QNPoohBear's Reviews > Courtship and Curses

Courtship and Curses by Marissa Doyle
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Lady Sophie Rosier is not looking forward to her comeout this year 1815. She had always dreamed of being guided through her Season with her beloved Mama, but a recent illness took Sophie's Mama and little sister and left Sophie lame. Now Sophie is all alone. Papa has been too absorbed in his work at the War Office now that Napoleon is back on the throne and her Aunt Molly is only interested in plants. Aunt Isabel isn't much of a comfort either, being sour and strict. Sophie soon discovers that navigating the social waters of London are far more difficult when one is lame. Half the ton think Sophie is a hunchbacked half-wit and the other half pity her. The only one Sophie can really be herself with is Madame Amelie Carswell, the widow of Papa's old friend, recently arrived from India. Then Lord Woodbridge and his exuberant cousin Parthenope crash into Sophie's life (almost literally). Sophie adores the brash, crazy Parthenope right away but what about her handsome cousin? He seems to want to be Sophie's friend (or more...) but could it be only that he pities her or wants to protect her? How can Sophie know if he's sincere? As if romantic problems weren't enough, Sophie soon realizes that a number of dangerous accidents were no accidents at all - they were targeted assassination attempts on members of the War Office. Sophie is certain because ... each accident bears traces of magic. Only Sophie can detect the magic and that's all she can do because her illness not only took her beloved relatives, it took her magic as well. With help from Parthenope (and just maybe Peregrine, Lord Woodbridge) Sophie sets out to get her magic back and find the traitor before it's too late.

This book is a light, frothy fun Regency set romantic comedy with danger and magic thrown in. I liked Sophie and could empathize with her and some of her feelings. She's a tough girl and a bit difficult to get to know and really like because she's wary. She may not appeal to every reader. I enjoyed her growth and watching her become a woman. The lively Parthenope is great fun. She's outrageous and outspoken and has a pet parakeet that made me laugh out loud in a lot of places. She's wild and impetuous at times but a true and loyal friend. Readers of Bewitching Season will enjoy getting to know the twins' Mama when she was their age. James Leland also makes a cameo! My favorite character is Aunt Molly, the absentminded horticulturalist. She also provides a lot of comic relief and is a refreshing foil for Aunt Isabel, the typical Regency aunt. The plot is excellent. It wasn't too difficult to figure out who the villain was but the reader will have to pay attention to the clues because all of the story is from Sophie's point-of-view and none of it from the villain. That made it a bit more difficult to figure out. The choice of villain was rather cliched and I was sad to discover who it was. Even though I guessed the identity of the villain, I still couldn't put the novel down until I saw the plot through to the end. There's also a sweet romance plot woven throughout the story. Woodbridge is a wonderful hero. He's not too two-dimensional. He makes a lot of mistakes, he's proud and always arguing with his cousin. The descriptions of the setting and clothing worn are incredible! Marissa Doyle has done a lot of research and it shows. Even if I wasn't familiar with Regency London I would easily be able to picture everything, right down to Sophie's beautiful gowns. Those who loved Bewitching Season will love this one as well (or vice versa). Another fabulous novel from Marissa Doyle!

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 12, 2012 – Finished Reading
August 2, 2013 – Shelved
August 2, 2013 – Shelved as: regency-romance
November 13, 2013 – Shelved as: clean-romance
November 13, 2013 – Shelved as: young-adult-fantasy
November 13, 2013 – Shelved as: young-adult-historical-fiction
February 6, 2014 – Shelved as: kisses-only

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