05 April 2013

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After

Summary from Goodreads:

For the first time in print, New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn presents a collection of "second epilogues" to her Bridgerton series, previously published as e-originals, plus a new bonus Bridgerton novella: "Violet in Bloom," a short story in which we finally meet Edmund Bridgerton.

For fans of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series there were always a few unanswered questions at the end of her books. Nothing major, but little questions about details like old letters, side characters’ romances, and missing jewelry. So JQ wrote a series of “Second Epilogues” for each book and posted them to her website. Now they are all collected in one place with a bonus story for Violet, the Bridgerton matriarch and the ultimate Regency ton mama.

The epilogues are laid out in series order so you can jump right to your favorite or start at the beginning. I started at the beginning because this is one of the few series I have read, in order, from book one to book eight, and it was fun moving through each of the siblings again. JQ varied her subject and style to fit each couple (one epilogue even switches point-of-view) which makes this a collection of delightful short stories, not just epilogues. Simon and Daphne tie up an old loose end just as they make way for a new beginning. Be prepared to laugh as Anthony and Kate square off in a Pall Mall grudge match (because the only thing better than winning is making your siblings lose – and stealing the Mallet of Death, of course). Sophie finds Posy a Happily Ever After of her own. Penelope comes clean to Eloise who, in turn, becomes an observer in step-daughter Amanda’s story. Francesca and Michael make peace with the inevitable but are blessed with a miracle. Although it’s been years since Hyacinth and Gareth decoded his grandmother’s dictionary, and still haven’t found the diamonds, Hyacinth is still going through all the bathrooms in the house…just in case. Pull out the Kleenex for Gregory and Lucy then keep it out (Keep. It. Out.) to read “Violet in Bloom” which may be JQ’s loveliest story yet.

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After is a perfect book to read in April – everything is shiny, new, and green (or getting that way) and the days are just warm enough to curl up under a tree with a good book and while away the afternoon (I’m in Iowa, so this may be relative depending on location). I am glad I held off reading the extra epilogues until JQ had them all finished and in one volume because I think the reading experience was a little better than just reading them piecemeal. They aren’t long enough to qualify as novellas so putting them in a short story collection was an excellent idea. And including Violet’s beautiful and heart-breaking story was just icing on the cake.

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