Reviewed by May
Happily Ever After is a series of second epilogues for the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. Three of these are new material (the other six were previously available/published), and this is the first time the complete collection has been made available. Each has a definite subject and for fans that have read (and re-read) the series and call it a favorite this may be of interest, however it would be of no use or interest to a reader who has not read the entire series.
At the start of each second epilogue Quinn gives a bit of information about that book, just enough to remind us what that story was about and how the second epilogue ties into that book. I found this incredibly useful especially for those stories that I have not read in years.
Here are my notes on each of the epilogues. I have listed the book the epilogue goes with, as the epilogues themselves were not titled on their own:
The Duke and I
Daphne, at age 41 finds herself pregnant once again and Simon has reason to wonder – what is in those unopened letters his father never mailed to him? This was a real disappointment to me. Pretty boring stuff and the letters were anti-climactic.
The Viscount Who Loved Me
The Bridgertons are gathering to play Pall Mall (croquet) and the competition is no less fierce than usual. Kate and Anthony will battle over the black mallet (aka mallet of death) days before the actual match, and of course all the Bridgertons will get involved in the bloodthirsty tradition. This was a really story – I really loved not only the scenes between Kate and Anthony but the whole Bridgerton cutthroat culture around Pall Mall matches.
An Offer From a Gentleman
This gives us the story of Posy Reiling (Sophia’s step-sister/Benedict Bridgerton’s now sister in law of sorts) and her happily ever after. This is a really cute one, perhaps my favorite in this collection. Benedict and Sophia facilitate a meeting that just might be love at first sight for Posy, and it is utterly delightful.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton
In this second epilogue we are shown how Eloise Bridgerton finds out about Penelope (her best friend and now sister-in-law) and that she is in fact the notorious Lady Whistledown. While this is perhaps a scene many fans wanted to see, and while Colin’s usual antics were humorous, I was mostly bored with this one.
To Sir Phillip, With Love
This one is unique as it is seen through the eyes of Amanda (Sir Phillip’s daughter), and it is her falling in love. It is sweet and I enjoyed seeing Eloise and Phillip through Amanda’s eyes as well as the story of how she met her husband and love.
When He Was Wicked
Would Francesca and Michael have a baby? Quinn states that this is a question readers wanted to know, and it is the one she will answer in this second epilogue. The start of this story, as Francesca struggles with infertility and coming to terms with what might not be – it is heartbreakingly beautiful. There is a scene with her mother that is so well done. This one was a real gem.
It’s In His Kiss
Hyacinth’s daughter at the end of this book found jewels… and didn’t tell Hyacinth or Gareth! In this epilogue we will finally see how and when Hyacinth would find the jewels that were supposed to be hidden in their home, and just how much work she’d gone to in an attempt to find them. This one was fun for sure – and I was glad to finally know the answer.
On the Way to the Wedding
What did Gregory and Lucy name all those babies? This story begins as Lucy gives birth to the ninth baby, and there are complications. I did not enjoy the dramatic flair to this one, as this is “happily ever after” so you know nothing truly bad is going to happen. While I enjoyed Hyacinth’s part in this story, as far as Gregory and Lucy are concerned I think they got the raw end of the deal.
Violet in Bloom
This is billed as a novella, but it was really just a series of scenes through Violet Bridgerton’s life. For those who have wanted to see the world through the mother of eight’s eyes, this is your chance. I thought it was ok, but really added nothing new and didn’t stand out in my mind.
The bottom line is that this really is just extra material for Bridgerton fans, a way to re-visit and check in on these beloved characters. Some of these epilogues were more satisfying short stories, and some were far more interesting than others as well. Overall, I would recommend this only to those who have read the whole series and want more.