Something about the Bridgerton books is compelling me to binge read them all. When I read The Duke and I last spring, I had no idea that I was going to eventually binge all of the books once the show came out. Obviously I love the show and I couldn’t wait to get more of the Bridgerton’s and to be honest, Colin and Penelope’s romance was one I was eagerly anticipating!
So far The Viscount Who Loved Me is my absolute favorite in the series, as I am a huge fan of enemies to lovers and that book was hands down my fav troupe! But I also wouldn’t pass up a friends to lovers troupe either and Colin and Penelope have been favorite fringe characters for me in the previous books so I couldn’t wait to watch them fall in love.
Especially in the third book, Quinn set up their romance perfectly when Colin insults Penelope in the third book, I was like dear god hurry up and get done so I can start on Colin and Penelope’s story already! These books don’t need to be read in order but I personally prefer them in order as there are little Easter eggs and set ups in each book for the next one.
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 nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone’s preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph. 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 haunting his dreams. But 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? (summary from Goodreads)
Never in my life did I dream that I would find Colin Bridgerton intolerable! Ok that’s not entirely true. He certainly had intolerable moments in this book but in the end he overcame his insecurities and embraced them, but getting there was hard for me. Like Penelope, I had this idealized vision of Colin from the earlier books. Colin is so charming, glib, sweet, thoughtful, and generally likable which is why I was so excited to read this one. But then in this one we find that he is not exactly the prince charming that Penelope (and the audience) thought he was. He had a temper that bordered on unreasonable, he came across as spoiled, and generally insensitive toward Penelope.
I fully bought into their romance though even if I did have issues with Colin’s character. I fully believed that he had loved Penelope for longer than he imagined and I found their romance natural and that they had great chemistry. I also enjoyed Colin’s bold declaration of love for her toward the end. It was moving and exactly what I had hoped he would do for her. Colin has this great jovial personality that watching him love Penelope was easy and sigh worthy and the sex scenes felt different in this book than they did in the others. In this book it felt more like making love and something more special about it than any of the other sex scenes of the other books. But there were these moments or flashes of darker aspects of his personality that I had a hard time accepting as it didn’t jive with the Colin that I had come to know in the other books.
There were plenty of times that I just wanted to strangle Colin and scream at him for being so daft and insensitive toward Penelope and her accomplishments. It was just so out of character for him that I had a hard time getting past it but perhaps that was the point so that we the audience would experience Colin’s darker side along with Penelope and have him win us over like her did Penelope….but still I had a hard time with it occasionally in the book. As for Penelope’s character, she has been on the fringes more or less in the other books and this is her time to shine and shine she does! Penelope has been one of my favorite secondary characters throughout the series and I was so thrilled to see her get her own HEA. Watching her evolve from wallflower who was bullied by much of society, and then to see her change into this beautiful swan soaring above all the ton was so satisfying and one of the best things about this book. Ultimately Penelope’s transformation saved this book for me. If it had been just moody Colin brooding over his lack of purpose, I would have been horribly disappointed but this was very much Penelope’s book and that’s what made it for me.
Book Info and Rating
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Avon (first published July 1st 2002)
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: romance, historical romance, Regency