Romancing Mister Bridgerton
by Julia Quinn
Mass Market Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Avon (July 2, 2002)
“On the sixth of April, in the year 1812—precisely two days before her sixteenth birthday—Penelope Featherington fell in love.
It was, in a word, thrilling. The world shook. Her heart leaped. The moment was breathtaking. And, she was able to tell herself with some satisfaction, the man in question—one Colin Bridgerton—felt precisely the same way.
Oh, not the love part. He certainly didn’t fall in love with her in 1812 (and not in 1813, 1814, 1815, or—oh, blast, not in all the years 1816-1822, either, and certainly not in 1823, when he was out of the country the whole time anyway). But his earth shook, his heart leaped, and Penelope knew without a shadow of a doubt that his breath was taken away as well. For a good ten seconds.
Falling off a horse tended to do that to a man.”
Don’t worry—Colin does eventually fall in love with Penelope. It just took quite a bit longer for him to come to his senses. This book was thoroughly enjoyable, mainly because it isn’t only about falling in love. Love does play a major role in the novel (it is a romance after all), but there is an actual plot behind it. It certainly wasn’t a serious, thought-provoking novel, but it was perfect for a bit of light reading, the kind you would enjoy while lying by the pool and enjoying the rays, especially now that those rays aren’t always accompanied by a chilling wind.
This book was written as a part of a series about the Bridgerton family, but you don’t need to have read any of the previous novels to get what’s going on, something I particularly enjoyed about reading it (I read the series a bit out of order, but never found myself confused).
Romancing Mister Bridgerton doesn’t revolve around romancing Mister Bridgerton, as the title implies, but rather around figuring out who Lady Whistledown is, and once that mystery is solved, what to do about it. Lady Whistledown writes the most popular gossip column in London, and because of it most people don’t really like her. Despite many determined attempts, nobody has been able to figure out who she is. But when Lady Danbury offers money to whoever can reveal her identity, people are newly inspired to find her.
Meanwhile, Colin is finding out that his mild friendship with Penelope means quite a bit more to him than he previously thought. In fact, Penelope herself means quite a bit more to him than she did before. When he discovers that there is more to her than he ever thought possible, he ends up with some seriously conflicting emotions that could either mean a happily ever after or a life of never feeling like he belongs.
It was a truly enjoyable read, and very well-written, although some passages were a bit longer than they should have been, and there was a bit too much rambling on at some points. I certainly recommend it, though, particularly to fans of Julia Quinn.