I have seen Georgette Heyer's books so often, I decided to take advantage when I got a chance to review a handful. This was the first one I read by her. It was written in 1934, and takes place during the Georgian Era.
The Convenient Marriage is the story of Horatia Winwood (known as Horry), and her marriage to the Earl of Rule. She marries the Earl after he has proposes to her sister, because she knows that her sister is in love with someone else. But Horry also knows that it is necessary for someone to marry him, as that is the only way to keep her family out of debt. The Earl goes along with this change, because he merely proposed due to the fact that he has come to believe that he needs to settle down. And although she is young, and not very pretty, and has a stutter, Horatia enchants him. They agree to "stay out of each other's way" but Horry seems determined to be outrageous. She gets into a few "scrapes" and tries to keep these a secret from the Earl, but he is determined to win her over and show that he loves her, and she can keep nothing from him.
I found this story rather entertaining, and a fairly quick read. The details that Heyer gives of the time period are very interesting, and show that she knows quite a bit about it. I did not like it as much as I had thought I might, however. Horatia simply annoyed me, and while she started out fine, she seemed to get worse as the book went on. I think I was supposed to find her amusing, but she really just began to wear on me. I liked the Earl of Rule better, but not by much. I think that may have been my main problem with the book - I simply was not really fond of any of the characters. It was funny, and the romance sort of sweet, but I honestly did not really care what happened to the characters as the story went on. I have enjoyed the other Heyer books I have read since then more.
This is my final read for the Romance Reading Challenge. Funny how I managed to finish this one way early - I guess it's a good idea to sign up for year long challenges! I will have a wrap-up post up one of these days. It also qualifies for the New Author Challenge and RYOB 2009.