24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2001
I have read all of Georgette Heyer's books, and Regency Buck remains my favorite -- after a few dozen readings! The mysterious plot, the wonderful dialogue, the splendid Regency settings, the chemistry between the impulsive heroine and the sardonic hero -- all these add up to a Regency masterpiece and the ultimate rainy night comfort read! (I did not, however, enjoy the audio-book version read by Flo Gibson; she makes all the characters -- even the magnificent Lord Worth -- sound odiously prissy).
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2009
Nearly forty years ago I bought this paperback, after staring at it at Woolworth's for several weeks, for the whopping price of 75 cents. There began my love affair with all things Regency, and Georgette Heyer's Regencies in particular.
I am knocking a star off this because, though Heyer's writing craft is divine, her two main characters, in retrospect, are not very appealing. Worth is overly arrogant and Judith is childishly temperamental.
What I will give is props to Heyer who, with the exception of the immediate Worth/Taverner family connections, used historical figures as filler. What a tremendous amount of research she must have done! From Worcester to Poole to "Poodle" Byng, she used real people of the Regency Era to flesh out the rest of her tale.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
There are less than a handfull of regency romance (with a dash of mystery) authors that could be considered on par with Heyer's stellar writing, but even though she is in a class of her own, if you have never read Heyer before, I beg you not to read this one first - truly, it is better than most regencies out there but is a fair disappointment when compared to many other's of Heyer's works (my very favorite being These Old Shades.)
Here, the dialogue is witty but just not AS witty. That said, my biggest annoyance lies with the heroine - immature, petty and judgmental; perhaps we can forgive her these not-pretty qualities as she is a great beauty and a great heiress, a situation which we assume resulted in her being overly pampered and quite sheltered from reality. As well, Heyer obviously endeavors throughout the book to show us that her young heiress is not without conscience and she does grow as the book progresses - she just doesn't grow fast enough for my liking! :)
I also feel that too many of the tense situations that occur in the book are due to the much dreaded plot contrivance of "the misunderstanding". I do hate this contrivance more than any other, and at some point, after enough "misunderstandings", I as a reader feel like throwing in the towel.
And yet, despite these criticisms, you must wonder why I rate this so well as 4 stars? Alas, even a disappointing Heyer (yes, there are maybe one or two others in addition to this one) deserves no poorer a rating, for a dull gem in her collection becomes a shiny diamond amongst drab pebbles when compared to the whole of the genre.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2000
I'm an avid Georgette Heyer fan, & I'll say this of her-among all the Regency authors, she's the best!! With her its not just romance alone, but humour,sarcasm,wit all get combined to produce a novel to captivate the reader. This book tells about the vivacious heroine Judith Taverner & her battle(of wits)against Lord Worth. It also has a little pinch of mystery- who wants Peregrine dead? But if i tell u the answer to that, u won't read it, will you? so i'll keep mum, & go ahead, buy this book. You won't regret it!
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2008
This book is nowhere near as good as the other Heyer regency romances I've read. Part of Heyer's charm and strength lies in her characters, but in this novel the characters were entirely lacking in sympathetic characteristics. Lord Worth is irritating and completely without humility to the very end, despite the fact that his overbearing and arrogant behavior throughout the novel seems to demand some sort of conciliation on his part in order to endear him to the reader. Judith, who I liked at first, also quickly grated on my nerves (mainly because the novel provided no clear reason for her growing affection for Lord Worth, who is -- as I've already stated -- a toerag). The romance between the two quickly became tiresome and even aggravating. The mystery aspect of the book was also lacking; by the time Lord Worth (who was annoyingly styled as the detective-figure in the mystery of who was targeting Judith's brother Perry) figured it out, I was two steps ahead of him, and I hated him too much to be impressed in any case. Don't bother to pick this one up -- go for "The Grand Sophy," "Cotillion," or "Friday's Child" instead.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2000
Georgette Heyer has no equal when it comes to that wonderful brand of regency fun and laughter. Her research is so true to that age I feel as though I am riding in Hyde Park with the characters, or on the battlefield at Waterloo, Regency Buck lead me to read "An Infamous Army" And many of her other wonderful books. I have had to hunt in second hand book shops, and garage sales for the books I now have. Most are really dogged eared, and faded, and have pages falling out. I can"t tell you how happy, I am to be able to buy NEW - UNREAD - copies..where I am the first reader to leaf thru the pages of these wonderful stories. I hope to be able to purchase all of her works. She was one in a million.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2000
I'm not much of a fan of romance novels, but i must say that Georgette Heyer's books are pretty good. Regency Buck is certainly one of her best. Judith is a strong willed, stubborn girl who's come out for the season with her brother against the judgement of her profoundly disliked, but actually never met, guardian. The very first time she meets him is when her carriage got stuck in a ditch or something while she was on her way to london. They both seem to dislike each other from the moment they meet, although Judith has no idea who he is at first. Regency Buck has lots of fun and humorous scenes that would make you laugh. As always from what i've seen of Heyer's books, the ending is a pleasant surprise and a happy one. It makes you believe in love all over again.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2006
Regency Buck has one of Heyer's fantastic heroes - The Earl of Worth - with his sardonic humour, clever conversation and social position. The romance between him and Judith Taverner, his ward, is not necessarily the major thrust of the book. Although the slow-burn romance between them is there in the pages, there is a great deal more to keep your attention. In fact, if I had any criticism of the book it is that we are not there when Judith's sentiments change towards her guardian; presumably it's when she spends Christmas at his house with a group of people, but it's left to our imagination; most of the scenes between the two of them are arguments.
