On the Way to the Wedding
by Julia Quinn
Published by Avon
Book 7 in the Bridgerton series
A funny thing happened...
Unlike most men of his acquaintance, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. And he is convinced that when he finds the woman of his dreams, he will know in an instant that she is the one. And that is exactly what happened. Except...
She wasn't the one. In fact, the ravishing Miss Hermione Watson is in love with another. But her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from a disastrous alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls in love. With Gregory! Except...
Lucy is engaged. And her uncle is not inclined to let her back out of the betrothal, even once Gregory comes to his senses and realizes that it is Lucy, with her sharp wit and sunny smile, who makes his heart sing. And now, on the way to the wedding, Gregory must risk everything to ensure that when it comes time to kiss the bride, he is the only man standing at the altar...
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Historical-Romance Cute
On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn is the seventh, and final book in the Bridgerton series. It follows youngest son, and the last unmarried Bridgerton, Gregory, and Lucy Abernathy. Gregory, an admitted romantic, knows he will fall in love, and when he does, it will be instant. Like magic. And it is. For him. But for the beautiful Hermione Watson, her affections are for another. Enter Lucy, Hermione's best friend, who wants nothing more than her friend to fall in love with someone she can actually marry. When Lucy see's Gregory struggle to gain Hermione's favor, she offers to help him. BUT in the process, she falls in love with him. The problem? She is already engaged to another man. When Gregory finally comes to his senses and realizes he is in love with Lucy, he is presented with another problem. Her uncle is unlikely to release her from the arrangement. But Gregory is a romantic, and nothing can get in the way of love.
I was hesitant going into this book, for a couple of reasons. Gregory, being one of the younger siblings, was never really fleshed out in other books, being a child in most of them, or being away to school. Another, its an insta-love story, and if you have read my thoughts on love at first sight, you will know I am not a fan. Were there problems with this book? Yes.
Is it my favorite? No.
Is it terrible? It isn't.
Once I got past Gregory's instant infatuation with Hermione, and got to see Lucy and Gregory's interactions more, I rather enjoyed the story. I loved how Gregory, the hero, was the romantic, and Lucy, the heroine, was practical. And while sometimes I felt this story hinted too much to Anthony and Kate's story, the whole wedding fiasco made up for it. And that epilogue! I loved it!
On the Way to the Wedding could have been better, if Gregory was a bit more substantial, and Lucy wasn't a Kate clone with a slight case of OCD. Don't get me wrong - I love Kate, but I wanted a different character for Gregory. Although, I do agree with Hermione - Gregory and Lucy are a good match. On the Way to the Wedding does have a wonderful sense of urgency to it though, and because of that, I couldn't put it down, as I just knew, within a page of two, something big would happen.
Gregory and Lucy's conversation in the library
Haselby insulting his father
Gregory fixing it so Lady Lucinda is invited to the ball
Hyacinth and Gregory at the ball
Gregory and Lucy dancing
Hyacinth needling Lucy until she stood up to her
Gregory and Lucy's first time
Gregory trying to stop the wedding
Gregory, Richard and Haselby getting to the truth behind the marriage, and Haselby agreeing to annul the marriage
The epilogue - one of the Bridgertons had to do it, right? :)
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Kate: "Her parents cannot be pleased."
Gregory: "I don't know that they are aware."
Kate: "Oh my."
Kate sounded sufficiently impressed by this gossipy tidbit that Gregory turned to look at her. Sure enough, her eyes were wide and sparkling."
Gregory: "Do try to contain yourself."
Kate: "But it's the most excitement I've had all spring."
Gregory: "You need to find a hobby."
Gregory: "If she really loved someone, she would risk anything."
Lucy: "Would you? Would you risk anything?"
He didn't move, but his eyes burned. And he didn't hesitate.
Her lips parted. With surprise? Awe? Something else?"
Gregory: "Would you?"
Lucy: "I ... I'm not sure. I don't know. I suppose it would depend."
Gregory: "On what? On ... on love I suppose."
Miss Watson: "Do you torment your sisters?"
Gregory: "Mostly just the younger one."
Miss Watson: "Because she's smaller."
Gregory: "No, because she deserves it."
Lucy: "I've never known a man who would admit to being a bad shot."
Gregory: "There are some things on simply can't avoid. I shall always be the Bridgerton who can be bested at close range by his sister."
Lucy: "The one you told me about?"
Gregory: "All of them."
Lucy: "Didn't you wish for time for yourself?"
Slowly, he shook his head.
Gregory: "I did. I did, but now I don't."
Kate's original intention had been to throw a fancy dress party - she'd been longing to fashion herself as Medusa (to the surprise of no one) - but she had finally abandoned the idea after Anthony informed her that if she had her way with this, he would choose his own costume.
