Staff Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

It is quite possible that, in the last year or so, you’ve heard of “Bridgerton” – a Netflix series that has taken the world by storm. The series is based on Julia Quinn’s novels, each focused on one of the Bridgerton siblings in 1800s England. The first of the novels was published back in 2006, so many readers have already acquainted themselves with the Bridgertons before the incomparable Shonda Rhimes created the series. The newest season, based on the second novel, “The Viscount Who Loved Me” has just been released this past Friday. This season and novel follows the oldest Bridgerton, Anthony, as he decides it is time to fulfill his duties as the Viscount Bridgerton and find a wife.

The year is 1814, and Anthony Bridgerton has decided to find a wife – much to the excitement of all the eligible women of the ton – as well as their mothers. Unknown to them, however, is Anthony’s plan to not seek out a love match. He believes such a thing cannot exist, and would only complicate things, and so decides to look at his options strategically. He, as well as many other men, notice the beautiful Edwina Sheffield. While Edwina is young and actively searching for a love match, her older sister Katharine (more commonly known as Kate), makes it her duty to watch out for Edwina and keep her away from the wrong man – such as the Viscount. As Anthony and Kate collide throughout the novel over Edwina, their relationship and feelings towards each other change and grow. And of course, gossip queen Lady Whistledown still reins supreme over the ton, revealing secret after secret – other than her own identity of course.

While the novel is part of the “Bridgerton” series, the stories can be read as stand-alone novels, if one wishes to do so. While other Bridgerton siblings float in and out of each others stories, each novel is primarily focused on one sibling and their potential match. Anthony and Kate are the main characters here, but those who have watched the show or read the previous novel, “The Duke and I, opens a new window” will recognize the other siblings we’ve met along the way, as well as Simon, Lady Danbury and the Featheringtons. There are some characters, however, that were created for the show, such as the Queen and Madame Delacroix, who are not part of any of the novels. Fans of the show and the series as a whole will enjoy learning more about the Bridgerton’s father Edmund in this novel, who passed away several years ago. Anthony, as the oldest, spent the most time with their father, and we see in this novel the way his death has affected many aspects of Anthony’s character. Kate also has some past trauma that she has buried away which also comes to the surface concerning the death of a loved one.

Both the show and the novels are known for their steamy romance, and this novel is no exception. Author Julia Quinn is part of the Romance Writer’s of America Hall of Fame, so rest assured, she knows how to write a love story. There are some spicy love scenes in the novel, so if you’re looking for some heat, look no further! “The Viscount Who Loves Me” is arguably the fan-favourite of the “Bridgerton” novels, specifically due to Miss Kate Sheffield. She is a well-loved character who readers will see again and again in future novels as well. If you’re in the mood for something spicy, sweet and full of secrets, pick up Julia Quinn’s The Viscount Who Loved Me today!