Updated: Sep 2
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Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. How could he not after watching all his siblings, including Hyacinth, enjoying life in HEA? He finally find the girl of his dreams when he sets eyes on Hermione Watson. Hermione, while lovely, has one flaw - she is in love with another! Her best friend Lucy Abernathy, though, is happy to help Gregory win her affection but it turns out Lucy and Gregory get on better than Gregory and Hermione. Yet fate has another twist as Lucy is soon betrothed to another and cannot break the engagement. Gregory is not one to give up on love, and nothing, not even marriage to another, is going to stop him from getting his HEA. For our 50th Episode, please enjoy our final Bridgerton Novel, On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn. **Going to the Chapel to get some SPOILERS**
Pick up a copy of this week's book, On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn, here!
Want to listen to a certain segment? Here is our outline this week:
0:00 - 08:36: Intro/Author Facts/Tropes
08:36 - 31:45: Synopsis
31:45 - 36:23: Parlour
36:23 - 1:01:02: General Discussion
Our book recommendation today was You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria.
We are now including our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)
On the Way to the Wedding Synopsis:
Gregory Bridgerton knows it’s time to do something serious with his life. He’s 26 years old and needs to find a purpose.
His brother suggests he marry, but Gregory is one of the few men who readily believes in true love. He’d have to be an idiot not to after watching all his siblings and their spouses.
So far though, no woman has struck him in the way he expects his true love too.
That all changes as he enters the house party of his brother Anthony and his wife Kate. He is the last to join the party and when he does, suddenly he sees her.
He knew that she was the one. He stood frozen, transfixed. The air didn’t rush from his body; rather, it seemed to slowly escape until there was nothing left, and he just stood there, hollow, and aching for more.
The lady in question is Miss Hermonie Watson, and is clearly not the heroine of this story.
Lady Lucinda Abernathy is Hermonie’s best friend and she knows that no man ever looks at her when Hermonie is in the room.
She’s okay with that though. She has been practically engaged for years, so really, what would be the point?
With that said, Hermonie is not at all interested in her potential suitors. She’s in love with another and therefore ignores the men who pursue her.
Enter Gregory Bridgerton, clearly already smitten by Hermonie. However, he’s different from the others. He does make an effort to notice Lucy and include her in the conversation.
with four sisters, Gregory knew a thing or two about women, the most important of which was that it was always a good idea to befriend the friend, provided they really were friends, and not just that odd thing women did where they pretended to be friends and were actually just waiting for the perfect moment to knife each other in the ribs. Mysterious creatures, women. If they could just learn to say what they meant, the world would be a far simpler place.
Gregory does get to further his goal when he is fobbed off on Lucy after asking Hermonie to dance (Hermonie cannot dance and always insists they partner Lucy, which is fine by her as she loves dancing).
They do not dance at this time though. Lucy mentioned Gregory’s absence at supper, so he must be hungry. She leads him to the sandwiches and they speak further.
She tells him that Hermonie is in love with another. Not to be mean but rather to let him know that he will not have an easy time gaining her affections.
After hearing her out, Gregory decides to make a game plan that includes being paired with Hermoinie on the outing for the following day. Luckily he knows the hostess.
The following morning we learn more about Hermonie’s love interest. He is her father’s secretary and Lucy does not approve. Mainly because she knows Hermonie would be very unhappy if she were cut off from her family, which would happen if she ran away with the secretary.
Lucy does realize that Gregory Bridgerton, while a fourth son, is a catch and therefore she will assist in his efforts to win Hermonie’s heart in any way she can. He clearly needs some help.
When they get to the village and decide to have a picnic, Lucy finds a moment to have a word with Gregory. She tells him that he’s going about his courtship all wrong. Hermonie is not interested in flattery, he should try something different.
While Gergory thinks this idea is stupid, he does give Lucy a little credit. So far he’s barely gotten Hermonie to speak with him, so maybe he should try what Lucy suggests.
He is a little curious though about why Lucy is so determined to help him. Lucy thinks it’s obvious.
Why, that you . . . that you . . . just that you are so much better than the rest. I don’t know why she cannot see it. It’s quite obvious to me.”
The rest of the day, Gregory goes on ignoring Hermonie but it is not working well. He’s annoyed and thinks Lucy’s advise was dumb.
The next morning he finds a chance to speak more freely with Hermonie at breakfast. Lucy had remained upstairs, embarrassed by her impassioned speech about Gergory being the best of the suitors.
