by Julia Quinn
Amazon Kindle Edition
Rating: * * * 1/2
Amazon Kindle Note: This book is only $1.99 through August 9. Click on the cover image to pick it up!
In Brief: Daphne, the eldest of the Bridgerton sisters, is feeling a bit on the shelf; all the bachelors seem to think she’s just great… as a friend. Simon, Duke of Hastings and an old school friend of Daphne’s brother Anthony, has just returned to England after the death of the old duke. Together they come up with a plan that will benefit them both: A fake courtship! But will the act they put on turn into something more?
I Thought: If I remember correctly, this is one of the first modern-style Regency romances I ever read, lo, these many years ago. It made me laugh then, and I went on a Julia Quinn bender for some time afterwards. (I believe my tendency to glom is already evident on this blog.)
It still makes me laugh, and even though I found myself recalling what happened as I read, I still had a great time getting reacquainted with the Bridgertons. At least in this volume, Quinn’s characters are just a wee bit anachronistic in their speech and behavior, but eminently enjoyable all the same. Quinn has a strong narrative voice, and uses witty plays on words along with great descriptions of the characters’ body language, so their personalities come through.
The plot is reasonably reasonable, if slightly shallow at times. The good thing is that none of the conflict is dragged out for an unconscionable amount of time. On a personal note, when I first read this book, I had no idea I would struggle with infertility, and so perhaps the major conflict between Daphne and Simon didn’t really strike me quite so hard. Vague spoiler alert: Of course, in the end, they start a brood of their own, which is lovely but I’m longing a bit to read about a childless-but-still-happy ending. Just for my own sanity, you know. (And yes, some of the books I’ve read lately don’t have the five years later epilogue featuring the whole new family, but I’d like to see a five years later epilogue that specifically addresses childlessness. Maybe I should write one. I’ve probably even read one but don’t remember it.)
Overall, this is a light and fluffy read that introduces us to a delightful world of personalities, and it makes me want to go back and read all the Bridgerton books over again. I probably will, sometime soon. The love scenes are moderately explicit and quite lengthy. There are a few typos in the Kindle edition, but nothing major, and a preview for Just Like Heaven that makes me glad I’ve got a copy coming in the mail.
For reference, the books in the Bridgerton series are:
- The Duke and I
- The Viscount Who Loved Me
- An Offer From a Gentleman
- Romancing Mister Bridgerton
- To Sir Phillip, With Love
- When He Was Wicked
- It’s In His Kiss
- On The Way to The Wedding