Title: An Offer from a Gentleman
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: The Bridgertons #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romance, Regency romance
Dates read: 23rd February – 5th March 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: A rather attractive, extremely fashionable blond woman in her forties glided into the room.
Will she accept the offer before the clock strikes midnight?
Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball. Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, waltzing in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.
Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other – except, perhaps, this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. If he offers her his heart, will he sacrifice his only chance for a fairy-tale love?
I absolutely adored this little ode to Cinderella. One of the things that I’ve always questioned about the original fairy tale is the fallout when the prince marries a woman who is socially beneath him. In a time when class was very much an issue. Quinn deals with that question kind of perfectly. With a great sense of style and wit. A great dose of humour. And just generally, a great storyline. One that had me giggling and going to my happy place all the way throughout.
Sophie is completely adorable throughout this story. She is sweet and kind of innocent, less outspoken than the women in the first two Bridgertons books. But she’s also got a backbone of steel. A total knowledge of who and what she is. And a great ability to be who she is without apologies. The fact that she turns down the man that she loves because she knows what he is asking of her (even when he doesn’t) just made me love her all the more. She doesn’t think that everything will be okay just because there is love in their relationship, she knows that there is something more that is required for a happily ever after.
Benedict is kind of silly – especially when he doesn’t understand what asking someone to be his mistress truly entails. But, he’s also really sweet. And I love that he constantly wants to be something more than just the “Second Bridgerton”. He falls for the only woman who can figure out just who he is. And then accepts him, flaws and all. I also love that he is an artist and totally willing to follow his heart – even if it takes him a little while to figure out what his heart truly desires.
This is a great, humorous story. A especially loved the constant referrals to the fact that this wasn’t a romance novel… it had a great little turn of wit including those little comments that made the story seem both more realistic, and more fantastical. I finished this story with a giant smile on my face and a happily beating heart. Now I get to move onto the next beautiful instalment of this fantastic series…