Berthold Gambrel wrote a review of Penelope's Pleasure. I found it intriguing and since it was unlimited and free to rent. I read it.
Wife and daughter decided that the next series to binge after L.A. Law would be Bridgerton on Stars.
Low and behold both were about the "Ton." Setting in early 19th century England where wealthy young women spend Summer or "The Season" going to balls and trolling for husbands.
My daughter has already read the first two Bridgerton books, so I bought the whole 9 books for a little over 70 bucks as e-books. Wife plans on reading them too. I read the first one that the Stars series is based on. Here's my comparison of the two books.
I enjoyed this one more than Bridgerton, it was a fun read. Penelope comes from a large family, her father is retired and her older brother has assumed head of household. The youngest brother is in financial trouble and Penelope tries to help him out as his debts are more that her older brother will pay for.
The Duke who decides to woo Penelope is also working for White Hall to catch smugglers near their land.
Penelope is an independent minded woman and in a few months will inherit a sizable sum of money and like her spinster aunt, she will be wealthy enough to not need a husband. So she resists all attempts at marriage.
The Duke and Penelope get caught in storm while racing horses and wind up in a cottage needing to get out of wet clothes. Her brothers find them in their underthings and insist they get married. Her reputation would be ruined.
You can guess the road to the alter is not easy. Penelope starts robbing people to raise money for her younger brother, the Duke tries to catch her family smuggling and she winds up being kidnapped by the real smuggler and taken to France. All in all quite a bit of conflict.
Weakness is that the strict conventions of the time are mentioned, but one event between Penelope and her brothers would never have happened. They get drunk together and go skinny dipping in the river. A little too libertine for the time period for the family of a Viscount.
Bridgerton: The Duke and I
Much is the same here as the other book. A young lady spending the "Season" looking for a husband. There's a gossip paper that starts each chapter with details of the different courtships. This sets the stage for each chapter.
Daphne is of age to marry and is not happy with the suitors, who are mostly older men. The one man she meets and falls for has a problem, there's also problem for her older brother as head of the house. Simon a duke has taken an oath to never marry. He's also a friend of her brother and he knows Simon from their rakish days of gambling and bedding wenches.
Much happens, but Simon and Daphne are caught kissing and Simon refuses to marry her. A duel is then arranged. Daphne rides between the men to stop the duel as others had seen them too.
Simon agrees to the wedding, but announces he can't have children, which was why he was never going to get married.
They get married and the main conflict is why Simon refuses to become a father.
This is overcome and they start a family.
Rather lame in the conflict department here compared to the other book.