4 Sentence Summary
Julia Quinn’s novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me, is the 2nd part of a series that follows the romantic escapades of the Bridgerton siblings in Regency-era London. The book centers around Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest son and Viscount, as he decides to end his bachelor lifestyle and commit to marriage. The story contains amusing and touching moments with some parts overly focused on dialogue. Overall, it is an enjoyable read.
Summary Read Time: Less than 5 minutes
Actual Book Length: 354
First Published in: 2000
The second season of Netflix’s Bridgerton series is an adaptation of this same novel. The adaptation differs from the book by portraying the Sheffields as the Sharmas. This provides representation for South Asian characters in romantic lead roles and breaking stereotypes.
Below is the detailed yet quick summary of the book:
Part 1 – Kate & Anthony
The novel begins with a glimpse into the past of Anthony Bridgerton, where he was raised in a warm and loving family. Anthony was particularly close to his father, Edmund, who passed away suddenly due to an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
The untimely death of his father had a profound impact on Anthony, leading him to believe that he could never surpass such a great man, even in terms of age.
Moving to the present, Kate and Edwina Sheffield prepare for the social events of the London season. Kate has read about Anthony Bridgerton in Lady Whistledown’s gossip sheet, which has led her to believe that he is an irredeemable Rake.
Meanwhile, Edwina is excited about the opportunity to find a match on the “Marriage Mart,” and Kate fears that she will remain single for the rest of her life. Edwina values Kate’s opinion and publicly declares that she will only marry someone who Kate approves of. Consequently, Edwina’s potential suitors try to win over Kate to gain her permission.
Anthony decides it is time for him to settle down and start a family, even if he won’t live long enough to raise his children himself. He tells his brothers, Benedict and Colin, that he intends to court Edwina Sheffield, who he believes is the best available option for marriage.
Kate is concerned that Anthony’s rakish behavior won’t change, and he will not be a good husband for Edwina. Colin introduces Kate and Anthony, but the two do not get along at first.
Part 2 – From Lake To Library
The following day, Anthony visits Kate’s house in the hopes of seeing Edwina. They end up talking for a while before Mary, Kate’s stepmother, and Newton, Kate’s corgi, join them.
Mary suggests they take Newton for a walk, and as they lead him through the park, Newton runs away and jumps on Edwina, knocking her into the lake. Edwina catches a cold from her time in the water, and so Kate and Mary attend a musicale at the Bridgerton House without her.
At the event, Kate watches Anthony flirt with a hired opera singer and feels jealous. Unbeknownst to her, Anthony had a sexual dream about Kate the previous night and was flirting with the singer to distract himself from his confusing feelings.
After the musicale, several members of the ton are rude to Kate, and she seeks refuge in a room that turns out to be Anthony’s private study. Kate overhears Anthony’s conversation with Maria, and when Maria leaves, Anthony confronts Kate. During their argument, Anthony kisses Kate.
Days after the eventful kiss, Anthony is watching guests arrive at his mother’s party when he finds Kate in the gardens. He apologizes for his behavior, which Kate misunderstands as him regretting the kiss.
Despite feeling hurt, Kate conceals her emotions. Colin interrupts them to announce a game of Pall Mall. They join other guests and stay up late into the night, unable to stop thinking about each other.
Kate seeks refuge in the library during a thunderstorm, but she suffers a panic attack. Anthony comes to her aid, and they return to their rooms separately.
Part 3 – A Compromising Situation
The following day, Anthony seeks out Kate to have a private conversation in the garden. While they talk, a bee stings Kate, and Anthony attempts to remove the venom from her chest. They are discovered together unchaperoned in a compromising position by their respective mothers and Mrs. Featherington.
In fear of gossip, they agree to marry within a week. Anthony informs Kate that their marriage will be based on respect, friendship, and mutual understanding, but not love. On their wedding night, Kate asks Anthony to love her, and they consummate their marriage.
Anthony attempts to avoid falling in love with Kate by keeping himself busy. Edwina visits them and reveals that she is falling for someone. Anthony offers to fund her dowry, but a storm triggers a nightmare in Kate, and they seek Mary’s counsel.
Mary reveals to them that Kate’s mother died during a storm, causing Kate’s fear. After understanding her past, Kate starts to heal. However, when Kate talks about growing old together, Anthony panics and leaves the house.
Anthony confides in Benedict and Colin about his fear of falling in love with Kate. Colin suggests that Anthony tells Kate he loves her. Anthony realizes that he wants to live a life filled with happiness and love, even if it is short. He sets out to find Kate’s carriage and witnesses it flipping over.
Anthony finds Kate alive but injured and declares his love for her. Kate promises to reciprocate her feelings as soon as he frees her from the wreckage. They reunite, and Anthony discovers that Kate has broken her leg.
Part 4 – A Mallet Of Death
After Kate’s injury, Anthony hires three doctors to take care of her. Once her leg is fixed, Kate asks Anthony what he meant by “it was not her time yet”. Anthony explains that his father’s death made him believe he would also die young and that he was afraid to love Kate because of the pain his death would cause her.
Kate understands Anthony’s pain and tells him that fear is normal, but one should not let fear dictate their life. Anthony and Kate tell each other they love each other, and Kate is convinced they will grow old together.
On Anthony’s 39th birthday, he spends most of the day talking to his father’s portrait and realizes that the life he has now is what Edmund wanted for him all along.
Kate and Anthony put on a “dismal” concert at their home, and the Bridgertons attend the celebrations. As they prepare for bed, they discuss the latest issue of Lady Whistledown, and Anthony wonders if the author has a spy in their family.
Fifteen years into their marriage, Kate and Anthony reunite with the same group for a commemorative game of Pall Mall. It has become tradition for Kate and Anthony to stage elaborate attempts at sabotaging each other, including stealing the lucky “mallet of death” and creating mud puddles on the playing field.
This year, Colin learns of their plans and steals the mallet of death. Anthony sends Kate’s ball flying into a muddy patch she made to sabotage him, and eventually, Kate hits Anthony’s ball into the lake once again. Kate and Anthony walk back to Aubrey Hall together and decide to work together. They decide to sabotage Colin and prevent him from stealing the mallet of death in next year’s game.