Melissa McShane's Reviews > Cousin Kate

Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer
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Mar 15, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, suspense, gothic, protag-female
Read in May, 2016

I have the weirdest relationship with this book. The first time I read it, I *hated* it. To the extent of giving it away. I thought Kate was a doormat and Torquil was awful. This time, I have no idea what I was thinking, because Kate is bright and sensible and clever and altogether interesting. (Torquil is still awful, but in a Gothic way.) I still don't love it, but I'm amending my rating to match my new opinion.

Cousin Kate represents a departure from Heyer's usual historical romances and historical, um, historicals. It's got all the trappings of a Gothic novel, complete with heroine trapped in an old manor and a charming madman. But it's not quite there. The old manor isn't on some wind-blasted heath and it's not haunted; it's actually quite lovely, thanks to the efforts of Lady Broome, Kate's aunt. (view spoiler) And Philip, the love interest, isn't dark and brooding, but sort of ordinary while still being a romantic hero. All this will either work for you, or it won't, and I think enjoyment of the book may hinge on what exactly you're looking for in it.

A note on mental illness: (view spoiler)

I'm never going to love this book, because the ending is so weak: (view spoiler) But it's far more enjoyable than I remembered, and I'll have to reconsider my policy of not owning it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Katie Oh no, you're going to make me re-read this. :)

I can't remember why I hated it--I might've just thought it was boring--but I did.


Melissa McShane Katie wrote: "Oh no, you're going to make me re-read this. :)

I can't remember why I hated it--I might've just thought it was boring--but I did."


I could see thinking it was boring. Except that Torquil keeps everything really tense. I kept waiting for him to snap--and then he did, but we don't get to see it.


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