Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-238814-8
Historical Romance, 2016
The first page of this book tells me that I must read Because of Miss Bridgerton because, well, the Bridgertons are back. Wait, were they ever away? The author’s last few books weren’t part of the series, but the Bridgertons were still present, the talk of the Ton and the darling of the beautiful people, because nothing they say or do is ever anything less than impeccable. So, to me, this book isn’t a “back to the good stuff” moment as much as it is just a confirmation that this family is never going to go away. Not exactly a good thing, considering that I feel that there isn’t anything new or interesting that one can do with that family anymore, unless the author decides to spring out a drooling ugly sister from the attic and pair her off with a sheep herder from Australia.
This one actually takes place before the previous books, and I only know this because I read this in other reviews. The Bridgertons are a bit of a blur to me, as everyone seems interchangeable after a while. This one pairs up Sybilla “Billie” Bridgerton – TOMBOY!!! with capital letters and all these exclamation marks because she is spirited and feisty that way – with George Rokesby, the eldest brat of the neighbor. The two families are tight, but Billie and George can’t stand one another. Or so they claim.
When the story opens, Billie is stuck on a roof due to a failed attempt to rescue a cat. George happens to pass by – of course – and he tells her that she wears breeches and all, so he can’t think of her as a girl. Or a human. How cute, I thought then, expecting to turn the page and have the story jump ten years down the road when they are finally adults and… wait. These two are adults when the scene takes place – he’s 27 and she’s 23 and they are both practically sticking out their tongues at one another.
The rest of the story is in the same vein. Not that this is anything new – the author’s earliest books such as Minx were similarly… suitable for younger teens, for the want of a better word, with supposed adults often behaving in ways that those younger teens can relate to. There are some sexy moments later in this book, but I doubt the author would be corrupting those younger teens – they’d most likely have read or seen more graphic stuff elsewhere. At any rate, in many ways, this is the author going back to her roots – no drama, no complicated plot, just love and sequel-baiting and all that jazz.
Reading this book is a pleasant experience. There is nothing particularly objectionable here – nobody does anything too dumb, the whole thing is readable (if a bit too slowly-paced for my liking, but that’s okay, I can always go make a drink when I put down the book), and really, there is nothing objectively bad here. It’s like dating a bloke who is cute, doesn’t eat too loudly or end up spewing food bits all over the place, doesn’t have bad breath, seems like a pleasant conversationalist, has a stable career and doesn’t come with an overbearing mother… and yet one finds herself eyeing the hot waiter who serves the drinks, especially when he bends over to place the drinks at the next table, and thinking of all those exciting, hot boys that have broken one’s heart but, if one is being honest, gave one hell of a great time in bed. Focus… focus… Mr Nice Guy has a nice smile and he… oh my, the waiter really has some nice buns, maybe it’s time to drop the spoon and hope he’d pick it up.
And then the girlfriend asks, “So, are you going to call him?” and one would say. “I guess so.” And wonder why saying that doesn’t give those warm and exciting feelings.
That’s Because of Miss Bridgerton. It’s okay. It’s alright. But it doesn’t excite me much, so rather than a “take it or leave it” thing, it is more of a “take it, leave it, whatever”.