The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
Audiobook narrated by Rosalyn Landor

Publisher: Print – Avon, Recorded Books (Audio Publisher)
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

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.

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Anthony was such a forceful personality in The Duke and I that I wasn’t sure how he’d be as a hero in his own book, The Viscount Who Loved Me. I shouldn’t have wondered. He blew away my expectations.

Just like The Duke and I, once again I listened to this novel via an audiobook. When Kate has her nightmare, Ms. Landor, the narrator, was so effective and so emotional, I know my mouth was hanging open in shock, I felt the chills go up my spine, and my breath caught in my throat. It was so REAL! And Anthony was wonderful with her. It affected him as well, and he was determined to help Kate. I know I’m jumping the gun by mentioning something later in the book but that scene was so amazing, and profound and effective, I had to start with it. That scene sealed this story with a rating of 5 stars.

Now, to go back to the beginning, Anthony decided it was time to find a wife. His choice would normally make sense, until a reader understands that he’s being driven by a traumatic event from his past. Here’s the point – it’s a real thing. It’s not his imagination. What is even more amazing is that Ms. Quinn actually explains why she had Anthony do as he did in the wrap up after the novel ends. I can personally attest to that emotional response because my own dad and his brother thought the exact same way. In the back of their minds as they married and lived their lives, there was an age concern, will they live past that milestone, or will genetics win out? It’s a powerful motivator for good or ill. Ms. Quinn used it as a very effective internal plot conflict and because I knew it was a real emotional response in real life, it made the story come alive and it felt very relevant.

The novel isn’t so dark and heavy handed, despite the first couple of paragraphs in my review. Those were the things that touched me deeply on a personal level. But the majority of the book is wonderfully romantic, and with the Bridgerton family playing Pall Mall, hilarity, hijinks and fun is a guarantee. Pay attention to the Mallet of Death because in the audio version there is a second epilogue and Pall Mall provides a significant backdrop that made me laugh uncontrollably too many times to count. I truly mean that. I laughed out loud, giggled, snorted and grinned from ear to ear so long, it hurt. Ms. Quinn has a wicked sense of humor!

What I find interesting about this story is that the intense moments when the true conflicts show up happen after the hero and heroine get married. It’s fascinating. In most romance books, they end after the hero and heroine get their HEA which usually has an ‘I love you’ and off they go. Not so with this novel. No, the author did something different. It’s when people move in together, when they see each other first thing in the morning and the last at night, when all the little quirks and personal habits start showing up and they react. That’s when the true learning of a married relationship starts. That’s what I believe Ms. Quinn does in this novel and it works. It’s wonderful and I can’t say enough good things about it.

The Viscount Who Loves Me is awesome, and whether you read it in print or listen to it in audio, Ms. Quinn has penned a wonderful romance that should not be missed.

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