Thursday, 3 April 2014

Happily Ever After by Julia Quinn

For those of us who ever wondered how all the Bridgertons fared after their "HEA" finales, this is just the right book.
It's also the right book when one needs something funny to read... because they're the Bridgertons for heaven's sake!
And most of them are pretty... insane, in a quirky, "you're so interesting" way.

First novella, stars Daphne and Simon round about... twenty years after their wedding:

The Duke and I: The 2nd Epilogue
  • 4 stars

"Mathematics had never been Daphne Basset’s best subject, but she could certainly count to thirty, and as thirty was the maximum number of days that usually elapsed between her monthly courses, the fact that she was currently looking at her desk calendar and counting to forty-three was cause for some concern."

Okay, I should probably warn future readers that there's a LOT (really a LOT) of pregnancies going about in these novellas.
Life was boring, no tv, no internet... NO DOCTORS! 
My God, it makes us wonder how the human race persisted to exist... o_O

Well, some would say, that that is due to families such as the Bridgertons who were incredibly enthusiastic _also don't forget, fertile _ about the subject!

Ah, has anyone seen a Dane ad about natality? lol
Well, let's say apparently they could really use people such as the Bridgertons!

But I digress, Daphne and Simon give us a funny story about what happens when you "rabbit away" at 41 years old... ;)

The Viscount Who Loved Me: The 2nd Epilogue
  • 2 stars

"This was . . .
The mallet of death.
“Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine miiiiiiiiiine,” she continued, moving into the hoppy little section that followed the familiar refrain.
She could barely contain herself as she tossed a blanket aside. The Pall Mall set would be resting in the corner, as it always was, and in just a moment—
“Looking for this?”
Kate whirled around. There was Anthony, standing in the doorway, smiling diabolically as he spun the black Pall Mall mallet in his hands."

I probably should say that Anthony and Kate's romance made for my favorite book in the series.
They were so incredible competitive and insane, that I couldn't help falling hopelessly in love with their story!
Who can forget Anthony's dive in the lake?

Now, fifteen years later, I can tell you guys, that they're still... mostly insane... and competitive! o_O

Remember the infamous pall mall game in which Kate made Anthony play with the pink... thing?
Well, it's still is a tradition for the Bridgertons to play it, every single year...

And apparently Kate and Anthony have taken it up to themselves to be the most asinine possible. It was awkward and not very romantic, I'm afraid.
My least favorite short in the anthology.

An Offer From a Gentleman: The 2nd Epilogue
  • 2.5 stars
Remember Sophie's stepsisters?
Yes, me neither...

This is the story of one of them: Posy, the kind one.

"At five and twenty, Miss Posy Reiling was considered nearly a spinster.(..)
But Posy was, as Lady Bridgerton (her unofficial guardian) often remarked, a unique case.
In debutante years, Lady Bridgerton insisted, Posy was only twenty, maybe twenty-one.
Eloise Bridgerton, the eldest unmarried daughter of the house, put it a little more bluntly: Posy’s first few years out in society had been worthless and should not be counted against her."

This is the story of how two people with beautiful smiles fall in love...

Romancing Mister Bridgerton: The 2nd Epilogue
  • 3 stars

"Colin let out a sigh.
“—you have not answered my question!”
He blinked. “I’ve quite forgotten what it was.”
A full ten seconds elapsed before she spoke. And then: “I’m going to kill you.”
“Of that, I’m certain,” he said offhandedly. “Truly, the only question is when.”

This takes place between Colin and Penelope's book and Eloise's.

It's basically an account of the fun Colin had provoking Penelope into telling his sister Eloise - who at the time was getting married! _ who Lady Whistledown truly was...
Of course Colin being Colin, couldn't let the matter die... during his sister's wedding...
Honestly I don't know how Penelope puts up with him...

To Sir Phillip, With Love: The 2nd Epilogue
  • 3 stars

"“A brother is hardly the same as a husband,” Mrs. Brougham trilled.
“One would hope,” I retorted. Truly, this was one of the more ridiculous conversations in which I had taken part."

Told in first person singular, this is the story of Amanda, Philip's daughter to whom we are introduced in... his father's and Eloise's book.

Everyone will be thrilled to know that she continues her same snarky sparkly self!
It's also the story of how she fell in love...

When He Was Wicked: The 2nd Epilogue
  • 4 stars

"And while she still grieved for the babies she would never have, for the first time in a long time, she felt unreservedly happy."

“Oh, Uncle Michael, I love you,” she said fervently, and then, after one extremely vigorous hug, Charlotte ran off to Aubrey Hall.
“And another one falls,” Francesca said with a shake of her head, watching her niece dash across the fields.

Truly the story that I was looking forward in reading.
Michael and Francesca story was entrancing and heartbreaking. 
In a time when not being able to have children must be a stigma, Francesca's pain was difficult to watch. Especially with such a family as the likes of the Bridgertons.

Although it got a fairly happy ending, when most certainly such situation in real life was probably never meant to be, I as a reader, was happy with the way it ended.

It’s In His Kiss: The 2nd Epilogue
  • 3.5 stars

As the author says:

"If ever there was an ending in one of my books that readers howled about, it was the one in It’s In His Kiss, when Hyacinth’s daughter finds the diamonds for which Hyacinth has been searching for more than a decade . . . and then puts them back. I thought this was exactly what a daughter of Hyacinth and Gareth would do, and really, wasn’t it poetic justice that Hyacinth (a character whom I can only call “a piece of work”) should have a daughter who is just like her?
But in the end, I agreed with readers: Hyacinth deserved to find those diamonds . . . eventually."

Well, ladies and gentleman, the time for the eventually has come!

It was a fun short story. Isabella is really... something...
Just like her mother! lol

On the Way to the Wedding: The 2nd Epilogue
  • 4 stars

A somewhat more realistic take on the whole "giving birth" situation in the nineteenth century, even if it is the Bridgertons we're talking about.
As such it involved lots of blood... and a near fatal situation...
More heartbreaking that what we are used to.

“I can’t do it without you,” he blurted out. Bloody hell, he went an hour without speaking and this was the first thing he said? “I mean, I can, because I would have to, but it’ll be awful, and honestly, I won’t do such a good job. I’m a good father, but only because you are such a good mother.”

Violet in Bloom
  • 4.5 stars

This is the original story in this anthology.
A novella that shows us how Violet (the future Lady Bridgerton) met her future husband: Edmund Bridgerton.
Readers will be shocked to know that things had a rocky start between them ;)

“He put flour in my hair, Father.”
“Flowers?” he echoed. “Don’t young girls like that sort of thing?”
“Flour, Father! Flour! The kind one uses to bake cakes! Miss Fernburst had to wash my hair for twenty minutes just to get it out.
And don’t you laugh!”
“I’m not!”
“You are,” she accused. “You want to. I can see it in your face.”
“I’m merely wondering how the young fellow managed it.”

Everyone who reads this series knows about what happened...
Even so, even knowing what was going to happen, it still made me cry like an idiot...

All in all, a funny combination of novellas from the Bridgerton world.

Buy "Happily Ever After"

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