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The Bridgertons come to an end
on 3 July 2007
Gregory Bridgerton believes in love; with seven besottedly happy siblings, he'd be a fool not to. But he's never been in love himself, and at the ripe old age of twenty-six, he's just ready and waiting for it to happen. Any day now. No rush, you know. It would just be nice...
Then he sees her. Just the back of her neck, but it's enough, and it's perfect. It's love.
Being the best friend of Hermione Watson is not always the easiest of tasks, because Hermione is beautiful. In the three years of their friendship, Lady Lucy Abernathy has seen a lot of lovesick fools, and can spot one at twenty paces. When Gregory Bridgerton joins the rest, Lucy realises that this is the man her friend should marry, because he's just so much better than the rest.
But Hermione has different ideas, and a love in mind all of her own. She saw the back of his neck, and she just knew...
And so the final Bridgerton tale is upon us, and it's back to the witty romps that Julia Quinn excels at, and while we're at it, we'll take a side swipe at love at first sight. Poor Gregory, like Francesca he's been one of the quiet Bridgertons, but appearences from Anthony, Kate, Violet, Hyacinth and Colin manage to keep it in the family. That doesn't mean that Gregory doesn't suffer. In fact I think it's safe to say that (with the possible exception of Daphne in 'The Duke and I') no Bridgerton has ever had to work harder to gain their HEA.
When he finally figures out what it is he's working for, that is.
Lucy herself is a sweet-natured mixture of practicality and loyalty. She likes things to be nice and neat for everyone, and does all she can to keep it that way. If she some times forgets to look after herself at the same time, well, that doesn't matter, as long as everyone else is happy. Her near-identical conversations with Hermione and Gregory about love are a fabulous example of rational confusion amongst idealistic dreamers.
For me this book improves on every reread. The first time I found Hermione highly irritating, but now I regard her as merely silly. It's always a joy to read Anthony and Kate, no matter how little the former improves with age, and Hyacinth is as nosily charming as ever.
But this book is more about Lucy learning to put herself first, and Gregory realising that some things in life are truly worth fighting for, than it is about the Bridgerton clan. Which is as it should be, considering how little a part to play he's had in the other books. This might well be why it's not rated as highly as the other seven by most people.
However, with twists, turns and breathless dashes across London, this tale brings the Bridgertons to a worthy (and chucklesome) close. Give it a try, then read it again. It is worth it. And if you haven't read the other seven, go and grab 'The Duke and I'. If you have, but they're the only JQ you've read, go read her other seven.
This is an author who is not to be missed.