Romancing Mister Bridgerton
by Julia Quinn
Published by Avon
Book 4 in the Bridgerton Series
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?
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Historical-Romance Sweet
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton is the fourth book in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series. It follows twenty-eight year old Penelope Featherton, a spinster in society's eyes, and Colin Bridgerton, the third son in the Bridgerton family, known for his charm and wit, his good looks, and his lust for travel. When Penelope discovers Colin's secret, she begins to think she doesn't know him as well as she thinks she does. But he isn't the only one with secrets. Colin seems to find himself more and more enamored with Penelope. For years, she was just reliable Pen, always there, not standing out. But now, she becomes more and more clear to him, and he slowly starts to fall for her. But when he stumbles upon Penelope's secrets, can he overcome them?
I was excited for this book for two reasons. One, everyone who has read the Bridgerton series, has said Colin's story is their favorite. Two, I already knew what the big reveal was (I watched the show before reading the books, and they decided to reveal "the secret" before Colin's story). Knowing the truth going into the book, I wasn't bothered by it. What was surprising was, I didn't enjoy this book as much as the last 3. Don't get me wrong! I loved the sweetness of Penelope, and I really loved that these two people, slowly falling for the real person underneath their facades. I particularly enjoyed the uniqueness of this book (highlight for a spoiler) -----------> jealousy of a person's achievements, and not because there was a third party love interest <------------, and it was interesting enough, if a bit predictable.
My main issue with this book, was character consistency. Specifically, Colin. I get that the past three books, it wasn't from his point of view, and to others, he is charming. Mischievous. I know that this isn't the whole of his being, but it IS a part of him, and I found it lacking in this book. Does Colin redeem himself in the end? He does. It just bothers me that such emphasis was put on his temper for three quarters of the book. The real joy of this book was Penelope. I have a soft spot for intelligent, ambitious heroines, and Penelope is all of that, with a secret witty charm that you can't help but love. I understood why Colin fell so hard.
Do I get why this is a fan favorite? I don't. Perhaps its because its a romance between a wallflower and the popular bachelor? If its a favorite of yours, please comment below and tell me why! As of right now, I think Anthony and Benedict's books are my favorite. Now on to the next book, Eloise's story, To Sir Philip, With Love.
How Colin and Penelope met was funny
Penelope asking Colin to kiss her
Penelope standing up to Cressida and saying she doesn't believe she is Lady Whistledown
Finding out who Lady Whistledown actually is
The carriage ride make out
Colin's proposal lol
Colin getting angry with Mrs. Featherington for not assuming he wanted to marry Penelope
Their first time. Um, Colin's talk of mirrors makes me see him in a whole new light.
Colin asking Penelope to read some of his journals
Colin promising Penelope that he would take care of Cressida blackmailing her
Colin saying why he wanted to tell the world the truth
Where to Buy
Penelope: "She likes me. Your mother, that is. She can't see beyond that, I'm afraid. But the truth is, it doesn't matter so much if she likes Colin's bride."
Anthony: "Well, I wouldn't say that. I shouldn't like to be married to someone my mother didn't like. She's a force of nature."
Penelope: "Your mother or your wife?"
He considered that for about half a second.
Portia: "Truly, I think it is more than a mother should be expected to bear. He goes gallivanting about, the good Lord only knows where, to countries that are positively unheathen -"
Penelope: "I believe they practice Christianity in Greece."
Portia: "Don't be impertinent, Penelope Anne Featherington, and they're Catholics!"
Portia shuddered on the word.
Penelope: "They're not Catholics at all. They're Greek Orthodox."
Portia: "Well, they're not Church of England."
Penelope: "Seeing as how they're Greek, I don't think they're terribly worried about that."
Anthony: "That's an evasive sentence if ever I've heard one."
Colin: "And this is an evasive maneuver."
But he'd already left the room.
Colin: "You've always been cheeky, did you know that?"
Penelope: "I hide it well."
Colin: "It's easy to see why you are such good friends with my sister."
