Go Ahead, Win Some Heyer!

An Infamous ArmyUnquestionably powerful librarian Nancy Pearl (I mean, dude, she has her own Action Figure!) has a new article up at NPR of her recommendations for carry-on books that make traveling and waiting a marvelous escape. Says Pearl, “You want a book — either fiction or nonfiction — that’s complex enough to smother your annoyance when the guy in the row ahead reclines his seat into your lap, but not so intellectually challenging that it demands a dictionary.” Oh, hell to the yes, ma’am.

And ho, there, what awesome sauce through yonder linkage breaks? It is the Heyer, and she is on the list! Heyer’s An Infamous Army is among the books recommended as perfect for carry-on reading, to which I say, “Carry on, Ms. Pearl, for verily thou art rocking my socks.”

But wait, there’s more! We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge! Sourcebooks, which has reissued many of Heyer’s books with absolutely scrumptiously opulent covers (if they were pastries they’d be moist cupcakes with four inches of perfect icing), is offering 10 books to Smart Bitch readers.

We have three copies of An Infamous Army, plus one each of Friday’s Child, Cotillion, Royal Escape, False Colours, Lady of Quality, Black Sheep, and Faro’s Daughter. Ten books for ten winners!

So leave a comment, and tell us your favorite Heyer scene, character, or just book in general. I’m not eligible, but I will say with no fear that I can reread over and over the scene in Devil’s Cub where


Mary (sorry!) begins to sniffle in front of Vidal, and he realizes due to her graceless snurfle she’s not at all like her silly sister, oh, no no no.

I’ll pick 10 winners at random, and you’ll get yourself some Heyer if you win. You have 24 hours. Carry on!

ETA: Heyer, Heyer everwhere! GalleyCat is hosting a GalleyLOLCat contest, wherein the winner gets some Heyer, too. Bitchery reader Mandy’s cat is in the running: seems Tiny likes Julia Quinn. Tiny, says I, has good taste.

Comments are Closed

  1. Lori says:

    But, but, but… I’ve never read Heyer and I truly want to. But all my money has been spent smashing herring to feed the rejected baby penguins and *tear rolling down cheek* my reading Heyer has had to suffer.

    But if I were a winner I do vow: I would put the penguins to sleep with a chapter of Heyer every night.

    (spamfilter: recently15. There’s my mental status for you!)

  2. Evelyn says:

    My favorite G. Heyer is Arabella.  First discovered the author on audio tape way back in the early 90s when I was commuting long miles.  I had never read a Regency, nor listened to a book on tape, and just selected the title at random.  What a delightful surprise!  I knew I was in Heyer heaven when I was oblivious to the bumper-to-bumper traffic because I was enjoying the story so much!

    My favorite scene/lines comes from the nonpareil himself, Mr. Beaumaris:  “I am quite sure you did, my love, but while I am prepared to receive into my household climbing-boys and stray curs, I must draw the line at a lady rejoicing in the name of Leaky Peg.”

  3. Swapna says:

    Cotillion! I’d love to win some Heyer books!

  4. Mel-O-Drama says:

    If I admit to having never read Georgette Heyer, will I have fruit thrown at my head?

    It’s true. I’ve never read Heyer or Austen. I know. I’m rectifying the Austen situation this summer…

  5. Catherine says:

    I’ve never heard of Heyer. 🙁  But If I won and liked it I’d buy her back list! (pick me! pick me!)

    By the way, is she Romance or more romantic Fiction?  Or none of those at all?

  6. Suze says:

    Devil’s Cub:  “Having phlegm, sir, I am required to hold the bowl.”  Kate assisting the French doctor fix up the hole she shot into Vidal.  Man, I haven’t read that book in at least 15 years, and I still LOVE that scene.

    Also, Venetia.  “I’ve suddenly had the most diverting thought!”

    Although, my favourite Heyer was Simon the Coldheart, for reasons I’ve never delved into.  Maybe because it was so unlike her Regencies.

  7. Eunice says:

    I’ve only read Beauvallet so far, but I really enjoyed it. I love the way she writes, and even if I don’t win, will one day improve my Heyer-fu. (That said, PICK ME! PICK ME!)

    *clears throat* Anyway…

    While I think it very romantic -and Sir Nicholas is in that Scarlet Pimpernel vein, which I lurve- I think my favorite part is Dominica vs. her aunt in the battle o’ wits.

