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An Offer from a Gentleman (Bridgerton Series #3)

An Offer from a Gentleman (Bridgerton Series #3)

4.3 233
by Julia Quinn

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Will she accept the offer before the clock strikes midnight?

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she'd be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton's famed masquerade ball. Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, waltzing in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome


Will she accept the offer before the clock strikes midnight?

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she'd be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton's famed masquerade ball. Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, waltzing in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other— except, perhaps, this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid's garb. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. If he offers her his heart, will he sacrifice his only chance for a fairy-tale love?

Editorial Reviews

Julia Quinn is sure to charm readers with her Regency-era Cinderella story, An Offer From a Gentleman. The Bridgerton family is wealthy, well born, and universally admired. And with six of the eight Bridgerton children already mingling with society, it's no wonder they're mentioned so frequently in the most popular (and accurate) source of social news, Lady Whistledown's Society Papers. But not even the mysterious Lady Whistledown can identify the masked maiden who completely captivated the Bridgerton second son, Benedict, at his mother's masquerade ball -- a silver-clad beauty who vanished on the stroke of midnight. It was a magical night for Sophie Beckett, orphaned, illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Penwood. Attending the ball was a beautiful dream, sharing the evening with Benedict Bridgerton was the stuff of fantasy -- and returning home to her role as unpaid servant to her father's cruel widow and stepdaughters was a nightmare. Then she lost even the small security of that position, and things went from bad to worse. By the time Sophie met Benedict again, she was in truly desperate straits. He made her feel precious, even in rags, but Sophie had grave reservations about accepting.
Library Journal
In a setup straight out of Cinderella, Sophie Beckett, treated as a servant by her stepmother and stepsisters after her father dies, attends a masquerade ball and ends up attracting the attention of one of the most eligible bachelors in town. But when one of her stepsisters discovers what she's done, she is summarily ordered to leave and she does. Several years later, she is rescued from near rape by her "prince," who doesn't recognize her, and ensconced in his mother's house as a lady's maid. Witty, fast-paced, and charming, this story features an appealing heroine strong enough to refuse "an offer from a gentleman," a hero worthy of her, and a satisfying plot that ensures that everyone gets his or her just desserts in the end. Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me) has written a number of well-received historicals and lives in Colorado. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Bridgerton Series , #3
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.10(d)

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Read an Excerpt

An Offer From a Gentleman

Chapter One

This year′s most sought-after invitation must surely be that of the Bridgerton masquerade ball to be held Monday next. Indeed, one cannot take two steps without being forced to listen to some society mama speculating on who will attend, and perhaps more importantly, who will wear what.

Neither of the aforementioned topics, however, are nearly as interesting as that of the two unmarried Bridgerton brothers, Benedict and Colin. (Before anyone points out that there is a third unmarried Bridgerton brother, let This Author assure you that she is fully aware of the existence of Gregory Bridgerton. He is, however, fourteen years of age, and therefore not pertinent to this particular column, which concerns, as This Author′s columns often do, thatmost sacred of sports: husband-hunting.)

Although the Misters Bridgerton are just that -- merely Misters -- they are stiIl considered two of the prime catches of the season. It is a well-known fact that both are possessed of respectable fortunes, and it does not require perfect sight to know that they also possess, as do aIl eight of the Bridgerton offspring, the Bridgerton good looks.

Will some fortunate young lady use the mystery of a masquerade night to snare one of the eligible bachelors?

This Author isn′t even going to attempt to speculate.

Lady Whistledown′s Society Papers,

31 MAY 1815

Sophie! Sophieeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

As screeches went, it was enough to shatter glass. Or at least an eardrum.

"Coming, Rosamund! I′m coming!" Sophie hitched up the hem of her coarse woolen skirts and hurried up the stairs, slipping on the fourth step and only just barely managing to grab the bannister before landing on her bottom. She should have remembered that the stairs would be slick; she′d helped the downstairs maid wax them just that morning.

Skidding to a halt in the doorway to Rosamund′s bedroom and still catching her breath, Sophie said, "Yes?"

"My tea is cold.

What Sophie wanted to say was, "It was warm when I brought it an hour ago, you lazy fiend."

What she did say was, "I′ll get you another pot."

Rosamund sniffed. "See that you do."

Sophie stretched her lips into what the nearly blind might call a smile and picked up the tea service. "Shall I leave the biscuits?′ she asked.

Rosamund gave her pretty head a shake. "I want fresh ones."

