Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ANTHOLOGY REVIEW: "The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After" by Julia Quinn

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After
The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After by Julia Quinn
(Bridgertons #9)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository

For Ages 18+
Historical Romance
HarperCollins -- April 2, 2013
Paperback, 374 pages
Purchased from Amazon

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.

I have been a fan of historical romances for almost six years now and I have Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series to thank for that.  I discovered this genre by chance when I was looking for gift ideas for my mother and saw a five-star review for The Duke and I.  She loved it so much that she told me I had to try it and the rest was history.  I read the entire series within two months, glommed the rest of her backlist, and eagerly anticipate each new release.

Because of my fond memories of reading about the Bridgerton family, I was ecstatic to learn that Julia Quinn was writing second epilogues featuring these characters and releasing them in a massive anthology.  In full disclosure, I have read most of these novellas before when they were released as single titles over the years, but I re-read them in order to do this review.  I am going to provide a brief summary of each novella and then sum up my thoughts on the entire anthology at the end.  I will say that there may be minor spoilers for people who have not finished the Bridgerton series so you have been warned!

The Duke and I: Second Epilogue revisits Simon and Daphne after twenty years of marriage when they get a bit of a surprise.  At the same time, they also have an unexpected visit from Colin and Penelope who are concerned that their son is not speaking yet which brings up memories for Simon.  For The Viscount Who Loved Me, Julia Quinn has Kate, Anthony, and the rest of the crew in a rematch of the infamous Pall Mall scene.  It shows the main couple as being comfortable in their marriage, but still competitive in every way possible.  

The epilogue for An Offer From a Gentleman doesn't deal directly with Benedict and Sophie, but focuses on a popular side character.  Sophie's stepsister, Posy, finally gets her own happily ever after thanks to an idea from Benedict.  Romancing Mr. Bridgerton: Second Epilogue takes place soon after the completion of the original book and shows how Penelope tells Eloise about being Lady Whistledown.  It focuses primarily on Penelope and Eloise's friendship rather than Colin and Penelope as a couple.

The novella for To Sir Phillip with Love is told from the point of view of Eloise's stepdaughter, Amanda, and shows the influence that Eloise has had on her life.  It features Amanda's devotion to her family and how she falls in love.  When He Was Wicked shows Michael and Francesca being happy after four years of marriage yet they still struggle with infertility.  Many of the Bridgertons make cameos in this one as the main couple visits for the christening of Hyacinth's daughter.

Hyacinth gets her just desserts in the epilogue for It's In His Kiss because her daughter, Isabella, is exactly like her mother.  It specifically focuses on Isabella's discovery of the jewels from the first book and how she hides it from her family.  On the Way to the Wedding takes place almost immediately after Lucy gives birth to her and Gregory's twins (babies eight and nine).  Things take a more serious route in this story when complications arise from the birth.

This anthology also includes "Violet in Bloom" which tells the tale of Lady Bridgerton herself.  It begins with her first meeting with Edmund and shows key parts of their relationship until its tragic ending.  Then, the story shifts gears and shows Violet's life after Edmund's death all the way to her own reflection at seventy five years old.

As a Bridgerton fan, I enjoyed all the stories in this collection.  My personal favorites were the second epilogues for The Viscount Who Loved Me, When He Was Wicked, and The Duke and I.  I also have to say that I had a hard time getting through "Violet in Bloom" because of the scenes involving Edmund/Violet and the heartbreaking reflection of Lady Bridgerton at the end of the everything.  But, overall, I had a great time revisiting the Bridgerton clan and am glad that Julia Quinn let us spend more time with her beloved characters.

***4 STARS***

1. The Duke and I
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me
3. An Offer from a Gentleman
4. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
5. To Sir Philip with Love
6. When He Was Wicked
7. It's In His Kiss
8. On the Way to the Wedding
9. The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After



  1. Yay! I LOVE the Bridgertons. I haven't bought this book yet because I have already read all of the epilogues, but I have been wanting to get it so that I could read Violet's story. I'm not sure if I could handle it if it was too sad though. I just love her so much! Thanks for your great review!

  2. I love JQ, too. I originally picked up one of her books, An Offer from a Gentleman, because her last name was Quinn, and my first name is Quinn, so her books would always catch me eye. An Offer from a Gentleman is actually one of my least favorite Bridgertons. I like it, but I think Benedict really annoyed me. It was a long time ago, though, and I can't remember for sure.

    I love The Viscount Who Loved Me, The Duke and I, and, of course, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. I have read the second epilogues for When He Was Wicked and the Pall Mall scene, but I haven't for the rest. I really do want to read them, though, and need to get my hands on this one.

    I would be sad reading Violet in Bloom too!


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