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Beauvallet: Gossip, scandal and an unforgettable Regency romance

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Minor issues present such as mild cracking, inscriptions, inserts, light foxing, tanning and thumb marking. Another of Heyer’s swashbuckling adventure stories, it stars the captivating Sir Nicholas Beauvallet, a direct descendant of Simon Beauvallet, the hero of Georgette’s 1925 novel , Simon the Coldheart. Having arrived in Madrid, he learns that Dominica's father has died and that she is now under the protection of her uncle, Don Rodriguez. Get some beautiful actors on screen and the sudden love between Dominica and Nick might even become believable!

After setting her and her father down in Spain, he makes a reckless promise - within the year he will brave the land of Spain itself to bring her home as his bride. I should acknowledge that things did pick up once Beauvallet got his ass to Spain, but it wasn't a true take off?Poor Beauvallet was, as it were, in my hands, and ever since has been viewed with dislike by myself. The first part of the book unfolds the romance, and the second half follows Beauvallet as he attempts to keeps his word to find Dominica and bring her to England. I have even read a few random pages from Devil's Cub (one of my favorite Heyer's books) to check if I am not exaggerating.

The tale of a daring (and dashing) privateer determined to seek out his lady-love in the heart of enemy Spain is superbly written and expertly narrated. GH was most likely familiar with Douglas Fairbanks Sr's swashbuckler movies of the '20s when she wrote this and it shows. You must remember this was during the Spanish Inquisition, so the stakes are very high if he is caught. The concept of honor, as defined by an Elizabethan pirate, is essential to the plot although is hard for some modern readers to appreciate. He succeeds because he dares and because, like the deceptions achieved by Robin and Prue in the Masqueraders and Kit in False Colors, what Nick does is unexpected and, therefore, it's unlooked for.Nick gets what he needs but his typical good fortune leads him to something even better - after besting a Frenchman who was trying to steal his horse near the Spanish frontier, he discovers the man was the Chevalier de Guise, a courier for the powerful de Guise family who carries a secret, encrypted message to King Phillip in Spain. With the blessing of the Queen, this friend and former associate of Sir Walter Raleigh sails the seas in his ship The Venture with the intention of plundering any Spanish ships that come his way. After a sea battle with a Spanish ship, he finds himself confronted with unexpected prisoners: a wrathful Spanish lady and her dying Father. After all, with war threatening between the two nations, and the Inquisition waiting to pounce on any non-Catholic, what Englishman would dare to venture into Spain? A modern woman for modern times, Delwyn Jenkins has plenty of first-hand experience with today’s fast-paced publishing industry.

Tense with looming danger, Beauvallet is a rollicking ride of romance, sword fights, mad dashes across country, midnight escapes, scheming aunts, dastardly cousins and one very engaging, lovable hero. I very nearly gave up on this book in the first act because I absolutely loathed the heroine, Dona Dominica de Rada y Sylva, who embodied all the worst negative traits of femininity. Mad Nicholas' to his friends, 'Scourge of Spain' to the enemy, Sir Nicholas Beauvallet has never been known to resist a challenge. Living in Macedonia may have meant depending on Ronald more than usual for when the book came out she inscribed his copy of Beauvallet with an appropriate acknowledgment: ‘”To Wonaldy-pet, Our joint effort”‘ and signed herself ‘George’ – a name reserved for use by only her closest friends and relatives.

On catching the Chevalier trying to steal his horse, Beauvallet kills him in a sword fight and assumes his identity. Dominica took a little warming to because she was so obviously drawn to Nick even while she was still giving him the cold shoulder. Set during the Tudor era (Elizabeth I is a character), this reminded me of Captain Blood or even a Dumas novel . Brave deeds of derring-do, espionage and love in the Elizabethan Golden age (prior to Elizabeth's war with Spain) set our English pirate Nick Beauvallet and our Spanish heroine Dona Dominica on a wild, romantic ride. Language as usual is fantastic, educative and expressive and the story, though being relatively short is densely written so it feels like a longer book.

Heyer was an intensely private person who remained a best selling author all her life without the aid of publicity. Nicholas Beauvallet is a descendant of Simon the Coldheart, also featured in a novel of the same name by Georgette Heyer, and a definite chip off the same block. I've been a fan of Heyer's historical romances since I first read my mum's old copy of Beauvallet when I was a teenager.The final third of the book is the best when the pace picks up and there are plenty of threats and escapes. Some of the characters are interesting, especially the evil aunt Beatrice who moves like a snail, but leaves a trail of slime behind her (I can’t remember the exact words). She tried to slap the hero who caught her wrist (naturally): a trope that I find highly irritating, not least because it's obvious that she wanted the pleasure of being thwarted and controlled by a masterful man. Spine has several smudges/stains, is heavily sunned, and with significant losses at head and tail of spine and also open scrapes in the center of spine - see photos. It was a little hard to get inside the character’s heads at first, but once I learned who they were It was very easy to relate to them.

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