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An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
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An Offer From a Gentleman

by Julia Quinn

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The Julia Quinn twist of Cinderella! In the beginning, the step-mother and step-sister characters shared a lot of the same similarities to the characters in the movie "Ever After" (I kept an open mind...cause Cinderella-wise there's really nothing new under the sun). But the romance between Sophie and Benedict was great. I think, so far, that Benedict is my favorite Bridgerton character. Which surprised me because he played such a minor role in the previous books in the series, I didn't really feel like I knew his character yet. Best Julia Quinn I've read so far. ( )
  vonze | Feb 6, 2014 |
An Offer From a Gentleman's plot is based on the fairy tale of Cinderella. The wicked stepmother and two stepsisters, a handsome prince to rescue her from a life of servitude...only what I liked about this fairy tale was that the fair maiden rescued herself - in a sense.

When Sophie's father died when she was 14, her stepmother was only left with two thousand pounds a year, unless she took Sophie in. If she did that, she would get six thousand per annum. So Araminta, Sophie's wicked stepmother, took Sophie in and enslaved her basically. She was lady's maid, scullery maid and any other task Araminta could make up, she made Sophie do it. How did she do it? Sophie was the earl's illegitimate daughter. Araminta wanted nothing to do with Sophie, so she made her life hell.

One evening after Sophie turned 21, all the ladies of the house went to a masquerade ball at the Bridgerton's. Sophie desperately wanted to go for one night and the housekeeper made her dream come true. At the ball, Sophie met and fell for Benedict Bridgerton. And he fell for her. But at midnight Sophie had to return home before her stepmother and stepsisters. And somehow the next day, Araminta discovered that Sophie attended the ball and she locked her in the closet. Sophie realized she had had enough and decided to strike out on her own...but Araminta "fired" her. You can't really fire someone you're not paying, can you?

Two years later and Benedict comes to Sophie's rescue. Only he doesn't realize she's the woman he fell in love with at the masquerade and Sophie is not wanting to tell him. She doesn't know that he's looked for her and continues to hold her memory precious in his heart. All she knows is that he doesn't remember her and so she figures she must not have made an impression on him. But she was masked after all. After Benedict rescues Sophie from her current employer's son, she turns around and helps him when he's ill. Not one to forget a kindness, Benedict says he'll find a place for her in his mother's household. But as he's recovering from his illness, he realizes that he wants Sophie. But when he asks her to be his mistress, Sophie says no. Nothing would be worse to Sophie than to bring a bastard into this world, no matter how much she wants Benedict.

So will Benedict discover the truth about Sophie? Will he buck society's conventions and marry a maid?

My goodness what a story! Yet another book I stayed up late to finish (5 am I believe! LOL). Benedict was just something else. Here's what he says to himself after Sophie turns his offer down again:
"I can live with you hating me," he said to the closed door. "I just can't live without you."
You can understand why at first Benedict only asks her to be his mistress. He doesn't know that she's an earl's by-blow. And eventually he doesn't even care that she's just a maid - he wants her and if the only way to have her is marriage, he's willing to face the consequences. *sigh* Now that's true love. I really enjoyed Benedict and Sophie's story. How they got to know each other while he was getting better. And then how he had to visit her after she began working for his mother. Too cute.

An Offer from a Gentleman was a great fairy tale. ( )
  ames | Sep 30, 2013 |
Pretty decent reworking of Cinderella. I do enjoy the Bridgerton family. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
I'm a fan of fairy-tale retellings whether they have fantasy elements or not. An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn pleasantly surprised me. It was the most realistic retelling of Cinderella I ever read. This is how it could have truly happened (without fairy godmothers and talking animals).

( )
  bookwormdreams | Apr 10, 2013 |
Original review - in French - on my blog http://moncoinlecture.over-blog.com/article-magie-d-un-soir-bridgertons-3-benedi...

Julia Quinn is always a good pick for me. I like her witty dialogues and her characters, especially those Bridgerton siblings. This particular story – Benedict’s story – starts like Cinderella’s story but continues quite differently. I just LOVE the final confrontation. Violet power! ( )
  Moncoinlecture | Apr 4, 2013 |
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Book description
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?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380815583, Mass Market Paperback)

Setting: Regency England

Sensuality: 7

Miss Sophie Beckett is the illegitimate daughter of the earl of Penwood. Raised in his home, Sophie has a tolerable existence until the earl marries, when her life takes a distinct turn for the worse. Sophie's new stepmother hates her, and when the earl passes away, she relegates Sophie to the role of servant. Sophie's days are pure drudgery, until one night her fellow servants conspire to help her attend a masquerade ball.

Her life changes irrevocably when she meets handsome Benedict Bridgerton and falls head over heels in love. Benedict is equally smitten, but when the clock strikes midnight his beautiful mystery lady runs from him, leaving only her glove in his hand. He searches London for her, but she seems to have vanished. What Benedict doesn't know is that Sophie's stepmother has discovered her outing and thrown Sophie out of their London townhouse. Sophie leaves London, and it isn't until three years later that Benedict and Sophie's paths cross once again, when he saves her from the unwanted attentions of a drunken lord. Sophie recognizes Benedict immediately, but much to her dismay, he doesn't know her in her maid's dress. Soon, however, Benedict falls in love with Sophie all over again. Believing her to be a servant, he cannot conceive of a way to make her his, as she adamantly refuses to become his mistress. Both struggle with their feelings for each other, their unwillingness to compromise their principles, and the seemingly insurmountable wall separating a member of the nobility and a servant. To add to their difficulties, Sophie's vindictive stepmother discovers her presence in London and sets out to make her life even more miserable. It will take the combined force of the large Bridgerton family to help these two stubborn people realize a happy future together.

Quinn brings a fresh approach to this charming retelling of the Cinderella story, enhancing the tale with a strong Regency setting and the warmth of Benedict Bridgerton's large family. Quinn has a reputation for witty dialogue and endearing characters, and she delivers both in this delightful novel. --Lois Faye Dyer

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:10 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Sophie Beckett, the daughter of an earl who has been relegated to the role of servant by her stepmother, sneaks into Lady Bridgerton's masquerade ball and dances with the debonair and handsome Benedict Bridgerton. Later, during Benedict search for the mysterious and beautiful woman he danced with at the masquerade ball, he meets the servant Sophie Beckett. As romance flares between them, he wrestles with the choice between Sophie and his mysterious dance partner, unaware that they are the same woman.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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