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Saturday, June 17, 2006

An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn is sure to charm readers with her Regency-era Cinderella story, An Offer From a Gentleman. The Bridgerton family is wealthy, well born, and universally admired. And with six of the eight Bridgerton children already mingling with society, it's no wonder they're mentioned so frequently in the most popular (and accurate) source of social news, Lady Whistledown's Society Papers. But not even the mysterious Lady Whistledown can identify the masked maiden who completely captivated the Bridgerton second son, Benedict, at his mother's masquerade ball -- a silver-clad beauty who vanished on the stroke of midnight. It was a magical night for Sophie Beckett, orphaned, illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Penwood. Attending the ball was a beautiful dream, sharing the evening with Benedict Bridgerton was the stuff of fantasy -- and returning home to her role as unpaid servant to her father's cruel widow and stepdaughters was a nightmare. Then she lost even the small security of that position, and things went from bad to worse. By the time Sophie met Benedict again, she was in truly desperate straits. He made her feel precious, even in rags, but Sophie had grave reservations about accepting.

This is not one of my favorite Bridgerton books. Actually, it's my least favorite. It's not horrible, I just didn't care for it really. It's good, don't me wrong.

Basically, this is a Cinderella story. Sophie is a bastard. Her father never claimed her as his daughter, only his ward. When he remarried, her stepmother hated her. Hated her. So when Sophie father's die, he leaves her some money, but the step mother doesn't exactly tell Sophie.

Flash forward to the night of a masquerade (MASQUERADE! PAPER FACES ON PARADE! sorry about that.) ball being hosted by Lady Bridgerton. Sophie helps her stepmother and sister get ready. After they leave, the maids surprise Sophie by getting her ready for the ball. They give her instructions to be home by, guess what time, midnight.

Benedict and Sophie meet. Of course both are wearing mask, but Sophie can tell Benedict is a Bridgerton and from reading Lady Whistledown, she figures out it is Benedict. Benedict feels something towards Sophie. Love at first sight. He feels connected to her. He asks her questions, but Sophie doesn't answer them cause really, she's not supposed to be there. But she feels that same connection.

Midnight comes and she flees. Only leaving Benedict her glove. The next day, her step mother figures out Sophie must gone to the ball and kicks her out.

Three years pass. Sophie is working as a maid, and is almost raped. Benedict comes to her rescue. But he doesn't recognize her. And she does not tell Benedict she was the woman he has been searching for since. This is where I get annoyed. Cause I'm thinking, "JUST TELL HIM WHO YOU ARE!" But she doesn't because she's a bastard and thinks Benedict is too good for her.

We learn a bit about Violet and Edmund in this story. Not a whole lot. Violet always asks her sons to dance with the wallflowers, more specifically, Penelope Featherington. Turns out Violet was a wallflower herself and Edmund was the catch of the season.

I love when Sophie's stepmother tries to out rank Lady Bridgeron by saying she's Countess. Violets simply replies, "I'm more popular." Go Violet.

Grade: C+

The Duke and I
The Viscount Who Loved Me
An Offer From A Gentleman
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
To Sir Phillip, With Love
When He Was Wicked

It's In His Kiss
On the Way to the Wedding

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