by Julia Quinn

ISBN: 0-380-82085-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Harper Collins
Mass Market Paperback

Julia Quinn has continued her popular Bridgerton family series with a very thoughtful study of duty, honor and dedication in To Sir Philip With Love. Eloise Bridgerton never planned on being a spinster. In fact, no one meeting the vivacious, lovely young woman could ever imagine that she would still be unwed at the age of 28. Thatís not to say she had not received offers, just that none of them was the right man. As she continued through the seasons of London society, she came to the conclusion that she and her best friend, Penelope Featherington, would remain single together. After all Penelope had never received a single proposal in her eleven seasons in society.

Then things changed. Penelope found the love of a lifetime with Colin Bridgerton, and Eloise found herself alone in her spinsterhood. Suddenly the future seemed rather bleak, and Eloise had the overwhelming urge to flee. But to where?

Sir Philip Crane unknowingly offers Eloise just the escape that she is seeking. After maintaining a year-long correspondence following the death of his wife, Philip hopes that Eloise will consider meeting him, to see if perhaps a marriage between them would be possible. He is in desperate need of help and companionship, and hopes that the unmarried Miss Bridgerton will accept his invitation. His children, twins Amanda and Oliver, need a mother, and Philip has been alone for too long, even before his wife died. His social skills are a bit rusty, and his children are well past unruly and on the road to unmanageable when Eloise arrives unexpectedly on the Crane doorstep.

To Sir Philip With Love contains all of the elements that make this series so popular. While there is plenty of humor and action, this time they are turned in a different direction. This book shows the careful attention to detail and precise plot arrangement that makes reading such a meaningful mental exercise. Readers will come to love Philipís sense of honor and determination to do the best that he can in unusual circumstances. After all of the socially adept and charming Bridgerton men, he is a refreshing change.

Eloise has grown into a gracious young woman, a bit high-strung, but with a loving nature. I especially enjoyed the interaction between Eloise and the twins. Amanda and Oliver were determined to oust Eloise from their fatherís sphere of influence by any means possible. There was just one problem - as a member of a large, boisterous family, Eloise already knew every trick that they attempted!

Reviewed in July 2003 by Paula.

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