Everything about Lady Sophy is grand. Her figure, her laugh, her pets, her ideas…and her skillful machinations with other people’s love lives. She is Emma, if Emma had been raised by a flighty international diplomat of a father, travelling throughout the world.
Sophy arrives in London after living abroad to be placed in her Aunt’s home at the request of her father who is off to South America. Although her father pitches to his sister a quiet, unassuming slip of a girl the reality is Sophy is a tall, vivacious woman with very continental opinions and manners.
This immediately rubs her cousin, the self-proclaimed head of household, the wrong way.
This is a funny book, full of all the madcap slings and arrows Heyer loves to outrageously fortune her characters with. The scenes and plot go at a clipped pace full with humor, drama and a realistic villian in the shape of future sister/daughter/cousin-in law. There is a daffy fop who styles himself as the next Lord Byron, a father who has more money than sense, and a splendid perch phaeton that creates a stir.
I don’t know how the planets have aligned to make this possible, but yes, its another cousin love story. No matter how I tried to convince myself otherwise, the heroine falls in love with her first cousin. And no matter how I try to rationalize that in the Regency era this would have been quite uncommon, it still ruined an otherwise A+ book for me. So, if that gives you the heebie jeebies, you might reconsider reading it.