Kitty Charing can inherit a fortune from her irascible great-uncle Matthew when she marries one of her cousins. Kitty is not wholly averse, if the right nephew proposes. Unfortunately, Kitty has set her heart on Jack Westruther, a confirmed rake.
To make him jealous and to see a little more of the world, Kitty convinces cousin Freddy Standen to pose as her fiance. In London with his family, she hopes to render the elusive Jack madly jealous.
New friends embroil her in their romantic troubles, sprinkling witty banter with Parisian phrases. Her French cousin, Camille, a professional gambler, has won the heart of Olivia, in turn the object of Jack's dishonorable intentions. Doltish cousin Lord Dolphinton has fallen for a merchant's daughter in conflict with his mother. Kitty herself wonders who is really right for her.
This is a re-read and, to be honest, I’m not sure how many times I’ve read it. Let’s just say its probably close to five times. However, this is the first time I’m writing up review thoughts on it. I fell in love with the author’s books and Cotillion is one of the reasons.
It has many facets to it and a host of colorful characters and situations. It’s cute, sweet, clever, and even a little suspenseful. It is also very much a coming into their own themed piece for both Kitty and Freddy.
Freddy is the poster boy for beta heroes. He balks at schemes, adventures, and dust-ups, but when the chips are down, it is Freddy that everyone in this story wants in their corner.
The beginning offers a great catalyst for all that comes after and a hilarious way to introduce the players in this story. The guardian who tells his eligible great-nephews that he’s leaving his money to the one who weds his ward, Kitty. Kitty has a crush on dashing Jack and has no intention of wedding the rest of the cousins, but then she gets a notion to do a pretend engagement with Freddy to further a secret scheme and get a taste of London society before she has to return to her eccentric guardian’s out of the way home.
From there, the pretend engagement sets the fox among the chickens as does Kitty’s tendency to attract people in trouble and promise them her help. She can be rather thoughtless particularly when it comes to how her scheming will affect others and she doesn’t look to the long-term, but she means well. Freddy… well he has to be coaxed into things because unlike Kitty, he does see long-term effect and how things affect others quite well. They make a fun team.
I only have on real niggle in that I felt the book ended abruptly. I would have liked one finally circuit to see how the resolution affected all the rest of the players for the future.
But, even this many reads later, I still laughed and was amused by this delightful and sparkling story.
Romance Roundabout #165
Mt. TBR #79
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