Source: "won" in return for filling out a survey for the publisher.
Book Description from Back Cover (heavily modified):
Kitty Charing stands to inherit a vast fortune from her irascible and eccentric adoptive father--provided she marries one of his great-nephews. She's smitten with handsome, rakish Jack, but he refuses to play his Uncle's games and doesn't show up to ask for her hand. None of the suitors who show up are desirable...until Freddy shows up without knowing what's going on. Freddy is immensely rich and not bad-looking, but he's mild-mannered and a bit hapless. He's fond of Kitty, but not interested in marriage.
Kitty forms a plan to put herself in the path of Jake and make him jealous by pressuring Freddy into a sham betrothal to her. She travels back to London with him to be introduced into society. Freddy is beside himself making sure she dresses in style and isn't ruined socially by her questionable new friendships. Kitty has her eyes opened about the true character of several of her cousins. In the end, will she make the right match?
Cotillion is a light-hearted historical romance set in England in 1816. The book was recommended to me as "charming" and "funny," but I didn't really find the story notably funny or charming until the second half of the book. By then, we knew the characters better, Kitty was fully entangled in several funny situations, and I did very much enjoy the story. Still, as a whole, I personally prefer Heyer's Frederica. In both books, I liked how the hero and heroine were better people because of the other's influence.
The characters were varied and engaging. A nice amount of day-to-day historical detail was woven into the story to give a sense of time and place. This did create a slightly slower pacing typical of historical novels. The characters used a lot of slang typical for the time period but which we don't use any more. I had no trouble figuring out what was meant from the context, but some people might find the slang confusing.
There was a minor amount of explicit bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
The saloon, like every other room in Arnside House, was large and lofty, and had been furnished, possibly some twenty years earlier, in what had then been the first style of elegance. This, however, had become outmoded, and although the room bore no such signs of penury as a ragged carpet or patched curtains, the bright brocades had faded, the paint on the panelled walls had cracked, and the gilded picture-frames had long since become tarnished. To a casual visitor it might have seemed that Mr Penicuik, who owned the house, had fallen upon evil days; but two of the three gentlemen assembled in the Saloon at half-past six on a wintry evening of late February were in no danger of falling into this error.
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