The look he gave her was apparently enough for her to declare an immediate retreat.
She later told Gregory that he had still no forgiven her for costuming him as Cupid at the Billington fancy dress ball the previous year.
Gregory: "Costume too cherubic?"
Kate: "But on the bright side, I now know exactly how he must have looked as a baby. Quite darling, actually."
Gregory: "Until this moment, I'm not sure I understood exactly how much my brother loves you."
Kate: "Quite a bit."
She smiled and nodded.
Kate: "Quite a bit indeed."
Anthony: "It's a much better party without everyone else jostling about."
Gregory: "When did you grow so opposed to social discourse?"
Anthony: "It's not that at all. I've simply lost patience for stupidity of any kind."
Kate: "He is not aging well."
Gregory: "You have no arguments with this?"
Kate: "Oh, I have many arguments. I always have arguments."
Anthony: "It's true. But she knows when she cannot win."
Kate: "What I know is how to choose my battles."
Anthony: "Pay her no mind. That is just her way of admitting defeat."
Kate: "And yet he continues, even though he knows that I always win in the end."
Anthony shrugged and gave his brother an uncharacteristically sheepish grin.
Anthony: "She's right, of course. But there is no point in surrendering without a fight."
Anthony: "You're sure you want to marry one of these?"
Gregory: "Not that one precisely. Something rather like it, though."
Lucy: "You are insufferable."
Gregory: "It is one of my finest qualities."
Lucy: "According to whom?"
Gregory: "Well, my mother seems to like me quite well."
She sputtered with laughter.
It felt like a victory.
Gregory: "My sister ... not as much."
Lucy: "The one you are fond of torturing?"
Gregory: "I don't torture her because I like to. I do it because it is necessary."
Lucy: "To whom?"
Gregory: "To all Britain. Trust me."
Gregory: "Is sufferable a word?"
Lucy: "I think it must be, don't you?"
Gregory: "No one has ever uttered it in my presence."
Lucy: "This surprises you?"
He smiled slowly. With appreciation.
Gregory: "You, Lady Lucinda, have a smart mouth."
Her brows arched, and in that moment she was positively devilish.
Lucy: "It is one of my best kept secrets."
Violet: "I shall take care of everything. And please, finish your tea. I do worry about you, living all by yourself with no woman to care for you. Another year of this, and you will waste away for skin and bones."
Gregory: "As nudges toward matrimony go, that was particularly unsubtle."
Violet: "Was it? How nice for me that I no longer even try to subtlety. I have found that most men do not notice anything that is not clearly spelled out, anyway."
Gregory: "Even your sons."
Violet: "Especially my sons."
Gregory: "You are a superb mother, did you know that?"
Violet: "Because I feed you?"
Gregory: "Well, yes, but perhaps for a few other things as well."
She stood on her toes and kissed him on the cheek
Violet: "You are no longer my darling boy, are you?"
Gregory: "I am for as long as you wish it, Mother. As long as you wish it."
Hyacinth: "And how is it that you are acquainted with Lady Lucinda, Gregory?"
He opened his mouth, but she was already saying
Hyacinth: "And do not say that you are not, because Daphne has already told me everything."
Gregory: "Then why are you asking?"
Hyacinth: "She did not tell me how you met."
Gregory: "You might wish to revisit your understanding of the word everything."
Gregory turned to his mother.
Gregory: "Vocabulary and comprehension were never her strong suits."
Violet rolled her eyes.
Violet: "Every day I marvel that the two of you managed to reach adulthood."
Gregory: "Afraid we'd kill each other?"
Violet: "No, that I'd do the job myself."
Hyacinth: "He knows I only tease him so because I love him best."
She smiled up at him, sunny and warm.
Gregory sighed, because it was true, and because he felt the same way, and because it was, nonetheless, exhausting to be her brother.
Hyacinth: "He returns the sentiment, by the way, but as a man, he would never say as much."
Violet: "It's true."
Hyacinth: "And just to be perfectly clear, I never pulled your hair."
Gregory: "Hyacinth, I adore you. You know it. Mother, I adore you as well. And no I am leaving."
Hyacinth: "I know you have something up your sleeve. Else you would not have gone to such lengths to secure her attendance this evening."
Lucy: "He was just being kind."
Hyacinth: "Don't be silly. He would never do that."
Lucy: "That's not true."
Hyacinth regarded her with a delighted smile.
Hyacinth: "I like you. You are wrong, of course, but I like you, anyway."
She turned to her brother
Hyacinth: "I like her."
Gregory: "Yes, you've said as much."
Lucy: "You know that I am engaged to be married."
Hyacinth: "I know."
Lucy: "In a week. Less than a week."
Hyacinth: "I know. I was invited."
