Awful Story in The Viscount Who Loved Me | Book Review



This was one gigantic nope.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Julia Quinn
Published: December 2000
Publisher: Plaktus
Pages: 384 (paperback)

I was really surprised (in a bad way) by this book given how much most other people seem to love it. I found it uninspiring and giving the worst example of a relationship and what you should put up with.

I disliked Anthony to the extreme. Whilst I know he’s being portrayed as a ‘rake’ and supposed to be a bit rogue, he was so incredibly rude and self-centred that it was impossible to do anything other than detest him. The book utterly lacked any of the passable qualities in book one that made it palatable/the characters likeable.

Kate was okay. She was nearly a good female lead, but after Anthony verbally abuses her in one way or other and she nearly rejects him, he would say something sweet and she would instantly forgive him *EYE ROLL*

I’m sorry, romance is one thing, but if I had a penny for the number of times Anthony threatened to muzzle a woman, told a woman to shut up or threatened to kill a woman, I would be very rich. I just found this so unacceptable and not at all funny. A bad temper is one thing, but to suggest that this is playful, fun and enticing is just inviting a world of problems. Book or no, perpetuating such woman-hating attitudes is a bad idea and certainly doesn’t make for a good read.

I’m really impressed with how well the Netflix adaptation tidied up book one so I can only hope they do the same for book two. If Jane Austen can write strong women in the face of old-time prejudices and still squeeze out a good romance, I don’t see why contemporary authors see the need to resort to such misogynistic writing to try and reflect the era.

Quinn is also trying to deal with childhood trauma in this book, particularly so for Anthony, and I again felt this fell short. It’s not that it was unrelatable because he was a man (as suggested in the author’s note), but that it was superficial and clearly meant as a get-out-of-jail-free card for his behaviour, as though it was some deep, dark brooding secret that made his actions forgivable because you just didn’t understand him. I don’t feel this added anything to the story. Anthony is an arse, end of story. His choices are his own.

This kind of writing did nothing for me and certainly didn’t spice up the sex scenes. If anything, it led me to dislike the characters so much that I found it cringey and horrible to read. At the end of the day, this is a book about a man pursuing a woman who says no to him, just because he feels entitled to whatever he wants. Big no.

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