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Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Can there be any greater challenge to London's Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
— Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, April 1813
By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.
But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it's hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it's his devilish smile, certainly it's the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her... but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke... for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love...
Ah, Julia Quinn, one of the geniuses behind historical romances of our generation. For the last three years, I have been meaning to pick up a book by her but never got the chance until earlier this month and I am speechless. I fully understand why she's such a big hit all over the world.
'The Duke and I' is the first book of the Bridgerton Series. A series that each represents a member of the Bridgerton Family. In this case, 'The Duke and I' was all about Daphne, the eldest daughter of the family.
For Daphne the one thing she hated the most was when her mother introduces her to every amiable bachelor at every ball they went to. Don't get her wrong, Daphne wants to marry but every gentleman she likes turns out to only want her as friend and all the men who would even think about marrying her seemed to be the odd ones with weird habits and weird faces. Hence, she has her moments of self-doubt, unrequited love and so much more. In the end, she can't take anymore of suitors she can't see herself happy with and the indirect rejection with the bachelors she actually sees herself marrying.
But then one day, Simon, a friend of her eldest brother comes back into town and after running away from his share of single women. He confides in Daphne and comes up with the wonderful idea of faking their 'interest' for each other to keep the women and men at bay. And it worked!
I adored the plot! What kind of hopeless romantic woman wouldn't? It had all the characteristics of the best historical romances I have ever read. It had your unrequited love pains, the steamy moments, the snarky banters, the shy romantic scenes, and most of all, the conflict that brings the couple closer than ever. And honestly, I would love to see this romance in the big screens.
Julia Quinn built her characters around hardships that each and every one of them faced. In this book, we were made to hate Simon's father for disowning him because of his son's disability. Likewise, we were made to love every one of the Bridgerton children from the eldest to the youngest. Their bond and love for each other is as realistic as it gets. Imagine bickering in the sophisticated dialogue of the 1800's.
This book was page-turning and is one of those books that keeps you up all night with its sweet moments, and hilarious banter. And no matter how many historical romances I manage to read. I will always enjoy them. And this book was no different. If you're a romance junkie waiting for your next fix, why not try the historical kind? Julia Quinn might surprise you with her amazing Jane Austen writing. I'm definitely getting the rest of the series.