I took a small break from reading my way through the Bridgerton series last month, partially because I had other books I wanted to read, and partially because Eloise isn't really a character that screamed out to me much so far (though she was entertaining in Anthony's story). Having finally gotten around to picking it up, I have to say I enjoyed it.
Eloise seems to follow the Bridgerton family trend of being stubborn and opinionated, but for her it appears to be the dominant personality trait and something that she considers to be a flaw (as she highlights in one of her letters to Phillip when she refers to herself as too talkative). Her other siblings stories so far have focused on them finding the ability to say what they really think and not hide behind a facade; with Eloise I liked the juxtaposition and new dynamic of her having to learn patience and how to keep her thoughts to herself. I felt her ongoing strength and newfound vulnerability was very well-written, with neither being overplayed.
On the flip side, I struggled to connect with Phillip for a large part of the book; I found him to be too passive and defeatist. I did warm to him eventually, in large part because of his developing relationship with his children. Oliver and Amanda were a great addition to the story and provided a different kind of family dynamic for the series overall. Watching a member of the Bridgerton clan interact with young children gave an interesting insight into the parenting legacy that was handed down to all of the siblings, and Eloise is clearly very comfortable in the role of pseudo-mother.
Speaking of the parenting legacy, Mother Bridgerton was barely in the book but somehow she managed to make a lasting impact on the story. The one conversation that she had with Eloise played a big part in the rest of the plot and is a wonderful depiction of the positive effects of a strong mother-daughter relationship. Similarly, we got another hilarious look at the relationship between the Bridgerton siblings when all four brothers arrived at once to defend their sister's honour. It was honestly my favourite part of the whole book, and it's moments like that that keep the series tied together rather than feeling like a load of standalone stories.
While not my favourite Bridgerton installment so far, I still really enjoyed reading Eloise's story, and look forward to seeing what happens with Francesca next - Bridgerton review #6 coming soon!
My dear Miss Bridgerton,
We have been corresponding now for quite some time, and although we have never formally met, I feel as if I know you. I am writing to invite you to visit me here at Romney Hall. It is my hope that after a suitable period of time, we might decide that we will suit, and you will consent to be my wife.
Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn't marry a man she had never met! But 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 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. Could this imperfect man be perfect for her?
You can buy the book here now. It was published by Piatkus.