You realllly need to sell the plus side of a crabby-Darcy character type, or my reaction to any reasonably nice woman ending up with him is gonna be “Ehhhh … I don’t get it.”
I enjoyed A Christmas Party earlier this year, the first time I’d read one of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries, and the jacket quotes on The Grand Sophy persuaded me that this would be a fun comical romance. And the setup is indeed fun — Sophy, raised from a young age by her diplomat father in a variety of foreign settings, is sent to stay with her cousins and have a London season. Thanks to her upbringing, she doesn’t understand many of the subtleties of London manners, and she’s used to being in charge of her household. She assumes that she can do things like give a pet monkey to her school-aged cousins, or buy herself a phaeton and horses, without asking permission. Her cousin, Charles Rivenhall, is himself used to being in charge and tries to contain Sophy’s chaos.
So far so good, and a lot of the farcical elements of this work. The central romance, though, is not very compelling. Charles is just kinda a spoilsport who gets mad a lot, and after a while he realizes that Sophy’s okay (main revelation here happens as she’s caring for his sick sister, which, fine, but that’s something a nice person does not anything super specific to Sophy), then I guess they’re in love, happily ever after delivered. However I completely missed why Sophy would like him. He literally physically shakes her as he’s proposing. Different times and all that but no thank you.