When I heard there was a new Bridgerton book coming out next year, I immediately added it to my TBR pile. And then decided I needed to take a break from all the new stuff I was reading and do an immediate series re-read. In case you don’t read historical romance, the Bridgerton family is the star of a series of books written by Julia Quinn, and many of the books are considered some of the best in the genre. When
I want to get someone hooked on someone asks me for a recommendation for good historical romantic fiction, at least one of the Bridgerton books is on the list.
All told (as of right now), there are 8 main books – one for each of the eight Bridgerton children – as well as some 2nd epilogues, which were collected into their own book. And the Bridgerton characters occasionally make appearances in Quinn’s other works (like the Lady Whistledown series, which I’m also including in this review, since I read them all together, in order, like the ridiculously over-organized person I am), but eight main books:
- The Duke and I
- The Viscount Who Loved Me
- An Offer From A Gentleman
- Romancing Mister Bridgerton
- To Sir Phillip, With Love
- When He Was Wicked
- It’s In His Kiss
- On the Way To the Wedding
Then there’s The Bridgertons Happily Ever After; Lady Whistledown Strikes Back, and The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown. Now I hear there’s going to be a Because of Miss Bridgerton, which I assume focuses on the next generation of Bridgertons, and should signal my disinterest, but instead sent me straight to Amazon pre-orders – in my opinion, there are very few authors who can keep a series interesting for two distinct generations of characters, but Julia Quinn is definitely one of them.
Granted, On the Way to the Wedding IS my least favorite of the bunch, but that’s got more to do with the plot being one where the main character (Gregory Bridgerton, last to marry of his generation) has to make a fool out of himself IN FRONT OF EVERYONE HE KNOWS, which sets off my personal discomfort levels and makes me too anxious to actually enjoy the story, rather than it being done poorly because it’s book number 8. It was, in fact, too close for comfort for a girl who pauses movies when things start getting too awkward, and sometimes never winds up being able to finish the movie (Dan in Real Life: I’m looking at you). My favorite, by the way is either Romancing Mr. Bridgerton or An Offer From A Gentleman, because those heroines rock, and because Colin Bridgerton is a perfectly charming man who puts his foot in his mouth, and gets his well-deserved comeuppance, courtesy of the spinster everybody always overlooks. Wish fulfillment at its best.
These books are full of a family that cannot and will not quit; more funny quotes than you can shake a stick at (““I’m not certain you’d know the right sort of man for you if he arrived on our doorstep riding an elephant.”
“I would think the elephant would be a fairly good indication that I ought to look elsewhere.” ); the mother of all mothers (Seriously, aside from naming her kids alphabetically, Violet Bridgerton is the Best Ever); gossipy old ladies with hearts of gold; deep dark secrets that will of course be spilled; and plenty of big misunderstandings, rushes to the altar, and prerequisite vile villains.
I enjoy them so much (aside from that last one, which I still skim till we’re near the happy ending I know must be coming), that I’ve given away so many copies of book 1, there are three extras at home on my shelf right now, because I never get them back, so I buy them anytime I see one at a used book store. I’m telling you: These books are how you get hooked.