Faro's Daughter, Georgette Heyer. How marvelous! Okay, best I expand on that.
I gave Heyer a go because my love of classics, and specifically 'romantic' classics, means that titles by Austen and Eliot are soon exhausted.
Now, Heyer doesn't have the wit and charm of Austen, nor the brilliance and insight of Eliot. Also, she isn't writing as a contemporary but rather as a historical writer. This does show through with what is fairly judged as an overuse of detail and terms. But I have to admire Heyer for taking the trouble to sound authentic, and I believe that she succeeds.
So, while she lacks the finesse of the great ladies above, she gives as a whopper of a romantic tale that befits any Elizabeth and Darcy -type entanglement. And whilst we're not reading Heyer for her mastery in prose, her writing is respectable.
The first chapter or so had me thinking that this was going to be a very dry tale. But once our heroine was insulted - I'll say no more - things perked up considerably. I couldn't put it down. I mean, the main thrust is predictable, but the details much less so. There are many interesting twists and turns. It's also very funny in parts. The heroine is admirable and the hero, while perhaps lacking the Darcy swoon factor, is manly and strong, and very rich of course.
If you love a good romantic entanglement of the old-fashioned kind, you can't go wrong with this one. I'll be choosing more of Heyer's titles.