Every once in a very great while, I enjoy a romance novel of the Harlequin variety. My mom used to read them when I was a kid (and she had at least one very awkward convo with my precocious-reader-self about how those books were not appropriate for me to read (even if left lying around) (and spoiler alert: her reasons only made me more curious)), and my college roommate would occasionally spend a Sunday procrastinating from all her schoolwork by tearing through some truly ridiculous paperback romances. It’s been a long time since I picked one of these up, but I confess that I’ve been meaning to give a Bridgerton book a whirl since the Netflix series came out. A work assignment on Romance books gave me the perfect excuse/opportunity.
Because of Miss Bridgerton is the first book in a prequel series to the main Bridgerton books, focusing both on the generation prior to the main Bridgerton series, and also on the Rokesbys, family friends and neighbors in the country. Our main character, Sybilla “Billie” Bridgerton, is a tomboy who would far rather be wearing trousers, riding horses, and checking on the barley fields than wearing corsets and attending parties. As the book opens, Billie is stuck on a roof, where she has fallen after trying to rescue a cat from a tree. And who should find Billie in her distress, but George Rokesby, the oldest of the Rokesby brothers. Even better: Billie and George find each other completely irritating.
Can you see where this is going? Because there are no surprises here. Billie and George start to spend more time together and find they maybe don’t hate each other – maybe they like each other – and maybe they are completely in love with each other. There is also a fairly major subplot involving George’s younger brother, Edward, who may or may not be a spy for England during the American Revolution that doesn’t really go anywhere – guessing Quinn is setting that up for laters Rokesby novels. What I did like about the book is that Billie is a total Farm Nerd and homebody, and even though she gets through enough socializing to show that she can, there is no expectation on George’s part that she change into something she’s not.
Cute, light enemies-to-lovers romance.