|Cotillion by Georgette Heyer: Full of Awesome
||[Nov. 27th, 2010|09:13 pm]
ah_chan recommended the regency romance novelist Georgette Heyer's novels in a comment to one of my Jane Austen posts, so I requested a bunch of books from the library (they don't have all of them by far, sadly). I picked several up this week, and I read Cotillion last night. Oh my. It is awesome. So, so awesome. Funny and sweet, and so satisfying!
The book is about an orphan who's guardian is a grumpy, miserly, but very rich old man. He will leave her everything if she marries one of his grand-nephews. Unfortunately, the guy she wouldn't mind marrying (and the guy the old man would like her to marry) doesn't show up to ask her. She comes up with the great idea of having a pretend engagement with the only (?) nice grand-nephew so that a) she has some reason to go to London and catch the guy she does want and b) make him jealous. Naturally, things don't work out the way she'd "planned" (if you could call her ideas plans). Oh...I can't say much more without spoiling things, but I love the way the story goes! It's mostly silly, but with serious undercurrents that bubble up at times.
The dialogue threw me for a loop, especially Freddy with his slang and bizarre sentences. Some things cleared up when I stumbled across a little Regency Glossary.
I have two more Heyer books from the library, These Old Shades and Friday's Child, and I hope I like them even half as much as Cotillion.
OMG HOW ADORABLE IS FREDDY. At first I was like ???, but then I liked him when he got the horrified look on his face when Kitty tells him why he'd been summoned. And the second horrified look on his face when Kitty proposes to the fake engagement. As it went on, I came to like him more and more, and I had to flip to the end and see who Kitty ended up with because I didn't want to become even more attached to Freddy only to find Kitty with Jack at the end. I'm sooo glad Freddy got the girl. I love that he knows full well that he's not that bright, but tries to think up plans when forced to...and does! And how he knows his propriety but tries to make things work in spite of his innate conservativeness. And how he has awesome taste and is such a dandy. And how his sister totally doesn't have the taste he shares with their mother.
Though I haven't read much in the way of het romance novels in general, let alone Regency romances, I've read so much BL that I figured Jack was totally THE HERO type pretty quickly. What is up with hero types who are actually total bastards? In any case, I'm sick and tired of bastard type heroes so it made me happy that the truly nice guy ended up the true hero.
Kitty did not make go OMG LOVE nearly as much as Freddy, but I think she's more of a conventional heroine? I liked that she was a good girl but definitely had spunk. And I loved how as she learned more about the world she came to understand what was right with her. And that Freddy is awesome. XD;
As for the other characters...I was SO happy Freddy punched Jack. Jack totally deserved it for being such a self-serving shit. Olivia and Camille rather annoyed me. I felt sorry for Olivia's situation, but the way the two mooned over each other (uselessly) got to me after a while. In contrast, I liked Dolph and Hannah. Dolph himself could be a bit tiresome, but as he's dim-witted and has an awful mother it's hard to blame him. I liked how Hannah is so sensible and calculating but so patient and nice to Dolph. Freddy's family seem really nice. I love how Freddy's father is a smart, sardonic type, but not an ass who is mean to people who aren't quite as smart as him. Even Meg. She's silly and has no taste, but in the end she's just nice. Kitty will probably be really happy marrying into that family.
Last but not least, Freddy's unique way of confessing his love to Kitty just made me laugh and squee at the same time. "What I mean is, like you to have everything you want. Wish it was me, and not Jack, that's all." So sweet, if so oddly phrased!