Shoulders slightly stooped from the weight of the overloaded tea service, Sophie exited the room, careful not to start grumbling until she′d safely reached the hall. Rosamund was forever ordering tea, then not bothering to drink it until an hour passed. By then, of course, it was cold, so she had to order a fresh pot.

Which meant Sophie was forever running up and down the stairs, up and down, up and down. Sometimes it seemed that was all she did with her life.

Up and down, up and down.

And of course the mending, the pressing, the hairdressing, the shoe polishing, the darning, the bedmaking...


Sophie turned around to see Posy heading toward her.

"Sophie, I′ve been meaning to ask you, do you think this color is becoming on me?"

Sophie assessed Posy′s mermaid costume. The cut wasn′t quite right for Posy, who had never lost all of her baby fat, but the color did indeed bring out the best in her complexion. "It is a lovely shade of green," Sophie replied quite honestly. "It makes your cheeks very rosy."

"Oh, good. I′m so glad you like it. You do have such a knack for picking out my clothing." Posy smiled as she reached out and plucked a sugared biscuit from the tray. "Mother has been an absolute bear all week about the masquerade ball, and I know I shall never hear the end of it if I do not look my best. Or" -- Posy′s face twisted into a grimace -- "if she thinks I do not look my best. She is determined that one of us snare one of the remaining Bridgerton brothers, you know."

"I know."

"And to make matters worse, that Whistledown′s woman has been writing about them again. It only" -- Posy finished chewing and paused while she swallowed -- "whets her appetite."

"Was the column very good this morning?" Sophie asked, shifting the tray to rest on her hip. "I haven′t had a chance to read it yet."

"Oh, the usual stuff," Posy said with a wave of her hand. "Really, it can be quite humdrum, you know."

Sophie tried to smile and failed. She′d like nothing more than to live a day of Posy′s humdrum life. Well, perhaps she wouldn′t want Araminta for a mother, but she wouldn′t mind a life of parties, routs, and musicales.

"Let′s see" Posy mused. "There was a review of Lady Worth′s recent ball, a bit about Viscount Guelph, who seems rather smitten with some girl from Scotland, and then a longish piece on the upcoming Bridgerton masquerade."

Sophie sighed. She′d been reading about the upcoming masquerade for weeks, and even though she was nothing but a lady′s maid (and occasionally a housemaid as well, whenever Araminta decided she wasn′t working hard enough) she couldn′t help but wish that she could attend the ball.

"I for one will be thrilled if that Guelph viscount gets himself engaged," Posy remarked, reaching for another biscuit. "It will mean one fewer bachelor for Mother to go on and on about as a potential husband. It′s not as if I have any hope of attracting his attention anyway." She took a bite of the biscuit; it crunched loudly in her mouth. "I do hope Lady Whistledown is right about him."

An Offer From a Gentleman. Copyright © by Julia Quinn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Julia Quinn started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than two dozen novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Please visit her on the web at www.juliaquinn.com.

