I’m thankful to all you lovely people who encouraged me not to give up on the Bridgertons and Julia Quinn. On advice of experts, I decided to try another of the alphabetically named siblings looking for love. I chose Colin, because what little I had experienced of him in the Daphne book appealed to me. I had my suspicions that Penelope, who was mentioned in passing as an unattractive but well- liked girl, would appear in a later book, so imagine my delight when she was paired with Colin!
This is the story of an ugly duckling with a long-term unrequited love for a handsome, charming, unattainable man. I was concerned at first that I would find Penelope annoying in her secret love, as I usually find unrequited love both aggravating and boring. Instead, I found her engaging and interesting. She was resigned to her spinsterhod at the ancient age of 28 years old, and as we discover, has created a life for herself outside the confines of society. I liked her. She was shy and unattractive during the time when she needed to be outgoing and pretty so she basically missed her chance to catch a suitable husband, which left her free to develop her own interests and personality as an old maid. If she hadn’t been an ugly duckling she wouldn’t have had the chance to become a swan. Colin is the usual charming affable dude that has had everything easy his whole life then wakes up one day to discover that it isn’t enough and his life is empty and meaningless. He was likable enough and a good match for Penelope. I very much appreciate that he came to love Penelope as he got to know her better and valued her for herself, not because she whipped off her nerd glasses and got hot, as it were.
This book fortunately did not suffer from the issues I had with the Daphne book. There was an actual plot that was separate yet involved in the love story. The plot allowed for character development in a natural way. Penelope and Colin grew and changed, both together and individually. They were both good, likable people. The peripheral characters were better developed (I love Eloise, but I think she is up to something!) and added humour and warmth to the story. I hope there is a book about Lady Danbury, who is the inspiration for the Dowager Duchess of Grantham, I assume.
I would still say that Courtney Milan is MY first love (ha ha) but I like Julia Quinn very much and now I’d say I will definitely read more Bridgertons. Especially Eloise and Hyacinth. Those girls are fun.
My new-found love of Romance is very exciting! 🙂