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Tuesday, November 24, 2009:
Spotlight: Q - Julia Quinn
Sometimes my author spotlight section is a breeze. Other times it's difficult to choose an author from so many great ones. I'm pleased to say that this week's spotlight author was one of the easiest I've done, and what fun it was to write.

My first encounter with the books of Julia Quinn was many years ago. In a book I was reading, I had read a blurb from "The Viscount Who Loved Me", where Kate is hiding under Anthony's desk, and the sparks that flew between these two characters was too extraordinary to resist. I definitely had to get a copy of this book. Kate was funny and incredibly smart and interesting, much more so than her sister, whom Anthony had decided to marry. I couldn't wait to see her putting him in his place.

At the time I didn't realize it was not the first book in the series (it was actually the 2nd) but by then, I was already hooked. I fell head over heels in love with Anthony and Kate, and just adored that entire Bridgerton family. And while I enjoyed each of the subsequent stories about the Bridgerton siblings, no one could quite hold a candle to the love story of Anthony and Kate. They had it all.

Not until Michael Stirling came along in "When He Was Wicked" and stole my heart, that is. I can't say that Francesca could ever compare to the unforgettable Kate, because she does not, but there was something about her that I did like, and it was quite obvious Michael thought she hung the moon, even though his love for her was for the most part unrequited. Julia wrote a darker, more sexual story with WHWW than she had with any of her other books that I'd read, and I loved it. It was edgier, hotter, and incredibly intense. It remains one of my favorite re-reads ever.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Julia twice. Once was at RWA in 2008, which was lovely but also a bit disappointing because she is one of those authors that is always in high demand, so as much as I enjoyed meeting her, it was for a brief moment while she signed my book. The other time was soon after that, in the fall, when she and Laura Lee Guhrke did a book tour and came to the Chicago area (click link to read more). Squee! It was to a library outside the city, and it wasn't a huge gathering, rather one much more intimate and relaxed. Julia and Laura took turns answering questions about their books, and afterwards we stayed and got to chat for awhile. Julia is just as engaging and friendly as you'd imagine, and I had several of my books signed by her.

I was one of the few readers that actually enjoyed what she did with "The Lost Duke of Wyndham" (loved this story so much! Jack and Grace were so wonderful) and "Mr. Cavendish, I Presume". I preferred the first story to the second, but still, I wasn't as disappointed as some readers were. The concept worked for me.

Now I wasn't as excited about her last book. "What Happens In London" started out with so much potential but just fell flat for me. So much went on with the Russian and some ridiculous plot that keeps the hero and heroine distracted so we don't get to see the love story develop like we do in previous books. I didn't think we needed so much emphasis on the drama when it would have been better suited on the romance.

Still, Julia remains on my auto-buy list. She still writes a more memorable, sparkling story, even when she's not at her best. It's what makes her so unique, and one of my all-time favorites.

What's your favorite Julia Quinn novel?

Would you like to be part of the Bridgerton family?

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  1. My favorite Julia Quinn book is:

    To Catch An Heiress

    I thought this book was funny and I loved the hero and heroine.

  2. I loved Dancing at Midnight. My absolute favorite. Read it when it first came out gazillions of years ago. Like Danielle, I also loved To Catch an Heiress and How to Marry a Marquis (also read back in the day), but DaM remains my fave.

    I agree with you on Michael, though, Stacy. He was yummy. It was a dark and delicious book. A couple of the Bridgertons were duds for me, and while I absolutely loveloveloved TLDOW, I thought she could have done so much more with Mr. Cavendish.

    I also met her for a few minutes at RWA and she was gracious and wonderful.

  3. My first Julia Quinn book was The Viscount Who Loved Me (TVWLM). I picked it up because I was excited to finally find a book with a heroine who wasn't beautiful. And I adored it! The croquet-like game - hilarious! So I gloomed, and while I enjoyed them nothing matched TVWLM until I read When He Was Wicked. Michael was... *SIGH* How he felt about came across so well.

    Those two books are my all-time favourite Julia Quinn books and are on my keeper shelf (OK, in a box until I have a library and a shelf to put them on :) And now I have a hankering to read them again *grin*

  4. My only Quinn book is What Happens in London..but I really want to read her others!!

  5. My favorite is The Viscount who Loved Me. I actually got done re-reading it this afternoon. I adore it and re-read every month. Weird I know.

    And HECK yes would love to be apart of the Bridgertons. To have that much everything (love, arguments, humor) in one family is amazing.

    I have to say I also loved Mr Cavendish, I Presume. I liked that it was another side. Because in the first one I wanted to know what was going to go on with them.

    She is a an auto-buy also for me. Everything is good.

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  7. I really like her books. I think the first Bridgerton is my favorite. I've also loved "Secret Diaries...". I should read "What happens..." next :)

  8. My favorite Quinn is actually The Lost Duke of Wyndham. I also kind of like the Secret Diary of Miranda Cheever or whatever that title was. I know, no one else on the planet likes those books. I'm an aberration.

  9. Oh I lovelovelove JQ and her Bridgerton Series I'm on the 7th book now. :) But I think "The Duke and I" and "The Viscount.." will always me my favorite along with "Romancing Mr. Bridgerton" (who could every resist Colin's charm, eh?) I'm really happy to have found this article. Thank you for writing it :)

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