Penelope Featherington, a self-admitted wallflower. Society sees her as a plump, plain Jane type of girl who is quiet and unpopular and worst of all, a spinster. Yet those very few who get to know her realize that there is more to Penelope...she is witty, charming, intelligent....and so desperately in love with her best friend's brother, Colin Bridgerton. Colin....extremely handsome, flirtatious, suave, witty, charming.....yet he feels that there is something missing in his life. Colin is searching.....searching for a purpose, a way to leave his mark upon the world. These two characters have known each other since childhood, but it is only now, in their later years, that they truly come to KNOW each other and themselves.
I loved the charming, witty Colin Bridgerton from the first time he was introduced in the Bridgerton series. I was very much looking forward to his story. I was even more intrigued once I discovered that he was to fall for his sister's best friend, the plain, plump, unpopular Penelope Featherington. I loved the genuine truth of their love. For Colin, it wasn't a "knock-me-down over the head" kind of love...not even a "she's so hot I gotta have her" kind of love. It was a "wow...she is great...why haven't I noticed that about her" kind of love. It was a bond that grew... a friendship that blossomed into a need for another person, a person he realized he could not live without. The love scene that Colin and Penelope finally share is just that.....a LOVE scene, not a hot and steamy sexually arousing interlude, but a scene that is so filled with deep, honest love for another that I couldn't help but reach out for my own love. Colin's admission of his feelings for Penelope just made me melt:
He murmured her name, tenderly taking her face in his hands. “I love you,” he said, his voice low and fervent. “I love you with everything I am, everything I’ve been, and everything I hope to be.”
“I love you with my past, and I love you for my future.” He bent forward and kissed her, once, softly, on the lips. “I love you for the children we’ll have and for the years we’ll have together. I love you for every one of my smiles, and even more, for every one of your smiles.”
Julia Quinn has managed to create characters that are truly relateable. We all have insecurities.... we all have questioned our purpose in life.....we all have longed for a person that we knew we could never have. I found myself smiling throughout this wonderful story, even laughing out loud at times. And of course, I too fell in love with Colin Bridgerton, insecurities and all.