The third novel in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series has a distinct Cinderella feel. Sophie Beckett is the ward of an earl. Everyone in the household knows that in reality she is the illegitimate child of the earl, however no one talks about it, and no one ever makes Sophie feel any lesser. That is, until the earl marries. His wife, Araminta wants Sophie gone, but as the earl won't allow it, she settles for making Sophie's life miserable. Her daughters from her previous marriage are instructed to make trouble for Sophie and then, when the earl passes away suddenly, Sophie is banished to work as an unpaid domestic servant. And then comes the night of the masquerade ball, in which Sophie sneaks out to the party ... where none other than Benedict Bridgerton promptly falls in love with her. But will the couple get their happy ending? Not if Araminta can help it.
This was an entertaining read. Like the previous Bridgerton novels, this one was fun and frothy and never takes itself too seriously. The scenes after the ball are quite amusing, with Benedict never realising that the maid he has just rescued from an extremely dangerous situation is the same woman that he fell in love with at the masquerade ball. The final third of the novel proves that the Bridgerton family really are a loving an loyal family, and Violet does put the happiness of her children above everything else.
All in all, this is a light and romantic read, with plenty to entertain and amuse fans of the series.