A #1 New York Times Bestseller
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the story of Daphne Bridgerton, in the first of her beloved Regency-set novels featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family, now a series created by Shondaland for Netflix.
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...
This novel includes the 2nd epilogue, a peek at the story after the story.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
As we’ve learned from the media storm surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the only thing people love more than a royal romance is a royal scandal. The first volume in historical-romance author Julia Quinn’s eight-volume Bridgerton series serves up a delicious mixture of both. The lovely Daphne Bridgerton is poised to accept a fake marriage proposal from her brother’s caddish best friend, Simon Basset. The ruse is sure to help them both as they deal with the complexities of 19th-century high-society London, but there’s just one problem: What if the emotions behind this sham engagement become real? The heart, depth, and seductive wit of Quinn’s characters kept us charmed and spellbound through the entire book. The Duke and I even captivated the queen of TV dramas, Shonda Rhimes, who adapted it into a hit series.
Customer ReviewsSee All
So detailed and a complete page turner.
I am throughly enjoyed reading this after watching the new series on Netflix. There are enough differences to make it interesting and the extra details added to my interest.
Read but don’t re-read
I really enjoyed this book in some ways and was profoundly uncomfortable with it in others. I thought that the writing and plotting were uncommonly good and the character development was excellent. Simon in particular felt like a breath of fresh air, considering this genre seems to be dominated by rakes (even though the characters insist on calling him a rake for the first part of the book, despite not displaying any rakish behaviour) and it was good to see the hero acknowledge past trauma in a way that I haven't previously seen. All of this would have been enough for me to give The Duke and I five stars. Perhaps my discomfort is rooted in some sort of double standard; while I gleefully read and re-read Anne Stuart's Rohan books, which tend to have a pretty loose relationship with consent, I found the scene where Daphne attempts to inseminate herself against Simon's explicit wish to be profoundly wrong. Perhaps it's because unlike in the Rohan books and their rakeish ilk, in which the relationship is in no way presented as ideal, The Duke and I seems to want to present a healthy and loving relationship in which both partners are equally respected. That Daphne's actions are not treated as, at the very least, a profound lack of respect for her husband's wishes and that she should not understand them to be such was less than appealing to me, while the fact that the book's conclusion seems to suggest that her actions were justified is profoundly uncomfortable.
I'll probably read more of the Bridgerton books, because there was much to be impressed by, but this definitely won't be one I'll revisit.