Frederica is my second Heyer read, the first one was Black Sheep which I reviewed here. I enjoyed Black Sheep so I was expecting a similar read, but surprisingly – I actually liked Frederica even more! Maybe it was because this novel was more funny in many aspects than Black Sheep was, so I was smiling more often.
Frederica Merriville is the oldest daughter in the Merriville family and used to raising her siblings and running the household. In this story, her sister Charis is about to have her first season. Frederica is determined that because Charis is so beautiful and unaffected, she should come out in London, so she appeals to the Marquis of Alverstoke, a distant relation. Alverstoke is used to people asking him for things and saying no, but on a whim decides to pretend he was charged my Frederica's dead father to be a guardian to her younger siblings. Alverstoke believes with little work on his part, he'll have some fun, irritate his sisters and go back to his life. What ends up happening is that he gets sucked into the crazy Merriville family antics, and surprisingly finds himself caring for them, especially Frederica, except for the very first time, he's dealing with a woman who is more concerned about her family than his attentions.
This book seemed to be an easier read for me than Black Sheep, but I think it's because reading the first book made me more experienced with Heyer's regency slang, so this time it didn't take me as long to understand what someone was saying! The only confusion I had was sometimes forgetting who was related to who how, but I discovered this useful family tree online (now that I finished the book of course it's useless to me, but may be useful to someone else).
So there were a few funny moments in this book, and I think I'm with many people when I say I enjoyed the scene(s) with the dog (Baluchistan Hound!), and most scenes where Alverstoke finds himself being manipulated by Frederica's younger two brothers. I can understand why this is many people's favorite Heyer novel. Glad I picked this one!