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I have been a fan of Julia Quinn for 15 years now. Though I never expect to like everything written by a favorite author, I have to say that Ms. Quinn's work rarely disappoints me. I can only name one other of her titles that I truly can't say I liked, but at least that one I was able to finish. This particular story didn't manage to nab my attention at all. I didn't like the characters, even after reading several chapters. Poppy was supposed to be a spunky and intelligent female, yet I couldn't relate/empathize with her plight at all. The hero was two-dimensional. He was just "meh". I found myself skipping until I got to the point in which the book almost became a DNF for me, though I went to the end to read how it all wrapped up. The plot did not move along, from my perspective, at a good pace. The humor was also "meh". Ms. Quinn continues to be at the top of my auto-buy list but, at least in my personal opinion, this book wasn't her best.
FINAL DECISION: I so much wanted to love this book, but in the end I found it pretty banal. It was okay but I didn't feel any real heat between the hero and heroine and I thought it was well written but utterly forgettable.
THE STORY: Poppy Bridgerton inadvertently comes across a smuggler's hiding place and finds herself kidnapped aboard ship. Left on the captain's bed, she meets Captain Andrew James Rokesby who is masquerading as a privateer as a cover for his work for the British government. Andrew has no choice but to take Poppy with him as she threatens his current mission. What Poppy doesn't know, however, is who Andrew really is -- his brother is married to her cousin.
OPINION: This book had great potential but ended up a boring predictable story with characters who were too perfect and made no missteps. They felt unreal and had no real connection with one another. At points, I wanted to love this story, but I never felt anything for the characters. As a result, I ended the book saying okay and promptly forgot just about everything about the book.
The story has potential -- the heroine is kidnapped and taken aboard the ship to meet the captain who is masquerading as a privateer in order to cover his work as a courier for the British government. Of course, the hero is without any faults. The heroine is only taken because the government gives him no other choice! He treats her with great courtesy and respect at all times (with the exception of some mild teasing)! He gives her a puzzle to relieve her boredom! They spend the week talking about their hopes and dreams! When they are taken hostage, he makes sure to be a totally wonderful man and doesn't take advantage even while she wants him! He has spent his adult life on the sea, but really wants to work on land so there won't be any conflicts in their future!
The hero was just boring with no faults (except not telling the heroine his real name). And the romance is pretty boring and as expected as a result.
WORTH MENTIONING: This series certainly doesn't live up to the amazing original Bridgerton series. In fact, I realized while reading this book that I couldn't remember either of the other two books in the series when I read this one (even though when I looked at my reviews I gave them pretty high marks), but I can remember several of the original Bridgerton books although I haven't read them for several years.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE OTHER MISS BRIDGERTON is the third book in the Rokesbys series. Although there are overlapping characters, this book can be read as a standalone.
I think Julia Quinn needs to let the Bridgertons go already. I enjoyed the first Bridgerton series starting with Daphne and ending with Gregory, and while not all of them were winners at least, it made sense to go through the love stories of all the siblings. The Smythe-Smith Quartet was a long-standing joke that got old very quickly, and now it's the Rokesbys - more Bridgertons. I can appreciate the slow burn, but this book wasn't just slow it was boring. The characters were flat and not particularly interesting. The supposed humor was not funny, and their "witty banter" was anything but, if anything, I was irritated most of the time by them and their dialogue. I found myself skimming chapters. There was no passion or chemistry between the two main characters, and I found myself even skipping over the one meager and insipid sex scene. The thing is I do like Julia Quinn - I have enjoyed many of her books over the years, and that's why it's so disappointing to read something by her that could have been so much better.
This was definitely not one of my favorites by this author. Found the heroine trite, boooring, and trying ever so hard to be cute. Plot did not seem well thought out and felt almost formula. The book really did not hold my interest and found myself skipping ahead to see if it got any better and it didn’t. Save your money. The Bridgerton series is much better.
Julia Quinn has been one of my favorite authors for nearly two decades. I've read approximately 30 JQ books, and every now and then she seems to get a little bored and will try to "mix things up" by writing something that doesn't rely on her established strengths. These have always been among my least favorite JQ books.
Her greatest strength is probably her ability to write families, and the Bridgerton prequel series seemed like an opportunity to draw on this strength. Families have been so important to JQ's books, that often it seems like the interactions between family members (and extended family members) are essential to providing depth to the central romance. Her more disappointing books have been ones where she "strands" the main characters away from their larger contexts.
Unfortunately, after laying the groundwork for two very fun families in Because of Miss Bridgerton (the series' first book), the next two books abandoned England and the Bridgerton-Rokesby families for Revolutionary America and Somewhere off the Coast of Europe. The main characters, alone and left to their own devices, have been underdeveloped. Readers can't even rely on earlier character development as a crutch in these books. Unsurprisingly, the plots have been less character driven and more dependent on external forces and events like kidnappings and villains to move the stories along. Disguising "exotic locale" books as family-centered Bridgerton books isn't working in this series. Hopefully, the next installment of the series will return to its roots.
I love love love JQ, but I was sorely disappointed with this book. It had such potential, but missed the mark. The first 3/4 of the book feels pretty stagnant, although they are flying through the ocean. I get that she's stuck in a room, but somehow instead of portraying the feeling of boredom, it's just boring to read. There is a lot of dialogue but the characters don't really say anything interesting. I think you'd find more sexual tension at a middle school dance. It felt like someone else wrote most of the book and Julia Quinn just wrote the last chapter. I will continue to read everything she writes, but I hope her formula for writing reverts to the pre-Rokesby series deliciousness that we know and lover her for.
I usually like Julia Quinn's stories. I bought this one becausse it was part of the Rokesby Briggerton story.
I really hated Andrew. I thought he was rather rapey. He basically threatens to kill her in the begining after she is kidnapped. He even recognizes how terrified she is when she scrambles to get away from him and continues to treat her as a "silly chit" instead of somene he has a responsibility for. He simply excuses it all by thinking he might have to marry her to save her from ruin. What a douche. Then to top it off, Poppy has to act like a silly chit. And we are supposed to believe Poppy is smart, pretty, and clever?
The day after day flirty banter was boring and kinda gross when you consider she has been kidnapped and was supposed to be unhappy about it.
Of course everything comes together in the end despite it all. It is a romance novel.
I want the 3 hours I spent reading this tripe and my money back. : (
If you’ve coming to these pages looking for the sweeping romance and laugh-out-loud wit that distinguished Julia Quinn’s earlier work, you might be disappointed.
Poppy and Andrew’s story is light and fluffy, but there is no true depth of feeling. The humor and dialogue is forced, and the romance is lukewarm at best. Lacking in any real chemistry, the relationship between the two main characters seems a little contrived.
In short, if you need something to fill the time on your daily commute or on a flight, this might serve your purpose.
What a disappointment, I looked forward to this book so much. Boring! Slow! A drag to finish. Main characters missing something. I loved all the previous books in the Bridgerton series, in fact I have read each of them more than once. Really expected more from Ms. Quinn.
Quite possibly the most bland, formulaic book I have ever read. I cannot for the life of me understand why these books have such a devoted following. Why they sell, sure, they're perfectly inoffensive and a mindless way to waste a few hours. That kind of mass appeal comes at the expense of anything truly innovative or engaging though. You'd be better off finding a reasonably well written fanfiction. Chances are, it will have a very similar plot and style.