Review: Cotillion by Georgette Heyer

Review: Cotillion by Georgette HeyerCotillion by Georgette Heyer
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on October 1, 2007
Genres: Historical Fiction, Regency, Romance
Pages: 355
Format: eBook
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five-stars

Almost an heiress
Country-bred, spirited Kitty Charings is on the brink of inheriting a fortune from her eccentric guardian -- provided that she marries one of his grand-nephews. Kitty has spent her secluded life pining for the handsome, rakish Jack, who is well aware of her attachment.

A plan of her own
But when Jack fails to respond to his great-uncle's ultimatum, Kitty hatches a strategy of her own -- a counterfeit betrothal to mild-mannered Freddy Standen (who neither needs nor wants the money).

A most unlikely hero
And when Kitty's generous heart leads to all sorts of unintended troubles, there is only one man who can rescue her from more than one dreadful fix, pick up the pieces of her plotting and in the process her heart...

After a multi-year hiatus from reading (transitioning from school to the working world was a big change, plus, ya know, dumb life stuff), I’ve decided I want to get back into it. I signed up for a Kindle Unlimited membership to see if I like it (so far, very much!). Not knowing what I wanted to read, I started picking through books I’d read before and looking at the author’s other works.

I’ve read a book by Georgette Heyer before that I liked well enough, so when I read the description for Cotillion it sounded like a fun, low-stress read. I wasn’t disappointed – how stressful could a book with that description possibly be?

Cotillion opens up at Great-Uncle Matthew’s home, where he has summoned his five grand-nephews to hear the inheritance terms of his estate. He has no children of his own, but adopted Kitty Charings after her parents’ early demise and has determined the rules of inheritance: his estate will not be divided, and one of his grand-nephews must marry Kitty in order for the pair to inherit the entire estate, or none of them will inherit. He’s hoping that his favorite nephew Jack will be persuaded to offer for Kitty, who has had a not-so-secret crush on him since childhood.

Unfortunately for Kitty, Jack doesn’t like being ordered around, and declines to appear for the summons. Faced with the prospect of marrying the somber rector Hugh or simple-minded Lord Dolphinton, she impulsively proposes a sham betrothal to mild-mannered dandy Freddy instead. She’s always wanted to escape the dull estate where Uncle Matthew insists on pinching pennies as much as possible, and have a delightful romp in London.

‘I do not want neatness and propriety!’ interrupted Kitty, her cheeks flushed, and her eyes sparkling. ‘I want elegant dresses, and I want to have my hair cut in the first style of fashion, and I want to go to assemblies, and rout-parties, and to the theatre, and to the Opera, and not – not! – to be a poor little squab of a dowdy!’

While I had read a book of Georgette Heyer’s several years ago, it wasn’t really anything too impressive to me at the time; I really started reading Cotillion because some of the quotes on Goodreads said it was a really lighthearted book. Work has been really stressful for me lately, so what could be a better antidote than a Regency romance novel?

Absolutely nothing, it turns out! Silly and fun, Kitty browbeats Freddy into whisking her off to London where she gets mixed up in all sorts of affairs. Instead of the (expected) endless parties of the ton, Kitty instead takes us (and Freddy) on a tour of London courtesy of a guidebook, and attends a shockingly vulgar masquerade the ton would certainly not approve of.

Although Cotillion may be considered fluff, it’s very well-composed fluff. It features a wonderful cast of characters, from Lord Dolphinton’s harpy mother, to somber Hugh, eccentric Uncle Matthew and poetry-addled Fish; the story also has an undertone of somberness as both Kitty and her new friend Olivia are both entirely dependent on men’s fortunes to lead a comfortable life.

Overall, Cotillion is a wonderfully entertaining read and I highly recommend!

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Home for July 4

I took Friday 6/30 and Monday 7/3 off and had a five-day weekend for Independence Day! I’ve had a pretty busy year so far, so it was a really great break. Allen was planning to visit his dad this weekend, so I drove down to Miami to see my family (and of course, get the pups ??)

It was definitely a really nice change to spend several full days at home, instead of coming down late Friday night and having to leave midday Sunday. And I got to see Ray again – I hadn’t seen her since Christmas! 

I (not very surprisingly…) overslept on Friday morning, so I left Tampa late and didn’t get a chance to eat lunch with my cousins. Ray and I went to another cousin’s and her boyfriend’s house for dinner that night, and met up with (yet more) cousins. I have a ridiculous amount of family. Sometimes irksome (how do you see so many people in short visits?!) but sometimes AWESOME (uh, any family get-together is rad). Mostly awesome. 

On Saturday, my parents, Ray, and I went to Sawgrass. Just to get out of the house, really. I ended up spending a boatload of money on a new suit and work pants from the theory outlet. Definitely necessary, but my wallet is hurting. Buying pants – work pants especially – has always been a huge challenge, as I have very muscular calves for my body, so everything fits oddly. And these are really nice ones, and I’ll actually wear them, so it’s worth it. Still painful though. 

I woke up on Sunday with what I call “the Sunday feeling” – kind of sad because the weekend is almost over. But it was great, because I wasn’t leaving until Tuesday! (A Sunday fakeout?) The fam was originally going to go to dim sum, but plans fell through. Although I do love dim sum, I always get SO tired afterward. 