  8. Suze says:

    Hey, Catherine, be warned that her backlist is HUGE!  But totally worth it.

    And may I add, that action figure ROCKS!  How unutterably cool is it that somebody came up with a librarian action figure?

  9. Alexina says:

    Never read her books but from some of the comments I’m truly tickled pink. WANNA READ (read: PICK ME!)

  10. kelly says:

    i just finished the corinthian*, and i loved it.  consquently, it took little over 24 hours from me finishing that and tracking down ‘the black moth’.  unfortunately, i’m at work and cannot begin it yet!

    but before that, nope, hadn’t heard of heyer until she popped up here.  but i’m young and stupid, and therefore oblivious of cool things until they pop up on the internets.

    *why can’t we nickname people like they did back in the day?  ‘nonesuch’ is so much badder than somethin’ like ‘brangelina’.

  11. Theresa Meyers says:

    Fear not, thou are not alone in thy lack of Heyeristic experience fellow bitches.  Let it not diminish thy thirst for a sock-rockin read.  I too have yet to experience they awesomness that is Heyer and need an education!

  12. Eli says:

    So that huge backlist, that would be why I haven’t read Heyer yet.  I’ve gotten recommendations from every trusted source I use. Authors I love can’t say enough.  My books to buy list is too long as it is and I just know that the first Heyer will be like trying to eat just 1 potato chip. I’ll be lost to a Heyer reading orgy.  Which for me means a Heyer buying spree, and then there will be the new bookcase to hold them all….

  13. Suze says:

    Hey, do I increase my odds by commenting way too often?  In the course of searching for the correct title of Simon the Coldheart for my initial comment, I came across this:


    Holy fangirl!  A comprehensive and comprehensible resource for all things Heyer.

    Okay, I’ll stop now.  Please send me a book.

  14. Janicu says:

    I’ve only read 2 Heyer novels so far. Both this year. And my favorite scene at this moment is in Frederica when the title character gets into trouble walking her dog and pretends the dog belongs to the hero. I don’t want to give more than that away, but that was a hilarous scene.

  15. Sarah Frantz says:

    It’s not Kate, it’s Mary.  Mary Challoner, and the scene that kills me every time is when Vidal says to his silly cousin something along the lines of, “I am not following them (Mary and silly cousin’s silly lover) because I am angry.  I am following them because I’m demmed sure I can’t live without her.”  Or something much more awesome than my memory.  There’s Cousin Charles in The Grand Sophy saying, “I dislike you excessively” instead of “I love you.”  There’s Frederica with her “restorative” pork jelly.  I adore Heyer!

    And as much as I’d like the books again, this list of books was my birthday present from my husband, so DON’T put me on the list for the draw, okay!  I just had to correct Mary’s name.

  16. Suze says:

    Okay, I lied.  Just because I can, here you go (from Devil’s Cub):

    Vidal spoke softly: “Come here.”

    “I have something to say to you first, my lord,” returned Miss Challoner calmly.

    “Good God, girl, do you suppose it was to hear you talk that I brought you to France?” Vidal said derisively. “I’ll swear you know better than that!”

    “Perhaps,” admitted Miss Challoner. “Nevertheless, sir, I beg you will listen to me. You won’t pretend, I hope, that you are fallen in love with me.”

    “Love?” he said scornfully. “No, madam. I feel no more love for you than I felt for your pretty sister. But you’ve thrown yourself at my head, and by God I’ll take you!” His eyes ran over her. “You’ve a mighty trim figure, my dear, and from what I can discover, more brain than Sophia. You lack her beauty, but I’m not repining.”

    She looked gravely up at him. “My lord, if you take me, it will be for revenge, I think. Have I deserved so bitter a punishment?”

    “You’re not very complimentary, are you?” he mocked.

    She rose, holding her pistol behind her. “Let me go now,” she said. “You do not want me, and indeed I think you have punished me enough.”

    “Oh, that’s it, is it?” he said. “Are you piqued that I liked Sophia better? Never heed it, my dear; I’ve forgotten the wench already.”

    “My lord,” she said desperately, “indeed I am not what you think me!”

    He burst into one of his wild laughs, and she realized that in this mood she could make no impression upon him.

