Romancing Mr Bridgerton is the fourth book in the Bridgerton series and this one follows Colin, the third son. The book was published by Piatkus on 7th September 2006 and it is 384 pages long.
Penelope Featherington has never been anywhere near popular or beautiful. She is now 28 and still unmarried, truly believing that she will end up a lonely spinster, still living with her mother when she grows old. The only man that she has ever liked is Colin Bridgerton, her closest friend, Eloise's brother and since she was 16. Many years ago while visiting Eloise, she had overheard Colin announce that he would never marry Penelope. He didn't know she could hear him of course and she did her best to hide her feelings.
Colin has never been one for balls and ton gatherings but he always manages to save a dance for Penelope...when he is in the country. Colin has travelled extensively and has finally decided to come home for his mother’s birthday. Lady Bridgerton is determined to finally get Colin married off while he's home. It isn't that he is opposed to marriage but he knows he hasn't found the right woman yet. He knows that Penelope has had a bit of a thing for him for a while but he has only ever seen her as Penelope, Eloise's slightly plump and shy best friend.
When Penelope discovers Colin's secret, he is angry to begin with but he knows he can trust her with it. She shows a great interest in his talent and wants to help him with it but he doesn't think that he is anything special at all. Colin also discovers Penelope's big secret, apart from the one he already knew, but hers could destroy everything that she has ever known.
What I thought
Penelope and Colin have both been secondary characters in most of the other books in this series but this time they get to share their own story. They have both been extremely funny in other books but this time it got even better. On their own they are both great but together they are outstanding. Colin already regards Penelope as a friend as they have known each other for years and they feel quite comfortable with each other when it comes to saying what they think.
I have felt quite sorry for Penelope throughout the other books in this series because she always seems to get picked on by Lady Whistledown. She comes across as a nice enough girl but is never helped by her mother, who dresses her in the most awfully coloured dresses, making her look extremely unattractive. From early on we learn that she loves Colin but I never actually dreamed that they would get a story of their own. I didn't even think Penelope would ever become a main character. Blossoming into something beautiful (although she already was in her own way), Penelope realises that she is quite comfortable with herself and they she wont change for anyone, even Colin and she has to stand up for what she thinks is right.
I was not expecting Colin to act the way that he did in this book. I was expecting him to keep up to comedy throughout but really he is much deeper than that. When he and Penelope learn each other’s secrets, he finds that he really doesn't believe in himself and as well of being quite proud and shocked by her, he is also very jealous. All he has ever wanted is for have some meaning in life bigger than being a husband and he has no idea what that purpose is. While he is trying to figure this out, the two have some very deep conversations and this gives the story a more serious feel at times. Colin stands up for Penelope from the very start and continues to do so until the very end and shows that he would do anything in the world for her, even if it means risking everything to do it. Colin's character has a lot of different sides, all of which become apparent at different times.
I have grown to love Lady Whistledown throughout the other books in the series and in this one, Lady Danbury wants to unveil who she is by offering £1000 to the person who does. This wager has the whole ton hustling around and trying to make educated guesses but it seems that no one really knows who she is. I really enjoyed that a little more mystery than normal was added to the story and it was an aspect that made it stand out from the rest.
My two favourite characters in one book. What more could I ask for?