Review of “First Comes Scandal (Rokesbys #4) by Julia Quinn

Quinn, Julia. First Comes Scandal. New York: Avon Books, 2020.

ISBN-13: 978-0062956163 (paperback)/978-0062956170 (eBook) | $7.99 USD (mass market)/$6.99 USD (ebook) | 375 pages | Regency Romance 

Blurb

She was given two choices…

Georgiana Bridgerton isn’t against the idea of marriage. She’d just thought she’d have some say in the matter. But with her reputation hanging by a thread after she’s abducted for her dowry, Georgie is given two options: live out her life as a spinster or marry the rogue who has ruined her life.

Enter Option #3

As the fourth son of an earl, Nicholas Rokesby is prepared to chart his own course. He has a life in Edinburgh, where he’s close to completing his medical studies, and he has no time—or interest—to find a wife. But when he discovers that Georgie Bridgerton—his literal girl-next-door—is facing ruin, he knows what he must do.

A Marriage of Convenience

It might not have been the most romantic of proposals, but Nicholas never thought she’d say no. Georgie doesn’t want to be anyone’s sacrifice, and besides, they could never think of each other as anything more than childhood friends… or could they?

But as they embark upon their unorthodox courtship they discover a new twist to the age-old rhyme. First comes scandal, then comes marriage. But after that comes love…

In the series

#1 Because of Miss Bridgerton 

#2 The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband

#3 The Other Miss Bridgerton

Review

4.5 stars

A new Julia Quinn book is always a reason to celebrate in my book, and First Comes Scandal is no different, the delivery of which (while late) was one of the bright spots of self-isolation, followed soon after by cracking it open. And while I understand some of the concerns about it being low-conflict and lacking in plot, JQ somehow makes it work in a way other authors don’t for me, with her signature wonderful characters and trademark humor.

The two leads are charming and wonderful. I admired Georgie, especially in terms of how she handled the scandal she found herself in; she ably and comically disarms her abductor,  both when he tried to kidnap her initially, and later when he’s still pressing his suit. 

And Nicholas! I love that she wrote a virgin hero without him having a super deep moral reason for doing it, and also acknowledging the risk of disease, something that most historicals include in the “things we pretend don’t exist” pile. And the way he grows more enlightened about medicine and the inequities between men and women through his discussions with Georgie is great, and doesn’t feel out of place.

But of course, given this is a prequel to her original bestselling Bridgerton series, the best part is the tie-ins, as this is where things begin to come together, in a way previous books have only had a reference here or there (if that). Edmund and Violet appear, along with young Anthony and Benedict, and Baby Colin, the latter of whom has undoubtedly stolen the show. He mostly shows early signs of his massive appetite, and the other two display their thirst for mischief. But it’s nice to see that the Bridgertons were always a close knit clan across the generations. 

I really loved this book, but I am aware I am a bit biased where Julia Quinn is concerned, especially as the Bridgertons are involved. I think if you love either of the two as much as I do, then you’ll enjoy this book. 

Author Bio

#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don’t read (or write) romance, and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch her winning the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code.

In 2020, Netflix will premiere Bridgerton, based on her popular series of novels about the Bridgerton family.

To stay up-to-date on all Bridgerton-on-Netflix news, subscribe to JuliaQuinn.com Site News & Updates.

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Review of “The Other Miss Bridgerton” (Rokesbys #3) by Julia Quinn

Quinn, Julia. The Other Miss Bridgerton. New York: Avon Books, 2018. 

Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062388209 | 391 pages | Historical Romance

4.5 stars

Julia Quinn is one of the few autobuy authors where her new release goes near the top of my TBR pile, only to leave me agonizing as I’m faced with the prospect of waiting another year for more books from her. And this one is no different. While there are some small pacing issues, given some of the other books I’ve read lately committing much worse crimes in terms of pacing in relation to plot, I can’t be too upset with this book wrapping things up more quick;y than I’d like.

JQ has two major strengths, characterization and dialogue, and they both shine here. While other authors like to make their characters, especially their heroes, emotionally complex and closed off to the point of being unlikable, you don’t see that with her. There is some deception, and that is where the story could have benefited from being a little longer, because it seems like Poppy just kind of accepts that Captain Andrew James is also her cousins’ friend, Andrew Rokesby, since they’ve already developed feelings for one another. But I love how well their banter, peppered occasionally with Shakespearean references and quotes, as well as discussions of maritime language, among other fun topics, led the way to them falling in love, even when things started off on somewhat tenuous footing.

As this book is given the subheading “A Bridgertons Prequel,” references to the original series are inevitable, and I love how well they’re worked in. It is always a daunting task for any creator to release prequels to their established and well-loved works, given that there will not only be the inevitable comparisons to the originals but examination of the text by eagle-eyed fans to make sure it matches up with the established canon of the world. And while she is not infallible, as some of these examples from past works indicate, she has done well in the case of this book and series with adding to the Bridgerton family history in a believable way, and referencing members of the family we know and love.

That being said, I would recommend this to any Bridgertons fan. While, again it’s not the perfect book, it offers up more  exactly what I think most readers of the Bridgertons and JQ love.

Review of “The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband” (Rokesbys #2) by Julia Quinn

Quinn, Julia. The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband. New York: Avon Books, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-238817-9. Paperback List Price: $7.99

5 stars

Julia Quinn is an autobuy author for me, and is she is the reason I am addicted to historical romance. Having read every one of them (which is something I can’t say I’ve done for many of my other favorites), she has never disappointed me. One of the many things I love about her (aside from her humorous dialogue!) is the way she incorporates different types of people into her books, and makes them both convincing in a historical context and relatable in a modern sense.

This book is no different. Edward Rokesby is a hero I loved almost from the moment I met him. He’s a hero who has a sense of honor, and I love that he never had a moment of anger at Cecilia for her deception, even though she knew he had every right to be angry at her for lying.

I also love that he’s not your typical lordling or rake that you see in romance novels, who has a reputation for bad behavior. It is stated at one point that “his father had pulled him aside and put the fear of God and pox in him. And so while Edward had visited brothels with his friends, he’d never partaken of the goods.”  (143) While it does go on to say he was by no means completely celibate, it states his preference for discretion and being with someone of his acquaintance.

I would also like to commend JQ for trying a new setting, as well as giving us a different perspective of sorts of the Revolutionary War. In a recent chat regarding the book, she mentioned how we as Americans are taught that the British were the “bad guys” in this conflict, so it is fascinating to see a novel about the time period where all the major characters are British.