Title: Romancing Mr Bridgerton
Author: Julia Quinn
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 11/24/15
Length: 432 Pages
Series: The Bridgertons #4
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?
We have watched Penelope walk around the edges of society for years and now we see what her life has become now that she’s twenty eight and apparently a spinster. Her mother has decided that she’s going to remain unmarried and will care for her at home in her old age. Lucky for Penelope, she’s got her best friend Eloise Bridgerton who’s the same age and who has decided that she will not marry and will remain a spinster with Penelope.
The challenge of course is that Penelope’s been harboring this crush on Colin, Eloise’s brother since they were teenagers, knowing that she was never clever enough or beautiful enough to catch his attention. They have great banter and are good friends, and as they’ve both gotten older, they’ve found that they value each other in a new and deeper way, but still, there’s no returned love or emotion from Colin much to Penelope’s dismay.
What we have throughout this fourth installment is a story of watching people dance around each other, knowing that sometimes a friendship and close family bond is more important than anything else – and at times that sort of relationship leas you down paths that you didn’t even think about. Self discovery, realizing that you’re more comfortable in your own skin than you knew, and had more to offer society than anyone else gave you credit for.
We see Penelope’s wit and intelligence in full force in this storyline – we watch how Lady Danbury brings out the best in her – how she’s unafraid to speak her mind and have opinions which endears her to the older lady quite well. We also watch as Colin questions what value he can bring to society now that he’s of age. His eldest brother runs the family line his next eldest is an accomplished artist. Colin travels and keeps journals of his travels, but he’s unsettled.
It’s sweet when you think about it – watching how they each bring light to the other’s lives. If there’s a chance that romance can also come with it, then great, but what we see is a different sort of development since their foundation is unique to the other Bridgertons.
There’s also the story of who Lady Whistledown is and who’s going to unmask her. Penelope and Lady Danbury lead the conversation on this one with Eloise chiming in, but no one is quite sure who the writer is. We watch that story unfold as well, wondering who’s going to figure out the secret and then fearing the reaction of the Ton.
I can’t wait to see what comes next though since we do see Eloise go missing at the end of this story and we know that there are secrets being kept. I’m excited at where the 2nd epilogue takes us and will dive straight in to see how that story came about. Again – this fourth book will make for a great fourth Netflix season, so here’s to hoping it gets renewed!