    He was advancing towards her. She brought her right hand from behind her, and levelled the pistol. “Stand where you are!” she said. “If you come one step nearer I shall shoot you down.”

    He stopped short. “Where did you get that thing?” he demanded.

    “Out of your coach,” she answered.

    “Is it loaded?”

    “I don’t know,” said Miss Challoner, incurably truthful.

    He began to laugh again, and walked forward. “Shoot then,” he invited, “and we shall know. For I’m coming several steps nearer, my lady.”

    Miss Challoner saw that he meant it, shut her eyes, and resolutely pulled the trigger. There was a deafening report and the Marquis went staggering back. He recovered in a moment. “It was loaded,” he said coolly.

  17. plaatsch says:

    Toss-up between “The Unknown Ajax” – which was my first Heyer and probably my first romance, waaaaay back before I was legal – and “Cotillion” in which the heroine picks the right guy instead of the obvious one.

  18. Eva_baby says:

    Ohh… the pain, the pain….There are too many I love—Frederica, The Talisman Ring, The Grand Sophy, Arrghhh!

    But if I had to pick a favorite scene, it would be the denouement scene in These Old Shades where the Duke of Avon, in his full metrosexual finery tells a story and unmasks the perfidious villain in front of all of high society.  Awse!

  19. Lori says:

    My best friend is a Heyer ‘ho and won’t even let me borrow… reading the above except from Devil’s Cub, I now know why!

  20. Rhian says:

    I have to choose one scene?!

    Okay, at the moment it’s in Black Sheep, when Abigail Wendover meets Miles Calverleigh for the first time:

    She said unsteadily: “Talking to you is like – like talking to an eel!”

    “No, is it? I’ve never tried to talk to an eel. Isn’t it a waste of time?”

    She choked. “Not such a waste of time as talking to you!”

    “You’re surely not going to tell me that eels find you more entertaining that I do?” he said incredulously.

    That was rather too much for her: she did giggle, and was furious with herself for having done so.

    “That’s better!” he said approvingly.

    They are a delightful pair of characters, and the book itself is charming, funny and perfect bedtime reading. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to delve into Heyer for the first time. Generally speaking, she has a couple of types of heroes: ‘alpha-male’ sorts (I usually don’t like these, but Heyer’s are just fine) and the quiet but wry and funny men who charm the socks off you without even trying. Calverleigh is one of the latter, and Abigail is a sensible, mature, thoughtful woman that I can’t help but adore.

  21. Malin says:

    In Devil’s Cub, I am always entertained by Rupert’s wine buying.

  22. rebyj says:

    Out of the multiple thousands of fiction and romance novels that I’ve read since I was 12 years old , I too have never read Georgette Heyer. In fact, I never even heard of her till maybe 2 or 3 years ago when I first saw her name mentioned online.
    put me in for the drawing because I’d love to see what all the fuss is about.

  23. Sarah says:

    Pick me!  I need to be exposed to the legend!

  24. runswithscissors says:

    Too many fabulous, snarky, delicious scenes to mention.  Of course I love the scene in Devil’s Cub where Mary shoots Vidal.  I also I love the ending of The Nonesuch and almost every single line in Arabella.  But this exchange from Regency Buck may be my favourite:

    ‘Do you suppose, Lord Worth, That there is any great likelihood of my marrying you?’ inquired Judith in a sleek, deceptive voice.
    He raised his brows.‘Until I ask you to marry me, Miss Taverner, not the least likelihood,’ he replied gently.

    I am a complete Heyer fangirl: when Arabella was serialised on Radio 4’s book at bedtime I went to bed early every night so I wouldn’t miss it.  I think you can still listen to it here:

  25. Jael says:

    Devil’s Cub and Black Sheep are two of my very favorites!  I love the scene near the end where Dominic walks in when Mary is dining with the elderly gentleman.  Hilarious!

    Miles ability to make Abby laugh in Black Sheep just endears him to me.

  26. KCfla says:

    * Hangs head in shame*
    I too have never been blessed to read a Heyer before…

    Perhaps I’ll get lucky and SB Sarah can rectify this *lackoheyer* syndrome for me????

    pls? kthx

  27. azteclady says:

    I like The Toll House and the Grand Sophie. I haven’t read many, though, and I’m still hunting a copy of These Old Shades.

