After binge watching the Netflix series, Bridgerton, I renewed my promise to read all the Bridgerton books immediately! I read The Duke and I when word of the show started circulating. I didn’t love The Duke and I but I liked it enough to consider reading the other books in the series, but I wanted to wait and see how the show was before I went back to reading the Bridgerton books.
Well I swooned for the series and quickly nabbed a copy of The Viscount Who Loved me (Anthony’s story) which was incredible. Anthony Bridgerton will probably reign for a while as as favorite romantic hero of mine. Before I was even done with the second book though, I had downloaded all the rest of the Bridgerton novels and vowed to read them in rapid sucession.
And read them I did! This book is Benedict’s story and while the show depicted him as sexually ambiguous at this point, in the book he is very much a heterosexual man, though probably the least memorable of the Bridgerton clan. But I was looking forward to his story all the same because I love a Cinderella romance too!
Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.
Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps, this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers her his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love? (Summary from Goodreads)
Coming off The Viscount Who Loved Me, I knew that this book simply wouldn’t hold a candle to Anthony’s story. And in truth—it didn’t for me. But it was still a fun and diverting read all the same. Benedict always seemed a little blah for me in the books. He lacked the same charisma and sex appeal that Anthony had, even Colin, the other brother who’s story I am reading next—-had more presence in the novels than Benedict did. So I don’t know that I was chomping at the bit to read his story but I was excited to see how Quinn portrayed him and made the audience love him.
This story is 100% a rags to riches, Cinderella story. If you love Cinderella stories then this is absolutely for you! Sophie played the part of a wronged damsel so well. She was sympathetic, caring, principled, and hard working. I instantly liked her and hoped that she would get her HEA with Benedict tough to be honest, it seemed entirely unlikely for 90% of the book. I had a hard time more with Benedict than I did with Sophie. I liked Sophie and enjoyed watching her overcome her issues and triumph over her evil step mother. But Benedict—didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth.
For most of the book I was like kick his ass to the curb Sophie! A slight spoiler—Benedict spends 90% of the novel begging Sophie to be his mistress instead while he holds out hope that his ‘true love’ mystery women will reappear in his life. I had a hard time with that. It bordered on irritating and insulting to Sophie. I know that in the end, Benedict sees the error of his ways and begs her forgiveness and there was never any doubt that he loved Sophie, but what I had a hard time with was the getting there part.
Asking Sophie to be his mistress was logical and indeed fitting considering her social status, but I still struggled with how he went about it. Benedict just seemed unwilling to take no for an answer and yet couldn’t let go of his mystery women. I had a hard time with Benedict because of this. It wasn’t completely off putting but I was glad when the story was over so I could move on to Colin’s story because I have a feeling that Colin will be just as swoon worthy as Anthony for me. This was still a good read it just wasn’t my favorite in the series so far but it still a fun escape and had it’s high points.
Book Info and Rating
Kindle Edition, 421 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Avon (first published July 1st 2001)
Review copy provided by, personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: historical fiction, historical romance, romance