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To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons) Mass Market Paperback – January 31, 2017
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From Publishers Weekly
After reading this superb post-Regency-era romance, the fifth in Quinn's Bridgerton siblings series, it's easy to see why the author's previous book, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, landed on RWA's Top 10 Favorite Books of 2002 list. Quinn is a consummate storyteller. Her prose is spry and assured, and she excels at creating indelible characters like chatty Eloise Bridgerton and Sir Phillip Crane, the protagonists of this unconventional effort. The novel opens as Eloise, a 28-year-old "spinster," flees London to visit her secret pen pal, Phillip, a troubled botanist and widower. The two plan to see if they are compatible, but Eloise's hopes plummet when she discovers that Phillip is not the romantic charmer of her dreams, but a grumpy father of twins. She agrees to remain for a fortnight, however, and as she interacts with him and his unruly children, she learns that he has a good heart, even if he is an emotionally distant father. Weighty issues such as abuse and discipline threaten to overshadow their relationship at times, but Eloise's sunny disposition brightens the novel, as does the arrival of her four brothers. Quinn's characters possess endearing quirks and flaws, and their easy banter is loaded with wit and warmth. Indeed, readers will likely find themselves rereading certain passages-if not the entire book-in order to prolong their connection to this charismatic clan.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he'd proposed, figuring that she'd be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except . . . she wasn't. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her . . . and more.
Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn't marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking . . . and wondering . . . and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except . . . he wasn't. Her perfect husband wouldn't be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled . . . and when he kissed her . . . the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn't help but wonder . . . could this imperfect man be perfect for her?--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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We're focused on Eloise, who after Penelope and Colin's marriage, is feeling kind of lonely and unsure of what to do with herself. About a year earlier, she had taken up a correspondence with her distant cousin's widowed husband, Phillip Crane. When he asks her to come out to his house (which is far away in the country) to meet him and see if they suit for marriage, she thinks why the hell not. Phillip's demons are darker than Simon, Anthony's, Colin's or Benedict's - his father beat the crap out of him while he was growing up and then his older brother died, thrusting him into the baronetcy. In order to do the right thing, he married his brother's fiancee, but 8 years later, his wife committed suicide. So Phillip isn't in a really great place, plus he's terrified of being a bad father, so much so that he shuns his kids.
And that's where Eloise comes in. Literally goes to Romney hall and within the course of 2 weeks, her life is turned upside down.
(I was surprised by the storyline with Nurse Edwards, and I don't know why Oliver and Amanda didn't actually say something - maybe they were afraid of their father, but it kind of seemed like that storyline was thrown in there to ease Phillip's transition to being Father of the Year.)
It was funny to read about the four Bridgerton brothers charging into Romney Hall to save Eloise's honor (Gregory, who's now 23 is included in this book). I also enjoyed the shooting game between the Bridgerton siblings.
You do have to suspend belief in these novels - people don't fall in love in 2 weeks - but it is always fun to read a love story. Julia Quinn has created such loveable characters, and her ability to circle back to them and let us know how they are doing without being boring is great.