My rating: 2.5of 5 stars
I’ve had Georgette Heyer’s books on my to-read list since reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Ain’t She Sweet? in which one of the heroine’s favorite authors is Heyer. I’ll admit that I was a bit disappointed, however, by Beauvallet. The story of an English pirate during the reign of Elizabeth I who falls in love with a Spanish noblewoman whom he returns to Spain after attacking the ship she’d been on with the promise that he would return for her to make her his bride is pure escapist literature. But I hope that is not one of Heyer’s best.
The romance left much to be desired, and the action sequences – something you’d expect plenty of in a novel about pirates – were quick and not all that thrilling. As for the characters, Nicholas Beauvallet is fun like an Errol Flynn (or rather, given that Beauvallet was originally published in 1929, Douglas Fairbanks) character, though not too swoon-worthy, Dominica is intelligent, strong-willed (reminiscent of Elizabeth Swann from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series but with less daring-do), and Joshua, well, I can’t decide whether he is the heart of the narrative or simply annoying. As for the rest of the cast, they are, with the exception of Dona Beatrice, totally unremarkable.
Georgette Heyer is know for having basically created the Regency Romance genre but this novel is set in the Elizabethan era. If you are interested in more romantic fiction set in that era, I would turn to Philippa Gregory and her series of novels about the royal lives of the Plantagenet and Tudor houses.