The Duke and I
by Julia Quinn
Published by Avon Books
Book 1 in the Bridgerton Series
In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound.
From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable.
Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.
Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.
The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule...
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Historical-Romance Sweet
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn is the first book in her beloved Bridgerton series, and centers around oldest daughter, Daphne Bridgerton, and newly titled Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset. When Simon encounters Daphne saving herself from being attacked by another gentleman, while himself trying to avoid society, he finds himself intrigued and frustrated by the fiery, but kind Bridgerton. Later that evening, he makes Daphne an offer: they pretend to form an attachment. This way, the other girls and their mothers will not bother him, thinking he is already taken, and it will shine Daphne in a new light among the other gentlemen, and increase her suitors. The plan works beautifully - that is, until, the fake attachment turns into love. There is only one problem. Simon, Duke of Hastings has made a vow: to never marry, and to never have children.
So, this book, and in fact, the whole series, would have never ended up on my tbr, if it wasn't for it being adapted for Netflix. The only historical romance I have ever read was the Outlander books, which I loved, but typically it isn't my thing. The cover doesn't appeal to me, nor the title. So that being said, I'm sure Julia Quinn will see an upsurge in sales because of the show (which was wonderful, and I will do a separate post of soon).
So that is how I came across these books.
The Duke and I was good. It's not masterful, by any means, or terribly original. I do like the whole aspect of modern romance tropes being weaved into historical romance (in this case, the whole fake relationship turns to love trope). I was worried that the characters would be too proper, but Julia Quinn writes Simon and Daphne's chemistry well, and I felt the undercurrent of sexual tension between them, in moments that are typically deemed innocent. The story moved along at a fast pace, and was enjoyable for the most part.
I really enjoyed Daphne's character. I loved that she is described as sweet and kind, but we get to see a fiery, almost tomboyish spirit to her. I appreciated her sense of humor, especially when it came to her family. Speaking of family, I adored the Bridgerton family, and Daphne's interactions with each sibli