Review: To Sir Phillip, With Love (The Bridgertons #5) by Julia Quinn

Title: To Sir Phillip, With Love
Author:  Julia Quinn
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins 1/31/17
Length:  432 Pages
Series: The Bridgertons #5

Overview

he wrote him a letter…and he stole her heart.

Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he’d proposed, figuring that she’d be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except . . . she wasn’t. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her . . . and more.

Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn’t marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking . . . and wondering . . . and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except . . . he wasn’t. Her perfect husband wouldn’t be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled . . . and when he kissed her . . . the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn’t help but wonder . . . could this imperfect man be perfect for her?

My Thoughts

I do love a sweet story that has Eloise as the leading lady. We know that she’s got more sass and spine than some of the other Bridgetons. and as we watched her best friend Penelope find happiness, we knew that her time was likely to come. Add to that the notion that Epilogue #2 in the previous book teased what was to come, well there was no worry that her story wouldn’t be exciting.

If you’ll think back to the endless chatter around who Mrs Whistledown was, there was thought that it was Eloise since she truly enjoyed to write a lot and was likely more observant than most others in the Ton. Well, she insisted that it was her correspondence that gave her fingers ink stains and when that was proven true, everyone started to wonder who she was writing to. That in itself is the crux of this story.

When Eloise learned of the passing of a cousin, she sent a note of condolence to the husband and that began a year long interesting friendship that was was based in short letter to one another and a growing friendship. This friend is a one Mr Phillip Crane. He’s the father of rambunctious twins (who are 8) and who really need to be tamed. He’s a botanist and a man who enjoys the simpler things in life until of course his older brother passed who was the heir to the family ‘stuff’ and as a result, Phillip now has a whole new set of responsibilities that he didn’t want – and a wife that was due to marry his brother.

There’s a welcome change in the air in the invitation that Mr Crane extends to Eloise. Through their correspondence, he begins to think that any woman who’s still unmarried at twenty eight and who seems intelligent would be just the woman to marry him and take over the tasks of the home and…help raise his kids. He gets a shock when Eloise runs away from London and she arrives on his doorstep…and she’s more beautiful than he could have imagine.

We know that strong willed Eloise has expectations on what her life should be and she’s well bred enough to expect the best. Phillip on the other hand knows none of that stuff and doesn’t even really know how to engage with Eloise in person. Add to that – his kids are monsters and don’t want Eloise there so we spend much of the book watching them terrorize her.

As we all know, during the 18-teens, a single lady cannot be with a single gentleman without a chaperone, and when Eloise’s family discovers this fact, they force a marriage, faster than anyone’s comfortable with.

We then spend the remainder of the story watching how the dynamic shifts again and again. There are trade offs that everyone has to make and there are fears that there’s never going to be trust, kindness and love. To date, all of the Bridgerton marriages have been true love matches and that’s all that Eloise hopes for. I don’t think that’s in the cards here, and it’ll be a wonder if a companionship is something that can come along too.

In any event, we get a resolution to the strong willed Eloise and in the epilogue we see what the future holds for Phillip’s daughter. It’s a nice introduction to an extended story and I kind of wish that we got to have more of her tale. Now i’m off to book 6 which I believe is Francesca. We know from past books that she’s married to a man from Scotland and that he passes fairly soon after their wedding – so i’m intrigued to see that story develop and evolve. enjoy!