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Arabella (Regency Romances) Paperback – August 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews Review

The prolific Georgette Heyer--author of more than 70 novels--is perhaps best known for her Regency romances. A consummate storyteller, Heyer was also an astute historian of the times she wrote about; every detail of the language, dress, and customs rings with authenticity. Arabella is one of Heyer's most charming Regency novels. In it, young Arabella Tallant, the beautiful daughter of an impoverished clergyman, comes to London for her social debut and almost immediately runs afoul of Robert Beaumaris, a wealthy, eligible aristocrat. Beaumaris suspects that Arabella engineered a carriage accident in order to meet him; Arabella, in a rage, leads him to believe that she is the heiress to a massive fortune and thus quite uninterested in his own riches.

Having set the stage for inevitable misunderstandings between this arrogant Romeo and hotheaded Juliet, Heyer then peoples it with unforgettable secondary characters. Arabella's warm heart and strong principles lead her to befriend such unsavory types as an abused apprentice to a chimney sweep, a stray dog, and a fallen woman happily known as "Leaky Peg"--all of whom she foists on the reluctant but gallant Mr. Beaumaris. Arabella is an intelligent, witty romp--both a romance with a hearty sense of humor and a historical novel that remains true to the times it depicts. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"My favorite Heyer yet." - Library Queue

"Compulsively readable Regency romance." -

"Engaging... the romance was delightful." - Genre Reviews

"I was completely wrapped up in the story from the very beginning as I was sucked in by Heyer's seemingly unending witty and charming writing style. " - The Burton Review

"Heyer fans will definitely enjoy this Regency romance. " - Drey's Library

"Wickedly entertaining; a superb comedy of manners! " - Love Romance Passion

"Recommend it to Austen fans, to anyone new to Heyer (I think it would be a great starter book for a Heyer reader), or the general historical romance fan. I don't know how you could be disappointed in it!" - The Courtier's Book

"I enjoyed spending time in this one... Heyer books feel like good friends" - Becky's Book Reviews

"Arabella is simply a not-to-be-missed story that I can't say enough about." - Cafe of Dreams

"Sweet, funny and entertaining. " - The Bookworm
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Product Details

  • Series: Regency Romances (Book 9)
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402219466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402219467
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Layla Halabi on February 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the best Cinderella-type regency that I have EVER read. Heyer has a wonderful gift and a unique sense of humor that is unequalled.
Arabella is the eldest daughter of a poor vicar and his wife who has pinned all her hopes on her eldest, most beautiful offspring marrying a rich man in order to help the family. The mother engineers a season in London for Arabella and while she was on the way, Arabella meets the wealthy, handsome Mr. Robert Beaumaris. They clash, he is entranced, she is in love and Arabella's season is unlike any other you'll ever read.
Mongrel dogs, chimney sweeps and limping prostitutes, not to mention gin-drinking babies are but a taste of what you might encounter in this wonderful romantic tale of love winning against all the odds.
Prepare to laugh out loud and long many times throughout the book!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox on January 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Arabella is one of my favourite Heyer books and part of its charm are the amusing conversations that Beaumaris has with the little dog Ulysses. The central idea that because Arabella isn't interested in Beaumaris, that piques his interest and makes him pursue her, works quite well except it's never entirely clear what it is about her that DOES attract him. Yes, she's pretty - although younger than his usual lady, but she is also innocent and unworldly and therefore makes mistakes that he appears (rather surprisingly) to find charming; she foists young orphans, mongrel dogs and penniless brothers on him (not usually guaranteed to snare your man) and she withholds the truth of her fortune from him - not knowing that he already knows it.

Beaumaris starts the book seeming jaded, bored - the typical rich Heyer hero (although untitled this time), but he seems to become more and more amiable as the book goes on, going against his better judgement in order to humour her in many areas (such as Jemmy the Climbing Boy that he takes in). His conversations with the dog are fantastic though - Heyer occasionally includes dogs in her books and she always gives a wonderfully affectionate and amusing portrait, such as Lufra in the book Frederica and Bouncer in The Reluctant Widow.

The book is a great fun read, with lots of interesting characters well-drawn. For me the only real disappointment is that we never really know quite why Beaumaris falls in love with Arabella, apart from her innocence and freshness, and also why he is so sure that she does really like him when she has given him so little encouragement.

Despite these negative comments, read it and enjoy it. It's well worth it!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first Heyer book I read. It was given to me by my aunt who suggested it to me as similar to Pride and Prejudice, one of my very favorites. It is the best type of charming, lighthearted, and entertaining novel one could ever want to read. Its endearing characters won't let you stop till you have read it to its end. Being a girl, I naturally focus on the male lead and this one is incredible. His appeal is so obvious and yet Heyer, even in her most devestating heros, stays cleanly away from degrading sexual banter. The humor in this book made me laugh out loud...Heyer has a talent for instilling in her characters a dry and ready wit that makes for the most entertaining dialogues. Arabella, the lead female is clever, coniving, sweet, endearing, and a bit of a rascle. Pleanty of fire and spice in all the right places. Really an excellent read, especially for ladies, young and old who long for romance yet don't want to fill their minds with trash.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I stumbled across this book in a pile of bargain books and bought it, not expecting too much from it. I was delighted to be proven wrong. Georgette Heyer is an absolute gem. The personalities are vivid, the details of Regency life impeccable and the story absolutely delightful. Anyone who enjoys her books might also enjoy a series of mysteries by Kate Ross, also set in the same period and with the same authentic voice.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Hart on April 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Impetuosity is Arabella's only fault. That and being young and naive. At the same time she has very strong convictions about right and wrong and follows through on them, again to a fault. She is not a push over, nor is she vapid or overly frivolous. Being young and naive ends up being only endearing, and her convictions are admirable considering the time and place she is in. Her impetuosity though is what got her into trouble in the first place.

Arabella is one of eight children in a large family living in a country parish. Her father, the Vicar, is a strict man who raises his children to love, respect and care for all of their fellow creatures. She is from a respectable family, but her fortune is very, very small. Through a happy circumstance her godmother writes and says that she is willing to bring Arabella under her wing in London and sponsor her for a London Season!

On her way to London, traveling with a family friend, her carriage breaks down and she goes to a near by house seeking shelter. The man inside, Robert Beaumaris, is at first unwilling to entertain her and finally admits to his friend, inadvertently in her hearing, that he assumes that she was a fortune hunter and, hearing that he was home, made up this story to throw herself in his way. Arabella's impetuosity comes to life and she immediately puts on airs that in fact she is a "great heiress" of "large fortune" and attempts to put Mr. Beaumaris in his place. Soon this news is all over London, and Arabella finds herself the target of every fortune hunter of the Season. Now she somehow has to contrive finding a man that will love her for herself and not her money, and manage to avoid the biggest scandal of the Season on top of it!

This book reminded me a lot of the story Cinderella.
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