There is a reason that Georgette Heyer is renowned as a more contemporary Jane Austen. Writing in the 1920s until the 70s, her books created the Regency England romance genre.
Many of the current historical romance novelist of today emulate Heyer’s plots, style, and general whimsy for the genre (See Eloisa James).
And for an introduction into Heyer, there is no better place to start than Venetia.
It is a wonderful tale of a country miss running the estate while her elder brother is away at war (and derelict in his duties) and the gentlemen who court her.
Caring for her brother who is disabled, Venetia is a kind and elegant character who is determined to marry for love. And it finds her in the form of the very naughty rakehell neighbor, Lord Damerel.
There is much humor and well tuned details about Regency life, perfect for balancing out the romantic aspects of the book.
Naturally, its also a clean book with none of the risque scenes of many contemporary hist-ro, so safe to gift to younger women or women not interested in the steamy action.
What most amazing everyone is how very likable Heyer’s characters are, and how readable she is for writing in the 40s and 50s. (Venetia was published in 1958).
Jane Austen fans will love it, too, as Heyer tries to diligently stick to the true form of Regency.
Overall, a wonderful predecessor to modern hist-ro, and one I would definitely recommend reading!