: Lol, if you think that I think Damerel is a fairytale hero, don't worry, I know he isn't! Mr. Hendred: Ooooh Venetia, you don't understand! Damerel is a man of the world! He won't be able to reform all his shocking habits just for you! You will be made dreadfully unhappy!Venetia: *eyes glinting* Well, my love?Damerel: *eyes glinting back* Well, my dear delight?Venetia: You'll continue to have orgies?Damerel: What if I do? What will you do?Venetia: Oh, I won't mind! I'll just...head up to bed or something!Damerel: Oh. Wouldn't you want to...participate, maybe?Venetia: you think I'd enjoy myself? ;) ;) ;) Damerel: OH YOU SHALL HAVE A SPLENDID ORGY JUST FOR YOU, MY DEAREST OF DEAR DELIGHTS!!!Aubrey: *interrupting for the 5000th time* Heeeyyyy just wanted to ask, but...can we go to Greece for you guys' honeymoon??Damerel: There won't be a honeymoon, because there won't be a wedding, because there hasn't been a proposal yet, BECAUSE YOU KEEP INTERRUPTING!!Aubrey: Oh. Well, when you finally propose, can we go to Greece?Damerel: In the middle of winter? You mad?Aubrey: Well okay, then it had better be Rome. I would have preferred Greece, but we can go to Rome, and I think Venetia will like it. It's not my honeymoon after all!Damerel: Just. Get. To. Bed.Aubrey: Right! The proposal! Goodnight!Damerel: FINALLY!!! PROPOSAL TIME!!"'O God, I love you to the edge of madness Venetia!'"Yes, I really do love you to the edge of madness, Venetia. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite books of all times. I want to buy a whole cart-full and walk around campus handing a copy to everybody. "Read this, it will make you feel better. Read this, it is simply phenomenal. READ IT, I SAY!!"I could go on and on about this book for ages, but this review is already almost two months late, and no one probably even remembers that I read it. I am so sorry I took ages to write this review (again)! You can blame my addled brain. ;) Buddy-read with Becca!! :D

  • Dawn (& Ron)
    2018-10-04 03:49

    I am one of those who steered clear of Georgette Heyer for years, even though I heard the comparisons to Jane Austen, I was afraid they were formulaic romances. To my surprise it wasn't what I feared all those years and proved that breaking out of one's reading comfort zone can be quite rewarding. This was made more enjoyable getting to read this along with Sabrina, who also had some of the same feelings regarding Heyer, and both of us ended up enjoying it. I was aware Heyer was famous, or some may say infamous, for her Regency cant. I admit to being a bit intimidated with the thought of tackling this period slang, did you know there are about 30 words just for dimwitted? So, to prepare I bookmarked several websites and had the book, Georgette Heyer's Regency World, at the ready. At first it was a little difficult and distracting trying to figure out the meaning, but the patient help I received from fellow GR friends was invaluable. Their input made it much more fun, allowing me to relax, stop worrying and make it more of a game instead.Our heroine, Venetia, "then twenty-two, perilously near to being on the shelf." is quite modern not only for the Regency period but for the 1950's, when this was originally written. She is unconventional with her free thoughts and expressions but at the same time not challenging her family to take care of their responsibilities. I did find her conveniently too naive at times for purposes of the story. Then we have our hero Damarel, that dastardly bad boy and rake, or using Regency cant a rip. He doesn't hide who he is or his past from Venetia, even using his reputation to his advantage at times. As he finds himself falling for Venetia he wins over the reader too. How can one resist lines like this -What I regret I can never undo, for the gods don’t annihilate space, or time, or transform such a man as I am into one worthy to be your husband.The accolades for Heyer's historical detail are justified. Daily life, settings, clothing and manners are richly painted, giving a clear picture of the genteel, decorous yet rigid Regency society. She also presents the limited expectations for women in an unapologetic yet realistic way. Everything is laced with wit and humor. " case is clearly past remedy, and I've nothing to do but decide whether to be an aunt to Conway's children, or a mother to Edward's - and I have a lowering presentiment that Edward's children will be dreadfully dull, poor little things!"There are no cardboard cutout characters, they are multi-layered, full of life whether you hate them, love them, laugh at them or barely tolerate them. Venetia's suitors, or men in waiting, as I came to think of them, Edward Yardley and Oswald Denny, had me laughing with their pursuit and dreams of gallantry. I grew to appreciate Aubrey, her younger brother, and how he coped with being lame in a time when such imperfections were unacceptable, shunned and shamed by many. "Master Aubrey’s hatred of his disability, and his passionate desire to show himself as hearty and as independent as his more fortunate contemporaries:Heyer cleverly puts all these people together, some we never even meet, some we only briefly meet and some we never expect to meet, yet they are all important to putting the final picture together. There is no surprise about how things will end, the fun is how they get to happily ever after, including an expected twist I didn't see coming. I loved the endearments they called each other, she called him "The Wicked Baron" and he called her "My Dear Delight". This was my first brush with Heyer and I don't plan on it being my last. Will I judge all her others against this one? I hope not, but Damarel will be hard to top, so only time will tell. On that note I'll let Damarel end this review and prove why he is not easily forgotten."When you smile at me like that, it’s all holiday with me!"