Lucy: "Oh. Erm, do you plan to attend?"
Hyacinth looked up.
Hyacinth: "Do you?"
Lucy: "The paper's are signed."
Hyacinth: "Are they?"
Lucy: "My uncle chose him. It has been arranged for years."
Lucy: "And he hasn't ... Your brother hasn't ... He has made no promises. He states no intentions."
At that, Hyacinth did look up. She glanced around the room, as if to say, Look at us, mending your gown in the bedchamber of the Duchess of Hastings.
Hyacinth: "Hasn't he?"
Hyacinth: "I misjudged you."
It hit Lucy like a slap in the face.
Lucy: "Wh ... wh ..."
Hyacinth: "Don't fidget so much."
Hyacinth: "You're still moving."
Lucy: "Oh. Sorry."
Hyacinth jabbed her with the needle
Hyacinth: "You're still moving."
Lucy: "I am not!"
Hyacinth smiled to herself
Hyacinth: "That's better."
Lucy: "Am I bleeding?"
Hyacinth: "If you are, it's nobody's fault but your own."
Lucy: "I beg your pardon."
Hyacinth: "There. Certainly not as good as new, but it will pass any inspection this evening. I've never been gifted with a needle."
Lucy stood, fighting the impulse to rip the stitches out and fix them herself.
Lucy: "You should have told me."
Hyacinth's lips curved into a slow, sly smile
Hyacinth: "My, my, you've turned prickly all of a sudden."
Lucy: "You've been hurtful."
Hyacinth; "Possibly. He ought to be here by now."
Lucy: "You still plan to help me?"
Hyacinth: "I am hoping, that you have misjudged yourself."
Lucy: "You did not misjudge me."
Gregory: "We belong together. For eternity. Lucy. Lucy, tell me -"
Lucy: "Please don't say that. Say anything else, but not that."
Gregory: "Why not?"
Lucy: "Because it's true."
Gregory: "Lucy. I feel ... I think ..."
His lips parted, and he shook his head. Slowly, as if he did no quite understand what was happening to him.
Gregory: "I have been waiting for this. For my entire life. I didn't even know. I didn't know."
She was his.
And he was hers. As he held himself still, pressing ever so softly at her entrance, he realized that he was at the edge of a precipice. His life was now one of two parts: before and after.
He would never love another woman again.
Not after this. Not as long as Lucy walked the same earth.
There could be no one else.
It was terrifying, this precipice. Terrifying, and thrilling, and -
Gregory: "Do you understand how completely and utterly this goes against my every instinct, leaving you here to face this by yourself?"
Her lips parted and her eyes - They filled with tears.
Gregory: "I have sworn in my heart to protect you. I have sworn it in my heart, and I will swear it before God just as soon as we are able."
Lucy: "Gregory, why are you doing this?"
Gregory: "I love you."
Colin: "I tried to stop him."
Violet: "You obviously did not try hard enough."
Colin: "Do you have any idea how fast he can run?"
Colin: "Don't do anything foolish."
Gregory: "Nothing foolish. Only what is necessary."
Gregory: "Shhh. Listen to me. I love you. I love you. There is nothing in this world or the next that could ever make me stop loving you."
Gregory: "When this is all over, I shall bring you a sandwich."
Lucy: "A sandwich? A sandwich?"
Gregory: "You want a sandwich, don't you? You always want a sandwich."
Sure enough, when Lucy's brother returned, barely a minute later, he carried with him two guns.
He held one out to Gregory.
Richard: "You may need this."
Gregory: "Heaven help us if I do."
Lucy: "You're lucky he's not a better shot."
Gregory made a rather strange, snorting sound.
It was a damned good thing men couldn't have children.
Gregory took no shame in admitting that the human race would have died out generations earlier.
Or at the very least, he would not have contributed to the current batch of mischievous little Bridgertons.
At seven, Gregory thought they ought to be done. Seven was a perfectly find number of children, and, as he told Lucy, he could barely recall what she looked like when she wasn't expecting.
Lucy: "Well enough for you to make sure I'm expecting again."
He couldn't very well argue with that, so he'd kissed her on the forehead and gone off to visit Hyacinth, to expound upon the many reasons seven was the ideal number of children. (Hyacinth was not amused.)
Midwife: "Good heavens. There are two."
No, Gregory thought, feeling decidedly queasy, there were nine.
It was only one less that ten.
Which possessed two digits. If he did this again, he would be in the double-digits of fatherhood.
Gregory: "Oh dear Lord."
Gregory: "I need to sit down."
Lucy smiled wanly.
Lucy: "Well, your mother will be pleased, at the very least."
He nodded, barely able to think. Nine children. What did one do with nine children?
Love them, he supposed.
Check out the rest of the Bridgerton series