The Viscount Who Loved Me
by Julia Quinn
Published by Avon
Book 2 in the Bridgerton Series
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 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 is the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams...
Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony's lips touch hers, she's suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself...
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Historical-Romance Sweet
The Viscount Who Loved Me is the second book in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series. It follows the eldest Bridgerton son, and titled Viscount after his father's death, who has decided that as he nears the age of thirty, it is time to settle down and marry. Not wanting to marry someone who he risks falling in love with, he sets his sights on the diamond of the season. He has no doubts she will say yes to a proposal, but he has one problem. Her older sister, Kate, who doesn't think him good enough for her beloved sister, due to his rakish ways. Every time he tries to get close to his prize, Kate is in the way. She infuriates him like no other. She also tempts him like no other, with her sharp intellect, courage, and unconventional beauty. Can the Viscount who refuses to love ignore the spark he feels around the fiery Kate?
So I am going back and forth between really like this book, and .... not liking it. Certainly I liked it enough that I couldn't put it down. It obviously drew me in. Again, not terribly original. This may be a historical romance, but it relies on the trope it was going for: enemies to lovers. But I can get past that. There were parts in this book that I loved! Moments that made me snort, moments that made me teary eyed, .... but there were also moments that pissed me off. Much like how the Duke and I has its controversies, The Viscount Who Loved Me does as well. I love a good enemies to lovers trope, but these two are brutal to one another. Anthony in particular. I can't get into it without spoiling, so highlight (and let me know if you agree) ----------> the pond incident, where Anthony "goes for her throat" because her dog accidently pushed her sister in the lake. At the musicale at the Bridgerton house, when Anthony catches Kate hiding in his office, and grabs her chin. Many times grabbing her arm. <------------ I understand this is a historical romance, and women aren't thought of much more than breeders and decoration, but there was enough times where Anthony overpowered Kate physically and emotionally to make me uncomfortable.
Before I talk about my thoughts on characters, can I just add (and again, a spoiler ahead), how frustrating it is that ----------------> we are getting another marriage by scandal. Will we ever get a Bridgerton marriage that isn't hurried along because they were caught in a compromised position? I mean, it JUST happened in The Duke and I! <---------------
Anthony does have his moments though. It's very hot and cold. Sometimes I loved him, and somethings I didn't. Once Anthony and Kate become friends, he is much more my cup a tea. I was left mostly confused by his main dilemma, and his devout belief he was going to die at the same age, or younger, than his father. Julia Quinn addresses this at the end, saying it actually happens to a lot of men, and if its true, okay ... but I don't understand it. Be that as it may, I can understand why Anthony is the way he is. I totally get why he didn't want to fall in love, or have a wife who loved him. Being eighteen when his father died, and now head of the family, he would have intimate knowledge of the pain his mother feels outliving her husband, and it's sweet he doesn't want to put someone through that. And I even get that he fears being in love will make him fearful of the death he has accepted, because he wouldn't want to leave her. So I get that. I even respect it. I just have issue with his treatment of Kate before their friendship. As for Kate, I really loved her character. I love a fiery, determined, fearless woman, who stands up for what she believes is right, damn the consequences, and she is that. She is a perfect match intellectually for Anthony, and their bickering was one of the highlights of this book. Kate put him in his place ... several times. And I loved it. Was she a little insecure? Sure! Show me a woman who isn't though! And looking at what this character has been through, it made sense for her to feel insecure.
The Viscount Who Loved Me has its problems. It's a little disorganized and chaotic. There is scenes that make you cringe. But it also is sweet, and brings up a topic a lot of romances ignore: death. I think if you enjoy steamy historical romances (and I found this one steamier than the last), and an enemies to lovers trope, you will enjoy this.
Colin introducing Kate and Anthony, knowing Kate dislikes him
Anthony sending both Edwina and Kate flowers.