Gregory decides to go with a ridiculous angle and actually ends up cracking Hermonie’s shell a bit. She even tells him she had a pleasant time when she leaves with Lucy’s breakfast.
He inclined his head. “The pleasure was all mine.” Except that it wasn’t. She had enjoyed their time together, too. He could see it in her smile. And her eyes. And he felt like a king.
Things are about to turn though because Lucy’s older brother Richard, the Earl of Fennsworth arrives with a summons for Lucy from their Uncle Robert.
Immediately Gergory, who followed Kate into the room and noticed two things.
Lady Lucinda’s brother knew who he was, not just what he was born to be called. Gregory liked him immediately.
Until it became obvious that he, like the rest of male humanity, was in love with Hermione Watson. The only mystery, really, was why Gregory was surprised.
When Lucy is able to get Richard alone, she finally gets an answer as to why he’s at Aubrey Hall, it’s time for her to be married.
Luckily, Kate was able to convince Richard they should stay a couple more days to attend her masked ball, but after that it’s back to Fennsworth to be married to Lord Haselby.
She acknowledges this news and then takes some time to sit by herself in the gardens. Which is where Gregory finds her and sets about cheering her up.
The world seemed a bit steadier with Lucy Abernathy yipping along like a terrier. He’d felt almost off-balance when she’d been staring morosely at the trees.
He shares with her some secrets and they talk about their future plans. Lucy also asks how he knows that he is in love with Hermonie as this is a concept she doesn’t quite understand.
Finally they end up back at the house and Lucy turns to apologize to Gregory for ruining his own alone time. To which he says, he doesn’t feel the need to be alone any longer.
She looked at him, and he looked at her. And the thought quite suddenly popped into her head— He doesn’t know why. He didn’t know why he no longer wanted to be by himself. And she didn’t know why that was meaningful.
It is now the night of the masked ball and Gregory has been waiting for Hermonie. Finally he sees Lucy and goes to chat with her. As they’re talking, Gregory decides to ask her to dance, since clearly Hermione is not with her and it is a ball after all.
He took her hand and led her to the floor. The waltz was in full swing, and they quickly found their place in the music. It seemed to lift them, render them as one. Gregory needed only to press his hand at her waist, and she moved, exactly as he anticipated. They spun, they twirled, the air rushing past their faces so quickly that they had to laugh. It was perfect. It was breathless. It was as if the music had crept under their skin and was guiding their every movement.
After the magical dance though, things take a turn. Hermonie is no where to be seen and neither is Lucy’s brother. At first Lucy is not worried (Gregory is very concerned though) but then, after flagging down Kate, everyone is in the worried camp.
“Richard would never do anything improper,” Lucy insisted. “I promise you.” “He is in love with her,” Kate said. Gregory said nothing. Vindication had never felt less sweet. Lucy looked from Kate to Gregory, her expression almost bordering on panic. “No,” she whispered. “No, you’re wrong.” “I’m not wrong,” Kate said in a serious voice. “And we need to find them. Quickly.”
Eventually they find them. It’s not good and the two are engaged by night's end. Gregory goes to console himself with booze and Lucy is forced back to attend the party. She eventually slips away and makes her way back to her room via the family area of the house.
She is just so distraught by the events of the night. She had no idea that Richard had been interested in Hermione and while Hermonie thought she had been in love with the secretary, she had gotten a similar flutter from Richard, someone she’s known for years.
Why did everything have to change? Lucy’s life had been perfectly acceptable the way it was. Everyone had his place, and all was in perfect order, and she hadn’t had to think so hard about everything. She hadn’t cared about what love meant or how it felt, and her brother wasn’t secretly pining for her best friend, and her wedding was a hazy plan for the future, and she had been happy. She had been happy. And she wanted it all back.
As Lucy is wandering back to her room, she comes across a drunk Gregory. She apologizes to him about the whole thing to which he is kind and weirdly enough, not too worried about the whole thing. He also sees that she is upset and ends up holding her arms in a steadying gesture.
“It’s all changing,” she whispered, “and I can’t stop it.” Somehow his face was closer as he said, again, “No.” “It’s too much.” She couldn’t stop looking at him, couldn’t move her eyes from his, and she was still whispering it—“It’s all too much”—when there was no more distance between them. And his lips . . . they touched hers. It was a kiss. She had been kissed.
And suddenly, Lucy understood what Gregory and Hermonie had been trying to explain. She heard music after a kiss with Gregory.
