Originally published in August 2004, on my original 52 Books blog. Edited to remove spoilers.

Couldn't find the original cover
Author: Georgette Heyer
Year published: 1965
Genre: Romance, historical (Regency)
Where got: Public library

The cast:
Him: Vernon, Marquis of Alverstoke, 37.
Her: Miss Frederica Merriville, 24.
Others: Her siblings: Charis, Harry, Jessamy, Felix; Lufra the dog; Alverstoke’s secretary, Mr. Trevor; Alverstoke’s 3 sisters; Alverstoke’s heir, Mr Endymion Dauntry & his mother and sister.

The story:
The Marquis of Alverstoke is known for his perfect dress sense, impeccable manners and self-centered lifetyle. It is therefore as much a surprise to him as to everyone else when he decides to answer a request for assistance from Frederica, the daughter of a man distantly related to him by marriage, to whom he is by no means beholden. Frederica’s sister, the exquisitely beautiful, airheaded Charis, needs to be launched into society and as Frederica knows no-one capable of this, she writes to the Marquis for assistance.

The Marquis decides to help, mostly in order to piss off his sister, who constantly tries to sponge off him, and whose less-than beautiful daughter will pale in comparison with Charis. But as he becomes better acquainted with the Merriville family he begins to feel some regard for them, especially the two youngest, Jessamy and Felix, and for Frederica, who is the eldest and responsible for the family.

Technique and plot:
Written in Heyer’s easy, witty style, this is a very funny and delightful story. The dialogue is great and the characters well-rounded (for the most part) and mostly likeable, even the ones not liked by other characters, like Lord Buxted. There are no villains in the story, it’s simply about circumstances that bring together two couples.

Another delightful stoy from the queen of the Regency novel. 4+ stars.


Anne Bennett said…
I just ordered this book and I am looking forward to reading my first Heyer novel. I hope I like it.
Bibliophile said…
You have chosen well, Anne. Frederica is an excellent Heyer starter novel.

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