(I seem to giving all the books I’ve read recently 4 stars…)
I have always loved Meg Cabot’s work and I’ve read all of it (apart from the Allie Finkle series – which I’m probably not going to read as it’s aimed towards tweens, so it’s a bit young). But, for some reason I’ve never read any of the novels she wrote under her pen name Patricia Cabot. I will not make that mistake again!
Educating Caroline is the first of Patricia Cabot’s novels that I’ve read and I loved it! For one thing, the heroine is the same age as me! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the heroine is 21 (although I probably have but I haven’t paid attention, not being 21 at the time). I know it’s sad but I got really excited when I discovered this.
Caroline Linford is quite shy (in appearance’s anyway, as everyone is quick to remind her) and she walks in on her fiance in a compromising position with another woman. Instead of announcing her presence or anything, she decides to keep quiet and, even though she realises her fiance is only with her for her money, she decides to make him fall madly in love with her by taking lessons from the notorious Lothario of London, Braden Granville. She would have called off the wedding altogether if she didn’t worry about her mother’s health. Also, her mother has told her that she can’t call it off so that’s something.
Meanwhile, Braden Granville is in the same situation. The woman that Caroline Linford’s fiance was with was none other than his fiancee. But he has known for quite some time that his fiancee has been cheating on him but didn’t have any solid proof of it, which is what he wants because he doesn’t want to give his fiancee the satisfaction of suing him if he calls off the wedding.
I liked Caroline’s character as, underneath her appearance’s, she’s quite bold and doesn’t really care what people think of her.
I also REALLY liked Braden’s character. Meg Cabot really knows how to describe a man. Whilst Caroline’s fiance is an annoying pretty boy, Braden Granville is a ruggedly handsome, manly man who knows the ways of the world, having worked his way up from the bottom. And, even though he is no longer living in the Dials (the poorer side of London in the Victorian era), he has stayed true to his friends and even still calls them by their childhood nicknames. I want my own Braden.
It must have sucked back then to have to worry about being sued for calling off your engagement even though your fiance(e) had cheated on you.
Also, as an aside, I really wanted Caroline’s brother, Tommy and her best friend, Emily to get together. They seemed really cute.