Welcome to Sincerely Simone Ashley, a comprehensive fansite dedicated to the English actress, simone ashley! You might know Simone from her roles in TV series such as "Sex Education" or "The Sister", or as the lead actress in season two of Netflix's hit show "Bridgerton" as Kate Sharma! This fansite aims to update you with the latest news and photos on Simone's career, as well as providing detailed information, media and fun pages. Be sure to look around the site and enjoy your stay - we hope you come back soon!


Reviews From A Book Reader: ‘Bridgerton’ 2×01: “Capital R Rake”

Bridgerton 2×01 “Capital R Rake” brings back the Bridgerton family, introduces the Sharma family, cements the role Lady Whistledown has to play in this story, and oh yes, establishes the dynamics at the center of this season – those between Anthony Bridgerton and our very own Kate Sheffield Sharma.

Was I the only one squealing at the name? No, right? No. I’ll take all my Easter Eggs with a smile, please and thank you.

The first episode of Season 2 also makes us like Anthony even less than Season 1 did, while also making us understand him more. For non-book readers, Anthony might be a hard pill to swallow right now. However, for those of us who understand the pain he’s hiding, he’s just a man who desperately needs not to be put in his place, though yes, he can use a bit of that always, but to be loved in a way that makes him feel safe.

And that’s what this journey is about, two people who don’t think they want or need the love they’re going to find, discovering that, sometimes, if you’re brave and you let it, love can change you. It can make you better. And, almost as importantly, it can help you feel at home in your own skin.

So, let’s go into the Bridgerton family, the Sharma family, the Lady Whistledown, and the Kathony of it all as we discuss Bridgerton 2×01 “Capital R Rake” from my very personal reader POV. Raquel will be discussing the series from the POV of someone who hasn’t read the books, and if you’re interested in how much our feelings diverge, make sure to check her reviews as well!

Bridgerton 2×01 “Capital R Rake” ups the Bridgerton family dynamics, in a way that doesn’t just make sense, but that is great to see considering we still have at least two more seasons, and likely six more to go in this story. In fact, Bridgerton 2×01 “Capital R Rake” even gives us some Frannie, something we weren’t even sure was possible. There was a distinct possibility Francesa Bridgerton was just a figment of our imagination at this point.

All jokes aside, the main reason why Bridgerton was a good series to adapt was the relationships between the Bridgerton family, and though season 1 didn’t always focus on them, it still did more than the books had a chance to, by virtue of having the time and the space to focus on things the single-minded focus of the source material didn’t really lend itself to.

Season 2 starts off perfectly in this regard, not just with the siblings – though every moment of them teasing each other, every look, every instant when these actors really do come off as siblings, is perfection, but with Violet Bridgerton, as well. If there’s one constant in the books is that she was never just a quiet, uninterested observer in her kid’s life, and that has very much translated into the show. But, and this is the most important part, the love is still there. And if It comes with a joke or two at the expense of her kids, well, that’s just a mother’s prerogative, isn’t it?

Bridgerton 2×01 “Capital R Rake” also introduces us to the Sharma family, in a way that allows us to contrast them with the Bridgertons – and that allows us to contrast Anthony’s role in his family to Kate’s role in hers.

Kate, much like Anthony, has taken it upon herself to care for her family. It’s much harder for her, as a woman, to do it to the extent Anthony can, but she has still taken that burden onto herself, and one must admit she’s doing a splendid job considering the constraints she’s been forced to exist in. She’s taking care of Edwina, taking care of Mary, and she’s still loving and bright and so, so smart.

But she’s afraid, too. Afraid to be herself, to put herself out there. Kate’s designed role within the family means that she has never, will never put her own needs or desires first, and that’s selflessness, yes, but it’s also, in a way, the easiest path. If you expect no reward, ever, then why would you need to take any risks? You can be comfortable, safe. Even if that means you’re alone.

A part of Kate, just like Anthony, believes that not having the kind of relationship they both saw in their parents is not just okay, it’s safer. You can’t get hurt if you don’t care. You can’t hurt others if you don’t allow them to care. But life – and love – never really go according to plan, and that’s a lesson both Kate and Anthony will need to learn this season. Well, that and how to just let go and feel.

Blasphemy, I know, because we all loved Whistledown just the way she was – and loved Penelope for being her, but there’s something about the way the show is setting up Whistledown that’s making me really excited. Some of the love stories – like Anthony and Kate’s – don’t need any fixing, but there was always so much about Whistledown I wish we could have been privy to, and a lot of that has to do with Eloise.

Though Romancing Mister Bridgerton, the fourth book in the Bridgerton series, and the one that focuses on Penelope and Colin, gives Penelope and Eloise’s friendship a little time to shine, the books are, by definition, romances, and the friendships never get as much focus. As understandable and within the genre as that is, I have friends who have been in my life as long as my husband, and some of those relationships have defined me as much as my love story has.

