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Publisher's Summary

Venetia Lanyon, beautiful, intelligent and independent, lives in comfortable seclusion in rural Yorkshire with her precocious brother Aubrey. Her future seems safe and predictable: Either marriage to the respectable but dull Edward Yardley, or a life of peaceful spinsterhood. But when she meets the dashing, dangerous rake Lord Damerel, her well-ordered life is turned upside down, and she embarks upon a relationship with him that scandalizes and horrifies the whole community. Has she found her soul mate, or is she playing with fire?

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©1958 Georgette Heyer (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great interpretation

One of the most honest stories written by Heyer, read outstandingly by Phillida Nash. Her interpretation of character is perfect.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A beautifully read romantic tale with a dark hero and feisty heroine

A more interesting plot line than in other Heyer novels with a rather modern heroine. Good fun and easy listening.

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  • Mag
  • 07-05-2017

Good story made superb by narrator

I like most of this author's work and this is one of the best. The narrator brings it alive and delivers a truly satisfying performance.
Excellent escapism fiction

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  • Brian
  • London
  • 25-03-2017

Always one of my favourites!

Wonderfully researched and narrated. In this world of misery and devastation, Georgette Heyer provides us with a sublime world of romance and humour.

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Brilliant!

Very well written and narrated. A truly great story full of humour and interesting characters. Also some surprises. I highly recommend

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  • Carole T.
  • 16-05-2014

No Guilt Here!

I gave up calling Georgette Heyer a "guilty" pleasure a long time ago. A literature major, I was taught that certain genres of writing are just inherently inferior - and one of them, of course, is Romance. Now I know that good writing is good writing, whatever the genre, and writing doesn't get any better than in "Venetia"!

The story is a fairly common one in historical romance: "good" girl heroine attracted to "bad" boy hero. But Heyer does it so well here. The characters (major and minor) sparkle with humor, wit and personality. There are even valuable lessons in tolerance and reserving judgment.

Venetia is an exceptional leading lady, full of life and heart, and I predict that anyone (even those who aren't big Romance fans) will fall in love with her, with her flawed love, with her brother, and even with those minor characters who so perfectly reflect the oddities in our fellow humans.

And no small credit goes to the wonderful Phyllida Nash, who narrates this with great energy and skill. "Venetia" has long been a favorite read; now it's also a favorite listen! Along with Audible's versions of "Sylvester" and "Sprig Muslin", this will certainly appeal to Heyer fans and would be an excellent introduction to her really superior books.

45 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • 07-05-2014

Heaven for Heyer Fans

Hard on the heels of Naxos releasing "The Grand Sophy" and "Sylvester," two of Georgette Heyer's greatest, comes the equally wonderful "Venetia." All three books were written at the peak of Heyer's career. "Venetia" has a bit more melodrama than "Sophy" or "Sylvester," partly because of the reformed rake with a painful past that is the the hero, Lord Damerel.

All her life Venetia has heard oblique references to her "delicate position," along with veiled warnings that she must be especially protective of her reputation, "so as not to be thought to be...." At which point her well wishers generally trail off and say something like "....but I must say no more on that head," leaving Venetia puzzled, to say the least. The arrival of the charming but brooding Damerel increases these warnings to a fever pitch, for reasons that the reader will probably guess before Venetia solves the mystery.

During her lifetime Georgette Heyer was said to resent the fact that her Regency romances were so much more popular than her mysteries or her historical fiction. I agree her mysteries are underrated (particularly "Envious Casca," which I think is a minor masterpiece that Masterpiece Mystery should dramatize immediately), but, whether she agreed with the assessment or not, her Regencies are in a class by themselves. The best of them -- including Venetia -- stand head and shoulders above the pack. Enjoy!

43 of 44 people found this review helpful

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  • Jerri C
  • 07-05-2014

Romantic Regency

Georgette Heyer is considered the inventor of the Regency Romance, and although she wrote a wide variety of different types of novels, her comedies of manners set during the Regency period in England are among her best and the best in the field. This book has long been at or near the top of my list, the hero and heroine are both well read and intelligent and share a sense of humor, and I find their dialog to be a delight to read. And this book has more "face time" between the hero and heroine than many Heyer novels. Be prepared, Heyer wrote between 1921 and the early 1970's, and some of her assumptions seem strange to modern readers. But no modern author has been able to match her wit and insight. This book was first published in 1958 and written when she was in her prime.

Phyllida Nash does a good job of giving the listener the proper feel for the story. Well worth my credit to get at once. I am very glad that Naxos is releasing more unabridged Heyer stories. Their earlier abridged versions were not bad, but to get the most from Heyer one needs all the words, and I personally will never purchase an abridged title.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 14-06-2016

5 stars!! I wish I could give it more!!

Georgette Heyer ' s books are delightful. They never cross the line, and always deliver a wonderfully charming story. This narrator, Phyllida Nash, reads the books very well,endowing the characters with life. (And her accent is a great asset.). Buy it. It's enchanting. This is one book I will listen to again and again.
MW

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Hawley
  • 09-10-2014

One of Heyer's unusual heroines

Any additional comments?

I enjoy Venetia Lanyon as one of Heyer's more unusual heroines. I can overlook the dated implication that she somehow inherited her relatively "loose morals" from her mother (and if you can't overlook dated ideas, you probably shouldn't bother with Georgette Heyer's novels), and just enjoy the character. She's more implicitly sexual than many of Heyer's leading ladies, and it really is fun to follow the progress of a young woman who doesn't care about the social restraints of the Regency era AND who isn't schooled into submission for it.

All that said, it's not my favorite Heyer novel. The characters, with a couple of exceptions, don't leap to life the way her best ones do, and there are long stretches between plot points. It's an enjoyable listen, and of course Phyllida Nash does a wonderful job here as in all her Heyer readings, but unlike greater favorites (Cotillion, Frederica, Lady of Quality, The Grand Sophy...), this one isn't bearing up to multiple listenings.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Harry_ATL
  • 30-01-2015

Such a good book

If you haven't tried Georgette Heyer, Venetia is a great place to start. Charming, humorous, fun heroine and hero, witty dialogue. Heyer simply writes a good story. And it's squeeky clean, safe for grandmother's ears.

I was somewhat hesitant to try this narration in that I simply adored the version by Richard Armitage and feared I would be disappointed with another narrator, but I was most delightfully pleased by Ms. Nash's performance. I will certainly seek more books performed by her.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Beth T. Irwin
  • 12-10-2016

The classic that hooked me on romance

I can't tell you how many paperback copies I wore out before audiobooks came out in affordable formats so I can take it in the car! The hero is that rarest of creatures, an honorable and likable rake, and the heroine too isolated from society to follow any rule but her heart. The conversations are sparkling and any debauchery only implied without being shown in graphic detail.

The narrator allows me to lose myself in the story without being aware, which is the mark of great narration.

This is a classic for a reason. Buy it! You won't be sorry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • UlrikeDG
  • 26-05-2016

If you like Jane Austen, try this book

This was my second attempt at a Georgette Heyer book. They are so frequently recommended, but the first Heyer I read just didn't do anything for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Venetia, however. Phyllis Nash does an excellent job reading it, which probably helped more than a little, and the main character was fabulous.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • JAJ
  • 08-06-2015

Loved it!

Funny storyline and great performance! The narrator did a wonderful job with voice inflections and accents. I love the humor and wit presented in Heyer's books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • marque reservée
  • 19-02-2015

Thoroughly enjoyable!

Protagonists not run-of-the-mill and some witty dialogue. This is a wonderful diversion for those who enjoy fiction in an historical setting👍

2 of 2 people found this review helpful