Like everyone else in the world, I binged watched Bridgerton on Christmas Day. It was incredible and I absolutely loved it. Even my husband watched with me and immediately wanted to know where the second season was (as did I!). Earlier in 2020, I read The Duke and I in anticipation of the upcoming show and to be honest the book was only ok for me. The show was so much better!
While I had adored the book to start with, as it went on, something about it started to draw me down and I just didn’t love it by the end of the first book. I wasn’t exactly dying to read the next books in the series but I wasn’t ready to write them off as ‘not for me’ though either. Then the show came out and it was simply so much better than the first book and I immediately decided that I needed more of the Bridgertons, so I downloaded this book.
I have to say that Anthony in the books and in the show was entirely swoon worthy. Yes the Duke was sexy and charming etc, but for me, Anthony stole the show—-not just the Netflix show, but the books as well. I couldn’t wait to dive back into the Bridgerton family and read Anthony’s love story!
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 (summary from Goodreads)
I absolutely fell in love with this series with this book. I feel like Quinn should have lead with this book first instead of with The Duke and I. This one was so much better and I couldn’t be happier after reading it. This book hit all the high notes for me. Witty banter, a flawed hero, enemies to lovers troupe, and mega chemistry. This is probably one of the best romance novels I have read in a long long long time. It was just so good.
Anthony’s story is nuanced, complex, and sad without being depressing. I thought it was a very realistic take on a man who loses his father from an impressionable age. At first it’s easy to dismiss Anthony’s fears of death but as the story goes along I think Quinn does a remarkable job at explaining why he just couldn’t get past it and creating a believable phobia for Anthony and Kate to work through together.
This book reminded me a little of Taming of the Shrew and maybe a little bit of Ten Things I Hate About You all rolled into one and I am 100% here for it. I love romances like that and surprisingly there just aren’t that many out there that I have read. Kate and Anthony had so much chemistry between then early on in the book and it was exciting seeing their love bloom in each other’s company. They were each stubborn enough but vulnerable enough to make the Taming of the Shrew element feel realistic and not forced or annoying.
The sexual tension between them crackled. While this book definitely has steam, it never crossed over into raunchy excessive. Quinn struck a perfect balance between sexy and romantic. Kate was strong, funny, and intelligent and that shined through in their romance and witty banter that I loved. Anthony was sexy, flawed, and brought so much sex appeal, charm and humor to the story that it was easy to love him. Needless to say I ordered the third book in the series about two chapters into this book because I knew that I would definitely need more Bridgerton’s after this one!
Book Info and Rating
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Avon (first published December 5th 2000)
Review copy provided by, personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: romance, historical romance