When dazzling Horatia Winwood married the powerful Earl of Rule, she was saving her sister from a loveless match, rescuing her family fortune, and providing herself with a life of ease. Hers was a marriage made not in heaven but in the coolly logical mind of a very self-possessed young beauty.
Not until Horatia was deep in dangerous intrigue with her husband's vengeful rival, the dashing and arrogant Lord Lethbridge, did she suddenly find -- to her own tremulous surprise -- she had fallen deeply in love with the man she had married for money. But was it too late, now that she was but a heartbeat away from betraying both him and herself?
This was one of the first books I read by Heyer and it has remained one of my favourites ever since. I reread it recently and since I had never written a review I decided to do it this time. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed it as much as the first time.
The Earl of Rule has decided it's time to marry and for his bride chooses Miss Winwood less from inclination then from her impeccable bloodline. But Miss Winwood already has a beau and the Miss Charlotte Winwood is determined not to marry so the youngest of the family - Miss Horatia Winwood decides to take matters into her own hands and offer herself as prospective bride. It is fun to see how Rule is instantly charmed by the plain, stammering Horry and not only agrees to the change of bride as to becoming the patron of Miss Winwood's beau.
Like other Heyer novels The Convenient Marriage is full of witty dialogues and interesting conversations between the characters. Horry and Rule have a big age gap and she tries to be as adult as possible, keeping out of his way and his affairs but it is quite obvious from the beginning that Rule likes her as she is and is determined to be patient and considerate with his wife.
Horatia gets herself in various degrees of trouble, especially by befriending one of Rule's old enemies, and things aren't helped by Rule's cousin trying to make mischief between them. I was also quite amused by Horry's brother Pelham, the inveterate gambler who run through the family fortune but has a high sense of propriety and can't understand why Rule doesn't have a heavier hand when dealing with his sister. And in the end it is lovely to see Rule save Horry from herself... Although she is sometime too childish and immature he is a wonderful wise hero who totally makes up for it.
This is a fun Georgian romance that I highly recommend!