An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn

9 Apr
I love me some Julia Quinn. I’ve read about, oh, four of her books I think? But I have an employed a non-strategy for her books in that I don’t ever write down which of her books I’ve read so far, so every time I peruse the shelves for her, I’m a little worried that I’ll grab one that I’ve already read and buy it unknowingly…it’s all very stressful. 🙂 It’s a strange brain block. Anyhoo, I just finished up An Offer from a Gentleman and thought it was incredibly sweet. Quinn is a prolific writer, penning many books concerning the affairs of the Smith-Smythe and the Bridgerton families, so characters you’ve loved before pop up again and again.

An Offer from a Gentleman is kind of a retelling of Cinderella – Sophie is an impoverished, illegitimate daughter of a responsible though distant earl. His death left her in the care of an EVIL (capital letters are justified here) stepmother and her two stepdaughters, one utterly reprehensible and the other simply downtrodden by her mother’s cruelty. Sophie, though the daughter of an earl, becomes the household’s lady’s maid and resident slave and is totally walled off from society. She’s not as simple-minded as Disney’s Cinderella in that she does actually resent her treatment, but she doesn’t see a better alternative. On the night of Lady Bridgerton’s ball, the household staff conspire to get Sophie to that ball. She is beautiful, she is enchanting, and she becomes completely besotted by one of society’s most eligible bachelors, Benedict Bridgerton. Luckily for her, he falls instantly in love with her too. But, as we all know, she has to run away at midnight and he loses her for two years. Fast forward those two years, and Sophie has left her stepmother’s house and works for a gross, rapey rich guy. She’s running away and gets grabbed by rapey guy, and who rescues her but Benedict Bridgerton? He doesn’t recognize her without her ballgown (let your imagination stretch here), and decides he must find her new employment to make up for her near-assault. Hijinks ensue and Benedict and Sophie are thrown together quite a bit. He starts to fall in love with Sophie but suffers massive guilt over his self-perceived infidelity to his mystery woman from the ball, plus there’s that whole class difference thing. Sophie falls ever deeper in love with Benedict, but feels guilty for deceiving him and also slightly miffed he doesn’t recognize her.

Quinn creates a lovely tone in her books – utterly lovable, but not tooo saccharine, with layered characters that are ultimately pleasant people you root for. They’re like refreshing lemonade that you sip between stronger, more bracing drinks.

5 Responses to “An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn”

  1. stilishbabe April 9, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    seems like a great book to read 🙂

    • Amanda April 9, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      It really was. I like to go to her when I need something light, airy, and well-written.

  2. Lesley April 9, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Julia Quinn before. I’ve added to goodreads though! I like the sound of this one.

    • Amanda April 9, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      Oh good, try it, you’ll like it. 🙂 It’s really hard not to like.

  3. Rebecca April 11, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    I have a few authors that are like you described: palate cleansers. For me, Jayne Ann Krentz / Jayne Castle, Janet Evanovich, and, of course, Bill Amend. When I was reading more historical romances, I remember liking Julia Quinn a lot. Her books didn’t take themselves too seriously, and I appreciate that.

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