Tag Archives: Bridgertons

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover the bridgertons

Title: The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons Companion
In: The Bridgertons (Julia Quinn)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 15th January – 27th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Collection
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Off to the side, Colin winced.

Synopsis

Once upon a time, a historical romance author created a family…
But not just any family. Eight brothers and sisters, assorted in-laws, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews (not to mention an overweight corgi) plus an irrepressible matriarch who’s a match for any of them… These are the Bridgertons: less a family than a force of nature. Through eight bestselling novels, readers laughed, cried, and fell in love. But they wanted more.

And so the readers asked the author…
What happens next? Does Simon ever read his father’s letters? Do Francesca and Michael become parents? Who would win in a Pall Mall grudge match? 88 II Does “The End” really have to be the end? II 8 Now, with The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After, Julia Quinn delivers eight sexy, funny, and heartwarming “2nd Epilogues” plus a bonus story about none other than the wise and witty matriarch Violet Bridgerton herself. So get to know the Bridgertons all over again – because Happily Ever After is a whole lot of fun.

Thoughts

This is a great collection. Although my editions of the full-length novels often included the Second Epilogues, it was nice to have them all in one collection. Particularly since there is an extra novella at the very end that is not included in any other novel. Each and everyone of these stories not only makes you feel as though the story is actually completed, but they also give you happy, tingling feelings that leave a huge smile on your face.

I must admit, that although I loved each and everyone of these tales, it was the first five couples that I truly adored. Maybe because they all had such strong relationships to one another, whereas the last three were not as intimate with their older siblings. Which makes total sense, but the appearances of more than one sibling throughout the other stories meant that I felt far more attached to them than their younger counterparts. Which also meant that I didn’t enjoy the final second epilogues quite as much.

I love this collection of tales. There is something about it that completely draws you in and makes you fall in love with the Bridgertons again and again and again. Not only does it give some sense of what happens after happily-ever-after. But it also lets you revisit a world and characters that you have fallen in love with. There is definitely something unforgettable and completely loveable about the slightly insane family and all of those who choose to spend their lives with them…

<- Violet in BloomMore Julia Quinn ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Violet in Bloom by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover the bridgertons

Title: Violet in Bloom
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #8.75
In: The Bridgertons (Julia Quinn)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 27th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Avon
Year: 20
5th sentence, 74th page: “Oh, it’s a surprise,” Edmund said, grinning wolfishly at her from across the carriage.

Synopsis

All of the Bridgertons have found their happily ever afters. But what about the matriarch? Violet? What about her story? Does she find her happily ever after too?

Thoughts

Through the whole series of The Bridgertons, one character continuously shows up and takes centre stage. So I was deliriously excited to read a novella that is all about her… the mother, the caretaker and, quite possibly, the most meddlesome character of all the Bridgertons. It certainly wasn’t the kind of story that I was expecting, but it really was a sweet way to completely round out the series. Now the books are all back on my shelves and I look forward to reading them all in the future!

I was expecting this novella to be about Violet and Edmund – their romance and their courtship. And whilst this did make up a decent portion of this story, it really wasn’t the centre of it. In fact, this story was about Violet’s life. The entirety of her life, both before and after Edmund. It wasn’t quite what I wanted. But it was definitely what I needed.

It makes a certain kind of sense that this story isn’t just about Edmund and Violet. After all, most of her life actually ends up centring around her children. Which means that most of this story still focuses on them, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and her happiness.  It kind of makes you want to have your own gaggle of unruly children…

<- On the Way to the Wedding – The Second EpilogueThe Bridgertons ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

On the Way to the Wedding – The Second Epilogue By Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover the bridgertons

Title: On the Way to the Wedding: The Second Epilogue
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #8.5
In: The Bridgertons (Julia Quinn)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 25th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “It’s a happy accident, I assure you,” Gregory said.

Synopsis

Gregory and Lucy found their happily ever after. But, with a gaggle of children, how do they figure out what to name each of the children? As always, things aren’t quite as simple as they seem.

Thoughts

I like that of all the Bridgerton siblings, it is the last one that seriously wants a whole slew of children. The last sibling who decides to do the same as his mother and have eight children. Which you find out at the end of On the Way to the Wedding. What I didn’t know I needed until this Second Epilogue was to find out what they named each of their children. Actually, just coming up with those names seems kind of ridiculous.

Gregory and Lucy weren’t necessarily my favourite couple in this series, their Second Epilogue was definitely the most potentially tragic. Where the other seven are filled with happiness, wit and humour, this story definitely didn’t have that. Actually, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m getting so used to Quinn’s happily ever afters, I would have expected this to end so much worse than it did. I was genuinely scared. But, spoiler alert, it doesn’t all end badly.

