Sunday, September 11, 2011

SERIES SPOTLIGHT (1): Bridgerton Family series by Julia Quinn


This is a new feature where I "spotlight" a certain series that I love and recommend to other readers, inspired by Anna's Book Blog.  Hopefully, this will become a regular event here on Feminist Fairytale Reviews.

For the first Series Spotlight, I am going to showcase a historical romance series that really started my foray into the romance world about five years ago.  I had read romances before, but I had never glommed a series or author the way I did Julia Quinn and her Bridgerton family.

About the Series: (LINK TO SERIES' GOODREADS PAGE)
Historical romance series which consists of eight books.  The series follows the Bridgerton family who live in Regency England.  There are eight children in the family and each one gets their own time to shine.  The siblings are (in age order): Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. 

Books in the Series (In Order):

The Duke And I (Bridgertons, #1)The Duke and I

Can there be any greater challenge to London's Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
—Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, April 1813

By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely---and almost-on-the-shelf---Daphney Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth--it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it's hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it's his devilish smile, certainly it's the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her...but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke...for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love...



The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2)
The Viscount Who Loved Me
1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London's most elsuive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry.
And in 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 even 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 is 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 fars 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...

An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3)
An Offer From a Gentleman

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.

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 his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?



Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4)Romancing Mr. Bridgerton

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! And 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?


To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons, #5)To Sir Phillip, With Love

My dear Miss Bridgerton,
We have been corresponding now for quite some time, and although we have never formally met, I feel as if I know you.
Forgive me if I am too bold, but I am writing to invite you to visit me. It is my hope that we might decide that we will suit, and you will consent to be my wife.
—Sir Phillip Crane

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?



When He Was Wicked
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 . . .


It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7)Its In His Kiss

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.



On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons, #8)On the Way to the Wedding

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...



The Bridgertons: Happily Ever AfterThe Bridgertons: Happily Ever After

ONCE UPON A TIME, A HISTORICAL ROMANCE AUTHOR CREATED A FAMILY…

But not just any family. Eight brothers and sisters, assorted in-laws, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, (not to mention an overweight corgi), plus an irrepressible matriarch who’s a match for any of them… These are the Bridgertons: less a family than a force of nature. Through eight bestselling novels, readers laughed, cried, and fell in love. But they wanted more.

And so the readers asked the author…

What happened next? Does Simon ever read his father’s letters? Do Francesca and Michael become parents? Who would win in a Pall Mall grudge match?

Does “The End” really have to be the end?

Now, with The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After, Julia Quinn delivers eight sexy, funny, and heartwarming “2nd epilogues,” plus a bonus story about none other than the wise and witty Violet Bridgerton herself. So get to know the Bridgertons all over again—because Happily Ever After is a whole lot of fun. [MY REVIEW]

Personal Notes About the Series:

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