Penelope: "I'm assuming you intended that as a compliment?"
Colin: "I'm fairly certain I'd be endangering my health if I'd intended it any other way."
Penelope: "You're a terrible liar, did you know that?"
Colin: "Actually, I'm an excellent liar. But what I'm really good at is appearing appropriately sheepish and adorable after I'm caught."
Colin: "Were you dancing?"
Colin: "It looked like you were dancing."
Penelope: "Oh. No. Of course not."
His eyes crinkled slightly at the corners.
Colin: "Pity, then. I would have felt compelled to partner you, and I've never danced in Berkeley Square."
She smiled a smile she didn't think she'd even known how to smile. It was wicked and she was mysterious, and she knew it wasn't all in her head because Colin's eyes widened markedly as she murmured
Penelope: "That's a shame. It's rather enjoyable."
Colin: "Penelope Featherington. I though you said you weren't dancing."
Penelope: "I lied."
Colin: "If that's the case, then sure this must be my dance."
Penelope: "It's always interesting to find out that there is more to someone than meets the eye, don't you think?"
Cressida: "I will not be insulted by that ... by that nothing! I demand an apology."
Penelope just nodded slowly and said
Penelope: "That is your prerogative."
And then she said nothing more.
Colin had to physically wipe the smile from his face.
He supposed he should have deemed the evening a failure for that reason alone, but in all truth, he couldn't quite bring himself to do so.
After all, he'd spent the better part of five minutes holding her hand.
Penelope: "I couldn't let her do it. I couldn't let her be me."
Colin: "What did you mean when you said I run from responsibility?"
Penelope: "Why do you think you travel so much?"
Colin: "Because I like it."
Penelope: "And because you're bored out of your mind here in England."
Colin: "And that makes me a child because ... ?"
Penelope: "Because you're not willing to grow up and do something adult that would keep you in one place."
Colin: "Like what?"
Her hands cam up in an I-should-think-it-was-obvious sort of gesture.
Penelope: "Like get married."
Colin: "Is that a proposal?"
Penelope: "Cressida said she was Lady Whistledown, and she wasn't ruined."
Colin: "That's because no one believed her. And besides, she's ... different."
She turned to him slowly. Very slowly, with steadfast eyes.
Penelope: "Different how?"
Something akin to panic began to pound in Colin's chest. He'd know he wasn't saying the right words as they'd spilled from his lips. How could one little sentence, one little word be so very wrong.?
They both knew what he meant. Cressida was popular, Cressida was beautiful, Cressida could carry it all off with aplomb.
Penelope, on the other hand ...
She was Penelope. Penelope Featherington. And she hasn't the clout not the connections to save her from ruin. The Bridgertons could stand behind her and offer support, but even they wouldn't be able to prevent her downfall. Any other scandal might have been manageable, but Lady Whistledown had, at one time or another, insulted almost every person of consequence in the British Isles. One people were over their surprise, that was when the unkind remarks would begin.
Penelope wouldn't be praised for being clever or witty or daring.
She'd be called mean, and petty, and jealous.
Colin knew the ton well. He knew how his peers acted. This aristocracy was capable of individual greatness, but collectively they tended to sink to the lowest common denominator.
Which was very low indeed.
Penelope: "I see."
Colin: "No, you don't. I -"
Penelope: "No, Colin. I do. I suppose I'd just always hoped you were different."
His eyes caught hers, and somehow his hands were on her shoulders, gripping her with such intensity that she couldn't possibly look away. He didn't say anything, letting his eyes ask his questions.
Penelope: "i thought you believed in me. That you saw beyond the ugly duckling."
Her face was so familiar to him; he'd seen it a thousand times before, and yet until these past few weeks, he couldn't have said he truly knew it. Would he have remembered that she had a small birthmark near her left earlobe? Had he ever noticed the warm glow to her skin? Or that her brown eyes had flecks of gold in them, right near the pupil?
How had he danced with her so many time and never noticed that her mouth was full and wide and made for kissing?
