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?
A retelling of the classic fairytale, this Regency romance gets off to a slow start as Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me) introduces a troupe of stock characters: the wicked stepmother, an aloof stepsister, and a warm-hearted but weak younger stepsister. Thankfully, Quinn doesn't make her Cinderella suffer these tired old relations for long. After her stunning debut at the Bridgerton masked ball and a heady encounter with handsome Benedict Bridgerton, Sophie Beckett, the bastard daughter of an earl, is summarily ousted from her home when her stepmother discovers that Sophie had attended the masquerade. Three years later, Sophie, now a housemaid, is rescued from her new employer's sex-crazed son by none other than her long-lost "prince." Although Benedict is attracted to Sophie and agrees to find her a position as a servant in his mother's house, he fails to recognize her from their encounter at the ball. A charming romance develops as Benedict tries to convince Sophie to become his mistress and Sophie refuses to succumb to his dangerously seductive offer. Quinn's narrative truly blossoms once she departs from the fairytale's traditional plot line. With its storybook ending and lovable characters, this bedtime romance is certain to satisfy.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-3 of the 3 most recent reviews
1 . Just OK
Posted June 12, 2010 by cozy_fan , USANot bad although not as good as the first or second. I liked Sophie but couldn't get into Benedict. I'm on the Bridgerton bandwagon, though, and I'm continuing with the series!
2 . Julia nails it again!
Posted March 10, 2010 by Sashapasha1 , SeattleThis is my favorite of the Bridgerton series. Though I'll admit it's probably not the best of all her books, it's still classically wonderful. Who doesn't love a good Cinderella story?
3 . Enjoyable...
Posted February 17, 2010 by Abby , Vancouver, BCPrince Charming meets Cinderalla...with a bit of a twist
June 30, 2001
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Excerpt from An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons Series: #3) by Julia Quinn
This year's most sought-after invitation must surely be that of the Bridgerton masquerade ball to be held Monday next. Indeed, one cannot take two steps without being forced to listen to some society mama speculating on who will attend, and perhaps more importantly, who will wear what.
Neither of the aforementioned topics, however, are nearly as interesting as that of the two unmarried Bridgerton brothers, Benedict and Colin. (Before anyone points out that there is a third unmarried Bridgerton brother, let This Author assure you that she is fully aware of the existence of Gregory Bridgerton. He is, however, fourteen years of age, and therefore not pertinent to this particular column, which concerns, as This Author's columns often do, thatmost sacred of sports: husband-hunting.)
Although the Misters Bridgerton are just that--merely Misters--they are stiIl considered two of the prime catches of the season. It is a well-known fact that both are possessed of respectable fortunes, and it does not require perfect sight to know that they also possess, as do aIl eight of the Bridgerton offspring, the Bridgerton good looks.
Will some fortunate young lady use the mystery of a masquerade night to snare one of the eligible bachelors?
This Author isn't even going to attempt to speculate.
Lady Whistledown's Society Papers,
31 May 1815
As screeches went, it was enough to shatter glass. Or at least an eardrum.
"Coming, Rosamund! I'm coming!" Sophie hitched up the hem of her coarse woolen skirts and hurried up the stairs, slipping on the fourth step and only just barely managing to grab the bannister before landing on her bottom. She should have remembered that the stairs would be slick; she'd helped the downstairs maid wax them just that morning.
Skidding to a halt in the doorway to Rosamund's bedroom and still catching her breath, Sophie said, "Yes?"
"My tea is cold.
What Sophie wanted to say was, "It was warm when I brought it an hour ago, you lazy fiend."
What she did say was, "I'll get you another pot."
Rosamund sniffed. "See that you do."
Sophie stretched her lips into what the nearly blind might call a smile and picked up the tea service. "Shall I leave the biscuits?' she asked.
Rosamund gave her pretty head a shake. "I want fresh ones."
Shoulders slightly stooped from the weight of the overloaded tea service, Sophie exited the room, careful not to start grumbling until she'd safely reached the hall. Rosamund was forever ordering tea, then not bothering to drink it until an hour passed. By then, of course, it was cold, so she had to order a fresh pot.
Which meant Sophie was forever running up and down the stairs, up and down, up and down. Sometimes it seemed that was all she did with her life.
Up and down, up and down.
And of course the mending, the pressing, the hairdressing, the shoe polishing, the darning, the bedmaking...
Sophie turned around to see Posy heading toward her.
"Sophie, I've been meaning to ask you, do you think this color is becoming on me?"
Sophie assessed Posy's mermaid costume. The cut wasn't quite right for Posy, who had never lost all of her baby fat, but the color did indeed bring out the best in her complexion. "It is a lovely shade of green," Sophie replied quite honestly. "It makes your cheeks very rosy."
"Oh, good. I'm so glad you like it. You do have such a knack for picking out my clothing." Posy smiled as she reached out and plucked a sugared biscuit from the tray. "Mother has been an absolute bear all week about the masquerade ball, and I know I shall never hear the end of it if I do not look my best. Or"--Posy's face twisted into a grimace--"if she thinks I do not look my best. She is determined that one of us snare one of the remaining Bridgerton brothers, you know."