I started the final Bridgerton novel last night (and finished it, uh... last night) and I'm feeling nostalgic for the series. I heard from Kate that there was some disappointment over Gregory's story in the romance world, at least online, but I was nothing but satisfied. In fact, it's inspired me to do a little list-making of my favorite Bridgerton books, in order:
1. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
Colin was my favorite hero and Penelope was my favorite heroine. I loved that they were writers, I love the "unrequited crush on the popular guy" plot, and I loved the resolution to the Lady Whistledown mystery. Still one of my favorite romances.
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me
I just re-read this last weekend, and enjoyed it just as much the fifth or sixth time. Quinn's humor is so sharp in this book, the conflict is light but still compelling and serious for the characters, and Anthony and Kate are so delightful as they squabble. Plus the pall mall scene!
3. The Duke and I
All of these first three books are very close together. This one is third mostly because I haven't read it as many times as the others. But Simon and Daphne are a lovely hero and heroine and Quinn sets up the rest of the Bridgerton clan (and her trademark humor) so beautifully with this book.
4. On the Way to the Wedding
Kind of surprising, I know, but I was impressed with what Quinn did with Gregory's character, and how sharp and fresh her writing still is eight books into the series. I liked the way she played with the trope of love at first sight. As someone who is prone to panic attacks myself, I could relate to Lucy's well-described but not over-emphasized anxiety problems. And aren't the nine children a perfect end to the series?
5. To Sir Phillip, With Love
I wasn't crazy about the plot or hero of this book, but I love Eloise, I loved the letters that started off each chapter, and I love the scene when the Bridgerton brothers confront Phillip about their sister's honor -- menacing but still so funny.
6 & 7. It's In His Kiss and An Offer From a Gentleman
This is a tough call. Both of these books were fine, okay romance, but I didn't sigh over them when I closed the book. I never was a big fan of Hyacinth, which could explain why her book left me rather cold, although I liked the importance of Lady Danbury to the plot. And the Benedict-Sophie take on the Cinderella story feels out of place in the series, though I enjoy it more in retrospect.
8. When He Was Wicked
I admire what Quinn did with this series immeasurably, but with eight books, she was bound to have one dud, and this was it. So angsty, and that's just not where the charm of the series lies. I liked the hero, Michael, quite a bit actually, but I didn't enjoy Francesca, whom I found boring and mopey and rather incomprehensible. And to me, a bad heroine means a bad book, much more than a bad hero does. I suppose that explains why she barely appears in the rest of the series.
So no more Bridgertons. I'm quite excited for Quinn's new work, as a change in scenery so to speak will probably revitalize her writing. And as much as I'm opposed to it on principle, I won't be able to resist reading the "2nd Epilogues" for sale on her website.
So tell the DSW, which are your favorite Bridgerton books (you know you've got 'em).