REVIEW: Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

In brief: The fourth story in the Bridgerton series sees two favourite characters, Penelope and Colin, finally realising their feelings for each other. But it’s not what you expected…

The good: Yay Penelope!

The not-so-good: I kind of felt for Eloise here.

Why I chose it: Continuing my reading of the Bridgerton series, which is super fun.

Year: 2002

Pages: 408

Publisher: Avon Books (Harper Collins)

Setting: London, England

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

It’s time for another instalment in the Bridgerton series! This time I’m up to the fourth book, which chronicles Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton finally realising their feelings for each other. We’ve seen it hinted at in the first series of the television programme, now here it is in its full glory. The story is full of Penelope, one of the best characters in the series and includes large chunks of Lady Danbury, Eloise Bridgerton and Lady Whistledown. Of course, Colin is also heavily featured in this book but he doesn’t always present as the lovable, sensitive man we have known him as.

Why? Well, it’s now 1824 and Penelope is no longer a teenager but a cemented spinster in her late twenties. Her older sisters are now married and her younger sister isn’t far off a match. Colin is in his thirties and hardly ever in England, preferring travels to anywhere else than home. So both have grown older and perhaps more set in their ways. Penelope has continued on the same journey and with the same secrets (if you’ve seen the show, you will know exactly what I’m referring to). Colin is more lost, not having the work or passions of his brothers and he’s starting to get annoyed about it. And of course, because this book is set often in Colin’s head, the reader finds out that he’s not the perfect saint that third parties have seen him as. So in Romancing Mister Bridgerton, we get grumpy Colin, annoyed Colin, crazy angry Colin and lost Colin. It’s a bit of a shock to the system at first but we have loads of Penelope to make up for it. She’s a superstar, and others are starting to realise it too. Lady Danbury is a fan, declaring Penelope witty and clever (didn’t we all know that though?) It’s great to see Penelope finally enjoying the limelight and in her romance with Colin, it’s definitely her that is the strong one. Colin needs Penelope to help him realise his dreams and find a purpose. Penelope has proven herself strong and independent multiple times and it’s clear that she will lead this relationship.

There are a couple of big revelations and secrets in this book, one of which I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed Quinn’s foray into giving Colin a secret and the way his secret was portrayed shows that she’s not just a talented writer in the historical romance genre. There is also increasing page time for Hyacinth, who was only a little girl when the reader first met the Bridgertons. She was a great character with a lot of sass and cheekiness who is open to bribery and corruption. I can’t wait to read her story, if only for the dialogue! Sadly Gregory, the other young and unknown Bridgerton was away for this book so he’s still an enigma. Overall, it’s a lovely cosy read with a great finale that will look fantastic on the screen.

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