Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

Book Description:
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 to 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...

This is book 2 in the Bridgerton books and I really enjoyed it! I've been away on vacation and finished this on the plane to California, so my memory is a bit sketchy, since I read this 10 days ago.

Set in Regency Times, this is Anthony Bridgerton's story (older brother to Daphne Bridgerton from The Duke and I who has a few cameos in this book). Anthony believes it's high time he married and had an heir for he is convinced that he's going to die at a young age like his father. Now that Anthony is around 30 he goes looking for a bride and finds one, Edwina Sheffield. She's beautiful, young, untouched and the most popular girl of the season (and a secret bluestocking too). Her older sister, Kate, who is only 21, but virtually a spinster in society, takes an instant dislike to Anthony, who has had a scathing reputation as a rake (but really he's an honorable man). Anthony realizes to get to Kate's sister and her approval so that he can marry the younger sister.

Lots of mayhem ensues, a funny croquet game, a bee sting and a rolicking dog chase and dunking in the Serpentine. Kate is a refreshing, charming and funny heroine. You're rooting for the two of them to get together and for Anthony to realize that Kate is the one for him. Eventually, due to being caught in a compromising (but innocent) situation, they must marry. They manage to overcome their differences as a new husband and wife and Anthony is finally able to come to terms with his belief that he'll die young.

Aside from the steamy sex and comedic touches to this romance, the author has a way of bringing poignancy to the story. You feel for Violet (the mother of all these Bridgerton siblings) and how she must have felt upon losing her husband at such a young age. Anthony's fear of dying young brings some depth and humanity to his character, no matter how misguided his belief is.

I had a good time reading this and look forward to all the rest of the series. Ms. Quinn is becoming one of my favorite Regency authors!


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