- File Size: 1185 KB
- Print Length: 322 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (March 1, 2009)
- Publication Date: March 1, 2009
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00348UMVC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,798 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$13.99|
|Print List Price:||$17.99|
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The Talisman Ring (Regency Romances Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 322 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From the Back Cover
"[I]t was delightful... Lot's of fun!" - Book-a-Rama
"I really loved this novel. It had it all...comedy, mystery and romance." - Grace's Book Blog
"[V]ery good fun! It's an entertaining read with a fast moving plot and interesting, well formulated characters." - A Work in Progress
"Heyer infuses humor and warmth into the personalities of her heroes and heroines, giving them an endearing quality that will have you rooting for them throughout their escapades and, of course, their romances." - Ex Libris
"Delightful and witty... The Talisman Ring is a keeper for Regency Romance readers and readers who enjoy humor and subtle wit. It is splendid reading!" - The Long and Short of It
"The Talisman Ring is a clever mixture of both romance and mystery, and it has a wonderful air of humor to it as well!... Fans of mystery, romance and adventure are sure to love this book! " - Wendi's Book Corner
"This one is silly and fun. A pure delight. It's just comical." - Becky's Book Reviews
"[S]cintillating dialogue, historical details, sparkling wit..." - Jane Austen's World
"A delightfully light hearted romance novel with a lot of humor and a little mystery thrown in for good measure." - Books 4 Moms --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
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But The Talisman is a cut above even for Heyer. It utilizes the older/couple younger/couple structure she really likes, and it just clicks here. Sir Tristram Shield has been called to the deathbed of the family patriarch, his great uncle, Sylvester, Baron Lavenham. Quite a deathbed, with a man who's ready to go with a drink and a quip. The characters around it are the gaggle of cousins so common to these stories, and to the period. Sir Tristram knows he's there to reiterate his promise to marry his cousin, the baron's granddaughter, Miss Eustacie Lavenham. She's been raised in France and is a refugee from the Terror, only eighteen, the sort of flighty ninnyhammer Heyer writes so well - screwball, adorable, and in the end honest and brave. Sir Tristram has been disappointed in love, and at thirty-one has decided he's not interested in it, though he knows he has to marry. Eustacie, being French, has no problem at all with an arranged marriage, so long as he's not an old stick, while Sir Tristram is a bit of an old stick, a dry and funny one. He resigns himself to marrying her, though it's clear they aren't the greatest blend. Two other cousins come into play, the dandy Basil, called Beau Lavenham, and young Ludovic, a scapegrace gambler the old man loved, until he supposedly committed murder over a gambling debt and a missing family heirloom, a talisman ring. He had to leave the country, like Beau Geste, though he's not quite so noble. Eustacie had been intended for Lucovic, but the grandfather believes he's guilty and has disowned him. When Eustacie decides Tristram is indeed an old stick she runs away, and now the fun starts.
Obviously Heyer is aware this is the stuff of the classic British romance adventure, but in her deft hands it's far more than a homage, and very much her own. The dialog sparkles, but it's not quite as laden with period slang. It would make a great first Heyer. When Eustacie stumbles into Ludovic and a pot of trouble, we get to meet Miss Sarah Thane, traveling with her daft brother, a lady on the shelf who describes herself as "a creature of absolutely no importance." Like Sir Tristram, she has a level head and a dry wit. Like her brother, she's got a couple of major loose screws. And she's up for a bit of adventure. So this foursome is off, to find the talisman ring and clear Ludovic's name. So many funny lines and great scenes. My favorite is when Tristram has to coach poor Miss Thane to pass herself off as one of those architecture-obsessed English tourists in order to get her into a country house they want to search. The breed still exists, and the scene is hysterical. Ludovic and Eustacie are absolutely addled, but they bring out the bright side of Sarah and Sir Tristram. All in all it's fast-moving, funny, with characters you care about, and you don't want it to end. It doesn't get much better than that.
This is a Regency romance of the best kind, filled with humour and with likeable characters (apart from the inevitable villain).
Eustacie, a French emigree has been living at the English country estate of an elderly relative, but he is dying and decides that Eustacie must marry her cousin Tristram, a sober gentleman some years her senior. Needless to say this plan does not recommend itself to Eustacie, and she decides to run away to London in the middle of the night. More romantic than practical, she is sure she will find love there.
She falls into the hands of smugglers, the leader of whom just happens to be yet another cousin, but one she feels is truly romantic. He is wounded, and she takes him to the inn of a sympathetic innkeeper.
