Book name: An Offer from a Gentleman
Author: Julia Quinn
Format: Print, ebook, audiobook
Genre: Historical fiction, romance
Publication Date: 2021 (Piatkus)
Star Rating: 5/5
If the name Bridgerton has become pretty familiar in the last couple of years, there’s a good reason for that.
The book series of Regency romances with a bit of extra kick was already popular.
Then came Netflix.
An Offer from a Gentleman is the third book in the series, so it’s next in line for the Netflix treatment.
Meanwhile, to tide us all over until Bridgerton is back on our screens, I’m reviewing the book.
The series moves through each Bridgerton sibling in turn, placing them centre stage as one of this large family falls in love per book/season. Siblings Daphne and Anthony have each found true love and are now both happily married.
This time, it’s Benedict’s turn.
Benedict is thirty, so his mother (the Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton) is keener than ever to see him safely married.
However, Benedict is artistic, has plenty of talent and likes to go his own way.
He’s bored rigid with the suitable young ladies his mother introduces him to.
Then he meets a mysterious lady in silver at a masked ball his mother is hosting. He’s swept away, falls desperately in love and spends the next two years trying to track down his mystery lady.
If you’re picking up some Cinderella vibes, you’re spot on.
The early chapters are told from the perspective of Sophie, the illegitimate daughter of the late Earl of Penwood. After that it shifts from Benedict to Sophie and back again quite regularly.
Sophie’s father didn’t acknowledge her, but he did provide for her under his roof. After his death, his will gave Sophie a dowry.
The only problem is that Sophie’s stepmother keeps that knowledge from her, and forces Sophie to work for nothing as a maid.
Sophie escapes after her Cinderella night out and flees to the country. The masked ball was the happiest night of her life, but her stepmother discovers her deceit.
She finds work as a maid with the Cavender family, only to have to run away again when she is threatened with rape by the son of the family.
Benedict is at the Cavender house when all this unfolds, and he takes Sophie to his cottage and offers to find her work with his mother.
Sophie is confused by Benedict’s failure to recognise her as the masked lady in silver.
She falls in love with him, for his past interest in her and for his current kindness in saving her from rape. He is still struggling to forget the lady in silver, but is attracted to Sophie and wants her in his life.
The Bridgerton series is pretty feisty, so Benedict’s idea of helping includes offering to make Sophie his mistress. And, of course, there temptation abounds for the couple. Any reader of the Bridgerton series appreciates that Julia Quinn’s heroes and heroines have a glorious inability to resist sexual temptation.
I love the Bridgerton series. The books, and the show, are fun and lively. The ending is always satisfying, and the journey to mutual understanding on the part of the central couple never runs smoothly, so there’s always plenty of narrative drive.
Thank you for reading my review.
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