I finished “An Offer From A Gentleman” a couple of days ago and well, Benedict wasn’t much of a “gentleman” now was he?
I was surprised that this book was a bit of a Cinderella retelling. Sophie is a young woman who is forced to stay as a servant (without pay) for her stepmother and stepsisters after her father passes away.
She’s an illegitimate child and so she doesn’t have much power to claim anything for herself or the credibility to seek a job on her own. It is a hard time for women to be individuals, standing on their own accomplishments means very little to the rest of the world. Therefore, when the opportunity arises to attend a masquerade ball at the Bridgerton house she takes it, knowing that it might be the only thing in her life that will ever be meaningful, fulfilling one of her wildest dreams. In that fateful night she meets Benedict Bridgerton who has almost given up on finding a suitable wife at all the balls he is forced to attend. However, since she is wearing a mask and never tells him her name, she is able to disappear, leaving him wondering who she is and where he could find her.
That’s kind of where the similarities with Cinderella end. Sophie is back to being a servant and Benedict doesn’t actually find her right away. He also doesn’t realize it’s her when he does! He thinks that it is simply another servant who he is very physically attracted to and he doesn’t even think for a minute that marriage is something that is an option between them. I’m willing to accept that in the context of this world, servants are seen as people of a lower social standing and so forth and so it is understandable that he does not consider marriage. However, he has very little respect for her as a person, he’s very condescending even when he knows that she’s a very smart woman and that was very disappointing.
Nevertheless, the one reason I thoroughly enjoyed this book is because we got to see more of the other members of the Bridgerton family. We get to see more of Violet and Eloise and the way they interact with people from other families. I absolutely love the unconditional support that Violet gives her children, as well as the love between all the siblings.
While Benedict was disappointing in the way he treated Sophie, this book was pretty fun and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the lives of the Bridgerton family.