An Offer From A Gentleman is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I enjoyed the characters, the struggle, and the drama. It was all very enchanting. It is somewhat similar to Cinderella's storyline, but way better because we get to see our heroine escape the wicked stepmother for a couple of years, and eventually get her revenge (I always thought the "real" Cinderella was a bit of a push-over anyway!). The character development for Sofia and Benedict was truly remarkable. I felt like I could see the story from both sides. I love that! Benedict's character was just a developed as Sophie. Julia Quinn has an excellent talent for helping you see the man's viewpoint as well.
If you enjoy a book that makes you feel the emotions of the characters, then this is the book for you! When Sophie was miserable living with her stepmother, I felt it. When she wanted to feel the love of a family, I felt her longing. When she was elated at the Ball, I felt elated and excited with her. And when she was struggling with her attraction to Benedict, I could feel that too. This book made me laugh and cry! I felt I was there right along side the each of the characters. Ms. Quinn's talent for evoking empathy in a reader is truly inspired.
Sophie's character is exceptional. She is an intelligent and independent young woman with deep-seated values. The hardships that she saw as a child made her determined never to repeat the same mistakes as an adult. This is why she avoided letting her prince charming, aka Benedict, know who she really was after meeting him the second time around. Feeling she will never be able to be with Benedict in a way that she can accept, Sophie decides not to tell him who she was. The suspense that I gained from waiting to find out when Benedict was actually going to discover who this charming little housemaid was really kept me turning the pages!
Benedict was a man determined to find that one special woman. He had met her once at a ball. Unfortunately, he lost her that same night and has been looking for her ever since. This, however, has jaded his attractions to any other woman. When he finds this delectable and very appealing little housemaid, he starts to question himself. He has doubts about whether he will ever find the elusive woman from that one special night so long ago. I like the fact that we see Benedict as a real person; with his faults and his fears. He is charming and sexy, but real! From the beginning we can see he is tired of being just another one of the famous Bridgertons and wants to be known for his own accomplishments and personality. This yearning of his is yet another fact that shows the reader the depth of his character. In true storybook fashion, Benedict saves Sophie from a terrible situation, but later reminds this reader that this prince charming is real by falling ill. Benedict struggles with the societal boundaries of whether he should take this alluring housemaid as his wife or keep her as his mistress. Of course, there is the problem of getting her to agree to the latter.
This book was very enjoyable for me! It was my first book ever by Julia Quinn. I now have the Viscount Who Loved Me and now I can't wait to read it! I expect the next Bridgerton character that Ms. Quinn will write about will be Collin. I can't wait to read it as well!