Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed.
Billie Bridgerton has long known she would likely marry a Rokesby brother. After all, the Bridgertons and Rokesbys are more family than neighbors and she grew up running wild with Edward, Andrew, and Mary Rokesby. But when a feral feline rescue goes wrong, it’s George Rokesby, the heir to the earldom, who Billie finds herself stranded with. George is the one Rokesby Billie cannot abide. And the feeling is mutual; the two of them are always sniping at each other.
Except…something strange seems to be happening. Billie feels like she’s truly seeing George for the first time. And he her. She couldn’t possibly be falling in love with her favorite nemesis…could she?
Because of Miss Bridgerton is bright, engaging, and utterly charming. As a longtime fan of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, I was delighted to get a chance to revisit the beloved family, even if in a prequel series. The titular Miss Bridgerton in this tale is the aunt of the eight beloved siblings, and the clever, competitive, and endearing apples don’t fall too far from the tree. Billie is the oldest of the Bridgerton siblings, and as there’s such an age gap between her and her younger brother, for a longtime she was raised almost like a boy. At twenty-three she runs her family estate, taking an interest in agriculture that would surely scandalize society, and she has no interest in settling down. Billie assumes she’ll one day marry Edward or Andrew Rokesby, and as they are more like brothers to her she’s in no rush to wed. George is the one Rokesby who drives her mad. He seems staid and serious and they constantly needle one another. George complements Billie perfectly. Yes, he’s quieter than the rest and has been raised never to forget he will inherit an earldom one day. But George can match Billie jab-for-jab and when they’re not bickering things get surprisingly heated.
Billie and George have a wonderful slow-burn romance and it was fantastic to watch them unwittingly fall in love with one another. I loved that George not only accepted Billie for the unusual woman that she was, but adored that about her. And Billie never pressures George to change, but rather comes to admire and love him for his true nature. They’re both fairly well-adjusted characters, but in falling in love they come fully into who they’re meant to be and it was lovely to watch.
As I previously mentioned, Because of Miss Bridgerton is a prequel of sorts to the beloved Bridgerton series. It easily stands on its own, but there are some incredibly fun callbacks to the Bridgerton series. From the Mallet of Death to the appearance of a couple of jovial (if slightly dim) Berbrookes to the behavior of the wonderful Bridgerton and Rokesby siblings, there’s enough in Because of Miss Bridgerton to satisfy Brigerton fans while not overtaking the story. All in all, I had a blast reading Billie and George’s book – it’s bright, fun, and has all the charm I’ve come to expect from Ms. Quinn’s writing. I devoured Because of Miss Bridgerton in one sitting and my only complaint is that I have to wait to read the next Rokesbys book, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband.