The Duke & I by Julia Quinn | Book Review

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn | Book ReviewThe Duke & I by Julia Quinn
Published by Avon on June 2006
Genres: Adult Historical Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Library





Young Daphne Bridgerton is on her way to becoming an old spinster in her high society circles because she’s not yet married. Her mother is hellbent on finding her a husband but she doesn’t fancy the few suitors she’s had. Simon Bassett, a Duke and an old friend of Daphne’s brother, comes to town and is instantly fawned over by all the society mother’s and their daughters. Both are jaded with the process and come up with a plan that benefits them both — to get into a faux-courtship. It’s a win-win for both of them so Simon can hopefully get a breather from the mom’s wanting him to marry their daughters and will make Daphne more desirable to the men because the Duke is pursuing her and she’ll have more suitors to choose from. As the two get to know each other, Daphne may not be faking her feelings towards the Duke even though he’s made his intentions clear but wants to try to convince him that perhaps they really are the real deal.

My first historical romance and I LOVED IT! I read it as part of my Courting the Adult Romance challenge and I’m so, so happy you guys picked it for me. The Duke and I was so charming and I cannot wait to read more from the Bridgerton family. It was everything I loved about Pride & Prejudice but without more dense language of the time. I don’t think I swooned as hard as I did for during P&P, because I mean Mr. Darcey, but I was smitten. I just love books set in the Regency era — all that prim and proper etiquette, the extravagant balls and high society, the social norms, etc. but desire is still there. LOVE the tension that ensues.

In my general thoughts about my foray into the romance genre, I noted that this one wasn’t as steamy as the Lucky Harbor book (my first read) and honestly I went through more than half the book before there was even so much as a kiss. I love steamy and sexy but I LOVED the tension that just smothered you because of the more modest times in The Duke and I. I think if you are looking for a romance novel filled with super sexy times — this isn’t it. This one is just utterly romantic complete with moments that make your heart pitter patter and swoon in the midst of the obvious tension. There’s sex, yes, but it’s not overwhelming at all.

The Bridgerton family and the sibling dynamics were the kind that you read and remember forever. You feel like you are cozying up with old friends and your heart feels at home. It kind of reminded me of slipping in with the March family from Little Women or a family like that — except some awesome brothers thrown in there. I loved the relationships within the family and how they fiercely loved each other and how they all had their unique individual characteristics that really jumped out at me — rather than just being cardboard siblings. This excites me since the rest of the series focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling!

The most delightful surprise about this novel was how FUNNY it was. I don’t often laugh out loud at books but I actually did with this one. It’s so witty and peppered with humor and it just made it such a feel good read. One of the parts that made me snort laugh unattractively is the first sex scene. OH MY GOODNESS.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn was so utterly charming and romantic. If you loved Pride & Prejudice or love the Regency era, I highly recommend this if you want an absolutely fun romance novel. There’s so much about this novel that I loved and it made me smile and laugh SO MUCH — the romance, this quirky family, the humor Julia Quinn infuses and that Regency feel. It’s more on the side of swoony rather than steamy though there is a little bit of sex but not at all graphic. Cannot WAIT to read more from this series. I’m restraining myself so I don’t binge read it all.

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn


Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What were your overall feelings about it? Did you expect it to be so funny?? I totally didn’t. If you’ve read the series, which book is your favorite? I’m so excited to read more from this family! What other historical romances do you recommend now that I think I am in love?!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.


  1. I haven’t heard of this one, but boy, do I want to get my hands on it now. Regency era? You get me. This sounds right up my alley. I love the whole fake relationship trope, the tension sounds exquisite and you gotta love that there’s humour in there too.

  2. I’ll be putting this on my TBR list!

  3. I had this one out from the library and it sat too long on my shelf, so I had to return it before it got read. Oops. But I kept meaning to check it out again. Sarah MacLean is a favorite historical romance author that I HIGHLY recommend you trying. I really loved her series Love by Numbers.

  4. I love historical romance! I have yet to read a Julia Quinn but I love Sarah Maclean, Sophie Jordan, and Eloisa James.

  5. I loved the whole Bridgerton series! For similar wit and “swoon” factor, Lisa Kleypas is another great Regency romance author. Her Wallflower series is a particular favorite as it features two books with American heiresses in Regency England.

  6. I’m so, so, so glad you liked The Duke and I. It’s one of my favorite Julia Quinn novels for sure. I’ve read almost all of hers, and most I love, but a few I wasn’t a fan of. I love all the Bridgerton book, but especially books 1, 2, and 4. I cannot wait until you read book 4, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. That book has a very special place in almost all Julia Quinn novels. You’ll love Penelope and Colin.

    Anyway, so for The Duke and I, I agree with everything you said. It’s been such a long time since I read it, but I know how funny it is. And how much I loved the Bridgerton family. Simon definitely isn’t Mr. Darcy, but I did love him.

  7. I just added this to my TBR list. It sounds so cute!

  8. I love Regency romance and this sounds like a fun read.

  9. I just started getting into adult historical romance this summer, and I love it! I ended up searching for authors based on recent winners of the RITA awards, and it’s been great so far! I HIGHLY recommend all of Sherry Thomas’s novels (her first YA, The Burning Sky, was excellent), plus I enjoyed Sarah MacLean’s Love by Numbers books, Joanna Bourne’s Spymaster’s trilogy, and Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series.

  10. I love Jane Austen’s stories and don’t find them inaccessible, but your review has made me curious to see what a novel that reads like a more accessible Jane Austen novel is like! Hopefully the language doesn’t end up feeling anachronistic then!
    I have heard great things about this book in particular, however, so I think I will pick it up. Glad that your first challenge worked out for you!

  11. Ohh, I want to check this one out! I am also a P&P fangirl and this sounds really good!! I don’t think I’ve really read much historical romance but this sounds like a good one to try!

  12. Duke and I is one of my favorite historical romances. All the things you listed that you loved: slow-building of feelings, humor, dynamics of big family and tension beneath the proper etiquette are the reasons I loved it too.
    If you are looking for something similar I recommend: The Hathaways series by Lisa Kleypas, And The Miss Ran Away With The Rake by Elizabeth Boyle and of course Bridgerton + Smythe-Smith Quartet series by Julia Quinn. πŸ˜‰

  13. You cannot imagine how excited I was to see that not only did you read this book, but that you loved it too! This series was my first dealings with historical romance (many years ago…) Back then I didn’t pay attention to series or reading orders so I actually started on #4 which I found in my library’s used book store on a whim. I love the Bridgerton family SO much and their dynamic. Each book is just as good as The Duke and I, and I love how Julia can write books that put your heart through all the ups and downs, and are filled with tension without all the sex (even though that’s nice too sometimes haha). Ahh I can’t wait for you to continue these books in the future and see your thoughts on the rest of the family’s stories! Anthony, Benedict, Daphne and Colin are my faves though they’re all good. Lovely review!!! πŸ™‚

  14. So glad you loved it!! I love that Julia Quinn brings the romance AND the funny! The next book in the series made me giggle so hard, I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a dog in it and it’s AWESOME! I think Tessa Dare’s Any Duchess Will Do might be a good fit for you as well, it also has funny moments alongside the swooning πŸ™‚

  15. I adored this book! I stumbled across the Bridgerton Family series completely on accident, but fell in love almost immediately. The Bridgerton siblings and their mother are amazing characters, and it’s so fun to read about how each one of them falls in love. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, and I can’t wait for you to continue on with this series!

  16. I’m so happy you liked this one as much as you did! It’s why people always recommend it, plain & simple, it’s a classic! It’s a perfect for entreating the historical romance genre even though I didn’t read it until much later. The family, the sweet romance, the laughs, it’s just a fun book (: I hope you’re this lucky with the future romance books you read!

  17. I love the term “binge read”. I just finished binge reading all of Colleen Hoover’s books and now I’m sad.

  18. Yay! Jamie!!! You liked it! This series is still on of my favorites. There are some hella funny scenes in these books. The Duke and I is a great introduction to historical romance. The Bridgertons are a set of siblings headed by an awesome mom that I can very easily see existing in real life. And Simon. *sigh*

    But what you said about the tension is my FAVORITE part about romance novels. It’s romance I am reading for, not the sexytimes (most of the time). Heat level can definitely go from quite tame to quite explicit. As long as it fits in to the tone of the story, I am good.

    I am glad you liked it! Good on you for doing your reading out of your comfort zones challenge thing. πŸ˜€


  1. […] was up first because I’ve never read it/I was afraid of the genre and I absolutely ADORED The Duke & I by Julia Quinn and can’t wait to read the rest of that […]