An Offer from a Gentleman (Bridgertons #3)
By: Julia Quinn
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
Will she accept his offer before the clock strikes midnight?
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 his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?
Whoo-hoo, got my hands on the third Bridgertons book! I loved the first novel, and liked the second book enough, but I was looking forward to this third book because of Benedict. From the first two books I got a good sense of the other two older brothers, Anthony and Colin, and while Benedict is amusing enough with them, I wasn’t quite sure what sort of person he was on his own. Coupled with the premise of the novel, I was greatly intrigued. I’m usually not one to read fairytale retellings so to speak, so I was curious to see how the author would weave it in.
A few chapters into the book and I already know more about Benedict than I do in the last two books together! He always seemed quieter and a little more sensible than his other brothers (minus Gregory, in which the last three books have been reminding us how he’s still a teenager, lol, and rarely in the scene), so it was nice to finally see his character expanded. He doesn’t have a rakish reputation as Anthony or quite the troublemaker as Colin but he’s definitely a Bridgerton when push comes to shove (bad decisions included–and he does make some foolish decisions here and there). Thus the reveal about one of his skills was a surprise for the reader as much as it was to his family; he seems almost overlooked because of his place in the family and amongst his brothers. He also seems to feel deeper than from what I can gather of his other siblings; he does indeed have the “soul of an artist.” I love that he does, albeit begrudgingly, say out loud to his family members that he does love them. I haven’t seen Anthony do the same thing 😛
As for Sophie, omg, not even a full chapter in and I was already so anxious of Sophie and her situation. Her stepmother was absolutely deplorable, it was hard to read those scenes where she and her eldest daughter Rosamund were just making Sophie’s life a living hell. I’m glad her other stepsister Posy wasn’t like them, but at the same time can’t confront her mother for the way she treats her and Sophie. Guh, there’s nothing I hate more than a parental figure that doesn’t treat his or her children equally. Araminta is just deplorable, I wish she got just a tad bit worse than what she got at the end, but I’m nonetheless satisfied enough. But back to Sophie, I love how resilient she is despite of what crappiness that life has handed to her; she’s thoughtful of others, and perhaps has a thing for overanalysing things, but I loved her character and just wanted everything happy and wonderful for her.
Julia Quinn’s use of the Cinderella template was interesting and was especially fitting for Benedict and Sophie’s story, I think. It’s different from Daphne and Anthony’s respective romances, and I think also fitting for Benedict’s deeply romantic nature. I also love that that Cinderella template was only used for only a few chapters before Benedict and Sophie’s story veered off onto its own course. I loved the development of their relationship, how at ease they were with each other and are able to pick up even the smallest change in mood or thought in the other. The fact that Sophie was keeping her identity a secret added to the tension without the drama of a third party/love triangle, which I appreciated, as well as some of Benedict’s rather poor decision-making despite of how much he cared for Sophie. The tone of their story thus is a lot different from the previous two; there’s less humour (though I do recall laughing out loud on two occasions), but it does tackle some serious themes of family and class.
I really loved An Offer From a Gentleman. I loved Benedict and Sophie’s story, despite of the tensions and the issues of social class keeping them apart. I also loved that we saw different members of the Bridgerton family; Anthony and Daphne pop in for a bit, but I’m glad we got to see Eloise, Francesca, and Hyacinth more, especially since readers will eventually get to their stories and they haven’t really made an appearance in the previous books (briefly in the first book, but that’s about it). I also like that Colin’s story was slightly introduced in this book (I cheated, I may have took a peek at Colin’s story when I was at the bookstore one time :3). But yes, I heart this book so very much. Is it strange to wish that that last chapter was a bit longer, even though Benedict and Sophie covered for most of the book? And the second epilogue was absolutely precious.
I can’t wait to read the next book. It’s so cruel that the new mass paperback edition is being released in November as opposed to…a month or two earlier? (I read An Offer From a Gentleman back in September)