The setting of the book, in London and Brighton, is of course flawless historically. It's fascinating reading of travel in Regency times - the journey from London to Brighton by curricle taking 4½ hours and listing all the posting houses and towns that they travel through. I loved reading the detail of the Royal Palace at Brighton and the Royal Dukes and their behaviour. Many of the characters are historical ones and it set me off reading up on their history - not many novels can get me doing that.
The threat to the life of Peregrine Taverner is a side-plot which works reasonably well but it was always clear to me that Lord Worth wasn't trying to kill his ward, and therefore that his cousin had to be responsible. However, it was fun reading the scrapes that Perry gets into, and his enthusiasm over sailing at the end is great fun.
It has also been interesting to read An Infamous Army, a sort-of sequel to both this book and Devil's Cub as it contains characters from both. Captain Charles Audley who features in Regency Buck is the hero of An Infamous Army, but it is good to see Lord Worth and Judith after three years of marriage - that the spice to their relationship is still there, and the witticisms of Lord Worth haven't been dimmed. However, Peregrine and Harriet do less well in that book; whether that is a background comment about marrying too young from Heyer I don't know.
Regency Buck is certainly worth adding to your Heyer library. It's perhaps not as immediately engaging as some of the other books but it's detail and the strength of the characters are well worth the time spent with them through these pages.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not all of Heyer's humorous romances set in Regency England follow the same pattern -- there are notably original exceptions like Grand Sophy -- but, like any successful franchise, most of them do adhere to a more or less predictable underlying formula. The most common aspect of this is that whatever irritating and unpleasantly egotistical male the heroine first runs into is going to end up being her Prince Charming. In some of her books, including this one, that outcome is decidedly less convincing than in others.
The set-up here is that Miss Judith Tavener and her slightly younger brother, Sir Peregrine (a newly minted baronet following their father's recent death), both being minors -- and both being extremely wealthy -- are traveling by chaise from their provincial home in Yorkshire to London to meet with their guardian, Julian Audley, Earl of Worth. (They've never before visited the capital, which I think unlikely, even though their father was a recluse.) There they find that their father, being rather sloppy about such things, has screwed up his will, putting them in the care and under the authority of his old friend's son, not the father -- a guardian not much older than they are. And that they already are acquainted with Lord Worth, having had an unpleasant couple of encounters with him on the way to town. Worth, as the male lead seems to be in nearly all these books, is fierce, grim, cold, and sardonic, and Judith, being of an independent turn of mind, bridles at being told exactly how to live her life and not being allowed to make her own decisions even in personal matters. She has a cousin, though, the son of her uncle, the Admiral, who takes her part in the continuing tension-filled relationship with her guardian, and so she comes to lean on him. Peregrine comes up against their guardian's uncompromising will a few times, too, but he's much more willing to go along -- as long as he can acquire a typical wealthy young man's playthings, and as long as he is allowed pursue the girl who has taken his fancy. The thing is, if young Peregrine should die without an heir, most of his share of the inheritance will go to his sister -- which someone else appears to be aware of, as well, because attempts begin to be made on his life. Worth has as much as told Judith that he intends to make use of his authority to marry her himself; could he be the one trying to bump off her brother? There really aren't that many viable suspects and most readers will have figured out who the villain is long before the last chapter -- but it isn't the semi-mystery that matters here, of course, but the romance. If you can call it that, because it's difficult to see how Miss Tavener could ever undergo her very abrupt change of heart with regard to her guardian.
Another small difference with this story in comparison to most of her others is that a number of real people Heyer brings in as active participants in the plot, including George "Beau" Brummel, who undertakes to advise Judith on her entrance into Society, and the Duke of Clarence, younger brother of the Prince Regent. Clarence, in fact, pursues Judith with the object of matrimony (his ten bastard children by Mrs. Fitzherbert notwithstanding), and reassures her that there are several people ahead of him in the succession and that she therefore needn't be concerned about the future -- though, of course, he later became king as William IV, and one supposes there could have been a "Queen Judith."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2012
I have read every single Georgette Heyer book, mysteries included, more than once but this has to be my very favourite (sorry I am English). I am on my third paperback edition as the others became too yellowed and tatty with age (oops! giving away secrets) and have now purchased the Kindle edition which I hope isn't as badly edited as a previous reviewer said. I enjoy most of them, especially 'Sylvester', 'Talisman Ring', 'The Reluctant Widow', 'An Infamous Army' and 'The Conqueror', but my second favourite would probably be 'Devil's Cub' and third 'Behold here's Poison'. Compared to her later works such as 'Cousin Kate' and 'Frederica', which are very light, 'Regency Buck' is deeper and more satisfying as it makes you think. Besides giving you a real insight into life in the Regency period, such as foxhunting, boxing and cock fighting and gaming as well as the balls and men's clubs, there are many interesting real life characters in the book: Beau Brummell, The Prince of Wales (he ruled my country!!) and Lady Jersey being just a few. Lord Worth is a wonderful hero watching over his wards' welfare, even Peregrine's whom he doesn't even like, and helping them establish themselves in society. He reminds me of Mr. Darcy (my all time favourite) in that he comes across as a stern, unlikable character at first but ends up as a very loving and caring one. I can't understand the people who hate the book and don't even finish it as it is such a super book; simply the best as Tina Turner would say!