Setting: Regency England
Miss Sophie Beckett is the illegitimate daughter of the earl of Penwood. Raised in his home, Sophie has a tolerable existence until the earl marries, when her life takes a distinct turn for the worse. Sophie's new stepmother hates her, and when the earl passes away, she relegates Sophie to the role of servant. Sophie's days are pure drudgery, until one night her fellow servants conspire to help her attend a masquerade ball.
Her life changes irrevocably when she meets handsome Benedict Bridgerton and falls head over heels in love. Benedict is equally smitten, but when the clock strikes midnight his beautiful mystery lady runs from him, leaving only her glove in his hand. He searches London for her, but she seems to have vanished. What Benedict doesn't know is that Sophie's stepmother has discovered her outing and thrown Sophie out of their London townhouse. Sophie leaves London, and it isn't until three years later that Benedict and Sophie's paths cross once again, when he saves her from the unwanted attentions of a drunken lord. Sophie recognizes Benedict immediately, but much to her dismay, he doesn't know her in her maid's dress. Soon, however, Benedict falls in love with Sophie all over again. Believing her to be a servant, he cannot conceive of a way to make her his, as she adamantly refuses to become his mistress. Both struggle with their feelings for each other, their unwillingness to compromise their principles, and the seemingly insurmountable wall separating a member of the nobility and a servant. To add to their difficulties, Sophie's vindictive stepmother discovers her presence in London and sets out to make her life even more miserable. It will take the combined force of the large Bridgerton family to help these two stubborn people realize a happy future together.
Quinn brings a fresh approach to this charming retelling of the Cinderella story, enhancing the tale with a strong Regency setting and the warmth of Benedict Bridgerton's large family. Quinn has a reputation for witty dialogue and endearing characters, and she delivers both in this delightful novel. --Lois Faye Dyer
From Publishers Weekly
A retelling of the classic fairytale, this Regency romance gets off to a slow start as Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me) introduces a troupe of stock characters: the wicked stepmother, an aloof stepsister, and a warm-hearted but weak younger stepsister. Thankfully, Quinn doesn't make her Cinderella suffer these tired old relations for long. After her stunning debut at the Bridgerton masked ball and a heady encounter with handsome Benedict Bridgerton, Sophie Beckett, the bastard daughter of an earl, is summarily ousted from her home when her stepmother discovers that Sophie had attended the masquerade. Three years later, Sophie, now a housemaid, is rescued from her new employer's sex-crazed son by none other than her long-lost "prince." Although Benedict is attracted to Sophie and agrees to find her a position as a servant in his mother's house, he fails to recognize her from their encounter at the ball. A charming romance develops as Benedict tries to convince Sophie to become his mistress and Sophie refuses to succumb to his dangerously seductive offer. Quinn's narrative truly blossoms once she departs from the fairytale's traditional plot line. With its storybook ending and lovable characters, this bedtime romance is certain to satisfy.
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