Source: publisher via NetGalley. Thank you Avon for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: historical romance.
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 neighbors 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… Or not.
There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and 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 humor…
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…
Julia Quinn is one of my all-time favourite romance authors. Her books are what I consider perfect historical romance – funny and romantic with a touch of real feelings thrown in. And Because of Miss Bridgerton, the first book in the new series that is a prequel to her famous Bridgertons, is a wonderful example of her best writing. I didn’t love all her books equally (The Sum of All Kisses, for example, and The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy didn’t really make me gush) but this one is great. So if you’re new to Quinn’s writing, this is also a good starting point – especially if you find the very long Bridgertons series overwhelming (you don’t need to read it before starting Miss Bridgerton).
Sybilla – Billie – Bridgerton is very happy living at her family’s estate in Kent, where she has all but taken over the management of the entire holding. She takes care of the crops, knows all the tenants, but also knows that her younger brother will eventually inherit and take over her current duties. She never had a season in London – and she didn’t want it. She doesn’t apologise for wearing breeches and riding astride, but her mother keeps wishing she’d be a perfect lady.
Then she gets stranded on a roof with a twisted ankle because she wanted to save a cat – and is saved by George Rokesby, the heir of the neighbouring estate. Billie has known George all her life, but they always got on each other’s nerves – he was just old enough to be excluded from the merry band to which Billie and George’s younger siblings belonged. He was also the heir, so he couldn’t traipse around the country with them – even if he might have wished to join them sometimes.
One of his brothers, Edward, joined the military, while Andrew joined the navy – and George has been feeling sort of useless and left behind because he was not allowed to go (given he was the heir). Now Edward is missing and his world turns upside-down, and Billie is there to catch him when he falls.
I really liked their coming together, their slow realization that the other might just be the person they didn’t know was perfect for them. They are both fiercely loyal to their families – and to each other, somehow. I always like stories where the couple have previously known each other, it makes for a more believable love (not just infatuation or lust, though there’s plenty of those to go around, too). I also liked the rural setting – though a part of the story does take place in London. It’s a nice change from all the parties!
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series! The Rokesby siblings sound like an amazingly cool bunch of people and their love stories will sure to be romantic.
Have you read Because of Miss Bridgerton? What did you think?
What about Julia Quinn’s other novels? Which one is your favourite?
I’d love to hear from you! :)