There were Bridgertons before the eight alphabetically named siblings. In this second of a new prequel series, following Because of Miss Bridgerton, we go back to where it all began. . . from New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn.
While you were sleeping...
With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He's unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier's life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie...
I told everyone I was your wife
When Edward comes to, he's more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out three months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he'd always assumed he'd marry his neighbor back in England.
If only it were true...
Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Julia Quinn's latest romance offers a refreshing departure from Regency ballrooms, with a story that’s reminiscent of the rom-com classic While You Were Sleeping. Cecilia Harcourt travels from England to the war-torn colonies to seek her missing brother. To gain access and information, she must pretend to be married to comatose Captain Edward Rokesby—and things get even more complicated when he wakes up. We loved the novel’s Revolutionary War setting and slow-burn love story, which sets it apart from the historical romance crowd.
In this charming sequel to Because of Miss Bridgerton, Quinn heads to late-18th-century America for a tale of romance and international intrigue. Cecilia Harcourt has come from her Derbyshire village to occupied New York to search for her missing brother. She finds that his best friend and her sometime correspondent, Capt. Edward Rokesby, is in the hospital with a head injury . By claiming that she is Edward's wife, Cecilia is allowed to care for him while getting more information about her brother's whereabouts but when Edward wakes with no memory of the last few months, Cecilia finds herself trapped in the lie. Edward and Cecilia make a captivating couple whose relationship grows naturally from their letters and personalities, and even their flaws including Cecilia's ongoing deception are understandable and appealing instead of frustrating. The secondary characters, mostly other British officers, are less well constructed, however, bordering on clich in their deference toward Edward and dismissal of Cecilia. This is a solid entry in the Bridgerton universe.
a wonderful read and a perfect example of Quinn’s writing.
Moving away some forty years before the Regency Era, and across the Atlantic to the Colonies, Julia Quinn already places this story into the basket of new experiences for readers. It’s rare that we have a revolutionary-war era story to read about, particularly in a Colonial setting, and I was all in from the start – especially with the twist of the “while you were sleeping” added in. Cecilia is a woman in dire straits: her father has died, her brother is away in the colonies at war, and society states that the heir, and her husband and protector shall be her cousin. Not a prospect she wishes to entertain, she takes matters into her own hands and books passage to the Americas to find her brother. While she doesn’t find Thomas, she does find his best friend, Edward Rokesby, unconscious but to hand. She decides that saving him is important, perhaps he’ll know of Thomas and his whereabouts, and concocts a lie, stating that her brother arranged for Edward and Cecilia to be married by proxy, and she has come to join her husband.
Edward awakens to find his best friend’s sister (and frequent letter-writer) is by his side, and now his wife. These two are adorable together, Edward is kind, gentle, honorable and he does find Cecilia to his liking. They are slowly sharing stories and dreams, until the first secret is revealed. Sure, there are reasons to dislike Cecilia for her deception, but deep down, this is a wonderfully kind and more than slightly desperate young woman, grasping at the best chance she can see to find her brother and determine some of her own destiny. Edward is hurt by the deception, but rather than over-react and toss her away, he’s willing to listen, to really hear her reasons, and understand just what brought her to such a desperate act.
With the question of Thomas nearly forgotten as Cecilia finds herself actually falling in love with Edward, his part in the story is left to a major twist – completely unique and surprising, and wholly unexpected, adding depth and some intrigue to a story that, at its heart, is purely the tale of two people coming to unexpectedly find love and new lives. A perspective and setting that is unique and fresh, combined with a couple at the heart who are so well suited and wonderfully nuanced, this was a wonderful read and a perfect example of Quinn’s writing.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
The Girl With A Make-Believe Husband
The Bridgestone Series are a favorite reading series for me. I laughed and teared up with each book I read. Julia Quinn has a way of bringing the best out of each character. They become friends that you want to know personally. Each book is a gem!
Hilarious Opening Chapter
By far the best first chapter of any of the Bridgerton books I’ve read. Witty, charming...I couldn’t put it down! I’ve reread the book in its entirety several times now. I love the comedy aspect with the romance-by far my favorite author to read!!