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To Sir Phillip With Love (Julia Quinn, Bridgertons #5)

0 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
I hated almost everything about this book: the heroine is supposedly to be charmingly awkward, but spends most of her time being head-palm-strikingly-annoying, the hero is supposed to be tragic-backstory-brooding, but instead feels inept and borderline unlikeable. Throw in some poorly drawn side characters, and a plot that has no forward momentum, and you get a tedious snoozefest. What’s worse: the “tragic” backstory of Sir Phillip is that he had a depressed wife he had no idea how to help, which means the novel literally begins with her suicide attempt, her death, followed by her husband and children comforting each other that she’s probably in a better place, since she was always crying when she was alive… this is my fluffy escapist fiction?? I think not.

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The Viscount Who Loved Me (Julia Quinn, Bridgertons #2)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
In terms of pacing, characterization and dialogue, this book is nearly spot on in every category. It definitely plays up some common stereotypes, there’s a rake who needs to be reformed as well as a managing sister who considers herself a spinster. But… it’s done so well. The conversations are quick, witty, and fiercely entertaining. The characters are believable, and the love story doubly so. I don’t love the overarching fear that keeps Anthony from wanting to commit to anyone, and I think that it takes a little longer to resolve than it should have, but otherwise, this is a extremely well done historical romance.

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On the Way to the Wedding (Julia Quinn, Bridgertons #8)

1.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Such a disappointing end to her most famous series! I’ll admit that I hate the love-at-first-sight plotlines (even though here, the love-at-first-sight happens between the main hero and the main heroine’s friend and thus, doesn’t pan out), but I actually had trouble finishing this book! The main two characters just never seem to connect in a way that makes their love story believable, our male protagonist feels very immature and hasty in all of his life decisions, and the final plot twists and rescue just felt really forced. I’m giving it 1.5 stars because Quinn’s a talented writer, everything technically flows well and there are a couple of funny moments, but it just is nowhere near her other Bridgertons books.
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Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Julia Quinn, Bridgertons #4)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is another solid example of Quinn’s work — the dialogue is witty, the characters seem to have an infectious bubbly energy, and the journey is believable. However, while Colin and Penelope are, like all Quinn characters, engaging and entertaining, this book seems to rely a little too much on the assumptions we start with.  Despite the internal growth and development Quinn would like us to witness, too often we’re left feeling as though Penelope is still the shy, stuttering wallflower we were introduced to a decade ago, and Colin, despite trying desperately to get out of her elder brothers’ shadows, doesn’t seem to mature much beyond the charming, fun-loving caricature of himself he starts as.  Still, even a weaker entry from Quinn is very readable; this one just isn’t quite as entertaining and repeatable as you’d like it to be…
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The Duke and I (Julia Quinn, Bridgertons #1)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Definitely one of Quinn’s stronger works, this is an excellent introduction to her Bridgertons series We have the “Devastating Duke,” who is arrogant partially because he has had to overcome a traumatic childhood (father who ridiculed and ignored him because of his stammer), paired expertly with Daphne, the beautiful but usually overlooked beauty who has grown up surrounded by a boisterous, loving family.  They’re a very nice pairing in part because their backgrounds are so different, one bringing warmth and mirth to the other’s much colder, more solitary existence.  There is definitely some let’s-escalate-this-fight back and forth during the last one-third of the novel that keeps it from being a perfectly reviewed novel for me, but Quinn’s sense of humor (only sometimes over the top), and her deftness at drawing these characters saves it, making it a fun and refreshing read.

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