"Frederica" by Georgette Heyer {Books}

Another extremely delightful book by the author and I would definitely love to point out that this seems to be the source of inspiration for Stephnie Laurens "A Gentleman's Honor".

Marquis of Alverstoke is a very rude and unsympathetic man of thirty seven and has not yet succumbed to the lures of any beautiful ladies put in his way. His sister, Louisa, wants him to get married because she hates his heir, Edymion, who is more of brawns than brains and can't or wouldn't accept him to be the head of the family. Now, Louisa has a daughter, Jane, to be brought out and she asks Alverstoke to hold the ball at his house for her (Jane's) honor which is ruthlessly rejected by the Marquis. Quite co-incidentally, the sister of his heir, Chloe, has also to be brought out at the same time so he receives Mrs. Dauntry, Edymnion's mother, and has the same request riled to him. He again turns down the proposal. Now, in the mean time, he is sustained by an unknown visitor who leaves him a card telling she is a remote cousin of his and would like to have a word with him if granted.

Quite overcome by his curiosity, he visits this remote cousin of his at her boardings and finds out a woman of twenty four and not very beautiful in front of him. This remote cousin, Frederica, explains to him that how they are related and tells him of her request. Frederica is an orphan and is the mistress of her family which consists of a younger sister and three younger brothers, one of whom is in Oxford and the other two are quite young. Charis, the younger sister, is about to come out and Frederica decides that she should be brought out in London for Charis is extremely pretty and would definitely make a good match. This request when meted out to the Marquis stuns him and he decides not to favor this remote relation. But, at that moment, Charis enters the house and the Marquis is bowled over by the prettiness of the image in front of him and agrees to invite them for the ball he is holding for his niece, Jane. This action of his was quote selfish as he wanted to spite his sister, Louisa. And, he goes to his sister to acquaint her of his change of mind. Then, he takes Frederica to meet his sister and Louisa is comfortable seeing a very not so pretty female in front of her and accepts to launch them into the society. The Marquis takes a good care that Charis shouldn't be presented to Louisa before the night of the ball in case she changes her mind.

And, since then, Marquis gets quite involved with the household intricacies of Frederica and her family. He escorts them to certain attractions of London, to the operas and Frederica is very grateful. He also lends his aid to her younger brothers Felix and Jessamy at various situations and the whole family is in awe and respects the Marquis. I must admit here that some of the very cute and adorable scenes in the tale take place between Felix and the Marquis. And, then, slowly, the Marquis finds himself in love with Frederica without quite knowing it and he is in double minds about it and can't quite bring himself to acknowledge his feelings. And, then, Felix meets an accident and the whole world of Frederica goes topsy turvy and she has only the Marquis to her support. And, gradually, as things become better the Marquis is definite of his feelings and means to propose Frederica as soon as Felix is better.

And, I would add that the final showdown of the novel is the last dialog between the Marquis and Felix again. He is adorable and would make you want to have a brother or kid like him. Definitely a must read for everyone whole loves to get transported to a different plane of humor and liveliness while reading books and if you are cast in glooms and dejections, this is just the right dose to pucker you up.

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