I came across this book on… Drum rolls… Book-tube. Sasha Alsberg acquired it on her UK trip. In all honesty, we had not read a Romance novel since Fifty Shades Freed (which left a bad taste in my mouth), so I was skeptical at first but since much of Julia Quinn’s work is considered classic, I decided it would be a shame if we didn’t give this well-celebrated author a chance.
The utter joy and content I felt reading the first twenty percent of the book cannot be put into words. There is something about the Victorian era that is so alleviating and erotic that it prickles your spine with excitement each time you get your hands on a book of this genre. Or is that just me?
I have a lot of respect for authors who write good historical fiction that has the ability to take us back in time and keep us there till the very end. Julia Quinn is one of those authors.
It’s extremely overwritten towards the end and yet it’s a pretty quick read. I understand that this is one of her early works so it is bound to show. I don’t know if it was wise to have not started with her more famous works but you take life as it comes to you and this book came to me before the others.
What I like about Robert is that while he doesn’t truly understand what it is that is so attractive about Victoria to him, he embraces what he’s feeling without any resistance…
It wasn’t her beauty.
It wasn’t her intelligence.
It certainly wasn’t her grace.
He couldn’t put his finger on it.
All he knew was that she was perfect and he fell instantly in love.
Julia Quinn writes before the beginning of the story that she does not believe in true love and so she gives us an embodiment of sanity that is a character named Eleanor.
“I met him today.”
“And you think you’re in love? Victoria, only fools and poets fall in love at first sight.”
“Then I suppose I’m a fool,” Victoria said loftily, “because Lord knows I am no poet.”
“You are mad, sister. Utterly mad.” Victoria lifted her chin and looked down her nose at her sister.
“Actually, Eleanor, I don’t think I’ve ever been saner than I am at this very moment.”
Mad. Utterly mad. Sweet too.
She’s seventeen, after all.
Having read this and everything else that shows how deeply Victoria feels about Robert, the events towards the end of the book come off as confusing and unnecessary since the book is such a quick read anyway. Having the two fall apart twice only to come back together was not the best decision on Julia’s part.
What I didn’t like was how the characters seemed to constantly willfully misunderstand each other. They do so in a way that I would think, would astonish even Darcy and Elizabeth! Mind you, I’m yet to read that one.
There was a point in the book around chapter twelve where I thought, what is she going to write about in the next two hundred pages? You read that right. It’s sadly, painfully slow after that point.
Overall, I would give this book a B (on a scale of C- to A+).
A very pleasant read even when you consider how long it takes to reach the inevitable end. Looking forward to reading more books from Julia Quinn. One of the classics this time.
If you enjoyed this review/book, please leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section.