Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons #4)
By: Julia Quinn
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
Everyone knows that Colin Bridgerton is the most charming man in London . . .
Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn’t know him at all.
Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought of as nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him. But when Colin returns to London from a trip abroad, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same—especially Penelope Featherington! The girl who was always simply there is suddenly the girl haunting his dreams. When he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threat— or his promise of a happy ending?
At long last, preeeccccious, I finally has it <3 It was quite a wait, waiting for the new edition (with the second epilogue included!) to be released and for it to ship xP Between reading An Offer From a Gentleman (review) to reading this book, I read a good ton of her other books, lmao (many of which the reviews will be going live next month). Contains MAJOR spoilers for plot points in this novel!
So I suppose I should start with the big plot point: the reveal of Lady Whistledown’s identity 😀 I was surprised that Lady Whistledown wasn’t going to stretch on for all eight books–she seemed like such a fixture in the Bridgerton books–but then I remembered it’s been ten years in the story since she first debuted so I suppose it was inevitable that her identity would be revealed.
Moving along, omg guys, this book. This book <3 I heard it was quite a beloved title of the Bridgerton series so naturally I was feeling a little apprehensive: will it live up to expectations? Was I hyping it too much? But nope, it was everything I expected and so much more--I think to date, I felt I could really relate with this story and the themes that the novel was going by. Penelope really shone in this novel; she's smart and practical and clever and she's constantly ignored for some reason. I forgot how horrible and ridiculous her mother and sisters were until they made their reappearance (OMG that family meeting they walked into was hilarious) but lmao that she was practically a Bridgerton before marrying Colin, always hanging out with them. I love her friendship with Eloise, she reminds me very much of my friendship with my best friend. And I love how Penelope continued to grow and develop in this novel, finally breaking out of the constraints and expectations that blanketed her over the course of the first three novels and standing up for herself and her work.
As a side now, Lady Cressida is a total cow. I knew it before in previous novels, but she was the worst here.
Colin was surprising in this novel. We always knew him to be the charmer, easygoing, hilarious–and he is in this novel. But we also learn so much more about what’s going on beneath the surface in this novel. I’m surprised at how furious his temper can be, it was quite scary at times especially as he doesn’t reveal it often (lesson of the day: be careful of the really easygoing, always-cheerful people. Their tempers, when unleashed, is fearsome to behold). But he’s also revealed to be discontented with things, always travelling, always on the go in search for some purpose. In this sense I could totally relate with him, as well as his own apprehensions and doubts about his writing; there was this one scene somewhere in the last third of the novel where he thinks about his writing and debating whether to publish them or not that really hit me in the feels as I was thinking something along the same lines some time ago :3
The Bridgerton dynamics continues to intrigue me in this novel. I thought it was interesting that Colin and Hyacinth are the closest in personality, though I shouldn’t have been surprised. Eloise is like the family news announcer or something, always in the know. I’m so happy Daphne makes an appearance here and had a scene with Colin (it’s so cute that he went to her to unload his questions) which solidified in my mind how close they are. Meanwhile, boo that this book kept highlighting how different Benedict is from the lot 😛 I’m also really curious about Francesca now, of all the siblings I actually have no recollection of what she’s like or what kind of person she is; even Gregory, whom they talk about but who doesn’t actually make an appearance in this novel, I remember and have a sense of what kind of character he is. It sounds like Francesca’s life has taken a different route, widow and all, but I’m nonetheless curious to learn more about this elusive Bridgerton.
The romance in this novel. was absolutely lovely, and different from the other Bridgerton relationships to date. Well, I suppose the closest would be Daphne and Simon from The Duke and I (review) in that Colin and Penelope were friends first too, only it took them twelve years before their relationship changed. But of all of the relationships so far in this series, I absolutely loved Colin and Penelope’s in that for every obstacle they faced, they didn’t operate by themselves to deal with it or had some issue of non-communication, there was no third party involved: instead they talked about it. Even when they were upset with each other, they still talked and they told each other what they really felt and where they were coming from in the argument. It was refreshing and wonderful and everything I hope in a relationship.
Oh, and Lady Danbury. If I didn’t love her enough then, she was amazing here, I love how she took Penelope under her wing and wanted her to be happy. What are the chances Julia Quinn writes a novel about her life at some point? It seems like she had an interesting life and I think she might’ve been a lot more like Penelope than we realise.
Gah, as you can see I can go on and on about this book, I love it so much. Is it my favourite? Hard to say, it’s definitely up there with The Duke and I and An Offer From a Gentleman but I can definitely relate to a lot of it. I’m so happy I finally got to read it, but sad that now I have to wait until goodness-knows-when when the final four books are re-released with the new covers and their second epilogues included. But at least I got a taste of what’s to come with the second epilogue as it looks to bridge over to the next book, To Sir Philip, With Love. But anyway, cannot recommend this book enough! Another fantastic Bridgerton title 🙂