Speaking of book series, one of the series I enjoy reading tremendously is the Bridgerton siblings’ romance series by Julia Quinn. While the Bridgerton books are a loosely connected series, each stands on its own as an individual novel.
The series recounts the romance of the eight Bridgertons (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth) and are all highly original and entertaining. I particularly love Lady Whistledown, London’s most elusive and most famous gossip columnist during that time period, the secret identity of witty, kind-hearted bluestocking Penelope Featherington. I was so intrigued that I went on to read two other novellas (‘The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown’ and ‘Lady Whistledown Strikes Back’) that feature Lady Whistledown as the narrator, connecting four stories written by different authors. So it should come as no surprise that ‘Romancing Mr Bridgerton’ is my favourite book in the series …
So far, that is. There are two more stories yet to come and I’m looking eagerly forward to 28 June when the 7th book ‘It’s in His Kiss’ — about Hyacinth’s search for love – goes on sale. In this book, another favourite character of mine will get prominent feature. From the excerpt, it looks like she’s cast in the role of Hyacinth’s matchmaker …. in fact, she played quite an important role in bringing Penelope and Colin (the 3rd oldest Bridgerton) together. I’m talking about Lady Danbury, of ourse. That crotchety, gossipy, meddling and some might say crafty, eldery countess who appears in every book as the stalwart pillar of London society and the outspoken voice of logic, reason and commonsense. She’s rather like a favourite elderly aunt, lovable for all her acerbic wit and stoic championship of the wallflowers, and her annoying and uncanny ability to make you squirm and confess a lie.
Kudos to JQ for creating not just unforgettable central characters for each book, but also memorable secondary characters who enrich the series and string the plots and subplots together marvellously, adding depth to the Regency family she has created. This is certainly one author I’m keeping on my bookshelf.
And if you’re interested in reading about the Bridgerton family, this is the chronological order in which they should be read: #1 is ‘The Duke and I’, #2 is ‘The Viscount Who Loved Me’, #3 is ‘An Offer from a Gentleman‘, #4 is ‘Romancing Mr Bridgerton’,#5 is ‘To Sir Phillip, With Love’ and #6 is ‘When He Was Wicked’.
Note: #4, 5 and 6 takes place concurrently – second part of # 6 happen during the same time as # 5 and # 4, while # 5 begins at the same time as the last few chapters of #4. I happened to read these 3 books sequentially, and in the same breath, read the Whistledown stand-alones. (Yeah, I was that mad about this historical series). You can also read them in any order if you like. Whichever way, you’ll never be bored.
Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 – 1944)