But then she remembers she’s engaged. She breaks away and tells Gregory she cannot because of her betrothal and too his teasing, practically betrothed, she says no. Actually betrothed.
And on that note they part ways for the night.
The next morning, Lucy departs Aubrey Hall after clearing the air with Hermonie and having an awkward encounter with Gregory.
“It has been lovely knowing you,” she said. Her eyes caught his, and for the first time in the conversation, he saw her, saw right down to everything inside of her, weary and bruised. And he saw that she was saying goodbye.
A month later Lucy is fairly miserable. Her brother and Hermonie are off on their wedding trip after a short engagement and she is realizing that her soon to be father-in-law is terrible.
She is in London but is not allowed out to enjoy the season. Her Uncle has said that her father-in-law wants her to be introduced to society as Lady Haselby, so she will only begin her season after the wedding.
She finally convinced him to have a dinner with Lord Davenport and Lord Haselby, since she’s only met her future husband a few times and it might be nice to see him before the wedding day.
Haselby is actually pretty nice. Nothing offensive and will most likely make her a fine husband. His dad however is just...well if it makes things clear, he insisted on inspecting her teeth and showing him that she knew her multiplication tables at dinner.
So Lucy is trying to not wallow.
There was no sense in remaining miserable, no matter how difficult it was to look on the bright side. And truly, it could have been worse. So she did what she did best and tried to look at it all from a practical standpoint, mentally cataloguing all the ways it could have been worse. But instead, Gregory Bridgerton’s face kept coming to mind—and all the ways it could have been better.
And it turns out, she’s able to conjure him. As Gregory strolls through the park, literally his first hour back in London, he finds Lucy sitting on a park bench feeding the birds.
Gregory asks after why she is in London and she says her wedding. Gregory is shocked it’s happening so soon and seeing she is unhappy invites her to his sister Daphne’s party the following evening.
Lucy says she is not out yet and therefore, as much as she would like to, she cannot go.
Why?” Lucy shrugged. “There is no point in my being introduced to society as Lady Lucinda Abernathy when I’m to be Lady Haselby in a week.” “That’s ridiculous.” “It is what they say.” She frowned. “And I don’t think they wish to suffer the expense, either.” “You will attend tomorrow evening,” Gregory said firmly. “I shall see to it.” “You?” Lucy asked dubiously. “Not me,” he answered, as if she’d gone mad. “My mother. Trust me, when it comes to matters of social discourse and niceties, she can accomplish anything. Have you a chaperone?”
After Gregory leaves Lucy, he turns to the person who can most help liberate Lucy for an evening, his mother.
His mother says getting Lady Lucinda to the party will not be a problem but what really has his mother going is that Gregory has asked her for help.
He’s shocked by the statement but she tells him it’s just that he has always seemed to try to prove himself to his eldest siblings and is therefore not likely ask them for help.
He also finds out that Lord Haselby is Lucy’s intended. His mother received an invitation.
He is a little shocked, Haselby is a fine fellow, would be a good husband but not for someone like Lucy as Haselby prefers men.
That being said, Gregory leaves feeling lighter after having seen his mother.
At Daphne’s party, Gregory enters and is suddenly struck by a similar feeling.
It was her. Except . . . It was a different her. It wasn’t Hermione Watson. It was— He wasn’t sure who she was; he could see her only from the back. But there it was—that same splendid and terrible feeling. It made him dizzy. It made him ecstatic. His lungs were hollow. He was hollow. And he wanted her. It was just as he’d always imagined it—that magical, almost incandescent sense of knowing that his life was complete, that she was the one. Except that he’d done this before.
And the woman in question turns around and it is Lucy. And really why is Gregory shocked.
It was the strangest, most wonderful sensation. It was exhilarating. It was as if the world had suddenly become open to him. Clear. He understood. He understood everything he needed to know, and it was all right there in her eyes. “Lady Lucinda,” he said, bowing deeply over her hand. “May I have this dance?”
After the dance, Gregory asks Lucy to meet him in private. He wants to talk to her. As much as she would like to meet him, she sees no way to do it without getting ruined. Enter Hyacinth, who can see a spark and is there to help.
She arranges the whole thing giving Gregory and Lucy some alone time together.
Gregory tells Lucy that she cannot marry Haselby. He won’t make her happy because he can never be a real husband to her since he doesn’t like women the same way most men do.
