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Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend's brother for... well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret... and fears she doesn't know him at all.
Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone's preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can't seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph.
But when Colin returns to London from a trip aboard, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same, especially Penelope Featherington, the girl haunting his dreams!
And when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide... is she his biggest threat, or his promise of a happy ending?
I have been reluctant to review Julia Quinn’s book here. Why, you might ask? It’s not that there is anything wrong with them. Quite the opposite actually. I am absolutely smitten with Julia Quinn and all her stories. I don’t remember which novel of hers that I read first. I do know remember that it was a Bridgerton book. And I do remember that I after reading it I began a quest to collect every single one of her books. A quest that I am not ashamed to say I have successfully completed. So my love of Julia won over the reluctance which means I am now going to bore you with all the reasons I love Mr. Bridgerton.
Not Lord Anthony Bridgerton (The Viscount That Loved Me)
Not Mr. Benedict Bridgerton (An Offer From a Gentleman)
No, I love Mr. Colin Bridgerton. Because he is a mere third son with no prospects other than a nice income bestowed upon him by his eldest brother, the viscount. And really, I can forgive the over indulgent income because who wants to read a story about the struggles of the poor aristocracy? It is so much more fun to have a wealthy hero or heroine so you can focus on the love story that is in play. At least that is what I think.
I also love Mr. Colin Bridgerton for all the same reasons Miss Penelope Featherington loves Mr. Colin Bridgerton. And that is because he is funny and most importantly, he is kind. Oh, we all know how much I love those NICE boys. Or in this case, men.
Miss Penelope Featherington is a wallflower. Her wit and intelligence are hidden from the public by her significant insecurities. She has been bullied by the ton for not being pretty enough or popular enough. The Bridgertons have been the one and only family to provide her true friendship and affection and have give her a ray of light in an otherwise dreary world of balls and dinners that she’d rather not attend. Finally, at the “old” age of almost 28, Penelope finally has found some relief in that she is not expected to dance and flirt and look for a husband amongst a bunch of people that have never been kind to her. She is content to sit back and laugh and chat with the other chaperones while her younger sister enjoys her own season.
Mr. Colin Bridgerton is home from yet another trip to Europe. But this return is turning out to be much different than his other visits home. His sister’s best friend, Miss Penelope Featherington has always been kind but she has also always just been there. Like another sibling in his already large family of seven brothers and sisters (not counting him). But after conversing with her at a ball, Colin is wondering why he has never realized how much fun Penelope is. She is smart, funny and an all out joy to be around. He finds himself not only thinking of her constantly but also ashamed of himself for not being mature enough recognize her beauty sooner. On top of that, Colin is also struggling with his own insecurities and the lack of focus that has been troubling him for years.
If you can’t tell, this is one of my favorite Quinn novels. I love this story because the issues these two characters have are so relatable. Even in a modern age. No, we don’t live in a world where a woman has to marry to have an imagined feeing of independence – thank God. But we can all relate to feelings of insecurity and self doubt when it comes to life and relationships. I also love that our heroine isn’t a young debutante that has barely reached twenty years of age. Not that it’s uncommon to have an older heroine in historical romance. It is just nice to read about two mature individuals that have unexpectedly found love in each other.
So obviously I recommend this to anyone that likes historical romance. BUT….even though I sit here and give it a glowing review, I will have to ask that you read the Bridgerton novels in order. I know, I know. How rude to ask that when I am not reviewing them in order. And you know what? You are right. Go ahead. I give you permission to read this one first. There is a pretty big spoiler in Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. It won’t spoil the first three books. In fact it might enhance them knowing a secret that every Bridgerton (along with the rest of London) is dying to know.