She licked her lips when she was nervous. He'd seen her do that just the other day. Surely she'd done that at some point in the dozen years of their acquaintance, and yet it was only now that the mere sight of her tongue made his body clench with need.
Colin: "You're not ugly."
Her eyes widened.
Colin: "You're beautiful."
Penelope: "No. Don't say things you don't mean."
Colin: "You're beautiful. I don't know how ... I don't know when .."
He touched her lips, feeling her hot breath on his fingertips.
Colin: "But you are."
Colin: "For God's sake, Penelope. Are you going to marry me or not?"
Portia: "I love Penelope, of course, but -"
Colin: "But do you know her? She's lovely and intelligent and has a fine sense of humor. Who wouldn't want to marry a woman like that?"
Colin: "I told you so."
Penelope: "Why do I sense that I will be hearing those words from your lips far too many times in my future?"
Colin: "Most likely because you will. You'll soon learn that I am almost always right."
Eloise: "Oh, please."
Penelope: "I may have to side with Eloise on this one."
Colin: "Against your husband? I'm wounded."
Penelope: "You're not my husband yet."
Colin turned to Eloise
Colin: "The kitten has claws."
Eloise: "You didn't realize that before you proposed?"
Colin: "Of course I did. I just didn't think she'd use them on me."
Colin: "You seem to have developed a certain penchant for persistence."
Colin: "That, too."
Penelope: "But that's a good thing."
Their lips were still mere inches apart, but the urge to continue the teasing conversation was too strong.
Colin: "When you're persistently avowing your obedience for your husband, that's a good thing."
Penelope: "Oh, really?"
His chin dipped into the barest hint of a nod
Colin: "And when you're tenaciously holding on to my shoulders when I'm kissing you, that's a good thing as well."
Her dark eyes widened so delightfully that he had to add
Colin: "Don't you think?"
And then she surprised him.
Penelope: "Like this?"
she asked, placing her hands on his shoulders. Her tone was daring, her eyes pure flirtation.
Lord, he love that she surprised him.
Colin: "That's a start. You might have to -"
he moved one of his hands to cover hers, pressing her fingers into his skin
Colin: " -hold me a little more tenaciously."
Penelope: "I see. So what you're saying is that I should never let go?"
Colin: "Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying."
Penelope: "Do I look a mess?"
Colin: "But you're my mess."
Eloise: "I cannot even imagine why she was invited. There is certainly no love lost between the two of you, and none of us like her."
Penelope: "Colin insisted upon it."
Penelope: "Your mother didn't want to cause any gossip by cutting her, and Colin also said ..."
She blushed. It was really too sweet.
Penelope couldn't speak without smiling.
Penelope: "He said he wanted Cressida to be forced to watch me in my triumph."
Eloise: "Oh. My. Word. My brother is in love."
Lady Danbury: "All these fools, trying to figure out what you did to get him to marry you, when all you really did was be yourself."
Lady Danbury: "Mr. Bridgerton. Just came over to congratulate your bride."
Colin: "Ah, but I am surely the one who deserves the congratulations."
Lady Danbury: "Hmmmph. Truer words, and all that."
Eloise: "Maybe I am a bad person at heart, because I have never before felt such happiness at another person's downfall."
Lady Danbury: "Balderdash! I know I am not a bad person, and I find this delightful."
Penelope: "You told me to tell you if you did anything I didn't like. I promise you, I will like it all. I will like it all, because I'm with you."
Colin: "I don't know. I don't know when, I don't know how, and to be honest, I don't care. But I know this much is true: I love you, and I hate myself for not seeing the real you all these years."
He had been with women before, but he had only just realized that he had never made love until he'd laid Penelope onto his bed and begun their intimate dance with a single kiss upon her lips.
This was like nothing he'd ever felt before.
This was love.
And he was going to hold on with both hands.
Colin: "In three days, I will be your husband. I will take a solemn vow to protect you until death do us part. Do you understand what that means?"
Penelope: "You'll save me from marauding minotaurs?"
