Two childhood friends finally stop squabbling and realize they’re meant for each other in 18th-century England.
At 23, Sybilla Bridgerton—known as Billie to her friends and family—is impulsive and tomboyish, riding around her father’s estate in breeches and reading agricultural treatises for fun. The latest installment of Quinn’s (The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, 2015, etc.) Bridgerton series opens with Billie stranded on the roof of an abandoned house, nursing a sprained ankle. She climbed a tree to rescue a cat, then fell onto the roof from the tree. She’s appalled when her nemesis, George Rokesby, Viscount Kennard, happens along and she’s forced to ask for his help. Although the two grew up on neighboring estates, Billie has always been closer to George’s three younger siblings. George, as the heir to an earldom, was always too serious and busy to romp with the other kids, and when they did interact, George and Billie always needled each other mercilessly. But after George helps rescue Billie from the roof, they begin to see each other in a new light, and gradually both are horrified to realize that their strong feelings of antipathy have given way to strong feelings of a different kind. For both of them, “this had to be the most inconvenient attraction in the history of man.” Although George and Billie are both likable characters and Quinn is an accomplished writer, the book’s exciting opening is not followed by additional exciting plot points. A brief house party and a single ball make up nearly all the events in the novel. Everything else is just the characters’ thoughts and conversations.
Although the plot is rather a sleepy one, the book is worth reading for fans of the Bridgerton clan and for readers who like character-driven novels.