Rating: 3/5 stars
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Historical Fiction
Hi, my name is Katerina and I am addicted to Bridgertons.
I've been dreaming of balls, banquets and gowns since I was a little girl, historical romance is my sanctuary from the small and big disappointments of daily life (i.e. work - read - sleep - repeat), and during 2018 I've written more 3 star reviews than my entire life.
I would appreciate some help.
“In her heart she longed for this man, dreamed of a life that could never be.”
Now, before I start rambling on the wonderful moments I expecienced when I followed Sophie and Benedict's journey, I need to state that those three starts you see above do not mean I didn't enjoy An Offer From a Gentleman, because I did. The imprint of my butt on my living room's couch can attest to that. It's just that I enjoyed more The Duke and I and The Viscount Who Loved Me (which is my favorite so far), and I have to be fair and rank them accordingly. Putting that aside, An Offer From a Gentleman was a tad different from its predecessors. It was a Cinderella retelling, infused with sizzling tension, a generous dose of angst and drama, and the trademark Bridgerton humor and impossible situations that can warm even the coldest heart. Sophie is the illegitimate daughter of an earl, relegated to a servant by her cruel stepmother further to her father's death. But Fate smiles on her when (with a little help) she manages to attend the Bridgerton masquerade ball and meets the Second Son, Benedict, who is immediately besotted by the mysterious young woman with the silver dress. For one night, Sophie feels happy. Wanted. Belonging. But when the clock strikes midnight, the bubble bursts and she returns to her hard life, which is about to get harder. Two years pass by. Benedict has not forgotten that woman, but when he meets an intriguing servant that sees straight through his soul, he is torn and confused: should he move on, or wait for the mysterious woman to reappear and find his happily ever after with her? Little does he know that Sophie Beckett is both women.
When you dive in the third instalment of the Bridgerton series, you don't attend many social events. You don't lose yourself waltzing or avoiding Ambitious Mamas (or going after eligible bachelors, depending on the side of this deadly race). On the contrary, you sew and clean and dream of a better life next to a girl who has never experienced love or affection, who cannot forget even for a single moment that she was born out of wedlock and spent half her life serving the people who were supposed to be her family. Sophie is a resilient character, true to her ideals, determined to never repeat her mother's mistakes and sentence her children to the contempt and disapproval of the society she faced all those years. But how is it possible to preserve her dignity and her morals when her Prince Charming, the man that haunts her dreams, reddens her cheeks and makes her crave things no proper maiden should offers her a life without struggles and destitution, in exchange for her beliefs and the vow to herself? Benedict Bridgerton wants Sophie with a burning passion. But she's a simple maid, he cannot possibly marry her, so he asks her to become his mistress. And that's what left a bitter taste in my mouth. Not the proposal, per se, but his insistence and self-absorption. Benedict was a caring, sweet yet sarcastic character who at times was very endearing, but these two traits, and the refusal to understand Sophie's motives, were the reason I (occasionally) wanted to smack his beautiful head.
Sophie, on the other hand, she was admirable and strong, but her tendency to keep secrets perplexed the situation and caused (unnecessary) drama and heartbreak. However, I felt this story to my very bones. I ached, laughed (especially when the wonderfully loud Bridgerton family made an appearance), swooned and sighed, and that's what makes Julia Quinn, and the historical romance genre (please remind me to write a review for Secrets of a Summer Night sometime this year) ideal when I am in the mood for not particularly complicated, yet heartwarming and delicious romance with a touch of fairydust, which, to be honest, happens a lot lately.
So, since I may or may not have ordered the next two books, like another Lady Whistledown, I'll keep you posted on the whereabouts of the Bridgerton family this summer.