In brief: The first in the Bridgerton prequel series finds Billie Bridgerton stuck on a roof after falling out of a tree. The only person who can rescue her is her nemesis, George Rokesby.
The good: Julia Quinn always infuses a lot of humour into her novels.
The not-so-good: It starts off a little slowly before getting into the swing of things.
Why I chose it: Have really enjoyed the Bridgerton series.
Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins)
Setting: Country England and London
Rating: 8 out of 10
A Julia Quinn novel always promises a good read. For the first time, I’m stepping away from the acclaimed Bridgerton series and heading into the…prequels. These are still about the Bridgerton family, just a generation that we haven’t met on screen. Like the other Bridgertons, these characters are full of wit and daring.
Billie Bridgerton is not your usual girl of the period. She delights in looking after the family estate, from crops to general maintenance. She rides in the fields wearing breeches to the horror of her mother and prefers books on agriculture to novels. To the neighbouring Rokesby family, that’s just Billie. She’s always been part of the gang. True to her character, the story opens with Billie stuck on a roof after falling out of a tree to rescue a cat. Unfortunately, the closest Rokesby happens to be George. Billie and George have never seen eye to eye, and the barbs spark off both when the ladder to freedom falls to the ground. But the more time that George and Billie spend in each other’s company, the more they find that they actually…like each other. It takes a lot to get them together, including a lost brother and an attempt to become a spy, but the pair get their happily ever after.
I was a little concerned going into this series whether I would enjoy it as much – basically, how much did watching Bridgerton influence my enjoyment of the books? But I did enjoy it, although it was a bit unfamiliar at first getting used to characters that I hadn’t previously ‘met’. Julia Quinn’s dialogue is razor sharp and in the thoroughly modern character of Billie she gets lots of barbs in! The wordplay between Billie and George was a delight to read. I did feel that the opening scene on the roof was a bit dragged out, but as it’s the seed for a budding romance I can’t really fault that. There are some fantastically fun scenes, with Pall Mall making an appearance. (Nice to know that the previous generation of Bridgertons also delighted in making this a blood sport). There is a nice combination of the familiar and the new in this series, which will delight many. I did enjoy it when the action moved from the country to London, as there is always a lot more happening and new characters introduced.
Overall, this was a solid start to a new series and I’ll enjoy seeing what else the previous generation of Bridgertons got up to.