Kate, Anthony, Newton, and the pond
Kate biting Anthony's leg when he caught her hiding under his desk
PALL MALL and the mallet of death
Anthony escorting Penelope into dinner
Anthony comforting Kate during the storm
The bee sting that leads to a ... compromising position
Kate and Anthony's make out when he calls on her
The wedding nighttttttt
Colin and Benedict torturing Anthony when he was hungover
Anthony saving Kate in the overturned carriage.
Anthony and Kate telling each other they love one another
The epilogue, describing Anthony and Kate playing instruments terribly, and their son begging them to stop.
Where to Buy
Colin: "Surely any girl would find happiness in marriage to a wealthy and titled gentleman. Isn't that what a season in London is all about?"
Kate: "Perhaps. But I'm afraid that line of thinking does not address he true problem at hand."
Colin: "Which is?"
Kate: "Which is that a husband can break a heart with far greater intensity than a mere suitor. Don't you think?"
Colin: "Having never been married, I am certainly not in a position to speculate."
Kate: "Shame, shame, Mr. Bridgerton. That was the worst sort of evasion."
Colin: "Was it? I rather thought it might be the best. I am clearly losing my touch."
Colin: "You must meet my brother."
Kate: "The viscount?"
Colin: "Well, you might enjoy Gregory's company as well. but as I said, he is only thirteen and likely to put a frog on your chair."
Kate: "And the viscount?"
Colin: "Is not likely to put a frog on your chair."
Anthony: "Miss Sheffield, you are as lovely as your sister."
Kate: "And you, Lord Bridgerton, are almost as handsome as your brother."
Colin snorted again, only this time it sounded as if he were being strangled.
Kate: "Are you all right?"
Anthony: "He's fine."
She ignored him, keeping her attention on Colin.
Kate: "Are you certain?"
Colin nodded furiously.
Colin: "Tickle in my throat."
Anthony: "Or perhaps a guilty conscience?"
Colin: "I think I might need another glass of lemonade."
Anthony: "Or maybe, something stronger. Hemlock, perhaps?"
Kate stepped on his foot. Hard. Enough to make him let out a small, decidedly unrakish, unroguish squeak.
When he glared at her, though, she just shrugged and said
Kate: "It was my only defense."
His eyes darkened
Anthony: "You, Miss Sheffield, are a menace."
Kate: "And you, Lord Bridgerton, need thicker boots."
Anthony: "Sarcasm doesn't become you, Miss Sheffield."
Kate: "Nothing becomes you, Lord Bridgerton."
Anthony: "Women should not keep pets if they cannot control them."
Kate: "And men should not take women with pets for a walk in the park if they cannot control either."
Anthony could actually feel the tips of his ears turning red with barely leashed rage
Anthony: "You, madam, are a menace to society."
She opened her mouth as if to return the insult, but instead she just offered him an almost frighteningly devious smile and turned to the dog and said
Kate: "Shake, Newton."
Newton looked up at her finger, pointed right at Anthony, and obediently trotted a few steps closer to him before allowing himself a full-body shake, spraying pond water everywhere.
Kate: "I hadn't thought you a liar, either. A rake and a rogue, and perhaps a whole host of other things, but not a liar."
Kate: "I promised Mary I would be on my best behavior."
Anthony let out a loud hoot of laughter.
Kate: "Strangely enough, Edwina had a similar reaction."
Anthony: "I find myself insanely curious as to what constitutes good behavior."
Kate: "I expect I shall figure that out as I go along."
Kate: "Might there be room for one more player? Since we've already excluded me from the ranks of the milksops?"
Colin: "Of course! I suspect you'll fit right in with the rest of us schemers and cheaters."
Kate: "Coming from you, I know that was a compliment."
Daphne: "Men are much easier to manage once you understand a few basic facts about their nature."
Kate: "Which are?"
Daphne: "They're not as smart as we are, they're not as intuitive as we are, and they certainly don't need to know about fifty percent of what we do."
She looked around.
Daphne: "He didn't hear that, did he?"
Simon stepped out from behind the tree.
Simon: "Every word."
Colin: "Are they having a spat?"
Daphne: "A discussion."
Colin: "God save me from such discussions."