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Offer from a Gentleman (Bridgerton Series #3) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 233 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After having read the series out of order, I finally came back to this one, Benedict and Sophie's story. In later novels we see them as the happy couple from the country, raising their children away from Society while Benedict indulges his painting passion.
Of the 6 Bridgerton novels I've read (only Francesca and Gregory's stories to go), this one is the best of the lot. The beginning is a Cinderella story but in the brutal Regency style. Cinderella is a bastard and her
The magical night at the masquerade ball is pure fairy tale, but I admit the twist that follows is frustrating. I was so enthralled with Sophie and her plight, I raged at the sudden jump to the left. It's a miracle she survived as she did.
Yes, the "I'm a Society gentleman so can't possibly marry a servant" was overdone a tad. People frequently did rise above themselves and keep their origins secret. Considering Benedict loved this woman and had a supportive family, I was a little frustrated he kept throwing up Society dictates as a barrier.
But in the end, this was a sweet love story where you felt the characters actually did deserve their happy ending. Much better than Daphne or Anthony's story, and far more satisfying than Colin's or even Eloise. I recommend this on stays on my keeper shelf.
jlfemm More than 1 year ago
Loved this book even better than the last one and that's saying something. Her characters are flawed, funny and fabulous (like the author). The love scenes are deliciously steamy. A very, very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julia quinn is my favorite romance author. She is funny and brilliant!
CrystalPosey More than 1 year ago
AN OFFER FROM A GENTLEMAN is the third book in Quinn's Bridgerton series, and her own version of the classic, Cinderella. I'm always interested to see new versions of classics, particularly this one (I'm a big Cinderella fan!), but I'm also hesitant. The remake of any great classic can be disastrous. However, this book was wonderful! What I liked the most about this book was that, even though Quinn does keep with some of the traditional details of the Cinderella tale, you won't find any glass slippers left behind. Rather, you will find subtle, more powerful gestures that Quinn has threaded in throughout the story. I was unaware that gloves could be so romantic. The characters themselves. Sophie is not a "sing-to-the-birds" type of Cinderella. In truth, who's really going to be singing after being denied, abandoned, attacked, locked away, and then thrown out in the cold? No one. Sophie held her head high and kept right on playing her cards, but she never sang to the birds. There's a strength and determination in this character that I admired. Benedict comes from a strong, well-developed family-many of who make a lot of appearances in this book-and is suddenly thrust into a confused state, in which his mind plays games with a moment from the past and the girl in front of him. I always enjoy seeing a confident, attractive male confused. It tugs the heart. All in all Quinn takes the traditional Cinderella story and twists it into a beautiful story about breaking social standards for love, and never settling for less than what one and one's future deserves. The book is utterly romantic, and Benedict had me continually melting in my seat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed it but not as much as the first two of the Bridgerton series. A note to future readers: There is some sort of writing or editing mistake occurring repeatedly in this book. The surname of Crabtree is mistakenly used instead of Bridgerton. I first noticed the error when Sophia joins Violet and her daughters for tea, and the errors occur with more frequency as the novel progresses. HOWEVER, the caretaking couple at My Cottage are correctly identified as Mr. and Mrs. Crabtree.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crabtree and Bridgerton are not interchangeable characters; identify them accordingly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was duped myself at the beginning and actually skipped this book as I began reading this series. I was convinced I wouldn't like the story since the summary didn't do much for me. It was actual my friend (who only reads romance novels that I recommend) that convince me to read Benedict and Sophie's story. Even when I started right away I thought I wasn't going to like the story as it so blantently referenced the Cindella plot devices. But once you get to their actual meeting you definately won't regret it. Their interactions and story was romantic and belivable and this woukd be my favorite story for this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All Julia Quinn books are so good! I love them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE the Bridgerton series! And this book is one of my favorites. I recommend reading them in order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic twist on a story that has been redone several times-Quinn put her own twist on it, and it still gives me butterflies.
hopelessromanticLM More than 1 year ago
I read this series in order one right after the other and was sad to see it end! I felt like I was leaving friends and family! I just love Julia Quinn!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series. The family enteraction is great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a wonderful twist on the classic Cinderella story. From beginning to end I couldn't put the book down.
Kalira18 More than 1 year ago
I have read this book so many times and it never gets old. Never.
WantonWoman More than 1 year ago
I just can't say enough about Julia Quinn and "The Bridgerton Series" family of books. I fell in love with them all. I truly liked the fairy tale romance of Benedict and Sofie. It was endearing to see that Benedict (a reserved, big hulk of a man) could have such tenderness and love for Sofie. It's what all fairy tales should be. I recommend the whole series to every romantic out there...you will not want to put them down so take a few days to yourself and enjoy these wonderful love stories.
curlyloulou More than 1 year ago
I am liking this Bridgerton Family a lot. Benedict was sweet but a little more reserved. I actually really liked Sophie. At first I was a little bit annoyed by the "Cinderella" story but it grew on me. Violet (the mom) is awesome!
Solstice-Ballad1 More than 1 year ago
I have to say, I almost didn't read this, because the beginning is almost identical to the movie "Ever After" (1998) and I thought, well great, I know what's going to happen.

But I am so glad I did read Sophie and Benedict's story, because it was absolutely WONDERFUL! and definitely not what I expected.

I got a lot of good laughs picturing Sophie and Benedict in some of the situations they get into and their conversations.

Julia Quinn is an Excellent writer, I've already got Colin's story sitting on the shelf beside me, ready to read!
judiOH More than 1 year ago
i love this series. sophie is the illegitimate daughter of an earl. he takes her into his home and provides for her when her mother dies. when he passes the stepmother makes her a slave. sophie escapes and.....well you simply must read the book to find out what happens to sophie. you will never regret it!!!
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elleB81 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this series and this one is at the top of the list. Both characters are well developed and it's a believable journey to see how they come together. Not to be missed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I have read all of Julia Quinn's books, this one is by far the best in my opinion. I enjoyed the reltionships, dialogue, and humor. I love her writing, but Romancing Mr. Bridgerton is by far my favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"You are the reason I exist, the very reason I was born." Quote from one of the best love stories I have ever read. Beautiful! Lorraine
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