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An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgerton Series, Bk. 3) Mass Market Paperback – July 3, 2001
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So. Benedict. Brother #2. I kinda liked the guy. He was bit by the love bug out of the blue and had his mystery woman disappear on him without warning. When he comes across Sophie again and doesn't recognize her, it kinda killed me. Little bit. BUT... watching him fall for her despite his lingering feelings for his mystery woman was fun.
Then there's Sophie. I felt for her. She's straddling two worlds and she doesn't really fit into either. She tries. She really does. Benedict simply refuses to let her fall into the role of servant and that throws her for a loop.
(Also, Mama Bridgerton has my undying support for HER support of Benedict's choices. GO, VIOLET!)
I have the rest of the series lined up and plenty of time on my hands. Let's do this!
-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
At the ball, the 2 people in story meet, then afterwards as well, as themselves, not knowing that they met before. Find themselves in a few situations before realizing who the other is. Of course I should’ve said that SHE knows right away, but HE doesn’t. So SHE tries not to reveal who she is, But it gets tougher as HE is determined to find out who HIS Cinderella at the ball was. Very good n funny Cinderella story type. Made me like this author’s other novels as well.
Benedict, the tall, lanky, impossibly handsome second Bridgerton, is heartily sick of society in general and his mother Violet's matchmaking schemes in particular. But when he spies a mysterious woman in silver at his mother's masquerade, he knows his life has changed forever -- for this woman, known to him only by her winsome smile and electrifying presence, this woman, over the course of one brief encounter, captures his heart forever. When she flees the ball, leaving only a monogrammed glove as a clue to her identity, he's devastated, and spends months searching for her among the ton, to no avail. And as the months become years, he becomes convinced his once chance at a love match to rival his parents' has passed -- sure, that is, until he rescues housemaid Sophie Beckett from the unwelcome advances of her employer at a country party. But Sophie is a servant, a wholly unsuitable match for the younger brother of a viscount...isn't she? Be that as it may, she's the only woman to make his heart sing since the long-ago masquerade, and so he proposes an audacious scheme -- Sophie will become his mistress. However, Benedict never reckoned on Sophie's horror of inflicting her illegitimacy on a possible child, or the secrets she's been holding dear. When the truth is finally revealed, will true love conquer all, or will social conventions shatter the promise of a love that flowered one magical night, when a masquerade gave an unlikely pair the courage to reveal their hearts?
The more I read Julia Quinn, the more I become convinced that this woman can do no wrong. The Bridgertons have quickly become one of my all-time favorite fictional families, and with this third installment, Quinn blends her trademark warmth, wit, and humor with a fairy tale retelling that is at once both literal and wholly new. The Duke and I and The Viscount Who Loved Me, which showcased the love stories of Benedict's sister Daphne and brother Anthony, respectively, are essential fairy tales in and of themselves -- delightfully romantic, humorous, heartfelt confections that establish Quinn as a gold standard in romance. But with An Offer From a Gentleman, Quinn takes the conceit one step further, weaving the tropes of the Cinderella story -- the evil stepmother and stepsisters, shoes, a ball, secret identities -- into the Bridgerton world and making the classic tale her own.
Lest her retelling become too literal, Quinn introduces Sophie and Benedict, sparks fly -- and then circumstances conspire to keep the would-be lovers apart for two years. And this time jump is one of the things that impressed me the most about this retelling of Cinderella, revealing Quinn's determination to thoroughly test the fairy tale trope of love at first sight to the max. Both Sophie and Benedict construct ideals, fantasies that arguably see the best potential in each other but just as arguably fall short of reality. For Sophie's determination to keep her secret, reveals the great irony of the title -- Benedict's offer to make Sophie the maid his mistress means that in perhaps the most important respect -- respect of Sophie as an individual, regardless of social station -- that he is no gentleman. His pressure to get Sophie to acquiesce to his plan is inexcusable and short-sighted, but it's a testament to Quinn's characterization and plotting that he still emerges as a hero worthy of keeping company with Simon and Anthony. This Bridgerton, of the charmed life, loving family, and hidden artistic bent, is desperate to be known and loved as an individual, yet is just as susceptible to the social pressure to marry well until he realizes that in Sophie he has a woman who'd love him if he were a pauper -- and how, therefore, could he do any less in return?
Perhaps it is the comfort of familiarity, but with each successive installment that I read of Quinn's Bridgerton series I fall more and more in love with this delightfully quirky, passionate, close-knit family. Even more than the previous two installments, this novel showcases their legendary family bond, and gives their matriarch Violet a chance to shine, far beyond merely urging each of her children in turn towards matrimony. It could be tempting, with Quinn's breezy writing style and irrepressible sense of humor, to gloss over the weightier themes of family and belonging, of seeing, being seen, and being truly accepted as one is, that she explores within the pages of Benedict and Sophie's story, but that is what makes her books such gems. She blends the heady flush of new romance with a refreshingly honest look at what it takes to make a relationship last beyond the thrill of discovery and the first rush of passion. An Offer From a Gentleman is romantic escapism at its finest, yes -- but escapism laced with thought-provoking nuggets shedding light on identity, self-worth, and the respect of one another required to make a relationship work that once again elevates Quinn's storytelling from the realms of the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Series: Bridgertons, Book 3
4 stars - A Cinderella story. I enjoyed this book even more the second time around. The added bonus of Posy’s story as the 2nd epilogue was a treat. Benedict and Sophie have wonderful chemistry together. I am looking forward to continuing my rereading of this series.
Rosalyn Landor did a fantastic job narrating as usual!
~Paragraphs and Petticoats~
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The Bridgerton family love stories continues in An Offer From a Gentleman, book 3 of the...Read more