I certainly did not undertake another ‘project’ to complete all Julia Quinn’s series. But did read them in between other set of novels I have been reading. Since I completed all the series of hers (published till now) yesterday, I thought it will be better to update my blog with my views.
I have found that I have taken some liking to these historical romance novels (in the genre of romance) because a) of their wit and sly humor which makes me laugh out loud ( I can only imagine what my neighbors think of me, sitting alone and laughing out loud.. hope they don’t register me in some asylum soon) b) of the funny business of peerage, balls and other such arduous society customs (which I find very amusing, God only knows why) c) of the romance or at least the flirtatious part of it – this because it is more of a fantasy than a real one and d) of the fact that all of these series put together tells you about a whole society, i.e. they are all inter related and the characters are all from a particular place and their lives interwoven.
Coming back to the series that I have completed.
Splendid Trilogy (3 books)
This has three books which has the stories of Emma Duster, Arabella (Bella) Blydon and their friend William Dunford and how each of them meet their matches. Wild and adventurous Emma finds Alex (Duke of Ashbourne), Soft and Stubborn Bella finds war scarred John Blackwood and the wonderful and level headed friend of Emma and Bella , i.e. Dunford, finds Henry aka Henrietta.
Of the three I found Dunford’s much better then the other two.
Bevelstoke (3 books)
This one is about a) Turner Bevelstoke and how he finds his soul mate in Miranda Cheever, his sister Olivia’s childhood friend b) Olivia Bevelstoke and how she finds her love in War Office Translator Harry Valentine and c) (not quite a Bevelstoke but still) Harry’s cousin Sebastian Grey and how he finds his match in Annabel Winslow (after having to fight with his old and bulky Uncle (Earl of Newbury))
I liked Olivia’s the best, because Turner’s is a little bit too dramatic, Sebastian’s is a little bit muddled with many characters and confusions etc.. (doesn’t mean they don’t make you laugh or smile..) especially when Sebastian has a secret (which is used in almost all these series…remember the Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron?… It has its origin here..)
Two Dukes of Wyndham (2 books)
This is about how long lost Jack Audley becomes the Duke of Wyndham and finds his match in Grace and how the current in-position Duke of Wyndham or Mr Cavendish finds his match in Amelia (who was engaged to him when he was the Duke).
I felt that these two books could have been combined to one. The 2nd book (Mr Cavendish, I Presume) had nothing much to tell except for the change of heart of Thomas Cavendish towards his long engaged fiance Amelia. Otherwise it had lot of sequences and scenes repeated from The Lost Duke of Wyndham.
The Lyndon Sisters (2 books)
This one is about Victoria and Eleanor Lyndon. How Victoria loses her first and only love Robert Kemble and how they come back together is what the story is about. A little cliched, but very romantic none the less. But I liked Eleanor’s much better because of the way she gets engaged and eventually married to Charles Wycombe and how they struggle, with a killer on the loose, to make their marriage work and eventually fall in love with each other.
Agents of the Crown (2 books)
As far as the stories go, this series or the two books in the series do not fare well. But they do score high in the humor content. Especially in the ‘To Catch an Heiress’ when Caroline and Blake (an agent of the crown) spar with words, its just hilarious. ‘How to Marry a Marquis’ also has its own place in humor where James (an agent of the crown and friend of Blake and a Marquis incidentally) who is in disguise at his aunt’s place (the famous Lady Danbury – from Bridgerton series remember?) teaches Elizabeth Hotchkiss to prepare herself to land a husband (and eventually falls for her). With Lady D in picture, you are sure to have some scheming and tongue in cheek lines, even though it is a little clichéd.
Smythe-Smith Quartet (3 books)
Even though there are three books in this series, only two have been published. They are about Honoria Smythe-Smith and Daniel Smythe-Smith. Well, every one knows about the famous Smythe-Smith musicale, if you have read the Bridgerton series and how they are dreaded. But this one tells you their end of the story, about why they continue their infamous musicale, even though everyone (including themselves) knows its dreadful. Honoria finds her soul mate in Marcus (child hood friend of Daniel) in ‘Just Like Heaven’ and Daniel finds his soul mate in Anne (aka Annalise) who is in hiding in ‘A Night Like This’. Story wise they are not too great or anything, but they do render a good reading.
When you get to read these series one by one, it is like knowing a whole town and its set of people. How will it be if there was a series done on these kind of novels ? I do know that I dont have the patience to watch them every week, but once it is all done, I would like to see them at one shot (even if it takes a whole day!)
Bridgerton Series Review here.