Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review: Cotillion

July now over, I realize I spent most of it time traveling in the Regency. Seven out of the thirteen books I read were set during that period--two Jane Austen, three Emma-related, and two Georgette Heyer. I'm curious to find out where I'll be traveling during August.

My second Georgette Heyer, Cotillion, has quite a different set of characters from Black Sheep. Kitty Charing is the orphaned ward of old, irritable, eccentric Matthew Penicuik, who will leave his inheritance to her if only she will marry one of his great-nephews. She won't marry Hugh, she won't marry Lord Dolphinton, and Jack doesn't turn up to ask her, but she agrees to marry Freddy--or at least, she pretends to do so. Freddy Standen is mild and cheerful, not especially clever or dashing, and not interested in marriage, so it takes some convincing to get him to agree to a sham betrothal, so that Kitty can go to London for the first time in her life.

Cotillion was not so wonderfully funny as Black Sheep was, and it took me longer to get fully drawn in. I didn't take to any of the characters as I took to certain characters in Black Sheep, though I certainly grew to like Kitty and Freddy very much. Cotillion did have a more complicated plot, though, and some of the conflicts I can imagine took some thinking to solve. Kitty has her own problems, but it's so much simpler to try and fix other people's, and much of the book is taken up with that. This was a very satisfactory book, if not brilliant, and very good for a bit of cheerful romantic comedy.

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