  • Marquise
    2018-10-15 04:55

    Je n'aurais jamais cru que Monseigneur le Duc d'Avon pourrait être remplacé par un autre héros!When I start to mutter in French, it hints the book must've made an impression. And, dear me, this one did. How could it not? It's very intense for the average Heyer novel, a writer that normally shies away from overt sexiness as a scalded cat from water. A good timing it had, too, for I was on the edge of losing faith in this author's capacity to create masculine characters as interesting as Monseigneur and heroines that weren't behaving like stoopid ten-year-old schoolgirls at the ripe old age of, say, twenty.But that happened. Enter Jasper, Lord Damerel, aptly described by this line from a poem by another famous rake of the same period, Lord Byron, that our hero quotes:"There was a laughing devil in his sneer,That raised emotions both of rage and fear;And where his frown of hatred darkly fell,Hope withering fled, and Mercy sighed farewell!"The way he and Venetia, the best Heyer heroine I've found so far, met is one of the funniest rendezvous I've read in historical romance. That scene of Shakespearean inspiration establishes that Damerel is a jaded rake in semi-retirement that sets out to tease what he thinks is a silly pretty country girl he'll soon forget, but instead finds someone that'll be his best friend and his match. She, who believes herself fit only for spinterhood and taking care of and keeping house for her crippled younger brother, is a very resourceful, optimistic and persistent girl with wits that allow her to keep up with Damerel's quotin' & recitin', and, veering away from the usual plot that has the hero pursue the heroine, it's she who is in charge and has to manoeuvre her way towards attaining her wishes, to her benefit and her brother's. Their relationship builds up at quite an slow pace, and they don't get together until much later, but that doesn't feel like a negative precisely, because they're "together" all the time in the sense that they interact on an almost daily basis, and reading their meetings described, it's possible to witness the growing affection so that the resolution feels a natural conclusion. This is one aspect I particularly like, because sometimes authors make the mistake of bringing a couple together in the last chapter with little buildup and too much conflict thrown in that it is blindingly obvious that it's just for drama. Here, the obstacles aren't the dreaded Big Misunderstanding, but come from social conventions and characterisation, and, I think, are solved as the plot moves. All is set in the country, save for a brief time in London (which didn't include the "ton," gods be praised!), but not quiet-paced as I'd believed it would as soon as I discovered its setting, it's rather eventful for the narrow scope, thanks to the neighbouring families and Damerel himself, plus Venetia's brother is a strong secondary character. Even the unavoidable pest that populates Heyer's novels brings in some necessary conflict to the narrative, although I wish it hadn't been dropped because the Scorrier/Lady Lanyon plot was, I feel, left without resolution, for good or for bad. You just cannot include an antagonist and then leave them forgotten somewhere. And that, together with the way the Lanyons react to (view spoiler)[their mother's secret past being discovered (hide spoiler)], is the weakest part of the story. It was simply unconvincing that they'd react with so much equanimity given what the lady did and how it affected their lives, and more of that cool anger shown by Venetia should've been in.I definitely am going to approach the rest of her novels with more hopes about Heyer's writing after this enjoyable read that is going straight to my favourites and after such delightful characters, both male and female (Did I thank the gods already?). Oh, and I give the edge to Damerel on account of his ability to recite all poets worth their salt at appropriate times!

  • Becca
    2018-10-02 01:34

    Never in my life have I been so glad of a rainy afternoon. Never so glad that I was bored and typed a name into a search bar to see what would come up. It was in this slightly unorthodox way that I originally discovered Venetia. In a fit of utter boredom I typed the name “Richard Armitage” (he'd recently become my favourite actor) into the iTunes search bar, and what should appear? ...Three novels by Georgette Heyer, narrated by Richard Armitage. I need not tell you I was wide awake again after that. Before then a few friends had vaguely recommended Georgette Heyer’s novels to me, but thus far I had lacked the motivation to start finding and reading them. The summaries made them sound to me as if there was nothing much out of the ordinary about them. How wrong could I have been? I absolutely loved Venetia, and I will be endlessly grateful to Richard Armitage for being my unwitting introduction to Georgette Heyer's beautiful world.Being set in the Yorkshire countryside, the story doesn’t have quite so many upsets and excitements and scrapes of those Heyer stories which take place in the cities. Those stories can be amazingly good fun, and very exciting. But while Venetia lacks those particular excitements, it does have a quiet beauty to it, a serenity and gentle humour that lends it an equal merit to the other more riotous novels, and indeed it is superior to some. I suppose it really depends on what you’re in the mood for, and if you’re in the mood for a unique romance set in the English countryside, this novel is utterly perfect. Besides, Venetia was my first Georgette Heyer novel (not to mention my first Richard-Armitage-narrated novel), and therefore is very dear to me, occupying a small but precious space in my heart.Miss Venetia Lanyon is one of Georgette Heyer’s slightly older heroines, a young woman who has lived in the countryside for most of her twenty-five years, ever since her mother died when she was a young girl. Her brother Conway has escaped into the wider world by joining the army, and in wilfully and obstinately choosing to remain abroad, he has left the control of the Undershore estate in Venetia’s hands. She has grown to have a kind heart, a brilliant sense of humour, and a taste for adventure. But this sensible girl and stunning beauty can see no choices before her save to be an ageing spinster in her brother’s household, or a wife to one Edward Yardley and the mother of his children... until she chances across Lord Damarel, the “Wicked Baron”. Though I find it hard to approve of Lord Damarel’s mode of entering the story, like Venetia I was quickly enamoured of him. In the past he has been – we are told – prone to taking one mistress after the other, and engaging in any number of scandalous pursuits. Unfortunately for him, scandalous pursuits tend to be somewhat expensive, and as such he is forced to return to his country estate to “ruralise”, at which point he encounters the lovely Venetia Lanyon. From this point on we are treated to delightful, witty exchanges between the two characters. Their habit of constantly quoting poetry at each other means that the reader can very quickly feel the rapport form between them, as circumstances conspire to throw them together and become the best of friends. Best of all, they understand one another. I think what I love about these two characters is that Venetia and Damarel are on very even terms with each other, more so than in any other Heyer novel I’ve ever read. There is no feeling that one, by virtue of experience or age or intelligence, is superior to the other. Of course Lord Damarel has seen a great deal more of the world than Venetia, but as their intellects are equally sharp, this circumstance gives rise to more amusement between them than trouble. Their relationship is certainly one of my favourite romances. With every passing moment that they talk and laugh and discuss things together, you feel more and more certain that these two people were simply made for each other. It’s a lovely thing to behold.Before Damarel even enters the story, however, we meet his rivals – Oswald, the nineteen year old neighbour to Venetia, and Edward, the man who has for several years considered himself as good as engaged to Venetia, despite having been refused by Venetia and despite the fact that he is not particularly in love with her. To give you an idea of the relative personalities of these contenders for Venetia’s hand, I’ve attempted to represent my reaction to them:~ When Oswald walks into the room:~ When Edward walks into the room:~ When Lord Damarel walks into the room:Seriously, ladies. You won’t know what hit you.~ When a man walks into the room, who you think is Damarel and it turns out to be Edward: The disappointment is indescribable. Oswald, for his part, is seen by Venetia as too young – at nineteen - to be seriously in love. I think Heyer is playing with a bit of a dangerous double-standard here, as quite a few of her own heroines have been as young as Oswald, even two or three years younger. I do however understand that being able to love rather depends on one’s personal emotional maturity, and by that standard Oswald is certainly far too “young” to be seriously in love with Venetia. Certainly the reader is never under any apprehension that he is a serious rival for Venetia’s affections, and in fact his exploits can be extremely amusing.Edward, on the other hand, I just want to strangle. He’s the sort of man that is not necessarily stupid or mean or selfish... but with every word that comes out of his mouth you become more and more desperate for a convenient wall to bang your head against to alleviate the boredom and frustration. Or a convenient swing on which to swing around and around in circles... either one will do. He is unbelievably stuffy and patronising, and his arrogance is the more irritating because he isn’t really aware of how arrogant he is. His impertinence extends so far as to try and joke with Venetia and pretend he’s “gone a trifle deaf” when she tells him in no uncertain terms that she will not marry him. (Cue glaring, clenching of fists and stifled screams of frustration - Edward Yardley is honestly so annoying!!)He is not, however, the only one causing trouble for Venetia and Damarel. Damarel's morally chequered past certainly doesn't help matters, and to replace the upsets and excitements of the city, this novel is so full of meddlers! So many people are utterly convinced they know what is best for Venetia, and have little intention of consulting her before deciding what to do with her life. It is these people that cause the most trouble for the couple. The one glorious exception is Venetia’s younger brother. Aubrey was certainly not intended as a hero, but in some inexplicable way I found myself falling in love with him almost as much as I was falling for Damarel. Aubrey is seventeen, wonderfully intelligent, entertainingly precocious, and rather touchy about the fact that he walks with a limp, due to a disease that affected his hip joint when he was younger. He enjoys the company of books more than he does most people – save Lord Damarel - and though he can be egotistical and unwittingly selfish, Aubrey will often surprise you by showing the depth of genuine feeling he has for his sister, which is truly touching. He's a difficult character to describe, but anyone who has read about him should understand my fondness for him.Readers of Heyer's novels will know that they are filled with sparkling wit and exciting twists. Then too, there is always at least one scene where she really uses her writing ability to its utmost and can emotionally destroy the reader in a single chapter. Of course I didn’t know of her habit of doing this when I first read Venetia. However, even after a year of reading some of her other novels, I truly believe this particular scene in Venetia is one of the best she has written. It brings me to tears every single time… and here I must put in a word of praise for Richard Armitage’s narration. His narration is always more than delightful, of course, but here he really comes into his own. The way his tone changes to reflect the complete, heart-breaking sadness is perfect. His voice reflects every nuance of feeling in the scene, and it makes the moment even more powerful.The audio edition is somewhat abridged, something I was actually grateful for in this case. The original novel can occasionally get slightly bogged down in extraneous detail… and though I don’t generally consider myself a prude, the word “orgy” was used in the final chapter perhaps one too many times for my liking… I believe it was three times in a single page? In any case, I have another reason to be glad of that part being left out of the audio edition. If I had heard Richard Armitage say that word so many times in such quick succession, I believe I probably would have ended up blushing and/or giggling for the better part of a week. Those who know me well know that isn’t quite as much of an exaggeration as it may seem.In all seriousness, however… inappropriate words aside, Venetia will always be one of my favourite Georgette Heyer novels, and Venetia and Damarel one of my favourite couples. The two of them – and Venetia’s brilliant younger brother – kept me constantly feeling as if I were on the edge of delighted laughter. If you are looking for a wild romp through the Regency world with sword-fights and carriage chases and what have you, this wouldn’t do for you at all. Pick up another Heyer, there are plenty to choose from. But if you are looking for a quiet, wonderful, beautiful novel, Venetia is perfect. If you can listen to Richard Armitage read it to you? So much the better.

