Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places…
This is not one of those times.
Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband… someday.
Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should…
There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he’s arrogant, annoying, and she’s absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can’t stand the sight of him, either.
But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor…
Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can’t abide is the one person they can’t live without…
Publisher and Release Date: Avon, April 2016
Place and Time: England, 1779
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Wendy
It’s really nice to see the Bridgertons back again in this first of Julia Quinn’s Rokesby series – after all they’re like old friends to most of us. And at first glance, she’s picked up where she left off, with her witty and sparkling dialogue, strong and independent heroine and handsome, honourable hero.
Billie Bridgerton is twenty-three, unwed and always getting into scrapes. Her nearest neighbours, who just happen to be her family’s oldest and dearest friends, also have three sons of marriageable age and although it’s never said outright, Billie is more or less expected to end up with one of the younger Rokesby brothers. As well as being the wish of both mothers, Billie, too, has always assumed that this would be the case, and she’s happy enough not to have to put herself out too much. Edward and Andrew, along with their sister Mary, had been her playmates when they were all children and they are all still very close. There’s another brother, George, Viscount Kennard – the heir to his father’s earldom – but Billie and George don’t really get on. He’s a few years older, he’s stuffy and – well he’s just not in the equation!
Except, of course, for when he is.
In her usual gung-ho manner, Billie has climbed a tree in pursuit of a cat which needs saving – the problem being that said cat doesn’t want to be saved and Billie ends up stuck on a roof with a badly sprained ankle and no way of returning to terra firma. Until, that is, the last man in the world she wants to see her in such a situation turns up and offers to help. George Rokesby finds a ladder, climbs up to rescue his reckless neighbour – but the evil cat does for him too! The ladder ends up on the ground and George AND Billie are stranded on the roof together with no obvious way down and evening approaching. Eventually, Andrew – who is home on leave from the Royal Navy due to a broken arm – happens along in the nick of time and they reach the ground safely. Their sojourn on the roof is probably is the most time the two hapless good Samaritans have ever spent in each other’s company, let alone actually conversed; but the seed is sown and after George carries Billie all the way home – well the rest is a foregone conclusion. Eventually.
George and Billie are both likeable characters, but have their own insecurities to deal with which round them out and make them more than just a ‘nice’, attractive pair. George feels useless because his brothers are serving their country and he is stuck at home, and Billie, while strong-willed and witty, dislikes the idea of being out of her comfort zone where she is known and everyone forgives her eccentricities. She’s been one of the lads for so long that even her parents take her for granted; the only person who truly sees her is George.
There’s a half-hearted attempt to inject some angst into the story which I won’t go into other than to say that it isn’t particularly successful, but really, the novel is about how George and Billie discover ways in which to come to terms with their lot in life through their new found love for each other. It’s a nicely written, pretty much angst free, sweet little love story and I enjoyed it. It pressed all the feel-good buttons but didn’t make me lose any sleep. In true Julia Quinn fashion, there is some nice, witty, and at times, funny, dialogue – although in fact there was a point at which I felt there was TOO MUCH dialogue. But on the whole, Because of Miss Bridgerton is a nice start to the series, which, judging by the name, will be about George’s brothers finding true love. I shall look forward to them.