The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer
This is another of the books that I read of in the community whatwasthatbook and decided to try out. Some of my previous attempts at that didn't go so well, as I've mentioned in my recent booklog catch-up post, but faint heart, fair ladies, yadda. (Hey wait, what would I want with a fair lady? ANYHOW...) There was also the added incentive that when I looked for it on Amazon, it was completely strewn with five-star reviews and praise, and the like. (Of course from Amazon this can come with a huge grain of salt, or shaker-full thereof, but at least it's a good sign.)
This book isn't really the sort of genre I usually read - more of a romance than, say, a fantasy or comedy or classic or whatever. But I figured I'd give it a whirl anyhow, and... well, I'm not hugely disappointed, anyhow.
The novel follows the romances (and other adventures) of Prudence and her brother Robin in (as best I can figure) the late 17th or early 18th century. Except that instead of appearing as Prudence and Robin they appear as Peter and Kate - with Prudence in the role of Peter, and Robin as Kate. There are various reasons for this, including the fact that they're somewhat under the long-distance guidance of their father, an old adventurer, rogue, and trickster. But whatever the cause, the result is... well, pretty much the usual sort of shenanigans when you have the whole gender-swap trope to deal with.
On the bright side, the time period and characters are at least somewhat interesting, and things (except of course the romantic bits) don't really always unfold just as you'd expect them to. There are adventures, and duels, and misunderstandings, yadda yadda.
On the downside, the romances *are* pretty much predictable, as is the whole gender-swap issue (although probably not so much back when this book was originally written, in 1928. On the down end of the downside is the language, which is so strewn with "Alacks" and "Prays" and "Ecods" and the like that I felt like opening a florist what with all the flowery words flying about.
But the book at least did keep me interested enough to keep reading it without having to pretty much put my nose to the grindstone, and it was some light fluff, which I was fairly much in the mood for, so in general I'd say it's probably more positive than negative. Not so much so, though, that I'd recommend everyone race out and buy a copy.