So starting in 2013 I began my re-discovery of the romance genre. First with the master, Ms. Kleypas, but then continued further and Ms. Quinn was an early one. I overall quite enjoyed her Bridgerton series (and recently just discovered the second epilogues) so when I saw that she was starting a new series spun off of my beloved Bridgertons I had to get it from the library.
This is the story of Billie (Sybilla) Bridgerton, aunt of all the previous series, and George, neighbor and heir of the Earl of Manston. Billie and George have known each other their whole lives, and have always bickered. Billie is headstrong and driven in un-ladylike ways while George is quietly training to be lord of the manor. When his brothers, Billie’s childhood playmates, go off to war it leaves Billie and George the chance to get to know each other as adults. Obviously events transpire from there.
This is clearly a setup for a new series about the Rokesby boys and it felt like it. Lots of time is spent on rounding out the families, and letting you get to know them. It results in a lot less time with our leads, and the book suffers for that. I know by allowing the characters to have known each other their whole lives it means they can fall more quickly in love, but even still it felt very rushed. Although, at 291 pages it read more like a novella than a novel. This one was short y’all. It did have Quinn’s flair for dialogue as usual, but especially with the even older time period of the late 18th century the anachronisms were jolting. “Shut the hell up” or even “shut up” were not used, and every time I read things like them they threw me out of the story.
Anywho, it’s still a Julia Quinn. There’s still the usual wit, humor and warmth that characterize her writing. It’s just way shorter than normal and not quite as good as the usual, but I’m still going to see where this series goes.