Well, for starters, I love Julia Quinn’s books. I have read every single one of them -from her first novel Splendid (one of her best) to her latest The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (not one of her best) . But also, because Julia Quinn is the main reason why I started reading romance novels in the first place – which started a butterfly effect.
Had I not picked up that Julia Quinn book last August, I would not have gone into a romance novel binge and I would not have started searching the net for reviews on other authors, and I would not have found fabulous blogs such as Ramblings on Romance or sites such as Smart Bitches. And these two were my inspiration for wanting to start my own blog, which I mentioned to Thea en passant one day in late December. And on that day we became The Book Smugglers.
Julia Quinn is the reason why I am here right now, talking to you.
I bought the book, brought it home and forgot about it. Until that fateful evening when I picked it up and read the first sentence: “Anthony Bridgerton had always known he would die young” . What ensued next was a battle of wits between my brain and my heart. I will try to replicate the exact conversation that took place:
Ana’s Brain: I can not believe we are reading a book called The Viscount Who Loved Me.
Ana’s heart: oh shut up will you? we are just having a good time. we are not getting involved.
Ana’s brain (henceforth, simply, Brain) : yeah, right. I heard that one before. Why can’t we read The Sorrows of Young Werther? or if you want something light we could re-read the latest Harry Potter.
Ana’s heart (Henceforth, simply Pinky): nah. I will give this a go. You can go to bed earlier, if you want to. I am sure I can manage by myself.
*a few moments later*
Pinky: hummm….this is actually good.
Brain: ha? what is? what is going on, why is so hot in here all of a sudden? are you actually warming up to this? it is only page what? 10? 15?
Pinky: But Anthony is a young man and his father dies and he thinks he will never live up to his name. oh, I want to hug him.
Brain: Puh-lease grown a back bone will ya. I think I will stick around to keep an eye on you.
*a few more pages later*
Brain: The man wants to marry someone he won’t love. That is just plain silly.
Pinky: Yeah, I will grant you that – but you must realise that he is just afraid. Plus, can’t you tell that he is going to fall in love with this woman Kate? She is very clever. I like her already.
Pinky: what’s that sound? Was that a laugh?
Brain: Sorry, it was me. This part was actually very funny and clever. (Ana’s insert: the Pall Mall game) But I am sure it is just a one off.
*after the thunderstorm and the assassin bee scenes*
Pinky: Oh my, this is really good brain, can’t you tell? These two are good together.
Brain: PINKY, stop that. You know I do not like cheese. No, get away from me. *chants* I will not surrender, I will not surrender.
*the wedding night*
Brain: It’s so so hot, should we open the window?
Pinky: Oh dear lord.
*towards the end…..*
Brain: Oh, he breaks down. Look at him, he is a wreck. You know that ever since Heathcliff in the Wuthering Heights, I can’t bear to see a man crying.Awwwww, how sweet. This cheese is actually good.
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I am pondering?
Pinky: I think so brain. But how can we find a time machine and go back to 19th Century England to marry Colin Bridgerton?
Brain: no dumb ass, we must get this woman’s entire backlist, pronto.
And so we did. Since that day, my heart and my brain have come to an agreement on how good romance novels can be. And the rest, as they say, is history.