As the final Second Epilogue of the series, I was kind of pleased that this didn’t necessarily have a happy note to it. My only real complaint about romances is that when you find your one and only, things don’t always go as planned. So finishing out a series in which all the lives are damn near perfect with the potential to tear everything apart… that kind of worked brilliantly.

<- On the Way to the WeddingViolet in Bloom ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn

Overview
On the Way to the Wedding | Julia Quinn

Title: On the Way to the Wedding
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: The Bridgertons #8
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 24th – 25th March 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “Would you?” she whispered.

Synopsis

A funny thing happened…

Unlike most men of his acquaintance, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. And he is convinced that when he finds the woman of his dreams, he will know in an instant that she is the one. And that is exactly what happened. Except…

She wasn’t the one. In fact, the ravishing Miss Hermione Watson is in love with another. But her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from a disastrous alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls in love. With Gregory! Except…

Lucy is engaged. And her uncle is not inclined to let her back out of the betrothal, even once Gregory comes to his senses and realizes that it is Lucy, with her sharp wit and sunny smile, who makes his heart sing. And now, on the way to the wedding, Gregory must risk everything to ensure that when it comes time to kiss the bride, he is the only man standing at the altar…

Thoughts

This is a nice ending to the stories of the Bridgertons. Gregory is the last of the eight siblings to get married and, because Quinn is a wonderful writer… it can’t be simple, it can’t be easy and it has to be something a little unexpected. But, still sweet and still with that great dose of humour that has you laughing out loud throughout. Maybe not my favourite Bridgertons story, but still one of my favourite series and a great book.

The idea of love at first sight is great, it’s sweet and it’s kind of endearing. But, one thing that I liked about this was that Gregory was so damn wrapped up in the idea of true love at first sight that he kind of acted like a moron. Yes, for some it hits you like a freight train, for others it’s a more gradual falling. Which, eventually he discovers. But I loved that this kind of acted as a reminder that sometimes it’s not all angels singing… but in that, love can be so much more.

One thing that I’ve never quite understood is why women aren’t supposed to love food. Throughout this story, it is Lucy that is mostly food driven and loves to talk about the meals which are laid out in front of her. It’s a great little side of comical relief to the more serious moments, but it also highlights that we women can also be ridiculously food driven. Or at least, I know that I can be. I would quite happily stand in a room and have a conversation about sandwiches for any length of time… Lucy therefore was a little more “real” to me than her best friend (and the original focus of Gregory’s affections). After all, she’s a little outspoken, kind of awkward and in love with her food. What wouldn’t I love about such a character?

Although there are a few appearances of the Bridgerton siblings throughout this story, my favourite reappearance has got to be Hyacinth. I wasn’t necessarily nuts about her in her own book, but when she’s badgering her siblings… yeah, she’s my favourite. Especially her actions later in the book as she tries to help her beloved older brother. All in all, this is a fantastic book that I just inhaled. It’s not one that I’m likely to forget anytime soon, much like the rest of the books in this fun and cute little series.

<- It’s In His Kiss – The Second EpilogueOn the Way to the Wedding – The Second Epilogue ->

Image source: Julia Quinn

It’s In His Kiss – The Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover the bridgertons

Title: It’s In His Kiss – The Second Epilogue
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #7.5
In: The Bridgertons (Julia Quinn)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 10th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “This really should count for something,” he murmured.

Synopsis

What happened to the diamonds?

If you’ve read “It’s in His Kiss, ” you want to know. Don’t miss this charming and passionate addendum, in which Gareth proves that some things get better with age, Hyacinth gains new respect for her mother (with a daughter like Isabella she’d have to, wouldn’t she?), and everyone learns that while diamonds are lovely, sometimes tenacity is a girl’s best friend.

Thoughts

One of my Mum’s favourite things to say to me is “I hope you have a daughter just like you”. It’s also something that gets said to Hyacinth throughout It’s In His Kiss. Which of course means that the second epilogue has to be partially about the daughter she has… who is exactly like her. Just as difficult, contrary and opinionated. I also love the fact that at the very conclusion of It’s In His Kiss, Isabella is also the one to solve the big mystery. Fast forward fifteen years and Hyacinth is still driving everyone nuts with her stubbornness.

Reading this short story made me think about To Sir Phillip, With Love: The Second Epilogue. And how much fun the two strong willed cousins would have together. How much havoc they would wreak upon the family. How many circles they would run around everyone… it made me laugh out loud and more than a little dizzy.

Although I absolutely adored that this story was about Hyacinth’s daughter being exactly like her. I loved even more that after fifteen years, Hyacinth is still searching for the same treasure. Still stubbornly trying to solve a riddle. And, Isabella not only finds out and gives her Mum the closure she needs, but she also appreciates the love and commitment that both of her parents show to one another. The love and commitment that shines through their everyday lives.

<- It’s In His KissOn the Way to the Wedding ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

It’s In His Kiss by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover it's in his kiss

Title: It’s In His Kiss
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #7
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 9th – 10th March 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: And he isn’t the only one.

