Romancing mister Bridgerton, By Julia Quinn
Published by-Avon books, July 2002

Grade: A

Back cover reads: Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend's brother for... well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret... and fears she doesn't know him at all.

What a cute story! Penelope's love for Colin spans over 10 years. Unfortunately he sees her as nothing more than his sisters friend. As a teenager and young woman, Penelope was over weight, dressed in clothes that did not flatter her, and she was the subject of a gossip column that didn't always have nice to things to say about her.

Colin is a man who can't stay in place for too long. He travels all over the world and can't seem to settle down. He comes home after one trip at the age of 33 and once again he is being hounded that he should get married. Penelope has long since stopped suffering that type of pressure. At 28 she is a spinster, and accepts that she will never get married.

Penelope and Colin are friends who talk to each often. During an intense discussion, Penelope has the courage to ask Colin to kiss her. She admits that she could die tomorrow and she doesn't want to die without ever being kissed. Colin kisses her of course, and then is shocked when he can't stop thinking about her. So romantic.

Colin decides that Penelope would be the perfect wife for him and asks her to marry him. They make each other laugh, they enjoy each others company, there is a physical attraction, and they are really good friends. A perfect match.

Much to the happiness of both families, they get married. The joy is short lived when someone tries to blackmail Penelope though.

What I liked: It was funny! I had a smile on my face almost the whole way through. When Colin asked Penelope to marry him she literally fell flat on her face. I LOL'ed at that part.

Colin is very loving, and says the most wonderful romantic things. I love the way he came to her defence. I'm a sucker for a hero who protects his woman so fiercely.

Those of you who have read the first few books in this series will e pleased to know that the identity of Lady Whistledown is revealed in this book. It sure wasn't who I thought it was.

What I did not like: There was only one full love scene. I would have alos liked to have seen something happen to the woman who tried to blackmail Penelope. She pretty much got away with trying to do it.