Romancing Mister Bridgerton
Julia Quinn
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Buy *Romancing Mister Bridgerton* online
Romancing Mister Bridgerton
Julia Quinn
Avon Books
370 pages
July 2002
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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To Penelope Featherington it seems like she has always been in love with Colin Bridgerton -- twelve years, to be precise. Colin has never shown any signs of ever reciprocating her deep feelings. In fact, he is completely unaware of them. He thinks of her, if ever, first as a wallflower to be pitied, then as his younger sister's best friend, but never as a lover. Burdened with a generous figure and a mother who insists on choosing her wardrobe even though she has an appallingly bad taste in clothes, Penelope is labeled a fashion disaster by the (in)famous Lady Whistledown, London's mysterious and premiere gossip columnist, whose true identity is revealed in this story.

Curled Up With a Good BookColin Bridgerton is a younger son of the wealthy and noted Bridgerton family. Each son of the family has his own avocation and excels at it -- everyone except Colin, that is. He is well know for being a charmer and a wanderer of the first degree, this reputation being hammered home by the enigmatic Lady Whistledown in her gossip sheet. He is sick and tired of it all (especially Lady Whistledown!) and wants to do something worthwhile with his life. After returning home from one of his countless trips abroad, Colin is surprised and taken aback to see Penelope in a new avatar.

A spinster at 28, Penelope is firmly on the shelf. Her mother now entertains hopes of having Penelope by her side, at her beck and call for the rest of her life - a prospect that is naturally not at all pleasing to Penelope. But this has the pleasing consequence of her mother abandoning her unknowing sabotage of Penelope's wardrobe. Combined with a pleasing weight loss and her own classy choice of clothes, Penelope is vastly improved but still not a beauty. Her heart still longs for Colin but without any seriousness. With age, she has developed a mind of her own, which she does not hesitate to speak, courage to stand up for herself, and intelligent use of her considerable dry wit. Colin is bowled over by her and finds himself to be, most surprisingly, attracted to her.

But both Penelope and Colin have secrets of their own. Can they finally open their hearts to each other and establish a trustworthy bond between themselves? Or is it way too late for that? Will Lady Whistledown come between the two erstwhile lovers or will their own egos do the same?

All these questions and more are answered in this latest offering by NYT best-selling author Julia Quinn, who once again sweeps readers off their feet with this gem-of-an-addition to the Bridgerton series. She is a genius at writing such an involved series of books, each with their unique storyline, magnificent protagonists, recurring characters, sparkling dialogue and fullness to the last page with wit, charm and humor. Romancing Mister Bridgerton is no exception. Penelope is so touchingly described that many women can identify with her. Quinn's exquisite character development is a joy to read and leaves the reader with a feeling of immense satisfaction. Colin, too, changes and improves for the good, and he comes across as a fallible and honest man. Their wondrous transition from indifferent acquaintances to friends to lovers makes this a book worth reading and re-reading. Characters are brought to life with humor and passion, and their witty repartee is fun to read. The atmosphere is the typical Regency one, no surprises there. All in all, a supremely satisfying story from a superb author.

Note - Julia's first book in the Bridgerton series was The Duke And I (Daphne) and continued with The Viscount Who Loved Me (Anthony) and An Offer From A Gentleman (Benedict). Romancing Mister Bridgerton is about Colin, the third son in the alphabetically named seven children of Violet Bridgerton. Each book in this series is unique and it is not necessary to read them in sequence. More books about the other siblings are bound to appear in print yearly, with Eloise's story set to appear early in 2003.

© 2002 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book

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