To Penelope Featherington it seems like she has always been in love with
Colin Bridgerton -- twelve years, to be precise. Colin has never shown any
signs of ever reciprocating her deep feelings. In fact, he is completely
unaware of them. He thinks of her, if ever, first as a wallflower to be
pitied, then as his younger sister's best friend, but never as a lover.
Burdened with a generous figure and a mother who insists on choosing her
wardrobe even though she has an appallingly bad taste in clothes, Penelope is
labeled a fashion disaster by the (in)famous Lady Whistledown, London's
mysterious and premiere gossip columnist, whose true identity is revealed in
Colin Bridgerton is a younger son of the wealthy and noted Bridgerton
family. Each son of the family has his own avocation and excels at it --
everyone except Colin, that is. He is well know for being a charmer and a
wanderer of the first degree, this reputation being hammered home by the
enigmatic Lady Whistledown in her gossip sheet. He is sick and tired of it
all (especially Lady Whistledown!) and wants to do something worthwhile with
his life. After returning home from one of his countless trips abroad, Colin
is surprised and taken aback to see Penelope in a new avatar.
A spinster at 28, Penelope is firmly on the shelf. Her mother now entertains
hopes of having Penelope by her side, at her beck and call for the rest of
her life - a prospect that is naturally not at all pleasing to Penelope. But
this has the pleasing consequence of her mother abandoning her unknowing
sabotage of Penelope's wardrobe. Combined with a pleasing weight loss and
her own classy choice of clothes, Penelope is vastly improved but still not
a beauty. Her heart still longs for Colin but without any seriousness. With
age, she has developed a mind of her own, which she does not hesitate to
speak, courage to stand up for herself, and intelligent use of her
considerable dry wit. Colin is bowled over by her and finds himself to be,
most surprisingly, attracted to her.
But both Penelope and Colin have secrets of their own. Can they finally open
their hearts to each other and establish a trustworthy bond between
themselves? Or is it way too late for that? Will Lady Whistledown come
between the two erstwhile lovers or will their own egos do the same?
All these questions and more are answered in this latest offering by NYT
best-selling author Julia Quinn, who once again sweeps readers off
their feet with this gem-of-an-addition to the Bridgerton series. She is a
genius at writing such an involved series of books, each with their unique
storyline, magnificent protagonists, recurring characters, sparkling
dialogue and fullness to the last page with wit, charm and humor.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton is no exception. Penelope is so touchingly
described that many women can identify with her. Quinn's exquisite
character development is a joy to read and leaves the reader with a feeling
of immense satisfaction. Colin, too, changes and improves for the good, and he
comes across as a fallible and honest man. Their wondrous transition from
indifferent acquaintances to friends to lovers makes this a book worth reading
and re-reading. Characters are brought to life with humor and passion, and
their witty repartee is fun to read. The atmosphere is the typical Regency
one, no surprises there. All in all, a supremely satisfying story from a superb author.
Note - Julia's first book in the Bridgerton series was The Duke And I
(Daphne) and continued with The Viscount Who Loved Me (Anthony) and An
Offer From A Gentleman (Benedict). Romancing Mister Bridgerton is about
Colin, the third son in the alphabetically named seven children of Violet
Bridgerton. Each book in this series is unique and it is not necessary to read
them in sequence. More books about the other siblings are bound to appear in
print yearly, with Eloise's story set to appear early in 2003.
© 2002 by
Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book