Book Reviews

Bridgerton: Volume 1 by Julia Quinn | Series Review

It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon as I write this, I’ve just watched the Oscar-nominated short documentary film “A Concerto is a Conversion” starring Bridgerton composer Kris Bowers, I’ve retreated to Netflix to rewatch Bridgerton itself yet again…so obviously, I must also write a review of the whirlwind week in which I ran through a thousand pages of Regency romance faster than I actually thought possible. I’ve mentioned in my wrap-ups how far out of my wheelhouse the Bridgerton books have been, but I also vehemently believe that we should never feel guilt for something that brings us pleasure, so I’m happy to admit that I enjoyed all of these, overall, wholeheartedly. Some more than others (okay, maybe I’m just obsessed with Anthony + Kate), but I’m having great fun and refuse to feel silly over it.



The Duke and I comes in at a solid 3 stars. I probably wouldn’t have liked it much if I hadn’t already fallen in love with the show, which I feel is fair. Let’s be real, it’s the only reason I picked this up in the first place. Never the less, it had at least something that made me want to continue onto the rest of the series. So while it’s a bit more tame and boring than I expected it to be, at least Daphne was a bit more interesting, although the latter half of the book angers me (even more than the corresponding scenes in the show). I liked seeing things from Simon’s side a lot as well, which was a nice surprise. As is expected, there are many bits of this they dramatized for the show which don’t show up in the book, so it’s not really the same experience at all. A pleasant binge, if you will, and Lady Whistledown is a hoot, as ever.



THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME, ON THE OTHER HAND. This is really the reason I wanted to read the series, because after inhaling every bit of Bridgerton content after binging the show over the holidays, all I was seeing was about how Kate Sheffield was going to show up in season 2 and completely tear Anthony a new one, which she absolutely does in this book and it was DELIGHTFUL. I do not exaggerate when I say this book killed me. Every time a chapter ended I needed a break to collect my thoughts and exasperation. Have I ever mentioned how trash I am for enemies-to-lovers? It’s a good thing this book came second, because I am convinced that nothing can compare and certainly if The Duke and I came later, it would dramatically plummet the overall series experience. Not to mention that Simone Ashley who is set to play the renamed Kate Sharma is stunning, and I can’t wait to see what she does with the character. I don’t even LIKE Anthony, but good lord. I’d read this one and this one alone again in a heartbeat. Duke of Hastings who? An excellent 4 stars.



Which means, of course, after a perfect tome such as that, poor Benedict Bridgerton is still to remain Number Two. It didn’t have much of a chance, but I did give it the opportunity. Out of all the books, I think it’s the most unlikely that his season or storyline will follow the book’s plot, if what we have already seen of Benedict on the show is anything to go by. Also, I’m just really not that interested in a Cinderella plotline. I wasn’t a huge fan of Benedict in the book. He starts off fairly boring, particularly after not showing much of a personality in the first two books when he occasionally shows up, and then he gets quite manipulative. I’m all for decisions made in the name of passion and their ensuing fallouts, but blackmailing someone into being your mother’s lady’s maid just because she refuses to become your mistress? I also struggled quite a bit with consent in this one (which is saying something after that scene in The Duke and I) because while Sophie did technically consent to everything, it felt like she was bullied both by Benedict and her own passionate woes into making decisions. And honestly, their story just isn’t that romantic. I’m far more interested in the storyline the show has set up for Benedict. Also rated 3 stars because there were bits that I liked, but it’s a lower three stars than The Duke and I.

With this omnibus we were given a 2nd Epilogue for each of the stories, and honestly I wish we weren’t. First of all, it spoils some of the future books because there’s always a time jump, and within that time jump are the plots of the later books. Which is how I know about who Colin marries just because I wanted to read more about Daphne and Simon. I rather wish there was a spoiler warning, or maybe they could have been included at the back of the book rather than attached to each one? I’m just being picky though, because I didn’t have to read them. I will give an exception to the 2nd epilogue for An Offer From A Gentleman, though, because it focused on Posy which was very sweet and didn’t spoil much at all.

Have you watched Bridgerton on Netflix? Did you love it as much as I did? If you did are you planning to read the books as well? I’d love to know!

Julia Quinn

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