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I adore JQ. Her books have been auto buys for a while, but I have to say I was disappointed in this book. JQ seems to have a formula that she follows and then plugs the characters around. I would check my % read and think well there should be the action here, they should be tumbling into bed here, they should be engaging in witty dialogue here, and yep here they realize they have fallen in love and sure enough.
The Bridgertons are beginning to remind me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books: Morelli or Ranger?, exploding car, feeding Rex, grandma pulling out a gun...it was fun for a while but after the first 10 it just gets a bit rote if the characters are all going to be used to being the most intelligent in the room, have the same hand gestures, similar sparkling banter, similar looks, and lord have mercy they even are similar in bed.
JQ is an intelligent author, I have faith she can continue to craft gems in the future.
As far as this book, one of my favorite scenes was Juan...can he have his own book?
I pick up each new Julia Quinn expecting to feel the magic that I did when I first read her books more than a decade ago. Instead, she has become increasingly formulaic to the point where I can predict "this is where the first kiss happens" and "this is where they fool around" and "oops, I have X pages left, so they must have sex about ... yup here we are" and "we're at an epilogue, which means BABIES."
I feel like my tastes are moving on from Quinn. I can still recall in great detail the earlier Bridgerton books. These? Not really. I have zero memory of Billie's story, and I read it not that long ago. They are decent reads, but they don't stick with me. I wish Quinn would take the risks that she did in her earlier books. They were far more memorable.
I liked Poppy and Andrew, but I wound up skimming through most of their banter because it just got overly repetitive. They made great friends, but I just wasn't feeling the sexual chemistry for most of the book. How consent was utilized was excellent, A+ there. The ending was funny and great, but then the epilogue was so boringly predictable that I nearly threw my Kindle.
So this was an OK read. I'd give it more 2.5 stars. I liked most of it, but not all. But most of all, I wish for the magic of a Quinn book again. To get that, I'm going to have to go back to the original Bridgerton series.
I really loved this book right up until the end (potential spoiler ahead, read on at your own risk).
I felt like we were building to something about ruination and then... Nothing really happened? This is the third book in the Rokesbys series by Julia Quinn and serves as a prequel series to the much beloved Bridgertons series. This book follows the second son (or maybe the third) of the Rokesbys who is essentially a pirate and Poppy Bridgerton, who stumbles upon the smugglers cave Andrew uses and finds herself kidnapped and captive on Andrew's ship. Obviously a big risk of this plot/trope is having the burgeoning romance feel like it's due to Stockholm Syndrome and it definitely did not feel that way. What I would have preferred though is that we have more not kidnapped time with Andrew and Poppy at the end of the book. But we didn't get that, so... While this book was funny and witty with JQ's trademark style, it didn't have all that I was hoping for.
Poppy Bridgerton, one of the cousins, is kidnaped by the crew of the Integrity who is ready to sail to Portugal. The ship's captain is Andrew Rokesby who've we met in an earlier book. He's a secret government courier who is known as Captain Andrew James. It's a quick read, and honestly, a bit of a disappointment for a Julia Quinn book. Most of the action takes place in the ship's cabin between two self-professed intellectuals. I usually love Ms. Quinn's banter, but here it often felt forced. There was no real build-up in the romance between the characters - mostly a lot of arguing that wasn't fun. Then they get to Portugal and everything happens double-speed without any real explanations, and the book ends. From another author, I might give this a higher rating, but I expect more from Julia Quinn. I'm excited about the Netflix series for the Bridgertons and it's possible she was distracted by it, but most of this plot (what there was of it) just didn't make sense. Hopefully, the next book will be better.
I was really looking forward to Andrew’s story as he was so annoyingly witty and charming in the previous book. But, sadly, he was just annoying for most of this book. We are told he’s charming, but you couldn’t prove it through dialogue or actions. And as for the dialogue, Ms. Quinn in known for creating witty banter between love interests, but these two seemed to converse in pig Latin or, alternatively, were carrying on two different conversations. Most of it neither witty nor interesting. I wanted to pinch my nose or shoot myself, anything to put me out of my misery.
These two characters deserved a better story. Period. The last 20% of the book was stirring enough to get it three stars.
I usually love Julia Quinn 's work. Her latest effort has plenty of her trademark humor. It fell short for me in the romance part. I don't like the books with sex scenes that are so graphic the border in the ridiculous. But, I know what a good, detailed sex scene can add to a story. There are few times in this novel where Andrew and Poppy really connect. The physical scenes lacked intimacy and felt simplified or even juvenile. I did find myself laughing out loud on two occasions, but as a whole, this story did not pack the emotional punch of Quinn's earlier Bridgerton and Rokesby novels.
This novel could almost have been written by a different author. The almost slapstick and comedic opening is not up to the standards of the other Bridgerton books. Eventually, the story becomes more serious and engrossing. The climactic seduction in a prison could have been lifted right out of a novel by Dorothy Dunnett (The Lymond Chronicles), but then the denouement is rushed and almost formulaic.