The Viscount who Loved Me,
written in 2000 by Julia Quinn,
is the second book in the Bridgerton series and it's time for the eldest son's story - Anthony.
The time has come for Anthony to find a bride. As is the case with most heroes in
Romanceland, he doesn't want to find a wife he can love. And, this is why I can't give this book a higher rating. You see, Anthony's parents Edmund and Violet had a loving marriage. They were wonderful, loving parents. Anthony idolized his father. Then when Anthony was nineteen his father had an allergic reaction to a bee sting and died. Anthony, along with everyone in the family, was devastated. Because his father died so young, Anthony has decided he doesn't want a marriage filled with love. Sure, sure, Anthony has some kind of twisted logic about dying young as his father did - that I can understand. But I have no idea why this should make him want to enter into a loveless marriage - it didn't make a whole lot of sense. If his parents had a horrible marriage maybe his reasoning would have made sense, but in this book, for this particular hero, it didn't make any sense to me.
Other than that foo-foo, this was a delightful story. It had all the elements which make for wonderful storytelling, fun, witty dialog, well-developed characters; great secondary support; and poignancy.
Anyway, Anthony has his eyes on the reigning beauty of the season, Edwina Sheffield. She's perfect - a beauty, smart enough, and young enough to be reasonably manipulated. There's just one minor problem - her sister Kate. It seems that Edwina has made it clear that she will not marry any man unless Kate approves of him. Anthony thinks - no problem, he can wrap any woman around his little finger. Whoops - he hasn't meet Kate. Kate loathes
rakes, rascals, ne’er-do-wells, and rogues. She knows Anthony Bridgeton is a prime example of all of these and she will never allow him to marry her sister. So begins a battle of wills.
When the battle begins between Anthony and Kate, it starts out over Edwina. As the story moves along Anthony and Kate soften toward each other. They soon become friends and Kate gradually changes her mind. She feels herself falling for Anthony, but also thinks he will be a good husband for Edwina. Buzzzzzzz.
Then a bee strikes, again. While Kate and Anthony are having a little chit-chat among the flowers, Kate is stung by a bee - on her chest
. Because of the way his father died, Anthony completely loses it. He thinks he must save Kate's life by sucking the venom out. Remember I said the bee stung her on the chest. Well Anthony is in a frenzied state of venom sucking on a woman's naked chest when who should wander onto the scene. His mother, her mother, and the town's biggest gossip. Anthony and Kate are married shortly afterward.
What makes this story good is that the story doesn't end with the marriage. We get to watch Kate and Anthony working together to make their marriage work. Anthony has to overcome some of his fears about dying. There is plenty of fun and poignancy in store for this couple through the last few pages. We get to watch as they help each other over the roadblocks. Pall-mall.
A game similar to croquet. In this book we are introduced to a rousing game of Pall-mall, played the Bridgerton way - no rules and a lot of competition. It is during one of these games that Anthony's attraction to Kate becomes full blown.
Overall, this was a delightful story, full of great characters. I highly recommend this story and except for not understanding Anthony's reasoning for a loveless marriage this was a great read.
Kay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.