“I could have been happy with him,” she whispered. “No. No, you couldn’t. You don’t understand, he—” “Yes, I could,” she cried out. “Maybe I wouldn’t have loved him, but I could have been happy. It was what I expected. Do you understand, it was what I was prepared for. And you . . . you . . .” She wrenched herself away, turning until he could no longer see her face. “You ruined it.” “How?” She raised her eyes to his, and the look in them was so stark, so deep, he could not breathe. And she said, “Because you made me want you instead.”
And then they kiss and tell each other “I love you.” Then Gregory asks Lucy to marry him instead. Which is all fine and dandy except she’s supposed to marry another man next week.
But Gregory insists it is for the best. They love each other and should be together. Lucy just has to tell her Uncle that she does not wish to marry Haselby.
The following day Lucy meets with Uncle Robert. She tells him that she does not wish to marry Haselby.
It goes terribly wrong and her uncle says some shit that I do not feel like repeating because it was truly disgusting.
However, the nail in the coffin comes when he tells her that she is the final blackmail payment to Lord Davenport, who has physical proof that her father is a traitor. If she does not marry Haselby, Davenport will go public with the proof which will destroy the family socially and most likely get her brother, who has just married her best friend, stripped of his title.
So Lucy is now a martyr. She will give up Gregory to marry Haselby and save her family’s reputation.
Gregory is waiting to hear from Lucy. He’s even gone to her house to see her but has been turned away repeatedly, although he thought he saw her looking out the window at him.
The night before the wedding, he decides enough is enough and sneaks into the house to speak to her.
He could not let her marry Lord Haselby. He could not. If there was one thing he knew in his heart, it was that he and Lucinda Abernathy were meant to be husband and wife. Hers was the face he was supposed to gaze upon over eggs and bacon and kippers and cod and toast every morning.
She is shocked to find him in her room (frankly I am too since he has never been in the house before and had to navigate up to her room at the front of the house through the servants entrance). And while she listens to his pleas to turn down Haselby, she knows she cannot marry him.
Instead she decides to take a night of passion before entering a loveless union. And we have encounter #1 in which our main characters make love with lots of “I love yous”.
The following morning, Gregory is feeling assured that Lucy will not marry Haselby. He leaves her telling her that he’ll be waiting for her.
He decided to wait just outside the house, after getting backup in the form of Colin, in case things do not go well with her uncle.
After a few hours, Gregory is starting to get concerned, but not as concerned as he is when he sees Lucy leave the house in her wedding finery to head to the church.
Gregory is floored but is not inactive. He has finally decided what he wants in life, to be Lucy’s husband, and he is not giving up easily.
He runs all the way across town to interrupt the wedding. He goes down on his knees asking Lucy to marry him instead.
Lucy tells him no and marries Haselby.
What?! But she can’t marry Haselby!! Don’t worry. We’re not done yet.
Gregory is dragged from the church and while Hyacinth is ready to kill Lucy, Gregory tells her to leave her be. If Lucy went through with the marriage there must be a very good reason.
So he sneaks into her house for the wedding breakfast.
Lucy is miserable and so she leaves the party to have some time alone. When she gets to her room she finds Gregory. He asks her if she loves him and when she says yes, he tells her they can get the marriage annulled. She tells him about the blackmail. Gregory is still certain they can figure it out.
So he kidnaps her. Well he ties her up in an upstairs water closet and leaves to go get her brother and Haselby.
He finds the men and Hermonie and relates the tale. Haselby is not terribly surprised his father was so underhanded but Richard does not believe his father was a traitor.
They agree to get Lord Davenport where they can figure out a way to get Lucy out of the marriage without it leading to the proof being revealed.
When they go to get Lucy. She is no longer in the water closet. She has been taken by Uncle Robert, who is furious at Lucy. She will consummate the marriage and she will be Lady Haselby!
Because it turns out Uncle Robert was the traitor and he was the one being blackmailed. Then it gets heated and he pulls a gun. Thank goodness Gregory, Richard, and Haselby find Lucy and Uncle Robert in time. The bad guy gets shot (just enough to stop him) and Lucy is saved!
Haselby and Lucy agree to seek an annulment and Lord Davenport is forced to give up blackmailing the family for a bride. Afterall, he had proof of a traitor to the crown and did not turn it over to the authorities.
Uncle Robert is told to leave England and never return.
And finally, Lucy and Gregory can plan for a future together.
In our epilogue, Gregory and Lucy are living a great life. Gregory found being a husband and father to be the best purpose in life. He also is a good investor as it turns out. Turns out they now have 9 kids, as Lucy just gave birth to a set of twins. Big families are the best.