This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me, which is sad since it’s the last Bridgerton book, and I would have liked the series to go out on more of bang rather than a whimper*. And I really genuinely enjoyed the first half of the book. It was fun and bantery, and I liked that neither our hero nor heroine were really very self aware, and thus instalove was avoided. But the second half lost its way.
*I would also rather it wasn’t the pinkest shade of book to ever exist this side of cotton candy.
Gregory is the last of the eight Bridgerton siblings, and he is determined to marry for love, because he knows it exists. All seven of his siblings (and his parents) found it, some of them twice. So when he falls hard and instantly for Miss Hermione Watson, he knows this is it: she’s the one. Only, she’s already in love with someone else, and he’s just one more man in an endless line of men who fall for her beauty. Then there is her best friend, Lucy Abernathy, who is herself long engaged, and who no one ever notices next to beautiful Hermione. Lucy promises to help Gregory succeed in winning Hermione over because she sees him as the best of Hermione’s (many) options (she doesn’t approve of the man Hermione actually loves). And then of course Lucy begins to fall for Gregory, so it’s a complicated soup of feelings all wrapped up in a country house party.
And it really was fun through the first half. Until they realized their feelings, and Quinn decided to start phoning it in and getting weird. Their chemistry while they were getting to know each other felt genuine, but after, it felt forced, and Gregory told Lucy he loved her like 5,000 times instead of having a real conversation with her. There was also this weird thing with (view spoiler)[blackmail and bride kidnapping and it felt really frantic there at the end, and lost me a little (hide spoiler)]. They felt more like players acting out predetermined parts at the end than they did genuine characters acting out of real human emotion.
I do like this series, though, even if this one didn’t turn out to be a favorite. (In case you’re curious, my favorites were #2, The Viscount Who Loved Me and #3, An Offer From a Gentleman, with dark horse #6, When He Was Wicked coming in at a close third (I liked it a lot more than most people seem to have). I remember liking It’s In His Kiss a lot, too, but I think because I read that one by audiobook, it hasn’t stuck with me as much as the others. Really, I liked them all. You could do worse than spend several months binging this series.