Published by Avon on June 2006
Genres: Adult Historical Romance
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.
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?!