  • Caz
    2018-09-30 03:52

    Venetia is, without question, my favourite of all Georgette Heyer’s Regency Romances, and I’ve been looking forward to this new, unabridged audio version for some time. Much of the story takes place in the Autumn, and I’ve always felt that the book has a corresponding maturity about it, an almost elegiac feel in terms of the beauty of the prose and in the depth of the characterisation. Damerel is certainly one of Ms Heyer’s most strongly drawn – and sexiest – heroes, and the eponymous heroine is an absolute gem; intelligent, loving, practical and totally devoid of artifice.Ms Heyer more or less invented the Regency Romance, and authors continue to be inspired to emulate her tales of young bucks and lovely ladies as they navigate their way through the conventions of society and the glittering ballrooms of the ton. Venetia is pretty much the blueprint for the tale of the jaded rake who is reformed by his love for a refreshingly open-hearted young woman, and even though it’s more than half a century old (it was originally published in 1958) it’s still one of the best of its kind.Venetia Lanyon is twenty-five and lives in Yorkshire with her younger brother, Aubrey, who, at seventeen is already a prodigiously talented scholar. Their older brother is away in the army and assumed his father’s baronetcy upon the latter’s death a short time before the book begins. The children lost their mother shortly after Aubrey’s birth, and their reclusive father selfishly isolated his children as well as himself, so that neither Venetia nor Aubrey has much experience of society, and Venetia was never presented at court as was her due as the daughter of a member of the nobility.When walking out one day, she is accosted and “ruthlessly kissed” by a man she has never met, who turns out to be her neighbour, the rakish and disreputable Lord Damerel. Their initial meeting is one of the many delights to be found in this book. Venetia is not missish or prudish; she doesn’t faint, run away, slap him or scold him, instead she stands her ground, flings as many quotations back at him as he throws at her and ends up laughing with him:“Who are you?” he demanded abruptly. “I took you for a village maiden—probably one of my tenants.”“Did you indeed? Well, if that is the way you mean to conduct yourself amongst the village maidens you won’t win much liking here!”“No, no, the danger is that I might win too much!” he retorted. “Who are you? Or should I first present myself to you? I’m Damerel, you know.”“Yes, so I supposed, at the outset of our delightful acquaintance. Later, of course, I was sure of it.”‘Oh, oh—! My reputation, Iago, my reputation!” he exclaimed, laughing again. “Fair Fatality, you are the most unusual female I have encountered in all my thirty-eight years!”“Yon can’t think how deeply flattered I am!” she assured him. “I daresay my head would be quite turned if I didn’t suspect that amongst so many a dozen or so may have slipped from your memory.”Their conversation continues in a like manner, and even at this early stage of the book, it’s clear that theirs has been a true meeting of minds and spirits. Both are more than a little smitten, and when they are thrown into each other’s company following an accident, they are able to spend time together which leads to the blossoming of a tender and deeply affectionate friendship.If ever there was a couple in a romance that deserved to be called “soul mates”, it is Venetia and Damerel. He is charmed by her complete lack of affectation, her vivacity and wonderful sense of humour. He may be a rake, but he is also clever, intuitive, funny and kind, opening up a whole new world for Venetia by filling a need she’d never before realised:“Why, oh why did I never know you until now?”“It does seem a pity,” she agreed. “I have been thinking so myself, for I always wished for a friend to laugh with.”“To laugh with,” he repeated slowly.“Perhaps you have friends already who laugh when you do,” she said diffidently. “I haven’t, and it’s important, I think—more important than sympathy in affliction, which you might easily find in someone you positively disliked.”“But to share a sense of the ridiculous prohibits dislike—yes, that’s true. And rare! My God, how rare! Do they stare at you, our worthy neighbours, when you laugh?”“Yes! or ask me what I mean when I’m joking!”But Damerel has seen much more of the world than Venetia has, and knows the damage her association with him could cause to her reputation. So when he realises that he’s in over his head as far as she is concerned and that what he had originally intended as no more than a pleasant diversion has turned into something much more, he tries to distance himself from her in a scene that, even though I’ve read it several times, continues to bring a lump to my throat. Fortunately for both of them, Venetia is not going to let love slip away so easily.Damerel often refers to Venetia as his “dear delight”, and that’s often how I think of this book – a dear delight. It abounds with literary allusion; the writing sparkles and the interplay between the leads has rarely – if ever – been bettered, either by Ms Heyer or any other author since. The romance is simply beautiful and although the book is squeaky clean, it possesses a sensuality not often found in the author’s work.This new audio version of Venetia is also a complete delight. Phyllida Nash has already recorded a number of Ms Heyer’s works, so I was pleased when I learned that she was to narrate this, as I knew my favourite story would be in safe hands. She has a deep, mellifluous speaking voice which allows her to voice the male roles comfortably, and her narrative is well paced and beautifully nuanced. Ms Nash has a deft touch with the humour in the story, and is a narrator who “acts” - by which I mean if the text says that a character yawns, they yawn, or if they say something “with a laugh”, then the laugh is present in a naturalistic manner. All the characters are well differentiated by use of a variety of tone and accent so that there is never any confusion as to who is speaking. The two principals are just as expertly portrayed, with Damerel being particularly well characterised and sounding exactly as he should – authoritative, knowledgeable and rather sexy.I’ve been waiting for an unabridged audio version of Venetia to come along for years, and while the wait has been frustrating, it has also undoubtedly been worth it. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of this particular story, a Heyer fan in general, or if you’ve never read or listened to one of her books before, this is an audio experience that’s sure to enchant.

