My relationship with this book is very much of the “It’s not you, it’s me” variety. I am a fan of Julia Quinn’s style of writing, with sensitive subjects dealt with in a humorous, light and compassionate way. But for some reason I just couldn’t find the emotions in a story taking on the ideas of illegitimacy, social classes, and the subject of self-worth and identity. Perhaps it was the heavy-handed fairytale plot set-up that makes me cringe. Maybe I was never able to make a connection with either the hero or heroine as they navigated their convoluted relationship. Either way, while this book fits very well into the whole Bridgerton narrative and I’m happy to see another of the brood getting his happily ever after, this isn’t one that I’d run out and recommend to all of my friends.
Benedict Bridgerton doesn’t quite know who he is. A gentleman by birth, he has the right friends and associates for a man of his station, but he is still identified by his family connections. As a part of the Bridgerton family he is rarely addressed without mention of his brother the Viscount, his sister the Duchess, or even the dowager countess. Within their social circles, he is simply a Bridgerton. At his mother’s birthday masquerade ball, Benedict already feels the night is going as most others do, with polite conversations but nothing substantial. His evening is completely upended when he spots a woman of exquisite beauty who doesn’t immediately know of him for his family. In their brief conversation Benedict finds himself enamored by the mystery woman, sharing more of himself than he has with some of his closest friends. There is a pull between them that he cannot fight, and they end up kissing before she quickly leaves him on the balcony before the unmasking at midnight. His heart is lost to the intelligence, grace, and charms of this woman he cannot name.
For the full review, please go to http://thewindowseat13.blogspot.com/2012/06/julia-quinn-offer-from-gentleman.html.