Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #3
The Verdict: 5 stars
For: Lovers of Regency romance, Cinderella and evil people who get what’s coming to them
Genres: Regency romance, historical romance
Publication details: October 13th, 2009
Format: Kindle, 384 pages
Book Synopsis: E-Book Extras: ONE: Behind the Novel: An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn; TWO: The Bridgerton Basics: Ms. Quinn Fills You In
Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball — or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning 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 whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers her his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?
My review: Cinderella eat your heart out!
We all know the story of Cinderella; we’ve all seen the Disney movie and we’ve all wanted to be her at the ball – myself included way back when. Julia Quinn has taken the traditional tale of Cindy and put a bit of a spin on it – she’s made Cinderella the bastard daughter of an Earl and Prince charming is a Bridgerton brother (Number Two to be precise) but there’s still the ball (only it’s a masquerade – I don’t know about you but I love a masquerade ball), there’s still the evil step-mother but only one evil step-sister, Rosamund. Posy, the other step-sister, is not evil by choice.
For those of you who haven’t read any of the Bridgerton series I’ll give you a brief bit of background: – There are 8 Bridgerton siblings who are named in order of age – Anthony (current Viscount Bridgerton and hero of The Viscount Who Loved Me) Benedict (Number Two, hero of An Offer from a Gentleman), Colin, Daphne (heroine of The Duke and I), Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth. Their mother (an ambitious mama to say the least) is Violet Bridgerton widow to Edmund Bridgerton.
I haven’t reviewed The Duke and I or The Viscount Who Loved Me purely because I read those years ago and to review them now would be slightly pointless for me. However, I thoroughly enjoyed them both and would happily read them again but I digress.
An Offer from a Gentleman was sweet and by sweet I mean romantic. Its storyline was – as I’ve said – like that of Cinderella, our heroine Sophie Beckett is the bastard daughter of the Earl of Penwood. The Earl considers her his ward even though they look alike and Sophie’s life is good, until the Earl marries. His new wife realises that Sophie is the Earl’s bastard and hates her on principal – the hatred only grows when she realises that she can’t give the Earl a male heir.
When the Earl dies, Sophie becomes a housemaid to her step-mother who makes it her mission in life to make Sophie’s life miserable and she succeeds. When Violet Bridgerton hosts a masquerade ball in hopes that Benedict will find someone to marry, the other maids dress her up in a pretty gown and shoes and off she goes to the ball.
While there she meets Benedict Bridgerton – they dance, the converse, and they kiss. It’s all very romantic! Then the clock strikes midnight and Sophie has to leave. They don’t see each other for several years until fate intervenes and Benedict saves her from a bad fate and from there love blossoms!
There’s drama all over this book and the way its written made me want to read more about the developing relationship between Benedict and Sophie. I hate giving spoilers for anything but the offer from a gentleman? If I was Sophie I wouldn’t say no even if my reasons are excellent reasons – I like Benedict!
In terms of smut level, it’s a regency romance there is no smut. Knickers are called unmentionables for Pete’s sake! I’m pretty sure the smuttiest it gets is the risqué kiss at the masquerade ball.
It’s written quite a bit better than some regency novels that I’ve read in the early days of me reading Regency and it doesn’t scream “International author” when describing England.
The characters were lovely and the relationships between them all were described very well. I didn’t like a couple of the characters but that is to be expected seeing as they are the bad guys.
Overall, I loved it and I am currently reading book 4 of 8.