Saturday, 19 March 2011
#99 (#35) - An Offer From a Gentleman ~ Julia Quinn
It's always a pleasure to read a Julia Quinn book, they are humours and generally beguiling ..... and this one was no exception - a Cinderella story if you will.
Miss Sophie Beckett is the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Penwood, and lived with him from being a young child as his "ward". When Sophe was around 8 the unmarried Earl takes the step of marrying Araminta and brings his new Countess and her two daughters to Penwood Park.
Araminta takes an instant dislike to Sophie, and when eventually the Earl dies she is forced to keep Sophie or see her annual income reduced by a vast amount. Sophie is put to work by Araminta - indeed, she does the work of 3 or more servants. The only kindness she receives at all is from the staff.
One night those staff arrange for her to attend a Masquerade Ball held by the Bridgertons', where Sophie meets and falls in love with the handsome Benedict Bridgerton.
The story follows the usual path from there she disappears at midnight, leaving behind a monogrammed glove, and Benedict tries and fails to track her down. Araminta finds out and Sophie runs away to find work in the country.
Several years later Benedict attends a drunken house party and rescues a serving maid from certain rape, he doesn't recognise her of course, but he takes it upon himself to remove her from the situation and place her in the household of his Mother.
When will he find out that this servant girl is the beautiful woman he has longed for in the intervening years. Indeed, the only woman he could ever imagine becoming his wife?
A 4 **** Star read and highly recommended.