  • ᴥ Irena ᴥ
    2018-10-12 05:46

    3.5While reading Venetia I spent half of my time being thrilled (Lord Damerel and Venetia are both wonderful characters) and the other half being frustrated, annoyed and plain angry. There was no middle, people.On the one hand, you have these two wonderful people. Lord Damerel is said to be every horrible and ugly thing under the sun, but to me he was perfect. He never does anything bad in the book. His actions speak louder than any pretty words could. Although his first appearance isn't exactly something to praise, he could be one of my favourite characters so far. Yes, he had depleted his own fortune but, as he said, they will live comfortably. I loved Venetia too. She is so refreshingly honest without being too naive or stupid. A couple of times I wanted her to be more rude (some people more than deserved it), but she never allowed those situations to go too far. The one time I needed her to speak up and put the horrible people where they belong, she did just that.On the other hand, Venetia's meddling family and friends were a bit too much. I hated Edward and the way he acted with her, as if she doesn't know her own mind. Speaking of all those annoying meddling people, I must say I loved every Aubrey moment. Venetia's younger brother was great. Whenever someone needed a put-down, Aubrey was perfect for the role. Overall, an enjoyable, although a bit exaggerated, story with two wonderful main characters.

  • Kim
    2018-09-30 01:58

    I started reading Georgette Heyer when I was a teenager, some thirty five years ago, when my mother gave me Friday's Child and told me she thought I would enjoy it. Since then I have read all the romances, a number of them countless times. They have long been the books I turn to when I'm feeling unwell, a bit fragile, or when it's cold and wet and I need a comfort read! Just recently I have started listening to audiobook versions of Heyer novels. I did not think that I would enjoy listening to book readings, but I have been acquiring audiobooks to give to my mother, who has lost her sight and have greatly enjoyed listening to them myself. This brings me to Venetia. I still have my first copy of Venetia, a 1971 paperback edition, now showing signs of multiple re-reads. I am currently listening to the unabridged audiobook read by Sian Phillips. (There is an abridged version available and as much as I appreciate the narrator, Richard Armitage, I am sure I would get annoyed listening to an abridged version of such a well-loved book.) I realized this afternoon, as I listened, that I always feel tears come to my eyes at exactly the same place in the narrative. Feeling weepy is not my usual reaction to reading Heyer. Indeed, off the top of my head, I think that the only other one of her books to have that effect on me is Sylvester, in which a scene towards the end of the book never fails to bring a lump to my throat. Venetia may not be great literature, but in my view it has quiet emotional power, great sweetness and an engaging narrative. It is a book that I have probably read upwards of a dozen times over the years. I am sure that I will read it (or listen to it) many more times in years to come. Venetia is one of Heyer's most likeable heroines and Damerel is one of her most attractive heroes. The minor characters are interesting and even Flurry the dog is beautifully realized! Venetia is definitely on my Top Five Heyer list. Today it's my absolute favourite, but I suspect that's only because it's the one that's engaging me right now! Update: 5 October 2011. I have just finished a re-read of this novel, as a buddy read with my friend Jemidar. This time I read it on kindle, to save my 1971 paperback edition from further wear and tear. It remains as special to me as ever, my pavlovian response of tearing up in the middle of chapter 15 quite unchanged.

