Hello, lovelies! 🌿 back with another review and this time, I will tell you all about The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but Julia Quinn is one of my queens! I’ve read almost all of her books and I adore her characters. This book is the second book in the Bridgerton series – a series of 8 books focused on a sibling from the predominant Bridgerton family.
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 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 is 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…Synopsis from Goodreads
What I absolutely adored;
- The first thing I wrote in my review of The Duke and I – the first book in this series was the family dynamic. Here, you continue seeing a dynamic that is so strong between these siblings. That while they sometimes want to strangle each other, at the end of the day they are siblings and protect each other accordingly.
- But, what I want to specify mostly in this family dynamic – especially in this book – is that of Anthony, our main character, and his father Viscount Bridgerton. You would think that by having such a title and because of it, this man had too many responsibilities to focus on his children but, it wasn’t like that. Something that the author likes to emphasize is the upbringing of these siblings. Their parents loved each other and took their time to take care of their children personally and because of it, Anthony and his father had such a tight bond that it caught my attention immediately.
Edmund taught Anthony how to ride. He taught Anthony how to shoot. He taught him to swim. He took him off to Eton himself, rather than sending him in a carriage with servants, as most of Anthony’s future friends arrived, and when he saw Anthony glancing nervously about the school that would become his new home, he had a heart-to-heart talk with his eldest son, assuring him that everything would be all right.
And it was. Anthony knew it would be. His father, after all, never lied.
Anthony loved his mother. Hell, he’d probably bite off his own arm if it meant keeping her safe and well. But growing up, everything he did, every accomplishment, every goal, every single hope and dream – it was for his father.Prologue, page 3
- Now, see here, that last sentence: “it was for his father” is what makes the subplot of this story (and a very prominent at that) Anthony’s father was everything for him, Edmund taught him everything and so when his father dies – rather young and by a bee sting – Anthony believes one thing: he will never survive past his father’s age of death.
- Anthony is stubborn to a fault, he is fair but likes his way. He is honest, noble, and loves his family but he also has no interest in marrying for love – like his father did. He will marry someone who he knows he won’t love. And this takes us to Kate – lovely Kate who breaks his plans.
- Kate is funny, her humor is dry sometimes, sarcastic, and has a huge dislike towards rakes – mostly, Anthony. Isn’t this the perfect enemy to lovers people love!?
- Anthony and Kate are rather like fire and water. Kate is the fire, of course, she is not afraid to say what she needs to say, she is strong, intelligent, quick mouth and easy tempter, also, with a smile that says one thing and eyes that say another. Anthony is water, he’s a devious one who like I mentioned, likes to have his way. He is fast but also incredibly calm and cynical. But most of all, they both love their family and will do anything to have their own way.
- I loved their relationship, the sarcasm between them, the little pokes at their attitude, the looks, the way they tried not to be alone together (too much temptation I tell you), the way Anthony just wanted to strangle her but mostly kiss her. The way Kate is so unimpressed with him yet she just wants to be kissed.
- The first meeting goes bad, like incredibly bad. Anthony thinks Kate is an old splinter who he will charm without even trying but he finds Kate confident, attractive, sarcastic and incredibly smart – but also wants to strangle her – like I’ve previously mention and you will soon realize, there is a lot of wanting to strangle in this book.
“Shall we cross over to Rotten Row?” he asked Kate.
“Hmmm?” was her distracted reply. She had her face tipped up to the sun and was basking in its warmth. And for one extremely disconcerting moment, Anthony felt a sharp stab of … something.
Something? He gave his head a little shake. It couldn’t possibly be desire. Not for this woman.Chapter 4, page 64
- Oh, Anthony, you fool.
- In this book, there is a lot of denials. Denial from Anthony because he wants to marry Kate’s sister – who is nothing like Kate, who will not love him and he will not love her. Who is demure, quiet, and small, unlike Kate who is tall, loud, and not afraid to speak her mind which is something he loves and detests at the same time. He doesn’t want to kiss her but then he does, and he doesn’t want to marry her but then … you guess it, he does. And Kate is also in denial – Kate, who wants that rake (Anthony of course) away from her and her sister, because he is insufferable, and competitive, cheeky, smart and so damn handsome without even trying.
- The side characters are of course, wonderful too. We have Anthony’s siblings – with the presence of Colin who is devious and funny. Kate’s own sister Edwina who loves Kate and wishes for her the best and who is a book lover at heart and only wants a quiet life. Of course, we also have the gossips of the ton and Penelope – who is by far the best side characters without many lines, but always there. Also Mary and her hate for Kate’s dog and her motherly love for Kate despite Kate not being her real daughter. And of course, the full Bridgerton brigade.
- The war between Kate and Anthony is funny, competitive, and smart. They are pretty similar in that aspect and Kate gets along wonderfully with Anthony’s siblings – something that drives him up the wall.
- Their romance is intense, is intense since they first meet and it builds until the end. Their marriage is rushed, without spoken feelings but it develops beautifully.
“Listen to me,” he said, his voice even and intense, “and listen well, because I’m only going to say this once. I desire you. I burn for you. I can’t sleep at night for wanting you. Even when I didn’t like you, I lusted for you. It’s the most maddening, beguiling, damnable thing, but there it is. And if I hear one more word of nonsense from your lips, I’m going to have to tie you to the bloody bed and have my way with you a hundred different ways, until you finally get it through your silly skull that you are the most beautiful and desirable woman in England, and if everyone else doesn’t see that, then they’re all bloody fools.”Chapter 17, page 274
- And finally, Anthony realizing he will survive his father. He will build a family with Kate because she is the woman for him, his true love.
She stuck her tongue out, which, considering the circumstances, made him love her even more. “Just get me out,” she said.
“Then you’ll tell me you love me?” he teased.
She smiled, wistful and warm, and nodded.Chapter 22, page 335