ATTENTION: THE REVIEW WILL NOT HOLD OFF ON SPOILERS...SORRY! IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK, I SUGGEST YOU SKIP THIS REVIEW....seriously...skip it! I am giving away a lot and it will destroy your reading experience. I NEED TO VENT AND THIS IS THE ONLY FORUM IN WHICH TO DO SO.
Several reviews have been posted for Julia Quinn's latest Bridgerton novel, ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING, in the last few days. All About Romance gave it a C+; the lovely ladies at Sanctuary's Finest thought that review was waaaaaaaaaaaay too generous and gave it a bunch of D's. I read it a couple of days ago and am still digesting it. I didn't think it was a five star masterpiece as THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME or even THE DUKE AND I, but I didn't think it was the suckfest that IT'S IN HIS KISS was either. The plot is a good one, with lots of potential....which Quinn unfortunately screws up at the very end...argh! I'm still frustrated and annoyed and I read the book days ago! For those who think I need to get a life, you might not be that far off track, but that doesn't take away the frustration...actually...I'm annoyed if you think I need to get a life, too!
For any of you who've ever watched Days of Our Lives in its heyday (i.e. the 80s, before exorcisms and Marlena the serial killer took control), the love story between Bo and Hope was a classic, something akin to that of Luke and Laura from General Hospital. I was a kid when my mom would watch it over and over again and I remember being home one day when Hope was about to marry some guy named...I don't know...Larry, I think, and Bo came storming in on his Harley, interrupts the ceremony and whisks Hope away to their happily ever after (which really is a moot point in soap operas, because there's always something else that happens in the end and they break up and then get together...break up and then get together...you get the idea). I was expecting the same for Gregory and Lucy, the lead characters and for a while Julia Quinn did not disappoint. Yeah...for a while...and then all types of shit hit the fan!!!
The prologue, for one, was magnificent at setting up the reader for a wild and fun ride which would hopefully lead to an equally wild and fun marriage between the two lovers. Immediately, we are set up for a scene similar to that of Bo and Hope. Gregory storming the church in which his heroine is getting married. He tells her how much he loves her and begs her to marry him. I couldn't read the book fast enough...you see, no answer was given in the prologue...readers were left to wonder. Would Lucy say yes or would she go through with the nuptials? Of course, I thought she'd say yes and the last chapter would pick off where the prologue left off. I was wrong. I don't know what Quinn was thinking by wrapping up the story the way she did, but it pissed me off royally because I was enjoying the book so much.
Ok...here's the spoiler...be careful...
Lucy says NO....NO...NO...WHAT. THE. FUCK? At this point, I wanted her to end up married to the guy she picked and have Gregory find some other lady. What a moron! Of course, Quinn says there were reasons for Lucy to make such a decision (her uncle was supposedly being blackmailed and if she didn't marry the guy, supposedly everyone would find out that her dad was a traitor). I didn't get why a girl who seemed so intelligent wouldn't go to her brother and tell him what was going on. I didn't get why her brother didn't seem to mind that his sister was marrying someone she didn't love. After all, he had just finished marrying a woman he loved, which he compromised. Dirt bag!
I'm totally spewing out everything I have in me at this point. Those who've read the book will understand my frustration because up until the moment Lucy said No to Gregory, I loved the book and loved her. When she said No, I just about died. What an idiot!!!
Despite what some reviewers are saying of Gregory, I enjoyed him...it made complete sense for him to be the way he was. I've been following his progress for quite a while and for him to have been depicted in anything but happy go lucky would have made no sense. I enjoyed him immensely and relished the scenes with him and his sister Hyacinth fighting about nothing, as always. I also enjoyed seeing a different side of him, a serious side, when Hyacinth threatens to cut Lucy at every turn (after Lucy rejects Gregory). First, what a joy to see Hyacinth defend her brother the way she did; second, what a joy to see Gregory tell Hyacinth off for the sake of the woman he loved. He knows Hyacinth means well, but he cannot have her hurt the woman he loves.
As for Lucy...as I've already stated, I loved her up until she rejected Gregory. I didn't understand where the TSTL attitude came from. She seemed sensible enough and then acts like a total moron, by going through with her uncle's schemes and not even considering asking HER BROTHER for help! What the hell! ANNOYING!!!
The non-Bridgerton secondary characters were irritating. Lucy's brother, Richard, and her friend Hermione ticked me off. Also, I didn't understand how Hermione just out of nowhere fell in love with Richard. We weren't even given a clue until they were found together and were forced to get married. Whatever, dude! Were chapters missing from my book? I did like Lucy's husband though...unfortunately, I don't think we'll be reading his romance anytime soon.
The Bridgertons...where do I start? How is it that we hear and see them in every book...EVERY BOOK and then they're hardly mentioned in the series finale??? And to comment on something mentioned in Sanctuary's Finest in the comments section, what was up with Anthony? He totally had a large stick up his arse! Was this the same man I fell in love with when I read THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME? What the hell? I know it's Gregory's story and all, but why make all the other Bridgerton men seem like douche bags?
And the Smythe-Smiths? I guess Quinn must have really HAD IT with them and their music (although seriously it would have made sense, in my opinion, if Gregory would have ended up with one of them) because they didn't even have a paragraph in this one. Yes, no musicals or symphonies or shows presented by that family at all! Made no sense....hmmm...wait a second...does this mean we'll be seeing a 2nd epilogue in Gregory and Lucy's future. Hey, anything's possible at this point. All I know for sure is that I won't be buying it.
I agree with AAR's review...my grade is a solid B, up until Lucy utters that one little word. Book deteriorates after that...C+ sounds just about right. Since I've very sentimental, I'll give it a C++. I would recommend reading it because it's not a bad book and you have to give Gregory a shot. If only Quinn had ended it differently...
How about I end it differently?
Gregory - Marry me...marry me.
Lucy - Yes, Gregory...yes yes yes yes yes yes...Gregory picks her up and they rush out of the church and towards Gretna Green for a quicky wedding. They live happily ever after.
Also, is the reviewer of AAR referring to the presence of a water closet as being inaccurate? I'm not sure and I have to know. I did like the epilogue...poor Gregory.