Penelope and Eloise’s friendship, the development of it, and the fact that we get seasons to focus on them, to see them grow and support each other, means this show has the chance to give us a better Whistledown, just by virtue of giving us much more of an insight into her decisions – and the people she loves. Yes, that’s always been Colin, but it has also, always, been Eloise and the entire Bridgerton family, at times as much, if not more than her own family. And I’m glad we get to explore that.

Sometimes you get more than one great love in life, and they don’t all need to be romantic.

Bridgerton 2×01 “Capital R Rake” quickly goes into the dynamics between Anthony and Kate, and it does so in a way that establishes the enemies-to-lovers dynamic about as well as it’s possible to. No, these two people don’t see eye to eye. No, they really can’t stand each other. But deep down, you can see – and perhaps, even they can – that given time and a better first impression, these two could be not just friends, but more.

Because Kate and Anthony are two sides of the very same coin. Protective. Loyal. Self-sacrificing to a fault. And utterly incapable of understanding that the people they love don’t need to be coddled, or handled, that they too can make their own decisions about their life. The good parts of being the elder sibling, and the bad parts as well.

What Anthony is to Daphne in Season 1, Kate is to Edwina in Season 2, it’s just that Kate’s situation makes it so much harder to be as angry at her as we were at Anthony. It’s always easier to be a man and be in charge, but it was especially easier in the time period this show is set in, and though Anthony and Kate are the same, and want the same things for their family, everyone will always respect Anthony for his choices, and judge Kate for hers.

This means that when Kate is telling it to Anthony like it is — probably the first person outside his father to ever do such a thing – we’re rooting for her. And that, no matter how many Anthony-like mistakes she ends up making this season, we will still be rooting for her. Anthony might be a Bridgerton, but Kate is the heroine of this story, and she’s got our full support.

Every episode has an MVP and for Bridgerton 2×01 “Capital R Rake” that MVP is, without a doubt, Miss Kate Sharma. She, who puts others first, she who can look at a Viscount in the face and not cower, and she who can be beautiful, smart, and kind, not because it’s expected of her, or because it’ll mean she gets a good match, but because that’s who she is.

There’s a lot to admire about Kate, and a lot of pain to be uncovered, a lot of trauma she’s going to have to examine to find the happiness she deserves. But one episode in, we’re already rooting for her, and we do not see that changing.

Things I think I think:

  • Fitting to open with the bee.
  • The little family scene at the beginning is peeeerfect. Anthony exasperated, Daphne taking control, Benedict trying to intercede on Eloise’s behalf.
  • It was good to see Daphne, and it didn’t actually feel like Simon was needed – at least in this episode. He will surely be needed, or at least wanted, later, but for now it worked.
  • I don’t love Penelope in yellow, but brown is worse.
  • “Hastings did it after all, how hard can it be?”
  • Tolerable, dutiful and suitable enough hips for childbearing are not exactly standards. Ironically, Kate isn’t dutiful at all, and I doubt Anthony would describe her as tolerable, either. But she does have more than half a brain!
  • The switch from Penelope as Lady Whistledown to Penelope in her own skin is really well done.
  • Violet basically telling Benedict to check on his brother is also hilarious and real.
  • Anthony is …doing …wife …interviews?
  • The way he crosses them off from his list is very …violent.
  • Also, does he sleep?
  • How many coins did we see him leave in how many tables?
  • A meet cute indeed.
  • Simone Ashley is stunning.
  • “Does one not need actual competition for a race?”
  • Did anyone really believe Kate was being honest about the tea?
  • Edwina looking at Kate looking at herself in the mirror and just smiling is a pure moment.
  • “We are sisters. This place might feel different, but it will never change the way you and I see each other.”
  • Let’s hope that remains true.
  • “He will speak in a manner only your heart can hear.”
  • The dynamics between Eloise and her brothers, particularly Benedict, are extremely on point this season.
  • As are the moments between Anthony/Benedict.
  • Lady Danbury looks like she’s about the strangle Kate.
  • The way Anthony looks at Kate after she gives him a piece of her mind is almost like he …likes it.
  • Eloise and Pen are, without a doubt, my platonic OTP in this show.
  • Francesca is at least in the background this episode, there’s that.
  • The way Eloise tells Hyacinth she despises her is hilarious.
  • “You will end up alone with such expectations.”
  • Kate making sure everyone is provided, except herself is very similar to …yes, Anthony.
  • “Anyone here you have not yet rejected?”
  • Benedict, I love you.
  • And the face he makes at the possibility of The Queen naming Eloise the diamond – who would Anthony marry then?
  • Eloise telling Cressida Cowper she would rather die than be her friend was A+
  • Penelope and Eloise lying on the ground laughing together is one of the best scenes of this season, even if it’s just the first episode.
  • But WHAT is Kate going to tell Edwina?
  • Not that Whistledown is wrong, but the Queen is kinda right to have whiplash from how fast she changes her mind.