Bridgerton and Beyond
You may have heard about this show on Netflix called Bridgerton. According to the stats it’s been watched by a lot of people.
As Netflix is known for being slow to release their shows on DVD, if they do, then it will be a long while before it shows up at your local library but as the show is based on a series of historical romance novels by Julia Quinn you can jump in on all of the balls, waltzes, house parties, cups of tea, muslin gowns, matchmaking mamas, rakes, and people convinced that they are strong enough to avoid love…which with Violet Bridgerton around is really impossible, they should know better.
There are eight books in the series, starting with the book that the first season of Bridgerton is based on – The Duke and I.
The irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town’s marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. But there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets the Duke’s heart beating a bit faster.
As with so many historical romance novel series, this one follows a family – Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. They father has passed on but thankfully he left them VERY well off and their mother is determined to find them someone to love. It starts with Daphne in her second season and then jumps along through time with all of the siblings.
“1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London’s most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry. And, in all truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better” — Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1814.
But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry he’s also chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield — the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams. Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands – and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister – but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself.
If you’ve only watched the series then just a quick head’s up that Anthony isn’t nearly as tortured or damaged even though he is convinced he is going to die young just like his father. Neither is there an opera singer he was keeping as a mistress…there is an Italian singer who he had a dalliance with but there is no indication that it was as serious as the one in the show.
Now that I’ve said all that…I enjoyed Anthony in the book much more than the TV show. He’s still got that firm belief that he will not fall in love (the sign of an historical male romance lead) even though the female romance lead is right there and the readers know he’s doomed.
So, so doomed.
The woman in the book is Kate, whose younger sister, Edwina, is the incomparable of the season and the woman that Anthony has decided he will marry. In his way is Kate.
Hmmmm, I wonder what will happen when these two meet and clash.
I didn’t love the first book in this series – but this book was lots of fun. Kate is more interesting to me than Daphne was and I was much more interested in the interaction between the two leads in this book.
But, the real selling point of this book is a game of pall mall (an old name for croquet) but felt familiar to me. If I’ve ever played croquet I don’t remember but the vicious cheating and sledging between the siblings reminded me very much of my brother and sister. It’s a highlight, and comes back in the second epilogue.
Overall, you can read this one without reading the Duke and I, probably without watching the series either but if that’s all you’ve seen then jumping straight into this book would be my recommendation.
Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight. Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps, this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers her his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?
I am currently approximately halfway through this book.
Sophie comes from a very different background than most heroines in these book, she’s illegitimate and has the stereotypical evil step-mother. There is a fair amount of Cinderella to the beginning of this story. But the book doesn’t just have a convenient slipper and a quick marriage. Sophie has a few more trial to go through.
Benedict is interesting but also I want to shake him because he just has no idea. This is partially Sophie’s fault as she doesn’t just come out and tell him anything about her background or situation. Honestly, these books would be so short if people just spoke to one another.
This book deals more with the idea of a mistress than books of this type do.
I’m hoping for a satisfying conclusion because they I get to Colin and everyone’s favourite poorly dressed redhead – Penelope Featherington. And obviously for the satisfying conclusion, that’s what I’m here for.
Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn’t know him at all. Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone’s preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph. But when Colin returns to London from a trip aboard he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same–especially Penelope Featherington! The girl haunting his dreams. But when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threat–or his promise of a happy ending?
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 unassuming, 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?
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 remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer — the occasion of their 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 . . .
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.
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…
That’s the end of the books about the Bridgerton siblings but not necessarily the end of the series, there are three books that follow which are linked to the series even if they don’t follow a sibling specifically.
A collection of novellas featuring the most knowledgeable gossip columnist in all of London, written by different authors with one by Julia Quinn.
That just isn’t enough Bridgertons…
Well, you’re in luck as Julia Quinn also wrote a prequel series – The Rokesby Series
Keep an eye out for my follow-up coming soon – If You Liked The Bridgertons…
Full of other series, books, and authors you might like if you enjoyed this series.
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