Georgette Heyer is the first author I've read who makes Jane Austen seem emo. Don't get me wrong, I adore Austen and consider WWJD to stand for "What Would Jane Do?", but I really enjoyed this charming and angst-free Regency tale of Venetia and her Wicked Baron, the rake Damerel. Oh Damerel... Imagine Sense and Sensibility's Willoughby and Jane Eyre's Rochester without their respective issues -- or wives. Damerel is charming, mischievous, and funny. The same could also be said of Venetia, who is nearing spinsterhood at, gasp!, five-and-twenty.Heyer touches on social issues, whereas Austen really delves into them, but don't confuse lightness of touch for lack of deftness. How can else an author get away with mentioning orgies while staying true to the time period? And not just mentioning them, but having her characters joke about them! There is so much humor and laughter throughout the novel, and not because the characters are ridiculous or silly.You're laughing along with them, not at them. Okay, maybe you're laughing at too serious Aubrey, who nonetheless ended up being one of my favorite characters.I had a hard time letting go of my favorite Austen characters too and turned to terrible-to-fucking-terrible books like An Assembly Such as This, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, and A Little Bit Psychic. Spare yourself the ignominy and read a book that doesn't have Austen rolling over in her grave. I highly recommend delightful Venetia!