  • Seema Khan
    2018-10-05 02:38

    4.85 stars actually.. Why not the complete 5 I shall say presently.There are those books which you never want to end and which you never want to keep away; Venetia is one such book! I literally felt bad that it ended! And it is one of the rare books in the middle of which I felt like crying! It so touched me! Yet again Georgette Heyer magic is very evident in this book. I am so glad that I did read this one.Venetia stands very close to Frederica (My No.1 Heyer)in my list of favourites.Venetia is no doubt my favourite Heyer heroine along side Frederica and Sophy. She is witty, charming, outspoken, kind, and beautiful. She really gives a character to the story, very genuine. Her perseverance through everything and her attitude towards her parents is depicted ingeniously. Lord Damerel is such a rake! And is still so likeable! He is The Anti Hero to look out for! For all his libertine ways he is still adorable and makes it to my favourite hero's list. What I like most about him is his laughing disposition, he really does that a lot and that too through tough situations. Real strength of character. And also he is not making any false promises of reformation, which I find very believable; and it is mentioned by Venetia that she doesn't expect him to change out of his lifelong habits overnight or for that matter, ever! I loved his character and the way he recognizes himself and how he is willing to let Venetia go just so that she doesn't suffer because of his reputation. Quite selfless for a rake! My heart nearly broke at a description of him when Venetia comes back from London to see him sunken beyond identity! About the story. It is brilliant, though I must admit that the beginning gave me quite a 'Frederica feeling' for the similarities it does have. What a beginning to be sure and what an entry of the hero! It had me all-struck and sitting straight saying to myself 'Did he really do that!?!' I mean who kisses anyone one sets eyes on for the first time?? It had me intrigued as to what further can this rake do!! I couldn't stop reading the book once I started!The growth of the story is fascinating and the surprise of Venetia's mother being alive is too good! Also I really find an aspect in the book which not many a pen can achieve in communicating. How Venetia falls in love and is ready to sink in the eyes of the world just for the sake of her love is just very touching. Though both of them never claim it but they really get true love from each other. I liked Aubrey's character as well. Nice and intelligent. Edward was a real pain to bear (In Venetia's behest that is!)Other characters also put in a great deal. But the highlight is Venetia and Damerels chemistry and their relationship.Now why didn't I give the complete 5.. I really wanted to know what happens to Conway's mother in law Mrs Scorrier. She should have been shown to be getting a good set down by Conway who may have returned or at least something like this!Other than this I find the book amazing! #MustRead

  • QNPoohBear
    2018-09-23 02:51

    At five-and-twenty Venetia Lanyon has never been in love. All her experience with romance comes from between the covers of a book. All her experience of the world outside her Yorkshire village comes from the books she has read. Yet, she does not dream of romance and is content to run her family's estate while her eldest brother is with the Army of Occupation on the Continent. She enjoys the company of her younger brother Aubrey and when Conway returns home and Aubrey goes to University, Venetia plans to set up house for herself and Aubrey. Marrying her neighbor Edward Yardley does not factor into her plans, despite what Edward may think. While out berry picking one afternoon, Venetia runs into the "Wicked Baron", Lord Damerel, her nearest neighbor and the object of village gossip. She's been told that Lord Damerel is a wicked libertine who, on his on his most recent visit, held an "orgy" (wild drunken party with gentlemen and women of loose morals). When Damerel steals a kiss from pretty Venetia, she does not scream or swoon. Instead, she responds with an angry retort and witty quotations from her favorite books. When Aubrey meets with an accident that forces him to recover at Damerel's home, Venetia and Lord Damarel discover an easy friendship that comes from a shared love of literature and the same sense of humor. Even after Aubrey returns home, Damerel remains in Yorkshire long after he was expected to return to London. The so-called Wicked Baron earns the enmity of both Edward and Venetia's much younger suitor, Oswald Denny. Then comes a day when Venetia is forced to think about her future and what she wants for her future happiness. Damerel is forced to confront his own feelings and finds that his original plan has gone awry. What will their fates be?This is my top Georgette Heyer and one of my top Regency books. I love everything about this book, especially the characters. First we have the unconventional heroine, Venetia, who is neither young nor silly. She's sensible, has a pragmatic nature and a wicked sense of humor. She shares her sense of the absurd with Lord Damerel, which is why I think they make the perfect couple. They fell into friendship first based on mutual interests and personality type. Then they fell into love. Georgette Heyer was more concerned with relationships of the mind "true meeting of like minds" than with passion but this book also sizzles with unstated passion. You can feel the bond between the heroine and hero as their relationship develops. Many people dislike Damerel and dismiss him based on his reputation alone. This is true for readers as well as characters in the book. If you read the novel closely, you will know that Damerel is not an unrepentant rake or libertine. If he was a libertine, he would have seduced Venetia and been done with it. If he was unrepentant, he would have gone back to London or to his friend's hunting box to carouse. If the reader pays attention, they will note that Damerel's man, Marston notes that his master only drinks to excess when he's bored or really upset. In fact his whole career as a rake began with ONE mistake in his youth. He got carried away with a youthful passion and then was labeled black by all who knew of him. He then proceeded to live up to his reputation because why not? If everyone thinks him so bad then so be it! However, in the few months the story takes place we get to know him quite well and understand that he's sensitive about his wicked reputation. He feels deeply that his family was prepared to write him off. Yes the first time he met Venetia he behaved very badly, but the way it's written we know it's supposed to be funny, especially when Venetia does not behave as a typical heroine in a romance. Her behavior intrigues and attracts Damerel but it takes Aubrey's accident to really bring them together. The ONLY time he gets drunk after the initial "meet cute" is towards the end when he's suffering. If he was an unrepentant rake, he would be drunk a lot more and not care. He wouldn't have been so good with Aubrey or had such a great time exchanging witty banter with Venetia. I think Damerel must be based on Rhett Butler or Rhett based on a GH hero! I disliked Rhett in the movie because he did drink to excess at times and he did not share a true connection with Scarlett (who I hated even more). Some readers take exception to the "boys will be boys" attitude of the novel but you must remember that the story takes place in 1818 and was written in 1958. Neither time was a great time for women and in the context of marriage at that time, it makes perfect sense. People married for money and power. If a husband and wife had some degree of affection for one another, they were lucky. A wife was supposed to turn a blind eye to her husband's extramarital activities. "Thou shall be discreet" was the cardinal rule of relationships. To be fair, many women also had affairs. At the end of the novel, Damerel is honest about not sure if he can entirely reform and Venetia is fine with that. For one thing, she's bored. Also, she loves him enough to know that his love for her will never change no matter what he does. I think he can be faithful because he'll never be bored with such a good friend by his side and he'll be busy dealing with her brothers and their problems. The relationship between Lord and Lady Steele is nice because he flatters her vanity and she allows him to flirt. They accept one another for who they are and Venetia knows that. She accepts Damerel for who he is and unlike Edward, he appreciates her true self. Thus I think they will have a long, happy marriage. The plot develops well until Ch. 11 when it reaches a painful turning point. The actions from there until Ch. 20 are difficult to read. I always have a hard time with this section of the novel. Georgette Heyer once again creates quirky secondary characters and Mrs. Scurrier is one of the best. I love to hate her. The plot winds up a little too quickly and needs a bit more at the end. The plot and the characters truly make this one of Georgette Heyer's best among her many masterpieces.

