In brief: This is Anthony Bridgerton’s story after he decides he probably should marry. But the sister of his intended, Kate, is infuriatingly interesting…
The good: Fun with witty dialogue.
The not-so-good: Not quite enough Benedict for me.
Why I chose it: Bridgerton, of course!
Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins)
Rating: 9 out of 10
Getting your hands on the Bridgerton series these days in paper format requires patience, stealth and dedication and with good reason. These hilariously fun books are just what we need post-2020 to simply sit down and enjoy. So as we impatiently wait for Season 2 of Bridgerton on Netflix, we can get a head start on Anthony’s story and find out more about Kate. If the series is anything like the book, we are promised a hilarious scene involving an over-eager doctor, one compromising situation that was 100% innocent and one that will bring happy tears amongst the wit and costumes.
Anthony has always been a rake who refused to settle down, but something has changed this season. He’s now decided that it’s time to do his duty and get married. But not for love of course. His bride must be pleasant and tolerable and that’s where Edwina Sheffield comes in. She’s beautiful, sweet and sensible unlike her half-sister Kate who is not conventionally beautiful but incredibly smart and to the point. Edwina famously declares that she won’t marry without Kate’s approval, which has Anthony scurrying to charm her. But Kate is far too stubborn and clever to be charmed and she tells Anthony that directly. Her honesty and sharp tongue strangely captivates Anthony to the point where Kate is the only thing he can think about. Kate too, is thinking about Anthony in terms other than potential brother-in-law. It will take a country house party to throw them together, but a lot more for them to be honest with each other.
One thing I really like about Julia Quinn’s novels is that they are not just a lead up to a happy ending that stops with the wedding. There is just as much adventure to have after the wedding as well as character development. Of course, the witty dialogue is at its peak with Kate, who says what she thinks in the most perfectly barbed fashion. There are also plenty of scenes that will delight, and are just begging for a screen adaptation (we simply must see Bridgerton Pall Mall, if only to get a clear visual of Anthony and the pink mallet). Quinn’s scenarios are inventive, never staid. Keen eyed readers will also note that some of Anthony’s story described here was played out in Season 1 of the television series – I’ll be interested to see if that happens in any of the other books. But don’t worry, this book is truly for the Anthony/Kate lovers as their barbs/anger/romance are furiously worked across the page. It’s a great enemies to lovers story with the final dramatic scene coming with a later (but more realistic in my book) happily ever after.
Bring on Benedict (who doesn’t seem to get as much page time here, with Colin doing the cheeky job of throwing Anthony and Kate together!)