Daphne: "I do believe I adore you, Kate Sheffield."
Anthony: "God help me."
Kate: "What are you going to do to me?"
He leaned forward devilishly
Anthony: "What am I not going to do to you might be a more appropriate question."
Kate: "Yes! Yes! I win!"
Anthony: "You don't win."
Kate: "Oh, it feels like I've won."
Colin: "Well done, Miss Sheffield! I knew you were worthy of the mallet of death."
Daphne: "Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant."
Anthony, of course, had no choice but to cross his arms and scowl mightily.
Colin: "Are you certain you're not a Bridgerton in disguise? You have truly lived up to the spirit of the game."
Kate: "I couldn't have done it without you. If you hadn't hit his ball down the hill ..."
Colin: "I had been hoping you would pick up the reins of his destruction."
Anthony: "I'm not such a terrible person, you know."
Kate: "I know."
Something about her resigned expression made him grin
Anthony: "But maybe a little terrible?"
Kate: "Oh, for certain."
Anthony: "Good. I'd hate to be boring."
Anthony: "Sometimes ... somethings there are reasons for our fears that we can't quite explain. Sometimes it's just something we feel in our bones, something we know to be true, but would sound foolish to anyone else."
Kate: "I just wanted to say thank you. For helping me tonight. I - It would have been a great deal more difficult without you."
Anthony: "I didn't do anything."
Kate: "No, you did everything."
Anthony: "Will someone shut her up?"
Mrs. Featherington: "Well! I never!"
Anthony: "No. You always."
Kate: "Am I a terrible person? Does this mean I am fallen?"
she whispered, more for her ears than for his.
But he heard her, and his voice was hot and moist on the skin of her cheek.
He moved to her ear and made her listen more closely.
He traveled to her lips and forced her to swallow the word.
Kate felt her head fall back. His voice was low and seductive, and it almost made her feel like she's been born for this moment.
Anthony: "You're perfect."
he said, plucking it from her head
Anthony: "Has got to go."
Kate: "My lord!"
Anthony: "Promise me you'll never wear it again."
She twisted in her seat - on his lap, actually, which did little to help the rather urgent state of his groin - to look over the edge on the chair.
Kate: "I'll do no such thing. I quite like that cap."
Anthony: "You can't possibly."
Kate: "I can and - Newton!"
Anthony followed her line of vision and broke out into loud laughter, shaking both of them in their seats. Newton was happily munching away on Kate's cap.
Anthony: "Good dog!"
Kate: "I would make you buy me another, except that you've already spent a fortune on me this week."
This amused him,
Anthony: "I have?"
Kate: "I've been shopping with your mother."
Anthony: "Ah. Good. I'm sure she didn't let you pick anything like that."
He motioned toward the now mangled cap.
She was so perfect, so utterly beautiful to him, and he felt a rather strange and primitive sense of satisfaction that most men were blind to her beauty. It was as if a certain side of her were visible only to him. He loved that her charms were hidden to the rest of the world.
It made her seem more his.
Anthony: "It is a wife's place to agree with her husband in all things, hmmm?"
Kate: "If his opinions are agreeable, my lord."
Anthony: "Listen to me, and listen well, because I'm only going to say this once. I desire you. I burn for you. I can't sleep at night for wanting you. Even when I didn't like you, I lusted for you. It's the most maddening, beguiling, damnable thing, but there it is. And if I hear one more word of nonsense from your lips, I'm going to have to tie you to the bloody bed and have my way with you a hundred different ways, until you finally get it through your silly skull that you are the most beautiful and desirable woman in England, and if everyone else doesn't see that, then they're all bloody fools."
Anthony: "I love you, Kate. It took me a while to figure it out, but I do, and I had to tell you. Today."
Her lips wobbled into a shaky smile as she motioned to the rest of her body with her chin.
Kate: "You've bloody good timing."
Amazingly, he found himself grinning in return.
Anthony: "Almost makes you glad I waited so long, eh? If I'd told you last week, I wouldn't have followed you out to the park today."
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