My Crazy Cousin Courtney Comes Back by Judi Miller, 1994.
The title is a little deceptive because Courtney hasn’t come back to New York to visit Cathy. This time, Cathy has flown to Beverly Hills to spend Christmas with Courtney. Courtney’s parents are now divorced, and Courtney’s adjusting to it, but she’s still as wild and unpredictable as she ever was.
Almost as soon as Cathy arrives, Courtney wakes her in the middle of the night to tell her that she needs her help to rescue an old man who’s being held against his will and maybe bring him cans of soup and sauerkraut. Courtney’s heart is always in the right place, but as usual, she has the wrong idea. In the best Courtney tradition, things work out amazingly well in the end.
In between spotting movie stars and getting into trouble, the girls manage to find time to get their nails done and visit with their friend Frank, who they met last summer in New York. Cathy had fallen in love with Frank until she realized that he was more interested in being Courtney’s boyfriend. Seeing him again over Christmas has brought back Cathy’s awkward feelings. She still likes Frank, but the last thing she wants to do is to take a guy away from her lovable, if crazy, cousin. But, if there’s one thing that Courtney specializes in, it’s happy endings.
This book isn’t as introspective as the first one in the series was, although Courtney and Cathy still help each other with their opposite personalities. Cathy’s common sense and restraint can’t stop Courtney in her wild escapades, but she does inspire Courtney to be more thoughtful. Courtney also helps Cathy to get out of shell, speak up for herself, have a little excitement, and see the possibilities that life has to offer.