When I first heard about Georgette Heyer years ago, this was the title that I remembered. I could not find at this at my library, but I got it and a few other Heyer books on Kindle just for the event that I would run out of library heyer books.
Similar to other Heyer books, there is a large ensemble cast of characters, but I found them all more defined than usual in this. There were actually three couples in this novel, perhaps one could say four, and there was even more than one love triangle. There is usually very to no little triangles in Heyer books which is a good thing actually.
Also, there was a villain in this story in the form of Jack. While not a classic villain in the sense that all the other characters detest or are afraid of him, he is decidedly very selfish, arrogant, and lends a negative atmosphere whenever he was on the page. It was interesting because Heyer hasn’t written many characters like Jack, and while he never does anything really dastardly, one can clearly see that Jack is a scuzzball.
Kitty is a decent Heyer heroine, but not as good as some of the other ones. She develops through the novel, but she is just a few pence/pennies short of being as interesting as Sophy, as forthright as Frederica, and as introspective as Annis. She had potential and showed it throughout the novel, but something wasn’t there to make her one of the better Heyer heroines.
I often find that I always love one out of the characters in main couple of Heyer’s novels more than the other. It’s not like that in Jane Austen, where I often find I like both the characters as much as the other. In Heyer’s case, I usually find one much more interesting and well developed than the other. There are exceptions to this such as A Civil Contract, but I found Freddy more interesting than Kitty in this novel.
Freddy admits to have no brains and not being as sauve as Jack, but he trumps all the men in the book of course. In the Heyer, where she gives her romantic male leads some deficiencies, but you clearly see how good and true men they are. Freddy seems to be this young man with not much going on and then when he does Kit this favour, you can see his good heart and his quick wit. I was indifferent to Freddy for most of the novel, but the way he acted in the last couple of scenes was lovely. He made the book for me as it sometimes happens with Heyer books.
Read on Kindle July 19-21st 2012. 42nd book of the year.