There she is assisted by Sarah, who is staying at the inn with her brother, and Sarah it is who convinces Sir Tristram that the young couple are made for each other, and since Sir Tristram had no greater desire to wed Eustacie than she did to him, he and Sarah set about to clear her romantic cousin Ludovic's name. This desire is hampered by the villain who desires above all else to succeed to Ludovic's title and estate.
Much intrigue follows, but a happy ending, with more than one wedding in the offing.
Anyone who enjoys a good romance should find this book a good read.
Top international reviews
However due to severe arthritis it is several years since I've been able to read an actual book and it takes time and money to replace all my favourites onto Kindle. Especially as I had recently replaced all my Heyer novels in paperback. My New Year's resolution was to replace all her historical novels with Kindle editions and I am getting there. The Talisman Ring was one I had not read for some time and I had forgotten just how funny it was. The scene at the end of chapter 7 where amongst other things Sir Hugh Thane and Ludovic dispute the exact number of candles some 'fellow' shot out at Mrs Archer's has me crying with laughter. Sir Hugh is insistent that it was 15, Ludovic says 16. Sir Hugh continues to dispute this even though it was Ludovic who did the shooting. Coupled with Sir Hugh's rather cavalier attitude towards crime - housebreaking is definitely illegal and should be condemned, smuggling good brandy and Chambertin is not a crime, it is a public service! And he's a JP.
I never considered this to be a 'romance' and if you are looking for a traditional romance then The Talisman Ring will disappoint. It is a comedy of manners with a crime and murder to be solved. Set, mainly, in a country inn in Sussex there are no glamorous gowns, no balls, no morning calls; the story relies on the author's ability to keep the reader entertained without recourse to the normal 'society' doings of the Bon Ton. With such a claustrophobic background only an excellent writer can hold the reader's interest. Miss Heyer ensures there is never a dull moment. Her dialogue is superb, the relationships between the two sets of lovers well defined, as are the interlocking relationships between the landlord Nye, his barman Clem and Ludovic (they are all freetraders). Then we have the villains; Basil 'Beau' Lavenham, Ludovic's cousin and heir after the death of Sylvester the Machiavellian head of the family (and the original Beau who is affronted that the 'Beau' of today is a travesty). His valet, an oleaginous toady who does Basil's dirty work for him plus a miscellany of hired hands, Bow Street Runners whom you wouldn't trust to find a dead rat in a trap and the hard pushed revenue men. Who has sympathy for them in those times?
All contribute to the humour that runs through the book although my favourite has to be Sir Hugh whose only concern is the quality of the smuggled liquor and whether he may buy some (and that the alcohol is handled correctly). The romance between Ludovic and Eustacie, Sylvester's half French granddaughter is glaringly obvious. Both are very young and seeking adventure and it is a 'coup de foudre' on meeting. Personally, I dread to think of their marriage 15 years down the line! Tristram and Sarah's romance is very different - slow burning, built on mutual humour, respect and understanding. I would have no qualms about their relationship 15 years down the line.
All in all The Talisman is a gloriously funny book. There is never a dull moment and yet all the action takes place within a 5 mile radius of the Red Lion, Joseph Nye's inn. There is precious little physical action, a few punches, gunshots and that's it. To Eustacie's everlasting disappointment there is no riding 'ventre a terre', no final ride on a tumbril to the guillotine (wearing white muslin). The book relies on Miss Heyer's beautifully depicted characters and her dialogue. If you can read this without laughing out loud at least once I would be amazed.
Do buy this wonderfully funny novel. It's as good a place to start as any Georgette Heyer, and better than some. You will not be disappointed and, if you have never read any of her books before then you have the pleasure of many hours of happy reading to come. I envy you but, I know that with each re-reading I discover something new. Enjoy.
1) "Are you ' My cousin Tristram'?"
2) "I must go and inform Hugh, his cold is worse."
It is wonderful to see the hero unable to contain the females in the story. His well ordered life is...... well, not ordered.
A lovely romp.
A lively and spirited heroine accidentally encounters her cousin - our hero (about whom there is a scandal!). He has taken up with brandy smugglers as he is supposed to be banned from England by his grandfather. With help from an older cousin and a chance encounter at an inn (where they are 'laying low' from the Bow Street Runners) with a sympathetic slightly older lady, they eventually clear our hero's name. Lots of humour and adventures along the way!