  28. Becky says:

    I read Venetia a couple weeks ago, and totally cracked up at the end when he says something like “I’ve been trying to propose, but we keep getting interrupted.”  And then they’re interrupted again.

    Even with all the reading I do, I keep coming across “I can’t believe you’ve never read him/her” authors.  Until Venetia, Heyer was on that list.

  29. Sarah B says:

    This is my first time posting a comment and I’m drawn by the Heyer. I’ve only read Black Sheep because it is the only one I could find from my library that wasn’t in large print. (Not that large print is a bad thing) I love Miles Caverleigh – he’s such a grump!

    I’ve been dying to read other Heyer novels.

  30. corrine says:

    Never read Heyer, either, but from everything I hear from readers who have, I think it’s just a matter of time before it’s required by the Constitution. So I’d love to get a head start!

  31. Amanda says:

    I started reading Heyer in high school and remember cheering at the end of Cotillion when she ends up with Freddy. Have read most of the others, but I’m crap at remembering details from what I read. But I’d love to get reacquainted with the grand dame.

    Oh, and Sarah, thanks for the mention. Tiny does love his Julia Quinn…

  32. ChristineP says:

    I love Venetia, Arabella, The Nonesuch…well, I think I’ve loved just about every Heyer book I ever read.

    Also, I’ve taught Regency dancing. That should earn me a free book, don’t you think?

    (spam word: added62. I would like 63 Georgette Heyer novels added to my bookshelf!)

  33. Shary says:

    I love, love, love Heyer.  I don’t think I can choose a favorite scene or character.  Her dialogue is brilliant!  And did you know that she wrote some clever mysteries, too?

  34. JJ says:

    Ooh, ooh, I’ve only just recently read Heyer for the first time!  It was A LADY OF QUALITY (I loved Heyer’s characterisations of Ninian and Lucilla).  Pick me, pick me!

  35. Leah says:

    I’ve never read Heyer, but have heard so many great things about her books that I’d love to try them!

    spam detector:  waiting 41….hey, I’m waiting, and I’m 41—a sign that you should pick me!

  36. Kimberly Anne says:

    I got A Lady of Quality at a used book sale this spring, but my TBR is so ginormous that I haven’t gotten to it yet.  To keep from being cast out of the Bitchery for all time, I promise to read it posthaste!

  37. Catherine says:

    I was looking at the page that Suze linked to, but I have a question.  I’m assuming these are romance books, but I want to know if there’s sex in these or if it just never goes there.  I’m ok with either, but if there’s sex I want to know what kind.  It says she died in 1974 so I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t a lot of forced seduction going on.  I’d appreciate the info.  Thanks!

  38. AnimeJune says:

    I have never had the chance to read Georgette Heyer, either (I’m working on Austin’s Mansfield Park right now), but I’ve been in love with the new reprints! I read a guy blogger’s bit on how great it was that they got “proper” covers so that he wouldn’t be embarassed to read them in public anymore!

    I have to say, the one whose story sounds the MOST interesting is False Colours. Twins switching places? Hell yeah!

    My, my – maybe I AM lucky – my postword is “george55”!

  39. My favourite scene is probably from ‘The Convenient Marriage’

    Here is how I previously recapped it:

    The HEROINE escapes from the home of the VILLAIN to meet her BROTHER (drunk) and his FRIEND (inebriated) on the street, in the early hours of the morning.

    Heroine: I’ve killed [the villain]!
    Heroine’s Brother: Nonsense!
    Heroine: I hit him over the head. With a poker.
    Brother: Do you suppose she did kill him?
    Brother’s Friend: May well have.
    Brother: I lay you five to one she hasn’t.
    Friend: Done!

    BROTHER and FRIEND proceed to the VILLAIN’s house to see whether he’s alive or not, and try to start up a card-party.

    I’ve lightened up on ‘A Civil Contract’ since then, and if we get to choose, I already own Friday’s Child, and Cotillion (Freddy!).

  40. Lene says:

    Oh, I’ve read and loved all of them, but my favorite is probably “Frederica” simply because it was my first. I received it as a Christmas gift from my wonderful aunt (who always gave me the best books) when I was around 14 years old. I still remember the cover of that particular printing, too.

    I also dearly loved “The Toll-Gate.”

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