If anything can get me to read a Julia Quinn historical romance novel, it’s the word Bridgerton in the title. Not that I need any particular reason to pick up anything by this author since she’s been an auto-buy for me for years, but I’ve really, really missed this delightful, funny, romantic family since the last book was published in that series way back in 2006. So when I saw the title for this novel I immediately put it on my TBR list and then went hunting down who exactly this Miss Bridgerton was in relation to Violet and her alphabetically named brood. The answer to that particular question is she is the older sister to Edmund, Violet’s late husband and Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth’s aunt. And yes, I did that all from memory. I told you I loved this family.
Billie Bridgerton is what one would call adventurous. She’s not shy or demure and does not enjoy the things other young ladies her age do. Instead of needlepoint and watercolors, she likes to help manage her father’s estate and roam across the countryside visiting tenants. She’s competitive and free-spirited, and more often than not dressed in breeches atop a horse enjoying the sunshine and outdoors. The Rokesbys and the Bridgertons are more family than neighbors. Which means Billie grew up alongside the Rokesby children and treats them like siblings. Except for George, the oldest and heir to the Earldom. He and Billie are like oil and water, constantly sniping and finding ways to challenge and one up the other. Then one afternoon George rescues her after she gets stuck on a roof, then suddenly things start to change between them.
They weren’t enemies, of course. Just not friends. They never had been. Although, maybe they were a little bit… now.
George Rokesby, Viscount Kennard, has been raised to be a gentleman. His role as heir meant he was always a part of the group, but held to a higher expectation. When the Bridgerton and Rokesby kids were running wild, he was learning to run his father’s estate and eventually take his place in the House of Lords. Billie is his exact opposite, and for years her reckless behavior has driven him mad, but lately he can’t seem to notice that all the things that used to irritate him are the very reasons he can’t seem to get her off his mind.
He indulged in a mental curse. This had to be the most inconvenient attraction in the history of man. Billie Bridgerton, for God’s sake. She was everything he’d never wanted in a woman. She was headstrong, stupidly reckless, and if she’d ever had a mysterious, feminine moment in her life, he’d never seen it.
This is a classic enemies (or should I say frenemies) to lovers trope. Which I happen to adore. Billie and George have this wonderful chemistry that shines through on every single page. Their relationship slowly builds from semi-friends who irritate the crap out of each other to having all these little moments where they begin to slowly realize that they mean far more to each other than they ever thought. Billie is perfectly imperfect, and you can’t help but love her. George is stoic and straight-laced, but also loyal and loving. There is this feeling that everyone around them knows exactly what’s going on and how they feel way before they do. The slow progression of their romance is one of the reasons I still adore this author, she understands that it’s those little ‘aha’ moments in romance that really matter.
While this book was more sweet than sexy, it was exactly perfect for this couple. Their first kiss was almost sexier than their first love scene. Its the exact scene where you can sense that each of them finally understand that they want more than just friendship. You can almost feel the shift in their relationship. As far as first kisses in romance go, it’s pretty awesome.
Filled with the same wit and charm as this author’s Bridgerton series, I am convinced historical romance readers will embrace the Rokesbys with the same adoration. As for me, I will admit that this was my favorite Bridgerton book since the last book with Bridgerton in the title. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton will always, always be my favorite Julia Quinn, but Because of Miss Bridgerton comes close. Final Grade- B+
It was all so mad, so completely wrong and yet so deliciously perfect. It was every sensation in the world, wrapped into one woman, and he could not get enough. In that moment, in that room, he could never get enough.