In spite of my lackluster review, I remain a big fan of Georgette Heyer's novels. I always recommend them to Jane Austen fans looking for something similar, as they are quite a cut above the standard regency romance. Frederica, unfortunately, was simply not my favorite.
Frederica is a slightly older young lady (24 years of age) who considers herself to be on the shelf. She assumed the responsibility of her younger brothers and sister at a young age, and now she desires to bring her beautiful younger sister, Charis, out into london society. As they have no great fortune, they appeal to a distant relation (Lord Alverstoke) to help to find them a sponser.
It is apparent from the start that Alverstoke and Frederica will end up together. That's not a bad thing. What is bad is the nearly 600 pages of plot that come before they get together (on the last page). We are treated to the usual zany characters - an adorable urchin, a large playful dog, an eccentric older aunt - but the book seems mostly made of their stores.
I found Frederica frustrating - why would she be so determined to never marry? I didn't really buy that she would wish to care for her brothers, as they would be gone in a few short years. I was not even convinced that she loved Alverstroke at the end, for while we were inside his head, seeing his slow realization, from Frederica we got nothing similar. She never declares her love, and instead we are left wondering why she agreed to marry.
There was an entire subplot with a hot air balloon that I found tedious and could have been cut. This is not the book I would recommend to someone new to Heyer - go read "The Grand Sophy" instead, as it is a complete delight. Since I generally love her novels, this is a rare ho-hum example.