Author: Georgette Heyer
Provided Synopsis: Georgette Heyer had a handful of unforgettable heroines, of which Arabella is one of the most engaging. Daughter of a modest country clergyman, Arabella Tallant is on her way to London when her carriage breaks down outside the hunting lodge of the wealthy Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Her pride stung when she overhears a remark of her host’s, Arabella pretends to be an heiress, a pretense that deeply amuses the jaded Beau. To counter her white lie, Beaumaris launches her into high society and thereby subjects her to all kinds of fortune hunters and other embarrassments.
When compassionate Arabella rescues such unfortunate creatures as a mistreated chimney sweep and a mixed-breed mongrel, she foists them upon Beaumaris, who finds he rather enjoys the role of rescuer and is soon given the opportunity to prove his worth in the person of Arabella’s impetuous young brother…
Review: As the eldest girl in a large family headed by a vicar, Arabella Tallant knows her duty: she is to make an advantageous marriage in order to help her siblings. Therefore, she is sent off to London to stay with her godmother and be present for the season. Saddled with her duty and the level-head her father has always instilled in her, she might have come onto the scene with less than a splash had she not run into a gentleman, on the road to London, with the ability to get under her skin. For Arabella is revealed to have a sharp tongue and to take action; when she overhears herself being called a fortune hunter she seeks to put Mr. Beaumaris in his place by telling him she is a great heiress. And of course this lie spreads across London, making her the belle of the season and the one to catch in every man’s eyes.
From my perspective I found this book to be charming. I enjoy the Regency period and was not disappointed to be placed within this environment; the author is also wonderful at describing the setting to allow the reader to travel back in time. The storyline unravels in the way you would expect it to, since it is pretty formulaic and has plenty of similarities with Pride and Prejudice, so I advise you do not expect too much out of it. However, if you were on the lookout for something quaint to serve as a break in between heavier reads then this would be perfect. Arabella has been my introduction to the works of Georgette Heyer and it certainly did enough to spark an interest in me to read more.