  • Maggie
    2018-09-29 06:59

    Georgette Heyer is the first author I've read who makes Jane Austen seem emo. Don't get me wrong, I adore Austen and consider WWJD to stand for "What Would Jane Do?", but I really enjoyed this charming and angst-free Regency tale of Venetia and her Wicked Baron, the rake Damerel. Oh Damerel... Imagine Sense and Sensibility's Willoughby and Jane Eyre's Rochester without their respective issues -- or wives. Damerel is charming, mischievous, and funny. The same could also be said of Venetia, who is nearing spinsterhood at, gasp!, five-and-twenty.Heyer touches on social issues, whereas Austen really delves into them, but don't confuse lightness of touch for lack of deftness. How can else an author get away with mentioning orgies while staying true to the time period? And not just mentioning them, but having her characters joke about them! There is so much humor and laughter throughout the novel, and not because the characters are ridiculous or silly.You're laughing along with them, not at them. Okay, maybe you're laughing at too serious Aubrey, who nonetheless ended up being one of my favorite characters.I had a hard time letting go of my favorite Austen characters too and turned to terrible-to-fucking-terrible books like An Assembly Such as This, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, and A Little Bit Psychic. Spare yourself the ignominy and read a book that doesn't have Austen rolling over in her grave. I highly recommend delightful Venetia!

  • Emily
    2018-09-24 07:51

    I LOVED this book. It's definitely my favorite Heyer and probably my favorite regency romance. The entire book made me laugh, from descriptions of Oswald Denny attempting to become the Corsair to the many delightful exchanges between Damerel and Venetia, who are a couple that are truly fun to read about. Every character is fully realized, from the odious Edward Yardley (someone I wish I could have shaken!) to the self-absorbed Lady Steeple. This world feels real, and firmly grounded in the right era.Heyer is the gold standard of regency romance because she doesn't take modern characters and put them onto a flimsy background: she actually writes characters and plots that take place in 1816 England. Venetia is an unusual girl (practically on the shelf, at the advanced age of five-and-twenty), but she's firmly planted in the era and isn't an anachronistic heroine with modern ideas. Heyer's ability to write characters who are slightly outside of the norm, but who aren't marching around demanding the vote, makes her books fun to read. And her knowledge of regency fashion is unparalleled:The silly pigeon rigged himself out as fine as fivepence, and trotted round to Grosvenor Square looking precise to a pin: Inexpressibles of the most delicate shade of primrose, coat by Stultz, Hessians by Hoby, hat – the Bang-up – by Baxter, neckcloth – the Oriental, which is remarkable for its height – by himself. Add to all this a Barcelona handkerchief, a buttonhole as large as a cabbage, a strong aroma of Circassian hair-oil, the deportment of a dancing-master, and a lisp it took him years to bring to perfection, and you will perceive that Alfred is not just in the ordinary style!I love Venetia, I love Damerel, I love Aubrey, I love every impulse that wars inside Oswald Denny's breast, and I really, really enjoyed this book.

  • Kelly
    2018-09-18 01:37

    Its said that Georgette Heyer created the Regency romance genre, and future authors used her books as their model. It is my opinion that they used this specific book as a model. At least, the good ones did. This particular book felt much more modern than the other ones, in the sense that I've seen other authors try to rip off this story and its tone in more recent books many many times. But that's because its very well done and very enjoyable. The romance centers on a friendship rather than a real courtship. Its two people, Venetia and her rakish neighbor Lord Demerel, who really enjoy each other's company and are very convincing as friends who eventually realize that they're in love with each other. It doesn't feel contrived in the least. It's not sickeningly romantic, but rather sweet. Also, I love the supporting characters of Venetia's scholarly brother and her crotchety old Nurse. I laughed my way through most of this and finished it in a wonderful, relaxing afternoon. One of Heyer's best, and highly recommended to newcomers to her books (though I still think starting with The Grand Sophy or Cotillion is best).

  • Jessica
    2018-10-15 00:42

    Oh. My.After years of ignoring this book on my shelf (I think it's the cheesy '80's cover), I have now found my new favorite Georgette Heyer. Oh. My.This book has everything! A saucy young lady with an oddball family. A leading man who is just as witty as she is. Meddling neighbors. Meddling family. And scandal after scandal after SCANDAL. Divorce! Secret marriage! Overbearing in-laws! Rakes! Elopements! Squandered fortunes! Venetia's delightfully witty responses to everyone from her bookish brother to her dull-as-a-brick suitor to her surprise stepfather are priceless. So much fun! I couldn't put it down!

  • Lady Wesley
    2018-10-10 03:29

    My favorite Heyer and probably the sexiest hero she ever created. It reads great, but the best way to discover Venetia is by listening to the Richard Armitage audiobook on NAXOS. Yes, it's an abridged version, but hearing RA as Damerel is not to be missed. Truly swoonworthy.

  • Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
    2018-10-04 07:57

    The Green Girl and The Notorious RakeIn one of her most popular and beloved novels, Georgette Heyer introduces readers to Miss Venetia Lanyon, a twenty-five year old beauty tucked away in her family estate in Yorkshire. At the moment Venetia’s life is somewhat at a standstill. Her brother who serves in the army, Conway has not yet come home these three years to take over the running of the state and her younger brother, Aubrey, who is preparing for Cambridge, has a diseased hip and needs to be looked after. So, for the time being at least, Venetia is stuck at her ancestral home, in isolation, and with limited society.But even with such few neighbors and friends, our fair heroine has found herself two admirers – both of which she doesn’t particularly wish to encourage. One who is six years her junior and likes to fancy himself Lord Byron, and one who has a detestable habit of giving lectures and moralizing over situations in which he has no authority. With such contenders for her heart, Venetia often imagines herself never marrying and one day setting up home for her and her younger brother in London. That is until the infamous ‘Wicked Baron,’ Lord Damerel returns to the neighborhood and happens to cross her path…Now I can see why so many Georgette Heyer fans list Venetia as one of their favorite Heyer romances! I must admit that Venetia is my favorite type of Heyer heroine, I don’t tend to favor heroines who are just beautiful and sweet or ones who are scheming and capricious. I like heroines who are of Venetia’s stamp – artless, forthright, sympathetic, loving, and longing for adventure. In Jane Austen terms, I thought Venetia was a wonderful blend of Elizabeth Bennet (quick wit and frankness), Catherine Morland (innocence and inexperience), and Emma Woodhouse (sheltered childhood, beautiful, and duty to family).In Venetia, I fell in love not only with Venetia, but with rakish Damerel as well. Damerel, who is true Byronic hero of the tale – with his sneers, black and sinful past – plans a seduction for Venetia at their first encounter. But Venetia unintentionally thwarts Damerel’s seduction plans by challenging him, freely speaking her mind, and openly accepting him as friend, despite all she knows of his past. It was the sweetest thing to see how her compassion and understanding worked as a balm to his jaded heart. And I loved that Damerel was more than just a handsome libertine. He has an intelligent mind, broadened by extensive travel, showed kindness in repeatedly taking care of Aubrey, and admirable honor as he decides he cannot bear to stain Venetia’s reputation. Talk about a complex and intriguing hero!I loved all the secondary characters in this tale, which were a variety of eccentric, sheldoncooper1entertaining, and exasperating personalities. But I must admit my favorite secondary character was Aubrey, who kept reminding me of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory! LOL! Aubrey is a brilliant scholar who delights in spending his days studying and reading, but he is also described as an “egotist” and liking “books more than people.” With his self-absorption, offending manners, and penchant for working himself into a passion, I couldn’t help but laugh at the comparisons. (Especially at the end!)Venetia is a romantic adventure full of Georgette Heyer staples – engaging characters, sparkling wit, and riveting dialogue – all of which I love and admire so much. But what I loved most about this tale was the important message it delivered about accepting others and not judging them for their pasts – to love and accept people just as they are. Definitely a fave!Side Note: I may be showing myself to be a green girl like Venetia by saying this, but I can’t help but comment on how surprising it was to see topics like rape and orgy spoken by characters in this novel! (don’t worry, none of these take place in the story!) It seemed shocking to have them bluntly and openly spoken of as opposed to carefully alluded to or hinted at. But perhaps we owe that to Venetia and her forthright, no nonsense manner…Austenesque Reviews

  • Frankie Lovely
    2018-09-24 06:56

    3.5 starsReview to comehistorical romancezero smutnice readnothing particularly negative to say, just nothing particularly spectacular either. Good solid enjoyable love story.

  • Andrea
    2018-09-27 05:34

    This is the most enormously fun book.A young woman sheltered all her life in the country meets a rake, but the story is not one of an innocent reforming the rake, but a rake being brought to accept that the young woman can damn well make up her own mind about who is and isn't acceptable to her.There is some reformation going on, but this is a story that takes the social conventions that form the basis of most Heyer stories and throws them up in the air, then remarks appreciatively on orgies and comparisons to Oedipus, and whatever else may fall out.Good narrator for this one too.

  • Ruth Turner
    2018-10-07 02:41

    I no longer read romances and haven't for some years. With the notable exception of Georgette Heyer. Her books are beautifully written, her characters are well developed, charming and witty, and her dialogue is simply perfect.One of my favourites!

  • l a i n e y
    2018-10-11 00:37

    Hmm. Not as good as I expected.I was frustrated by my last read, you see, and picked this up hoping it would certainly charm me out of my depressing mood, something I came to expect from Georgette Heyer books. Just like with reading her excellent Frederica.Not even close.Of course, it wasn't fair since I love Frederica but oh well.Venetia, the novel, suffered because there were not enough interesting characters, not nearly enough. Damarel was OK but Venetia... she was... fine. And she shouldn't have been 'just fine' when her character was clearly supposed to carry this whole thing.But since I didn't really take to these characters, I found the story to be kind of boring and repetitive.Fortunately, there are still lots more books from Heyer I haven't read, here's hoping I'll like her next ones more!

  • RavenclawReadingRoom
    2018-09-28 23:52

    3.5 stars. A couple of my colleagues are OBSESSED with Georgette Heyer, and were horrified to learn that I'd never read anything by her. So one of them was all "RIGHT. I'M GOING TO BRING YOU SOMETHING TO READ". And she brought me this. It was...fine? Light and fluffy and pretty ridiculous. But there was something about the writing style that kept me from getting fully involved in the story. So I liked the dynamic between Venetia and the guy she ends up with. And I liked the relationship between Venetia and her younger brother, Aubrey. And I really enjoyed the last...third??...of the book where Venetia ends up discovering something scandalous. But the first two thirds was sloooooooooooooooow and a lot of it didn't really seem to be leading anywhere. And if one more character called someone "stoopid", I was going to reach into the book and strangle them.

  • Trudy Brasure
    2018-09-27 07:57

    Rating Heyer's books comes down to a comparison between her novels. No one can compare with Heyer. She sets the standard for an entire genre.Venetia tells a traditional tale of an innocent girl capturing the heart of a reputed rake in a wholly unique way. The bond and rapport developed between this unlikely pair was one of the sweetest I've read in the author's books. With a range of engaging characters and a generous dose of humorous incidents, this story can't fail to please those who enjoy historical romance with a witty flair.

  • Mo
    2018-10-02 02:42

    READ: October 21-22, 2016READ: June 14-15, 2015I LOVE THIS BOOK!What a joy it is to spend several hours with this delightful novel. I can always count on Georgette Heyer to pull me right out of a reading slump.

  • Litzy
    2018-09-27 06:36

    no será el último que lea. aunque tengo poco tiempo para leer

  • Kathy Davie
    2018-10-08 06:55

    First recorded read was 2 March 2011.One of my absolute favorites in the Regency romances. Due to the tragic death of his wife, Sir Francis Lanyon becomes a recluse on his Yorkshire estate with his three children growing up with no exposure to the outside world. The middle child, Conway, goes off to school and then into the Army while the youngest, Aubrey, intellectually gifted but suffering from a diseased hip joint, takes the scholarly road. While the lovely and intelligent Venetia, the eldest, continues to mark time: running the estate when their father dies, caring for Aubrey, and holding off two ineligible (in her eyes) suitors.Into this holding pattern, rides Lord Damerel, or, as the young Lanyons have christened him, the Wicked Baron, who promptly upsets everything in Venetia’s ordered and very dull life. It’s almost a comedy of errors as everyone (but Aubrey) tries to “save” Venetia from her rakish neighbor and finally Venetia discovers the shaming family secret which she shamefully uses to get her way.A lovely romance which will have you laughing and groaning and envying Damerel and Venetia’s ability to quote literature as they upset everyone’s idea of proper love.

