The Bridgertons: A Series Review
Let me start off by saying that I don’t typically gravitate towards romances in general. However, I’ve been on a little bit of a kick since I made the decision to re-read the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. It has been a few years since I last picked up a Julia Quinn novel, but I was inspired to pick one up when I saw the news that the Bridgertons series was picked up by Netflix! I am genuinely excited for this show, and I think it’s going to be a little bit of a guilty pleasure for me to watch (just as it is a guilty pleasure for me to read and enjoy these books). Of course, these books have set in motion (more like avalanche) a renewed interest in romances – although, under the guise of other genres (note: I’m talking about the A Discovery of Witches series and Outlander series). I think it is time for me to retire the first line of this sentence, and admit that I quite like a good, passionate, heady romance.
And that is what Julia Quinn gives me in her Bridgerton series. Set in high society London, amidst the hoity-toity Regency-era debutantes and socialites, we have a boisterous family known as the Bridgertons. Comprising of 8 siblings and a widowed mother, the Bridgertons are well-respected and considered of much importance in London society. They are aptly named in alphabetical order: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. The matriarch of the family is Violet Bridgerton and is, as Quinn has termed it, one of the “ambitious mamas” of society. Her goal is to see all 8 of her children married off happily, and is poised as the most determined of all “ambitious mamas”.
The premise sounds like the perfectly crafted chick-lit novel, doesn’t it? Well, I have fallen hard for the books and the family, and as such, I feel almost duty-bound to craft a post just for it. Now, given that there are a total of 8 books in the series (plus a novella about Violet herself, and additional epilogues for each of the siblings), I have decided to write up just one post for the entire series. Needless to say, while each book has its own separate love story, the premise, otherwise, remains the same.
However, there is much to be said about Quinn’s ability to grab you, hook, line, and sinker. Maybe it’s because her stories are set in the ultra-conservative Regency-era that the risque nature of each story is only heightened due to the inevitable scandal that may break loose should someone discover our protagonists little trysts. Funnily enough, despite the conservative nature of the period, the characters seem to be able to get away with quite a bit – but I suppose that’s where the “fiction” element comes into play. Nevertheless, I do adore the Bridgertons, despite the many clichés that follow the characters in the story. I can appreciate their utter devotion to one another as a family, and quite enjoy their interactions with one another.
I suppose my favourite of the 8 books would be between An Offer From A Gentleman or When He Was Wicked. The former of the 2 books dances along the classic “rags to riches” Cinderella-esque story. Yes, there are a pair of special shoes involved and a ball where the heroine must depart hastily, after having been lost in the arms of a handsome “prince” figure. But with the confines of Regency-era protocols and “ambitious mamas” eager to marry off their daughters to eligible bachelors, plus the loving devotion of 8 handsome siblings with a matriarch at their head, it makes for a fun read! The latter deals with a much more somber theme, with the heroine having suffered the tragic loss of someone she loved with all her heart. But the story of renewed love in a different light, an allowance of one self to feel such a love once more brings the reader a feeling of warmth, after the plunge into the cold depths of death and loss.
Julia Quinn brings to the table a fun and lighthearted romance, that has swept away many a reader. I can finally openly admit that yes, I did enjoy my foray into the romance genre. However, Quinn will likely be the only romance author to grace my shelves and Goodreads lists, as no such spark of interest has been generated for the genre.
But, never say never, right?
Are you a fan of romance? Do you have any recommendations? Leave a comment below!