Peak Romance: Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series

Please enjoy another guest post from Melissa, the creator and host of Paperback Romance Book Club.


Later this year the very talented Shanda Rhimes will be bringing her talents to Netflix with her adaptation of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton {book} series. While we don’t know much about the TV series yet except that you can already add it to your watch list, we do know all about the Bridgerton family. Julia Quinn who is one of the best Romance authors in the historical romance category, first published what she thought was going to just be a one and done book in January 2000, but soon after the release of the Duke and I fans were rallying for more of the rather large family (there are 8 kids!!!). So let’s begin on a small introduction to the Bridgerton family and the countless reasons why you should binge read the series before it hit Netflix!

Book 1: The Duke and I

This book starts off with us meeting the Bridgerton family and introducing us to the eldest daughter (and kid #4) Daphne. While there are a few things you should know about historical romance books, one is that by age like 22/23 if you aren’t married, you’re practically a spinster and “on-the-shelf”, just keep that in mind. So when she and Simon Basset, a duke, meet they come up with this plan that Simon will play the part of suitor so that Daphne will get more attention by others. Just stay with me on this one, it makes more sense when you read it. Anyways, so as this plan goes down, things between Simon and Daphne get more serious like to the point where they are caught in a compromising position. Naturally this leads to them getting married. The chaos doesn’t end there though, oh no, you see Simon doesn’t want any children, which for a historical romance this is a huge deal because it’s all about making those hires. Well I won’t spoil too much, but in the end two stubborn people realize what it means to love without conditions.

Book 2: The Viscount Who Loved Me

So like I said in the little intro Julia Quinn wasn’t really planning on continuing the Bridgerton family, thankfully she did and she kind of “re-starts” by going back to kid #1 Anthony. In this book we get a good insight and history of the Bridgerton kids though the eyes of Anthony, who like I said is the oldest child out of eight! Small history pause, remember that these books take place in the 1800’s so medicine at this point isn’t like the worst but isn’t the best either, so when someone dies from a bee sting, they don’t really understand allergies nor have the ability to test for allergies like that. Anthony thinks it’s time he got married, but he doesn’t really want a love match like what his parents had because he has this feeling that he’s going to die young and he doesn’t want his wife to suffer the way his mother did. Anyways…. Kate doesn’t want her younger sister to marry the Viscount because of his rakish behaviors are not to her liking. Then we get a repeat of compromising positions and this time it’s an actual complete accident, but because Mrs. Bridgerton and Kate’s stepmother and another lady see they must get married. Kate doesn’t necessary want a love match with Anthony either but when they finally spill their hearts out it’s kind of amazing this friendship they develop. Also love. Because it’s a romance, so there is a happily ever after.

Book 3: An Offer From a Gentleman

I won’t beat around the bush that there are a lot of problematic things in romance books, and unfortunately this one is no exception. This is a Cinderella re-telling of sorts, but with a problem, child #2, Benedict of the Bridgerton family. Not only does he literally not see who Sophie (aka our Cinderella) is, but throughout the book he reminds her and himself that he cannot marry her because of her station – he thinks she’s a servant, she’s not, but that’s a complicated mess the book sorts out. Don’t get me wrong, this book is like the other Bridgerton books and that family will have your back no matter what you decide to do, but out of all the books this one is the most problematic.

Book 4: Romancing Mister Bridgerton

This is probably my favorite Bridgerton book! Penelope Featherington which has been a side character who has been mentioned from the start gets her own book and I have to say, I’ve read a lot of romance books (it’s kind of an obsession) and I can honestly say that Penelope is one of the best written heroines in a romance book, if not in general fiction. She may be a wallflower but boy oh boy she is smart, clever, and honestly funny. Colin (child #3) has an easy life being the third son/child out of eight siblings, but he’s also come to an age where he wants more in his life, which is understandable when you turn thirty. Colin has always been nice to Penelope not because he has too but simply because he wants to, their friendship goes beyond that of her being best friends with his sister (child #5) and they have develop their own friendship and then in one hot carriage ride Colin is a gentlemen and there’s a hilarious engagement and omg I think I might go back and read this one for the third time! Also THERE IS THE BIGGEST TWIST IN THE ENTIRE SERISE!!!!!

