Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he'd proposed, figuring that she'd be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except… she wasn't. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her…and more.
Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn't marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking…and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except…he wasn't. Her perfect husband wouldn't be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled…and when he kissed her…the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn't help but wonder…could this imperfect man be perfect for her?
I actually finished reading this a couple of weeks ago but as I have mentioned before I am really behind in my reviewing, so now I am sitting here scratching my head trying to think what I really wanted to say. The thing is, I am not all that sure that that wouldn't have been the case even if I had finished the book an hour ago. For the first time since I started reading this series, I was completely underwhelmed by a Bridgerton book.
There are so many reasons for this. Firstly, I found Phillip to be really hard to relate to you. Phillip is a widower with two young children. His wife had died a couple of years ago, and Phillip had basically been distant from his children both before his wife's death and after, and he is not only remote himself but he seems to be distant in terms of who he has hired to care for his children. As a consequence, his children are pretty much hellions and are really horrible to Eloise when she gets there. Of course, because she has so many siblings she was able to fight fire with fire and get back with her own practical jokes.
It was difficult to see Phillip unwinding enough to fall in love with Eloise and it really wasn't until her brothers arrived that I began to see how any bond would be formed between them.
The other thing that I found strange about this whole book was that the early events in this book corresponded with the latter events in Romancing Mr Bridgerton, and yet when Colin enters the story in this book there was absolutely no mention - surely a close knit family would have chatted about something as big as his wedding to the huge society event that happened the night that Eloise ran away. And about that as well, would a sensible spinster really run off from London to go and stay with a man she has never met at all. Didn't really work for me.
I have however heard good things about When He Was Wicked, which should be in at the library for me in the next few days.