Synopsis

MEET OUR HERO…

Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth’s sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past… and the key to his future. The problem is—it’s written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.

MEET OUR HEROINE…

All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She’s fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken, and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there’s something about her—something charming and vexing—that grabs him and won’t quite let go…

MEET POOR MR. MOZART…

Or don’t. But rest assured, he’s spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual—and annually discordant—Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth’s every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other… and that there is nothing as simple—or as complicated—as a single, perfect kiss.

Thoughts

Hyacinth stands out pretty strongly in some of the other Bridgertons books. She is pushier, more independent and more outspoken than the rest of the family (which is saying something). And, considering the time in which this story is set… it’s interesting to imagine just when and how she is going to find herself a husband… it’s hard enough being an outspoken woman in this day and age… let alone Regency London. But, find one she does. And he’s just as off-kilter and fun as she is.

As a woman who is intelligent and independent, it took me a long time to find somebody to match with that. Not just someone who would love me for everything that I am, but could also stand toe to toe with me when necessary. I liked that this was a big part of the journey for Hyacinth. There’s even a moment of revelation between her and her mother as to how to find a man who can actually challenge her. Not just one that will accept her – but someone that can even occasionally beat her at her own game…

I absolutely adored the mystery throughout this story. The mystery of Gareth’s past, his grandmother… there were so many little secrets that were hidden throughout that I just loved trying to tease out and find the answers to. So many little moments that hinted at a great truth. And, although not all of the mysteries were solved at the conclusion of the novel… the adventure and the journey was absolutely fantastic.

Although this wasn’t my favourite book thus far in the series, it was my favourite relationship. There is just something about these two characters (and the relationship with Lady Danbury) that had me laughing out loud and feeling incredibly connected to these two characters. Hyacinth is so much more aware and sure of herself than the rest of the women in the series. And Gareth is so much less controlling and witty. Just something about these two that works kind of perfectly…

<- When He Was Wicked: The Second EpilogueIt’s In His Kiss: The Second Epilogue ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

When He Was Wicked – The Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover the bridgertons

Title: When He Was Wicked: The Second Epilogue
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #6.5
In: The Bridgertons (Julia Quinn)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 9th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Not a very masculine subject.

Synopsis

Do the best things really come to those who wait? Three years have passed since Francesca’s and Michael’s marriage, and they are still childless. And Francesca wonders, can a woman be truly and completely happy when a little piece of her heart remains empty? But just when she makes peace with her fate, something unexpected occurs.

Thoughts

I’ve never really thought that infertility and the difficulties of getting pregnant are talked about often enough. Not in real life, not in the media, not in books. Since When He Was Wicked not only started with Francesca having a miscarriage, but also her need to start her own family was a major driver, I was a bit put out when there wasn’t much discussion as to this aspect of hers and Michael’s future at the end of the novel. The Second Epilogue fixed this oversight in an incredibly powerful and meaningful manner.

Although it wasn’t quite the way I expected it, both Francesca and Michael do get a happily ever after in this story. Of all the Bridgerton tales, they have the hardest, most tragic journey to travel. So it kind of makes sense that even having children is far more difficult for them than anyone else in the family. Yet, when they finally start to create their own, it’s also the happier, more joyful experience…. Or at least, that’s how I found it.

This is a great way to round out the story of Francesca and Michael. It’s sweet, a little tragic and touches upon issues that many couples are forced to face. They might not be my favourite couple in the series, but they do have my favourite story.

<- When He Was WickedIt’s In His Kiss ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover when he was wicked

Title: When He Was Wicked
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #6
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romance, Regency romance
Dates read: 9th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: He shrugged.

Synopsis

Everything was so much simpler…
WHEN HE WAS WICKED

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one’s life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London’s most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love, it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to reamin Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer – the occasion of the meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then… Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love… until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets…

Thoughts

Francesca story is kind of alluded to a little in the two books beforehand (To Sir Phillip, With Love and Romancing Mister Bridgerton). Which kind of makes sense because the occurrences in all three books happen in the same year… but, unlike the other Bridgertons, Francesca is much further removed and less intrinsically tied into the rest of her family. She’s a little quieter, a little more apart, and I actually really loved the differences that she showed in this story.

Again, this story took a nice little departure from a typical romance… for starters, it starts with Francesca being married to another man. Who then dies. And then you get to fast forward four years to the couple as they try and get over their guilt and renegotiate their relationship. I love that the biggest hurdle in this story wasn’t so much about them realizing their feelings and getting together… it was about getting over their guilt and finding a way to their own happily ever after.

