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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

**** Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer. Gothic.

Well. This surprised me. I was expecting a Regency romance, which is what Heyer is famous for, and instead, I got a gothic. I lurrrrve gothics.

The "Cousin Kate" of the title is an orphaned, penniless young woman who's been invited to live with her aunt after losing her position as a governess. Her old nurse, to whom she'd turned, contacted the aunt Kate had never met, and at first, all seemed fine.

The aunt was kind and solicitous, and her cousin Torquil a handsome but moody young man, but the expected introductions to London society never materialized with their hope of contracting a marriage for Kate, and instead they lived quietly in the country, with the poor health of her aunt's husband, Sir Timothy, as an excuse.

With the arrival of Sir Timothy's nephew Phillip, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems, and Kate is thrust into the middle of a mystery, not knowing whom to trust.

I've been wavering between 4 and 5 stars for this book. On the one hand, I have no complaints about it whatsoever. I love the gothic style, and this was a pretty much flawless example of a gothic romance. On the other hand, it's a flawless example of a gothic romance--that is, there was nothing to distinguish it from other gothic romances, nothing that made me say "oh, my god, this is such a good book." Realizing that my ratings have been becoming inflated of late, I'm sticking with the 4 stars. Which I've always intended to mean "a book I really enjoy, but that doesn't make me want to do a little dance."


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