  • Kavita
    2018-10-06 03:49

    This was the first book by Georgette Heyer that I have ever read and it got me hooked to Georgian romance. A second rereading has proved that it stood the test of time and I still love it as much as I did around twenty odd years ago!Venetia is a sheltered woman who finds love with the most unsuitable man. What follows is the inevitable social claptrap with family and friends contriving to keep them apart and Venetia determined to marry the man she loves. The characters are fun and well-drawn though often trivialised. The heroine is smart, witty and knows her own mind. She takes on her friends, family and society to follow her heart and her destiny. It's quite refreshing to read a romance novel with a woman who takes charge of her own life, and at the same time, her behaviour is not at odds with established customs of the period.The novel lacks minute descriptions of clothes and parties, that is often a trademark of this genre. But it is neatly offset by an interesting story and believable characters. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot even though it's a lot different from most other works of the author.

  • Tweety
    2018-09-27 23:48

    This gets better with each reread.

  • Laurel
    2018-09-30 02:44

    Did you know that Georgette Heyer is British author and literary critic Margaret Drabble’s favorite historical novelist? I know! High praise from an author who has written eighteen novels, introductions to all of Jane Austen’s major and minor works, been awarded a Doctorate in Letters from Cambridge University and the CBE and DBE by the Queen of England. Drabble is a living national treasure, as Heyer should have been if her novels had been taken more seriously during her life-time. However, she has always been highly esteemed by her faithful readers for close to ninety years and out of her thirty-eight Regency romance novels Venetia is one of the most beloved.Set in the countryside of the North Riding of Yorkshire three years after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Venetia Lanyon is not your conventional Heyer heroine. Unmarried at age twenty-five she has never been in love, is close to being on the shelf and has resigned herself to the narrow fate of spinsterhood. Raised by her reclusive father since her mother’s death fifteen years prior, Venetia has seen little of life beyond the family estate of Undershaw Manor or an occasional country dance at Harrogate. Since her father’s death shortly after the Battle of Waterloo she has been overseeing the household of her younger brothers: twenty-two year-old Sir Conway, a soldier overseas with the Army of Occupation in Cambray, France and sixteen-year old Aubrey, a brilliant scholar studying for Cambridge who abhors his physical limitations from a pronounced and ugly limp. Also within her small sphere are two improbable suitors who would like to win her hand: Edward Yardley, a dull, pompous egoist who thinks NO is a YES, and Oswald Denny, a bumbling teenage wanna-be rake who idolizes Lord Byron. Life as a maiden aunt in her brother’s household seems a far preferable fate until a chance encounter with an estranged neighbor, the “Wicked Baron” of Elliston Priory, leaves a surprisingly favorable impression.Others tell her the Baron, Lord Jasper Damerel is scoundrel, a rake and a libertine and not a suitable association for any young lady who does not want her reputation ruined. Their first encounter while she walks alone near his estate is one of Heyer’s most famous scenes. (I will not reveal spoilers – but it is very praise worthy.) Damerel is as brazen and unprincipled as his reputation proceeded him, but instead of swooning or running from his advances Venetia firmly holds her ground and pelts him with literary retorts challenging his intelligence and temporarily belaying his dishonorable intentions. Their verbal sparring snaps and sparkles like dry kindling to a hungry fire confirming Heyer’s brilliance with characterization and dialogue. Venetia does not hesitate to say what she thinks and that makes him laugh, a refreshing change for this world-weary social outcast. Tall, dark and disreputable, everything about rakish Damerel tells her to check herself but Venetia does the exact opposite, she befriends him. He is intrigued and continues to seduce her until the green girl before him earns his true respect and deep affection. He is in love and wants her for his wife. Venetia secretly feels the same and awaits his proposal until Damerel suddenly becomes chivalrous and will not sully her reputation by marrying her. Meanwhile her brother Conway’s young bride arrives unannounced from France with her surly mother to take possession of Undershaw displacing Venetia who quickly accepts an invitation to stay with her aunt and uncle Hendred in London. Her family hopes that the change of scenery will help her forget the unsuitable Lord Damerel, but she only fears she may never see him again. However, Venetia is a realist who knows how the world works and a newly discovered family secret spurs her into action. She will need all her wit and guile to challenge propriety and to prove to Damerel that their social standing has nothing to do with keeping them apart.Venetia Lanyon is one of Heyer’s most liberated heroines and Lord Damerel one of her darkest rogues. They seem a most unlikely pair, but Heyer’s skill at devising impossible obstacles for her hero and heroine is like syllabub and sunshine, we just can’t get enough if it. Upon their first meeting Damerel quotes Shakespeare, ‘How full of briars is this workaday world!’ which is an important theme throughout the novel. Both Venetia and Damerel face the challenges of social stricture – the briars of the workaday world – and overcome them in their own way. The plot is simple and secondary to the romantic tension, scintillating dialogue and playful sparing which is so much sexier than any modern bodice ripper could hope to generate. Cleverly, Heyer’s Venetia does not reform a rake, she discovers that a knight errant is what she needs.This new Naxos AudioBook abridged recording of Heyer’s classic Regency romance read by renown British stage and screen actor Richard Armitage is a perfect pairing of witty humor and smoldering syntax. His reputation for bad boy roles such as Sir Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood and John Thornton in North and South transition smoothly into his characterizations in Venetia. Classical trained, his velvety voice resonates all the dash and splash that a great rake like Lord Damerel should display in the most seductive and sultry tones. His characterization of upbeat Venetia Lanyon accentuates her intelligence, casual frankness and sarcastic humor beautifully. After listening to this recording of Venetia his legion of fans will be clamoring for another libertine with a “,i>well-informed mind and a great deal of kindness.” A tall order to fill, unless you’re on to the next Georgette Heyer Regency romance.Laurel Ann, Austenprose

  • Kathy
    2018-09-17 23:53

    Ah, such fun! Venetia's lack of adherence to social norms made her such a great character. I loved reforming rake Lord Dameral who gets taken in by Venetia's charm. Their ensuing relationship and interactions make for such an entertaining Regency romance. This one is definitely one of my favorites of Heyer's books. Rating: 5 Stars - I loved it!Source: LibraryContent: Clean (like her other books this does contain the phrase "Good God!" throughout)

  • herdys
    2018-10-18 06:33

    I can't believe it took me this long to read. Georgette Heyer book! I inhaled this book last night and I stayed up late even though I knew it would end well. It was that addicting!