The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn – Review #Bridgerton

Well look at me becoming addicted to this Bridgerton book series, even though Anthony was not my favourite character…

1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London’s most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry. And in all truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better…

–Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1814

But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry–he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield–the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands–and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister–but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…

While watching the Bridgerton Netflix series I thought Anthony to be arrogant and hypocritical. I can’t say that his story did much to change my mind on that count, BUT the book certainly reveals other sides to him that are one hundred times more endearing. As the eldest son, he bears the blessing of his family’s title and wealth but also its weight and responsibility. As much as he’d love to pass on those restraints to a younger brother, he was brought up to be honourable and not shirk his birthright. Yet, despite that, he is also burdened by the seemingly incomprehensible fear that his is not meant to be a long life. He is therefore unwilling to forge a bond of love with anyone. To do so would make saying good-bye too hard. How he learns overcome (or at least cope with) that fear of the future and accepts the opportunity to love, is what marks his transformation in this story.

I suppose in many ways, then, my opinion of him is much like Kate’s. I didn’t put much stock in him being a gentleman worthy of the affections of a good woman. Kate makes that opinion abundantly clear in her interactions with him. I love her quick wit, her loyalty to her family, her courage in the face of adversity and her determination to go up against Anthony if it means saving her sister. She’s a fabulous picture of a heroine. This is then further pitted against her seemingly irrational fear of storms. It is this paralysing fear, so similar to Anthony’s fatalistic certainty he is to die young, that draws them even closer.

Familial relationships are a key point of this series, and it continues through this story. We see it once again with the Bridgerton family. The scenes of them playing Pall Mall, both in the main story and in the second epilogue, have got to rank right up there with my favourite scenes from romance books, ever. It is utterly hilarious, the antics the characters get up to and the snappy, snarky dialogue is on point. Kate’s family is much smaller than Anthony’s but they can rival the Bridgerton clan with the ferocity of their love. Kate is devoted to her half-sister and stepmother and they, in turn, to her. (I really hope the Netflix version doesn’t change that aspect!) I loved how they cherish one another and truly want what’s best for their family. There is no petty bickering or jealousy; a fact that surprises and impresses Anthony.

Fear (and maybe even PTSD) is another key theme in this story. Both main characters have experienced loss of a loved one in their life. Both have been scarred by that loss. Neither understands just how deeply. Without giving it a name, the author cleverly explores how both characters confront and deal with the root causes of their anxiety.

Despite some rather overbearing antics on Anthony’s part, I did enjoy this second book in The Bridgertons series by Julia Quinn. I give The Viscount Who Loved Me 4/5 espresso shots and look forward to the third book, which I’ve heard may be the best!

6 thoughts on “The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn – Review #Bridgerton

Add yours

  1. I really didn’t like how Anthony was portrayed in the show. He’s already on the edge of likeable and they made him worse. I’ve loved that series forever!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. I’m not surprised to hear that. Kate is pretty good as a heroine but Anthony… he’s a bit too self-centred to be the kind of hero you really root for. I’ve heard great things about the third book though!

      Liked by 1 person

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