We ended up hanging around the house most of the day, which is pretty much my favorite thing to do. Had dinner at Auntie Maggie’s house where I saw (even more) family, and then went to Miami landmark Swensen’s for late night ice cream with my mom’s side of the fam. 

Most of Monday was spent catching up with my cousin Sam. I know I keep harping on this, but it’s so hard to see everybody when I’m only in town for one full day! So it was really nice to be able to do that. 

Tuesday morning was a Jamaican brunch with my mom’s side of the family. I’m not too fond of Jamaican breakfast – blasphemy, I know! But I saw my mom’s fam again and ate breadfruit, so it was a great morning. 

Wik and Cass and I spent most of Tuesday in the car back up to Tampa. The two pups spent most of the drive sleeping, lucky ducks!

Random thoughts before I call it a night:

  • I started an Instagram for the pups! Follow their adventures (okay, mostly naps) at @wikncass
  • I went to NYC to visit my friend Yue for Memorial Day weekend. This is actually supposed to be a post. It’s coming.. hopefully before Christmas… I’m improving with my post frequency though, sort of. So I’ve got that going for me?
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Sunshine & Chill

It’s March, aka almost summer if you live in Florida (even though it dropped to 40 degrees this week…). I love maxis, especially ones with fun back details – they’re so comfortable yet put together. And I’m totally feeling all of the cute sun hats that seem to be popping up! I’ve never been a hat person (like, ever – only when it’s cold), but I will probably try to get myself one of these.

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Late night musings

Someone once told me that I had a tendency to run away from my problems. 

I mean, I guess it’s true. My head can be a dangerous place to linger, which I have a tendency to do. I can get so wrapped up in the rabbit holes of questions that it’s sometimes better to distract myself with something entirely new. 

The possibility of a Very Big Change is on the horizon, and some big decisions are coming soon. (I’m not trying to be all spooky and mysterious with the vagueness, I just need to think but I don’t want to name specifics until the decision is actually made.) I’m excited but terrified. 

I need a distraction. Allen and I have broken up, and it hurts. I’m walking and dressed (sometimes even like a presentable human being) and talking and working, but it’s more than a little difficult when it feels like I’ll never really be whole again. I try to remind myself that this will pass, and I’ll look back on it someday as good times spent with a good person. But I miss my best friend a hell of a lot right now. 

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Currently Grateful For

  • Nice clients (extra thankful for the ones who send dog pictures)
  • Chocolate covered strawberries aka Random Acts of Treat Yo Self 
  • Beautiful weather
  • Friends who are not only willing to listen to me rant, but also volunteer to help me paint and install flooring (you guys rock)
  • Parents and little sisters who are willing to do same. How did I get so lucky?
  • Long walks with cute pups 

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2017

Happy new year!

I figured I’d start this year off by defining some goals I’d like to work toward.

Fitness

Okay, I guess this immediately transforms this post into the cliche #newyearnewme. But I started following my boyfriend to the gym in November-ish, and I’ve been really enjoying it so far. As I am quite possibly the least athletic and laziest person alive, this is a huge achievement for me, and I’m super proud! (Even though I took two weeks off during the holidays. Oops.)

Whenever I tried going to the gym previously, it was at night, after work or school. It sounds super simple, but Allen and I have been going in the morning before work, and that makes a world of a difference. I definitely feel more energized and ready for the day! It also helps a lot that I have a gym partner who is always encouraging but understands if I need an occasional day off. It makes going so much easier and it’s a lot more fun than going solo.

This year, I’d really like to incorporate regular yoga sessions on top of the morning workouts. I’ve lost a considerable amount of flexibility from when I was a cheerleader a long, long time ago in high school, and I think it would be good to regain that.

Writing

This is something I’ve failed at focusing on for years. I’ve kept diaries since I was nine, but I’d really like to be more diligent at writing both in my diary and blogging.

Of course, I always say that I am going to focus on writing/blogging more, and I never follow through after the first post. I don’t want to look back in 2018 and find myself posting the same thing again!

Cooking

I love to eat, and I love to cook – definitely a child of my mom’s side of the family! I’d like to try new recipes this year and maybe even make and share a couple of my own here.

Mental Health

This is a big one for me. I’ve always been prone to moodiness, but I think I have been struggling with full-blown, undiagnosed depression for the past few years.

Since I graduated college a few years ago, I’ve undergone some pretty big life changes, and have had some trouble coping. To be honest, I didn’t really recognize the depression when it reared its ugly head again until my doctor pointed it out. I was incredibly tired for months no matter how much sleep I had, and was having real trouble focusing on work or wanting to leave the couch on the weekends. I was essentially a zombie.

I started an antidepressant a few months ago and it has been a real help. Before, I’d been feeling so empty that I could barely even think. It’s not a cure-all, but I can get out of bed every morning without feeling so blank and lifeless that I consider it a real win. I could barely find the motivation to dress myself, and here I am writing a post on things I’d like to focus on this year.

So, I’d like to work on my mental health. Maybe not necessarily try to come off my medication, but to better understand my mental state and how to keep myself in a good place.

2017 is going to be another good year! I can feel it.

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