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Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins) 
Release Date:  July 2003
ISBN:  0380820854
Format Reviewed: Paperback 
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Genre: Historical Romance [1824, Gloucestershire, England] 
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde 
Reviewer Notes:  Explicit sex

To Sir Phillip, With Love
By Julia Quinn 

     After enduring several years of marriage to a perpetually despondent woman, all Sir Phillip Crane wanted was a wife who would be happy and take charge of his home and two obstreperous children. Eloise Bridgerton started writing to him after his wife's suicide because Marina was her cousin, and a year later, after a lot of corresponding, she receives an offer of proposal from him. Twenty-eight years old and a spinster means that Eloise is keen to at least see what he is like, but when she arrives one evening out of the blue she sets his household by the ears. But he has reckoned without her family, which includes four large brothers…and she does not know quite what a muddle his life is in.

     This is a fun story, which is light-hearted and enjoyable, and avoids some of the main clichés that (in my opinion) mar many romances. Sir Phillip is not an alpha male and there are no misunderstandings that dog the story all the way through. Eloise is a delightfully buoyant and managing woman and the perfect foil to the unworldly Phillip, who prefers the company of his plants (and therein lies his problem). This is part of a set of books about the eight Bridgerton siblings, and the enduring (and uplifting) feeling is of happy families and people who want to make others happy, too, which makes for a cheerful read. There are no subplots and none of the characters involve themselves in detective work; this is a straightforward romance and none the worse for that. I will be reading my way through the whole set…