Colin: "Who else would I ask?"
Penelope: "I don't know. Your brothers, I suppose."
He laid his hand on hers.
Colin: "What do they know about writing?"
Penelope: "I know you value their opinions."
Colin: "That is true, but I value yours more."
Colin: "I love you. I love you with everything I am, everything I've been, and everything I hope to be."
Penelope: "Colin ..."
Colin: "I love you with my past, and I love you for my future. I love you for the children we'll have and for the years we'll have together. I love you for every one of my smiles, and even more, for every one of your smiles."
Eloise: "Did he send you a note as well?"
Daphne: "Yes, we're to keep an eye on her, he said."
Hyacinth: "It could be worse. We're to stick to her like glue. He underlined glue."
Penelope: "And here I thought I wasn't a chore."
Colin: "Mother. How have you been?"
Violet: "You've been sending cryptic notes all over town, and you want to know how I've been?"
Violet: "Oh, no, you don't, Colin Bridgerton. You are not going to get out of explaining yourself. I am your mother. Your mother!"
Colin: "I am aware of the relation."
Violet: "You are not going to waltz in here and distract me with a clever phrase and a beguiling smile."
Colin: "You think my smile is beguiling?"
Colin: "But, you did make an excellent point."
Violet: "I did?"
Colin: "Yes. About the waltz. I believe I hear one beginning."
Hyacinth: "I don't hear anything."
Colin: "Don't you? Pity."
Colin: "Anthony will hold his counsel if I ask him to. That has nothing to do with why I want to tell the world the truth. The truth is, I'm rather proud of you."
Colin: "Tsk tsk. Bravery, my sweet."
Colin: "I would like to propose a toast to the most remarkable woman in the world. I am a newlywed, and therefore you are all required to indulge me in my lovesick ways."
Friendly laughter rippled through the crowd.
Colin: "I know that many of you were surprised when I asked Penelope Featherington to be my wife. I was surprised myself."
A few unkind titters wafted through the air, but Penelope held herself perfectly still, completely proud.
Colin: "I wasn't surprised that I had fallen in love with her, but rather that it had taken so long. I've known her for so many years, you see, ad somehow I'd never taken the time to look inside, to see the beautiful, brilliant, witty woman she'd become. Therefore, with all of you here as my witnesses, I would like to say - Penelope - I love you. I adore you. I worship the ground you walk upon."
He turned back out to the crowd, lifted his glass, and said
Colin: "To my wife!"
The crowd: "To your wife!"
Colin drank, and Penelope drank, even though she couldn't help but wonder when he was going to tell the all the real reason for this announcement.
Colin: "Put down your glass, dear."
Penelope: "But -"
Colin: "You interrupt far too much.."
he scolded, and then he swept her into a passionate kiss, right there on the balcony in front of the entire ton.
He grinned wolfishly as their audience roared its approval.
Colin: "Oh, and one last thing! I'm leaving the party early. Right now, as a matter of fact."
He shot a wicked, sideways grin at Penelope.
Colin: "I'm sure you'll understand."
The men in the crowd hooted and hollered as Penelope turned beet red.
Colin: "But before I do, I have one last thing to say. One last little thing, in case you still don't believe me when I tell you that my wife of the wittiest, cleverest, most enchanting woman in all of London."
Colin: "You might say that my wife has two maiden names. Of course you all knew her as Penelope Featherington, as did I. Bit what you didn't know, and what even I was not clever enough to figure out until she told me herself ..."
He paused, waiting for silence to fall over the room.
Colin: "... is that she is also the brilliant, the witty, the breathtakingly magnificent - Oh, you all know who I am talking about. I give you my wife! Lady Whistledown!"
Colin: "Congratulations, Lady Whistledown."
Penelope: "I prefer Mrs. Bridgerton."
Colin: "Excellent choice."
Penelope: "Can we leave?"
Colin: "Right now?"
Colin: "Oh, yes."
And no one saw them for several days.
Check out the rest of the Bridgertons series below