Here's Everything To Know About Book 3 In The Bridgerton Series
It's all about Benedict.
Warning: Mild spoilers for Bridgerton Season 2 — and major spoilers from Bridgerton Book 3 — follow. With Bridgerton Season 2 marrying off Anthony and Daphne off having babies with Simon, the stage is set for the next Bridgerton sibling to find love. Although Shondaland and Netflix have not officially confirmed Season 3 will continue to follow in the footsteps of the series’ source material (author Julia Qunn’s novels about the Bridgerton family), fans assume the next sibling up for marriage is Benedict. After all, his romance makes up the love story of Bridgerton’s third book. So, here’s what An Offer From A Gentleman is about, in order for fans to get a loose idea of what the show could be doing next season.
As is true of both The Duke and I (Book 1) and The Viscount Who Loved Me (Book 2), An Offer From A Gentleman is a one-on-one romance, this one focused on second son Benedict Bridgerton as the hero and Sophie Beckett as the woman he will eventually marry. Unlike the first two books, this story is more mainstream in that the wedding bells come at the end of the story instead of midway through like most Regency-set stories. That’s because the book is based on a well-known mainstream fairytale: Cinderella.
In the book, Sophie is introduced as the daughter of the Earl of Penwood and his mistress, whose identity the story never reveals. The Earl loves Sophie, but his new wife, Araminta, Countess of Penwood, does not. When the Earl dies, the Countess is forced by his will to keep Sophie under her roof. Araminta does so by turning the girl into a servant for her daughters, Rosemund and Posy, while stealing her inheritance.
As happens to all daughters forced to work as servants by their stepmothers, Sophie gets herself a dress and sneaks off to the Bridgertons’ yearly masquerade ball, where she figures the mask will hide her identity from her stepmother in attendance. Unfortunately, it also hides her from Benedict, whom she meets and falls in love with before having to hightail it out at midnight without ever disclosing her identity.
Doing a full-blown retelling of the fairytale means the story’s structure is also upended from what fans expect. Book 1 of Bridgerton was set in 1813, Book 2 in 1814. Book 3 begins in 1815, but then it does an about-face after the masked Sophie runs away from Benedict at midnight. The story then jumps ahead three years: Benedict is still brooding over the mystery girl from the ball, and then he gets injured while riding and winds up being taken care of by Sophie, who he doesn’t recognize as the very object of his longing.
What ensues is a far more scandalous story than the first two books in the series. Although Bridgerton Season 2 changed up the “marriage halfway through” structure of the typical Regency Romance, both The Duke and I and The Viscount Who Loved Me books follow that structure, with the characters sleeping together after marriage, so as to not “ruin the heroine’s honor” (or whatever). But An Offer From A Gentleman does not do this — it holds marriage until the very end, since Sophie’s status as a servant means Benedict doesn’t have to offer an engagement ring to get in her bed...
Of course, all this could change in Bridgerton Season 3. Heck, it’s not even clear whether the Netflix series will tell this book’s story in the next batch of episodes, or focus on a different Bridgerton sibling entirely.
Both seasons of Bridgerton are now streaming on Netflix. Season 3 is expected in 2023.
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