Title: Because of Miss Bridgerton
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys #1
Genre: Georgian Romance
Available: March 29th
There were Bridgertons before the eight alphabetically named siblings. In this first of a new prequel series, we go back to where it all began. . . from New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn.
Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places…
This is not one of those times.
Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbours for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband . . . someday.
Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should . . .
There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest heir to the earldom, but he’s arrogant, annoying and she’s absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can’t stand the sight of him, either.
But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humour . . .
Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can’t abide is the one person they can’t live without . . .
Source: ARC from Piatkus Books via NetGalley
Like many historical romance readers, I adore the Bridgerton books. They are (mostly) light and fluffy and fun, packed with wonderful characters and filled with the kind of family everybody thinks they want, but would probably end up killing if they actually had them. And that’s precisely what this book delivers. It’s fun and easy and thoroughly enjoyable, and despite really being a Rokesby book (Billie isn’t the only Bridgerton in the book, but her parents don’t really make an impression – although little sister Georgiana has plenty of promise) there’s still enough of the old magic to make this feel like coming home.
Also: Pall Mall. Including the origins of the Mallet of Death. Enough said.
I’m actually going to stop referring to the original series now, because this really has very little to do with it (except for a cameo Bevelstoke appearance). So if you’re new to JQ, don’t be frightened away. If you’ve never even heard of the Bridgertons before, you can still pick up this book and find plenty to enjoy without any prior knowledge of this family.
Billie is quite the character. She’s the oldest sibling and for years was the only sibling. Her father treated her like a boy and that’s what she acts like. Despite being twenty-three, she shows no signs of wanting to marry – she’s too busy running her father’s estate. And being good at it. She’s a bit of a control freak, she’s thoroughly independent and doesn’t take correction well. She’s also lots of fun and I really liked how she slowly came to appreciate all the good points of George she used to think were so stuffy.
As for George, well, he’s as straight-laced and conventional as Billie is different and original. He’s also the oldest, has a slight envy of his fighting brothers and has always felt a little left out of Billie’s exceedingly close friendship with his younger siblings. He’s the serious one, slightly stodgy with it, but he’s a good man who knows how to do his duty. Yes, he is a little dismissive of Billie at first, but then she’s not particularly kind to him either, but I loved how the pair of them changed opinions over the book without actually changing who they are.
Okay, if I’m honest, while I loved how easy and enjoyable this book was throughout, there is very little about it that suggests Georgian rather than Regency, and if it wasn’t for mentions of the brother fighting in North America, you could be forgiven for thinking this is set at exactly the same time as the rest of the Bridgerton books. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for detail lovers, this is definitely set in Regenciana Land. I also felt like some aspects of the plot were unexpectedly hijacked to give an excuse for a location change that did serve a purpose, but in a strangely convoluted way. It did, however, set things up nicely for the rest of the series.
If you’re looking for something fun and funny that will pick you up and bring sunshine into your day, then this book definitely does that. It’s witty and silly and the characters are interesting, while the romance is sweet and steady. I love the setting and the characters, enjoyed the romance and the family dynamics, and I cannot wait for the next one.
Because of Miss Bridgerton is out March 29th!
Visit Julia Quinn for more details.