Romancing Mr. Bridgerton – Julia Quinn

When I found out that season 3 was going to be about this book, I stopped reading the series. I like Penelope and I like Collin but they haven’t matured enough in the Netflix series to have their story be told already.  In the book, they are both a bit older, and Penelope has accepted her faith as a spinster. She has grown because of that, she is more mature. Although I must say, her thinking of herself as a spinster put a bit of a damper on the whole thing as she wasn’t that old. But I do think that it’s a good story that has to be told too. In this world (the Bridgerton universe), everyone marries young and meets their happily ever after easily. For Penelope this isn’t the case, there is worth in such stories. Penelope is happier than she has ever been and she found that within herself. It’s a story not told often enough which makes it even more valuable. She is not just a little girl with a crush anymore. She is a woman who knows what she is worth. No one knows this about her because they haven’t paid attention but Penelope has become a swan in her own right. Penelope and Collin’s love is like good cheese, it needs time to ripen and I think the series is not ready for it. In addition, as I felt that they picked stuff from Benedict’s book and put it into Anthony’s story, I truly shudder at the thought of what they are going to do to his story. It felt that if I didn’t look at it, it wouldn’t happen but that’s of course not the case. I felt very strongly about finishing the book but we are here today so I did.

What is this story about? 
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?
Read more here

What did I think?
Awh dear Penelope what a privilege it is to know your story. To have all of it brought into the light. I loved this story in a very different way than the others. I like Colin and I like Penelope but they were from day one inevitable both of them just didn’t look up at the right time. But the problem I mainly have is that no one cared. No one cared for Penelope the way she deserved, not even her own mum. I truly loved her story, it was clever and sweet and everything I needed in a Bridgerton story. Having parted from the story a while ago I wasn’t sure if I wanted to review it. The duke and I made me fall in love with the story, the viscount who loved me made me fall deeper in love. It was a story where I found much of myself. An offer of a gentleman felt like a more modern and risky Cinderella. But Penelope she is the ‘boss babe’ of her time. She is I suppose how women in that time shouldn’t be but most of them would want to be. She is the old-age story of women being told they are not good enough, not pretty enough, or not thin enough. I found it disheartening in a way that she did lose the weight and that this is what made me ‘better’ in her (and others’) opinion. But on the other side of the coin if weightloss makes you feel your best there is power in that too. I love Penelope, I love Collin and gosh they are incredible together. Their love is sweet and cute. It was a wonderful story within the universe. I do not think I would have been as invested if I hadn’t already known Penelope for all this time but then again maybe I would have. It was a gorgeous book that fitted perfected after the other three of the series.

Maybe the Netflix series would be wonderful but it would be very different than the story we have here. I love this Penelope who did the work and fell in love with herself, who knew her worth. Who was a boss babe in her own right. Someone who knew what she wanted and most importantly what she deserved. This Penelope is what a lot of women would aspire to be.

Read my other reviews of the series
The books: The duke and I part 1 and part 2, The Viscount Who Loved Me, An Offer from a Gentleman
The series: season 1 and season 2
The book is available in bookshops and audible. I loved the narrator of the audiobook, a total recommendation. The series is available on Netflix.

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