Sir Phillip knew from his correspondence with his dead wife’s distant cousin 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…
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 he certainly should have mentioned that he had two young – and decidedly unruly – children, as much in need of a mother as Phillip is in need of a wife.
I love it when a book grabs your attention and you know it’s gonna be interesting within the first 5- pages. This one had me highly interested from the get go which I was glad as the previous book – Colin and Penelope’s story – was sort of a let down for me.
Eloise loves to write letters, it has been a known fact in the previous books that she likes to hold up in her room for hours writing away while her siblings is wondering what on earth she is up to. She has been secretly penning letters to her deceased relative’s husband, first offering condolences, then friendship. After writing each other near to a year, Phillip invites Eloise to his home, which she accepts rather rashly as she doesn’t take her best friend Penelope’s sudden marriage to Colin in stride at first as she thought they were going to be spinsters together. Without telling her family of her decision, she hastily leaves on her own and shows up on Phillip’s doorstop with him unaware of her decision as well. Yes he asked her to visit and possibly change their friendship to something more as he is seeking a wife and mother for his children, but he didn’t expect her to show up without a word. At first seeing Eloise, Phillip finds her quite attractive, but didn’t know what to do with her. Trying to be a gentleman (something he isn’t used to as he lives quietly in the country, has so for years), he invites her in to stay, prompting himself to find another elder woman to stay there for proprieties sake. Eloise soon discovers that Phillip isn’t exactly what she pictured. Her conversations with him are awkward and stilted – often times he sticks his foot in his mouth when trying to talk to her which causes them to bicker quite a bit – , he likes to spend most of his time with his plants since he is a botanist, plus she had no idea he had any children, yet alone 8 year old twins. Could she have made a mistake? Acted to rash? She starts to wonder if she has.
Phillips 8 year old twins – Amanda and Oliver – are mischievous rascals, always causing mayhem and they’ve made it abundantly clear that they don’t want her there and they definitely do not want a new mother so they resort to pulling pranks on her, hoping to scare her off. But one who has grown up with four brothers doesn’t scare easily from pranks, she just gets even, and retaliates she does. Amanda and Oliver pitches a fit when they find out it isn’t fun when pranks gets pulled on them, which Phillip doesn’t mind as he feels they need a good dose of their own medicine. Soon the children starts to warm to Eloise after she makes them realize that she isn’t going to steal their father away – that was one of the biggest reasons why they didn’t want her there and was pulling pranks on her.
After being away for almost a week, who shows up on Phillip’s doorstep? Why four furious Bridgerton brothers whom want to skin Phillip alive. They give Phillip a good thrashing and Anthony gives Eloise the ‘ol ‘I’m your older brother and you will marry Phillip within weeks time’ lecture. Agreeing to her brother’s demands, she ends up finding Phillip, Benedict, Colin, and Gregory drunk, telling bawdy stories of a woman that works at the local inn in town.
After agreeing upon they should marry, Phillip tries to woo her in earnest. Eloise still doesn’t quite know what to make of Phillip, nor why he readily agreed to marry her. She think’s he just wants a mother for his children, while she wants more out of a marriage than that. Since she doesn’t seem too pleased about her forced nuptials, Phillip tries to convince and tell her he planed to ask her to marry him even before her brothers showed up to further the process along, that he thinks they’d suit each other fine. Which she still doesn’t believe a word he says, so he decides to drag her away in private to show just how well they’d suit each other as man and wife.
After their wedding, everything seems to go smoothly for the newly married couple but Eloise wanted to truly know her husband but Phillip never wanted to talk, all he wanted to do was kiss and drag her to the bedroom, which she didn’t mind really, she just wants to have a relationship outside of the bedroom as well. Phillip on the other hand thinks everything is just peachy with him and his new wife, he is actually happy once since his first marriage made him feel miserable due to his first wife – Marina -many bouts of melancholy. Eloise eventually works up the never to confront Phillip about her thoughts on their relationship, about how she wants to talk to him but instead of him talking, his thoughts and actions immediately always turn to the bedroom. He tells her she talks too much so that’s his only way to get her to close her mouth is by kissing her all the time which infuriates her and she states that maybe he shouldn’t of married her, which in the end infuriates him as well. She continues in telling him a marriage can’t be totally about bedding each other, that it’s much more than that, but being a man, he thinks differently. He was happy and he couldn’t figure out why she was complaining while everything seemed good to him. He goes on to stating that he was a man, one who hasn’t laid with a woman for 8 years, for her to ‘excuse’ his ‘maleness’ as he is having a rip roaring time with his wife after a long dry spell, then he walks away fuming.
After their heated squabble, Eloise decides that she wants to go visit Sophie to have a talk with her. Feeling like he made a much of things, Phillip decides he should apologize. he didn’t want Eloise to be unhappy, nor to regret their marriage. He wanted his marriage back to how he imagined it was – comfortable by day and fiery, passionate at night. So he seeks Eloise out to apologize, discovering that she is gone, thinking that she left him, which didn’t sit well with him at all. When nighttime came and Eloise still hasn’t returned, he decides to go fetch his wife, to patch things up with her.
He then realizes he loves her, even though he hadn’t been looking for love, it just happened. He tells her that he wants her to be happy, that he couldn’t stand it if she wasn’t, he didn’t want to fail her in that regard. He goes on telling her how he felt like he failed Marina, how she was miserable all the time, that he couldn’t ever fix her problems, to see her happy or smiling. Eloise states that she is happy and proud to be his wife, which then results in them telling each other that they love one another and all is forgiven.
I really enjoyed Phillip’s character. He was a rough around the edges, big bear of a man, with a temper that he had trouble controlling all throughout the book. Often times he would come off as ‘standoff-ish’ and didn’t express his feelings well. Since he wasn’t much of a talker or big on conversations, half the time he didn’t know what to do with Eloise as her mouth was constantly going a mile a minute. So he would just kiss her to keep her quite. Another thing I liked about him is he was afraid that he couldn’t keep Eloise happy, which was very important to him. He would do anything he could to keep his wife happy and if he couldn’t, it made him feel like a failure. I also loved at the end how he told her that he loved her and that he didn’t care if she couldn’t return the sentiment at the moment, that he was going to say it anyways. You can tell he desperately wanted a wife to love and love him in return. Another big part of the book was his 8 year old twins – Amanda and Oliver. I don’t know about others, but I love it when an author writes children in their stories. I feel like it makes the family situation more believable and entertaining with their antics. They were absolutely a hoot. I really enjoyed reading about their mischievous ways and how Phillip was exasperated with what to do with them. This was such a lovely read which I had loads of run reading.