Book 5: To Sir Phillip, With Love

What do you do when your best friend randomly gets engaged to your older brother without telling you that they even liked him in the first place? You run away to the see the man you’ve been corresponding with after his late wife, who is also your distant cousin dies. I mean it’s been going on for a while and in his last letter he did propose marriage because he thought that you were some homely and unassuming spinster and he does need a wife and a mother to his hellion twins (I have twins and I 10000% get to agree that they are hellions). But what do you do when all four of your brothers show up, you roll your eyes and go ‘duh we’re getting married, because you’re an unwed woman in a man’s house with no chaperon. SO! This book starts at the end of book 4 which is a very cool. Oh this is Eloise Bridgerton’s story and she is Child #5!

Book 6:  When He Was Wicked

So I think in book 2 Francesca (Child #7) is mentioned that she married a Scottish Earl, and then I think in book 4 it’s mentioned that she’s a widow. So this is her story and her second chance at love. Out of all the Bridgerton books this is a very boring book. Her late husbands’ cousin is now the Earl, but he’s been in love with Francesca since he saw her, so naturally when he come the earl he runs away to India, then comes back. Not saying that it’s not a good book, but I find that Francesca is a very boring character while Michael (late husband’s cousin whose been in love with her) is a very entertaining character.

Book 7: It’s in His Kiss

Hyacinth Bridgerton (child #8) is a very smart, outspoken individual. Gareth whose own father detests him and has practically spent all the family fortune. But what makes this a fun story is that there are some side characters that are more prominent, and oh yea a journal written in Italian that Gareth has Hyacinth translates because why not throw in a treasure hunt! This is a fun book, it’s not really like the others, which is fine because Hyacinth isn’t really like the rest of her family and Gareth nothing but an interesting love interest.

Book 8: On the Way to the Wedding

Last book. Gregory Bridgerton child #7. This book makes me dizzy. So it starts out with Gregory running to a church to stop a wedding of the women he loves. Lady Lucinda is being blackmailed, oh and her attended (that’s not Gregory) um doesn’t prefer the opposite sex to put it delicately (this is the 1800’s we are talking about). Anyways, this one will have you going, wait wait wait what? How? Why? OMG OMG OMG! And you may or may not throw the book across the room (just make sure it’s a physical book and not an ereader and into something that wont hurt you or others).

So that’s a breakdown of the Bridgerton family, I have no idea how the show will do each book or if they’re only going to do book one, but it’ll be interesting to say the least. There are two epilogues to each book as well and they are in a separate book too, it’s just kind of nice to know how each couple is doing throughout the years and all that! Well I hope you enjoyed this and please, please, please start with book one and read the entire series, I promise that it is worth your time!

UPDATE

Hello! It’s me Melissa! So I wrote this before Covid and wanted to give you an update on the Bridgerton Netflix series. Right now there is still no release date, not even Julia Quinn (the author) knows when it will be released or even if they are done filming. So this is the perfect time to start your next book series! Seriously this family is funny, charming, and overall just lovely! And as soon as I know anything I will let you know!!!


Melissa Haskins is a Stay-At-Home Mom to twin boys, and another baby boy, and a patient wife. While being a mom and wife is a 24/7 job on its own, she is also the creator and host of the weekly podcast Paperback Romance Book Club: a Romance Book Podcast that not only reviews books but likes to point out how the ever-changing genre is still relevant in today’s topics. Melissa is also an unapologetic coffee addict, has a weakness for a man in a kilt, and is an avid taco lover. You can find Melissa on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Don’t forget to check out Paperback Romance Book Club. And let us know what your book boyfriend (or girlfriend) is below!

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