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 do not make the best husbands – and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is 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.
Rating: Narration – A+; Content – A
This is the first of Julia Quinn’s books I ever read and one of the first ‘modern’ historical romances I ever read about a decade or so ago, when I was just starting to read the genre. As a result, I have a bit of a soft spot for it, but that’s not surprising, considering it’s a terrific book.
It’s a classic enemies-to-lovers/compromised-into-marriage story and remains one of my favourite HRs and one of my favourites of the Bridgerton series (it’s up there with When He Was Wicked). I admit that I haven’t read it for some time, and I have forgotten bits, so this new audio was a fantastic reminder.
The relationship between Anthony and Kate is brilliantly done – the sexual chemistry just sizzles between them right from the start, and the author does a superb job of showing both characters falling head-over-heels with each other while trying to maintain their outward animosity.
I loved that Anthony is so family-oriented; there are so many dysfunctional families in romance that it’s refreshing to find one that isn’t. He’s also, quite simply, sex-on-legs.
Rosalyn Landor does an incredible job in the audio version. It’s a given that she’s technically superb – she’s always spot on when it comes to things like differentiation and pacing – but where she scores over practically ever other narrator of historical romance is that she ‘gets’ it like no-one else. The way she brings the emotional content of the story to the fore so vividly always amazes me and I had a lump in my throat several times while listening to this one.
I’m sure I don’t need to convince any reader of HR that this is a fabulous book, or anyone who listens to romance audios regularly that the narration is outstanding.
But I still had to shout about it, because it’s just THAT good.