Book Reviews

Book Review – Bridgerton: Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

I finally overcame my hesitancy and chose the fourth entry in the Bridgerton series for a quick read. I only came to this series after watching the first season of the Netflix series. It has pretty much become a situation where the series is better than the books, which is usually not the case.

Romancing Mister Bridgerton does not introduce a new character for the hero, Colin Bridgerton, to fall in love with. This romance is the one the Netflix series has done a great job building towards. Instead, it’s Penelope Featherington who (finally!) catches his eye.

Penelope Featherington and Eloise Bridgerton have been best friends for ages. With their lives languishing after many seasons of being out, it seems they will be spinsters together. Neither of them seems to particularly mind that, either.

Colin Bridgerton returns from abroad. He seems to be happy cruising through life, but the truth is much different. He’s worried about not feeling his life has a purpose. The outside world does not know this. Penelope has been crushing on Colin for some time but sees herself as a woman that men never really take notice of. To a certain extent, that’s true here. She strikes up a great friendship with Colin after his return and they both seem to be enjoying each other’s company a great deal – but only as friends. Colin confides in Penelope about how he’s feeling about the lack of a vocation in life and she encourages him to write about his travels.

Of course, Penelope has a secret of her own that’s connected to writing. Viewers of the series have no surprise coming as to that. However, the books have not revealed that until this point. Eloise doesn’t know Penelope’s secret, either, as was presented in the last episode of the most recent season of the series.

The romance is nice as Colin begins to appreciate what’s been in front of him the whole time. However, his actions in this book come off as whiny and self-absorbed a lot of the time. The only thing that seems to drive him is the need to eat, and that’s unfortunate as it becomes Colin’s role as the series goes on. Whenever he enters a scene, it’s a matter of “is there any food?” rather than a true look into his character. It’s funny once or twice, but every time from now until the end of the series will wear thin.

Lady Whistledown will be revealed here and Anthony and Kate are the ones who hold a banquet where that happens. Everyone in the Ton seems to think it’s Cressida Cowper, and she seems eager to accept that. Although she had been persuaded to stop writing at one point, Lady Whistledown can’t let Cressida take the credit. Colin is resentful, at first, when he learns of the deception, but love conquers all. That’s pretty much the definition of a romance novel.

Romancing Mister Bridgerton is better than the other books in the series so far. At least, there’s a little bit of a difference in the theme of men being forced to marry someone because of being caught in a compromising situation. However, I found myself rolling my eyes – a lot. I’m just not a huge fan of romance novels, and the series has set me up for a lot of disappointment.

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