In brief: The final novel in the Bridgerton series which focuses on youngest son Gregory.
The good: The second half is very dramatic.
The not-so-good: The first half is quite slow at times.
Why I chose it: I’m reading all the Bridgerton novels in preparation for the new seasons of the TV series.
Publisher: Avon Books (Harper Collins)
Rating: 8 out of 10
On the Way to the Wedding is the final novel in the Bridgerton series (although there are several prequels and second epilogues, the latter of which are included in some copies of the books). This time the focus turns to youngest son Gregory, who has been in the shadow of his older brothers for the other books. He’s best known for sparring with his younger sister Hyacinth, and this continues in this story. Gregory turns out to be quite a sweet soul with a daring adventurous streak. However, I really enjoyed the wilder second half of this story. The first half was sweet and sedate, but just not as exciting.
Gregory is now all grown up and thinking that he should look for a wife. His own mother said it best when she said that Gregory has never really had to try too hard for anything and this is what it seems like at the start. Gregory attends a house party at elder brother Anthony’s country estate and instantly falls in love with Hermione. The problem is that every other man fancies himself in love with her but Hermione only has eyes for her father’s secretary. Hermione’s best friend Lucy offers Gregory advice on how to get Hermione to notice him but he’s still not very successful. He finds himself talking more and more with Lucy, who is much more pragmatic and ordered than Hermione could dream of. Gregory and Lucy find themselves independently falling for each other, but Lucy was promised to Lord Haselby many years ago. As her wedding to him draws closer, Gregory makes his feelings known but Lucy’s dedication to Hermione and her brother outweighs her love. Can Gregory stop the wedding? Or find some way for love to win?
This is a romance, so of course you know that Lucy and Gregory are going to get together. The second half packs more drama and action than the Bridgertons have ever seen in 24 hours, which made it very exciting. I wasn’t quite as sold on the first half as the pace is a lot more measured and not knowing Gregory, I wasn’t really so sure what to expect. I didn’t really understand Gregory and Lucy’s devotion to Hermione who is nice enough, but a bit stupid. Seeing more of Kate (Anthony’s wife) was the highlight of this half, with second place going to the detailed discussions on food! Hyacinth’s presence in the second half is as expected – raucous, brutally honest and determined to protect her brother at all costs. Her dialogue is some of the best, followed by mother Violet’s observations on Gregory.
It’s sad to have come to the end of the Bridgerton series but it does give me an opportunity to explore Julia Quinn’s other novels, which really need to be re-released in paperback (hint hint).