I found this story the most tragic of the series thus far. Not only does it start off with a woman who is put through the absolute ringer, you also don’t even feel completely confident that they’ll get their happily ever after. I mean, you assume that they do, because it’s a romance novel. But, it’s not really as much of a given as any of the other stories. And, even if they do, you worry a little that they’ll be too tied up in their guilt to actually get their happily ever after…

Reading this story will make you feel kind of gooey inside. But, not in that everyone gets one partner way. It’s a great story of hope for those who have already lost the person that they planned to spend their lies with. It deals with death, infertility, miscarriage and the overwhelming feelings of guilt and jealousy. All of which are so completely human, and difficult to deal with more often than not. This whole story just made my heart skip a beat, in a way that none of the other Bridgerton stories have thus far…

<- To Sir Phillip, With Love: The Second EpilogueWhen He Was Wicked: The Second Epilogue ->

Image source: Julia Quinn

To Sir Phillip, With Love – The Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover the bridgertons

Title: To Sir Phillip, With Love: The Second Epilogue
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #5.5
In: The Bridgertons (Julia Quinn)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 8th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: “I always have wishes,” he remarked.

Synopsis

Those cute kids from romance novels aren’t actually supposed to grow up, are they?

When last we saw Amanda Crane, she was eight years old and (in her own words) a blight on the face of humanity. Now she’s grown up, remarkably well-adjusted, and ready to fall in love. All she needs is the right gentleman…

Thoughts

Although they were completely impossible and terrifying… I actually fell completely in love with the Crane twins in Sir Phillip, With Love. There was just something about their need, their spirit and their intelligence that made me fall head over heels in love. So, when I turned to the first page of the second epilogue and found out that it was about Amanda… well, a huge grin broke out across my face.

Unlike the rest of the series, where your point of view is on the shoulder of one of the characters, this entire short story is written in first person. Almost like a diary. And it worked so well. I don’t know if I would enjoy the whole series like this… it’s important to have distinct tones of voice, and you wouldn’t get this in every book. But for one short story? It’s kind of brilliant.

I loved seeing Amanda grow into the woman she could become. You have this great image and hope for it at the end of a story. Yet, it isn’t until the conclusion that you wonder if you are right with your predictions? Did Amanda and Oliver straighten out? Truly fall in love with Eloise? Did Phillip become a better father? These questions are all answered in this short story. That, and you get to watch the next generation fall in love and find their own happily ever after…

<- To Sir Phillip, With LoveWhen He Was Wicked ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover to sir phillip, with love

Title: To Sir Phillip, With Love
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: The Bridgertons #5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 8th March 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: His children had not been kind to their governesses, and he did not imagine they’d be much more charitable to a female guest who was obviously there in the role of prospective stepmother.

Synopsis

She wrote him a letter…and he stole her heart.

Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he’d proposed, figuring that she’d be homely and unassumig, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except…she wasn’t. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her… and more.

Did he think she was mad Eloise Bridgerton couldn’t marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking… and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except… he wasn’t. Her perfect husband wouldn’t be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled… and when he kissed her… the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn’t help but wonder… could this imperfect man be perfect for her?

Thoughts

I’m not sure if Eloise or Hyacinth are my favourite Bridgerton sisters… probably Eloise, she has all of Hyacinth’s opinions and intensity, but just a little smoother and, well… less terrifying. So reading a story about Eloise and her man… that was always going to be something that I loved. Especially when the entire story begins with Eloise making an incredibly impulsive decision. I’m after all, fairly, ridiculously impulsive… even at the best of times. So I can relate WAY too much to her impromptu decision making…

Sadly, I read the Romancing Mister Bridgerton Second Epilogue before sinking my teeth into this, so Eloise’s impulsive decisions and the way in which Phillip and Eloise decide to get married wasn’t as much of a revelation as I would otherwise have wished for. Though, it was still an incredibly fun and humorous little adventure. One that had me giggling quite happily throughout. And made me smile. Especially since of all the sisters, Eloise is the only one who acknowledges that she specifically needs a man who is able to stand up to her four brothers. Something that I’m sure all of them feel, but Eloise’s moment of epiphany is kind of cute and sweet.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this story is that it involves children who already exist. Unlike the other books in this series, Phillip already has two children which have to factor into his relationship. The fact that they are twins and total terrors… well, it’s incredibly amusing and seriously fun. Something that made it not only impossible to put this book down… but also had me giggling out loud frequently. And loudly. With much mirth.

So far I think that this is probably my favourite of The Bridgertons books. Firstly, I relate to Eloise more than I have any of the other female leads, but I also found myself absolutely loving her paramour. The fact that he is a good father (although it takes him a little while to figure out how to do this), and a botanist… that definitely drew me in. unlike the other gentry in this series, Phillip actually has an occupation and a degree that he uses. I can’t WAIT to read this book again and again and again!

<- Romancing Mister Bridgerton: The Second EpilogueTo Sir Phillip, With Love: The Second Epilogue ->

Image source: Julia Quinn