April 5, 2016
A hamburger and Julia Quinn.
Over the weekend I had a hamburger and fries (comfort food). I also read Julia Quinn's latest Because of Miss Bridgerton - also comfort food. Comfort food is defined as "food that gives emotional comfort to the one eating it, these tend to be favorite foods of childhood, or linked to a person, place or time with which the food has a positive association." While Because of Miss Bridgerton didn't remind me of anything from my childhood, it was certainly familiar and it made me feel good, but it wasn't anything new.
If you have read any of Ms. Quinn's works you will recognize the name of Bridgerton. The Bridgerton's were/are one of Ms. Quinn's most successful series. The series was also quite lengthy. Well we are returning to the Bridgerton family only we are in a different time period; we are moved backward in time to the Georgian. In fact, our heroine Billie (Sybilla) Bridgerton was/is the elder sister of Edmund Bridgerton and Edmund will be the father of the original Bridgerton group. The hero of our story was/is George Rokesby, the eldest Rokesby sibling. The Rokesby children and the Bridgerton children lived next door to each other, grew up together. As a child Billie was included in most all of the adventures of Edward and Andrew Rokesby. Throughout most of her life, Billie has run around the neighborhood unchecked - she was/is a tomboy, dressing in britches, riding astride, climbing trees - just having loads of fun. But there's one fly in all that ointment - George. George and Billie just don't get along, they never have. They are opposites. He's responsible, slightly dour, and he just doesn't understand Billie - she irritates him. Billie's energetic, bright, peppy, loves fun and she doesn't understand George - he irritates her. Well, as luck would have it, on one of her adventures while trying to save a kitten, she finds herself stranded on top of a roof. Who should happen along but George? Well after a few moments of bickering between the two, George attempts a rescue, only to have the ladder he's using fall to the ground. Now, George and Billie are stranded together on the roof - bickering, blaming, bantering, and irritating each other, until George's brother Andrew arrives on the scene to rescue both of them. Well, something happened between George and Billie while they were on the roof - they became aware of each other and this time it's not just because they are irritated which each other. Neither one of them understood what was happening, and neither one of them liked what they were powerless to stop from unfolding. They both fight the attraction that was blooming right in front of their eyes, at least for a little while. All of that makes for a pretty amusing story, filled with Ms. Quinn's trademark humor - although, sometimes the humor was a little stretched. There was also a take-no-prisoners Bridgerton Pall Mall (croquet) game for our entertainment.
We are introduced to some interesting secondary characters. I especially liked Andrew and Billie's sister Georgina. Outwardly, Andrew seemed to be a careless jokester, but I suspect there was some darkness behind his laughter. Georgina was intriguing; she was sick as a child and was coddled by her mother. She's quiet, reserved, observant, and honest. I suspect in a future book she will do a bit of rebelling. It will be interesting to see where these two characters are led.
I enjoyed this book very much. I thought it was humorous, no angst, a light read. It was a typical Julia Quinn book, not as outstanding as some of her others but it was a good start to a new series. This was also a case where the heroine and hero bring out the best in each other.
There were a couple of hiccups. Spoilers ahead. There was some kind of odd, short plot that was thrown in. George was asked to deliver a message to someone. He doesn't know why - sort of a spy thing. He does it, but he's not very successful. Then he was asked to deliver a package - same deal, he doesn't know why, this time he says - nope, not going to do it - not going to deliver something he doesn't know what, why, who. No sir, no siree. Billie volunteers to deliver the package and George says no you are not going to. And, they don't. The guy who tried to recruit George leaves the room and that’s it. Nothing more was ever said about any of this nonsense. This plot or filler or whatever it was went nowhere. Maybe the plot will make its appearance in another book in the series, don't know, but in this one it was an irritating distraction which just sort of sputtered out.
Overall, this was/is a pleasant, funny read. George and Billie's antics were entertaining and made for a fast read. Because of Miss Bridgerton was/is a pleasant beginning to the newest in the Bridgerton saga.
Time/Place: Georgian England