TO SIR PHILIP WITH LOVE
Author(s): Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons Series No: 5
Released: Oct 30, 2017 ISBN: #9781501935626
Narrator/s: Rosalyn Landor
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc. Imprint: Romantic Sounds Audio
Audio cd unabridged Audio (9 discs) & eAudio – unabridged Audio 10.43 hours
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
I voluntarily reviewed an advance listener’s copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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 really love the Bridgertons — it’s one group in the ton where every member has the other members’ backs. Their all pretty, well-off and intelligent. The only sadness is the loss of their father when most of them were still young, and one unborn. Perhaps this resonates with me as that happened to my husband’s grandmother whose father died before she was born.
Eloise, as we know from other entries in this series was with her father the day he died suddenly leaving his pregnant wife and at least six living children. Eloise has been in the enviable position of not having to join lives with someone she does not wish to marry. And her choosiness has made it possible to reject several offers. But now all her friends and most of her siblings have married and well, she sees her life becoming that of a spinster.
Remember, wealthy or not, the spinster was not an exalted position in society. At least in fiction, even a well-off Regency Romance spinster was doomed to life as, at best, an eccentric aunt. I don’t even know if a single woman could control her own money or if it was controlled by trustees or by the head of the family.
So, when her best friend marries close to home, Eloise starts to wonder about her choice not to marry any of the gents she has turned down. She and her friend had said they would be spinsters together, and now she sees a more dismal future. She’s been corresponding with Sir Phillip, the husband of her late cousin for a year; the correspondence having blossomed after Eloise sent him a condolence letter.
A botanist and second son, Sir P. was pulled away from his studies by a brutal father when he became the heir. He has twins, a boy and girl, with his late wife. They are unruly — probably a combination of their twindom and his ineffectiveness as a father. He also feels something misguided about his late wife’s death that is not conducive to forging ahead with a happy life. There are a lot of reasons for this including: his self-perceived failure as a husband and his fear of being like his father. He hasn’t been able to develop an appropriate toolbox for dealing with issues of emotion and relationships. His basic response to most issues is anger. In my book, this would make him a bad candidate for marriage.
With Eloise, he sees a spinster with too much time on her hands and so, he invites her to visit chaperoned to see if they would suit. He figures that a woman of her age and so much time is going to jump at the chance to marry him.
Eloise doesn’t know what to do with the idea until one day when frustrated with a potentially dismal future she makes a plan to run off without notifying him and leaving a message for her family in a bad location.
So much happens, but the gist is that she is not who he expected and she is not who he expected. He is an intellectual, a bit of a cold fish. He essentially wants a mother for his children. She wants a home, or maybe, just not to be left alone at the end of the day.
I would have taken off the next day because to me it is so obvious they might suit in some ways but not others unless both make giant leaps in self-understanding and grow up. But that would make a short novel. So, what happens when a Regency woman with four brothers takes off on a potentially ruinous adventure? Well, someone is either going to get married or the man is going to be very sorry. Of course, they are prevented from killing him right off by the fact of his kids.
One theme that keeps coming out is that Eloise thinks her self smart and wise, but is kind of known for impulsive and bad decsions.
Rosalyn Landor is, as always a great proper voice for the Regency ton. She does the kids, assorted brothers, a beau, and many female characters very well. I always think of her foundation character as the mother of all the Bridgerton children, Lady Violet.
I fully listened to this entire book twice, and I still don’t really know if I liked it. I thought the conflicts and potential crises for keeping the couple apart were essentially internal. I don’t believe people change or grow up as fast as they would have had to to make a relationship work. The children are little monsters but for their age seem pretty advanced and with a shocking understanding of advanced pranking but a lack of understanding of how dangerous some pranks can be.
If you like the series this is a must. It could almost stand alone, but I do not feel it is the best in the series so I wouldn’t start with it.