False Colours by Georgette Heyer
First Read : 317/317
Oh, good, it is the last Georgette Heyer book that I own and have not read. TIME TO GET MORE. In false colors, a rich mom whom everyone finds totally charming for some reason I do not understand is wildly in debt because she doesn’t know how not to buy literally everything she thinks of. She has twin sons, as depicted on the cover. The older, flakier son, Evelyn, is going to help her out of debt by marrying a sensible girl called Cressy, which sensible action will hopefully cause the guardian of Evelyn’s trust fund to release his money to him early. ALL WILL BE SAVED!
Unfortunately Evelyn falls off a high-perch phaeton, unknown to all, and vanishes for weeks. To save the situation this stupid mother that everyone happily accepts can never learn not to spend hundreds of pounds at once that she doesn’t have suggests that EVELYN’S BROTHER, RETURNING BY SURPRISE FROM MILITARY SERVICE IN A SUITABLY EXOTIC PLACE, pretend to be Evelyn and meet Cressy’s family.
He’s not the flighty scum most of his family seem to be, so he feels deeply uncomfortable the whole time he is doing this, and it goes on for DAYS AND DAYS, and obviously Cressy and he fall in the true version of love instead of the convenient marriage kind of tolerance, and she works it out before he confesses and it works out fine. But Evelyn shows up at last, like, I ALMOST DIED I LOVE A POORER GIRL HER FATHER DOES NOT WANT ME TO EVEN DISCUSS MARRIAGE OUR UNCLE WILL NEVER ALLOW IT I LOVE HER I BROKE MY SHOULDER ON THAT PHAETON AND SUFFERED A CONCUSSION THIS GIRL IS AN ANGEL I CANNOT MARRY CRESSY. Well that’s good because you’re brother doesn’t want you to.
No one is ruined, fortunately! Useless mother fixes everything by marrying her long-time admirer, a very rich very fat (I mean this gets mentioned quite often, in conjunction with his deep appreciation for food) man who does love to admire her but is actually fairly distressed about marrying. What a good solution? There’s no word at the end on whether Evelyn gets to marry his poorer girl, but at least Cressy and Kit turn out okay. NICE FOR THEM.