by Julia Quinn
published on June 27th 2006 by Avon
Adult Fiction/Historical/Regency Romance
first book of Bridgerton series
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...
“There were rules among friends, commandments, really, and the most important one was Thou Shalt Not Lust After Thy Friend's Sister.”
Since it's February, and I've been wanting to venture out of my usual contemporary YA reads, what about historical romance? I thought. I'm in the mood to try something different. After browsing through some of top recommended historical romance books, my choice finally fell on this one. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn is a historical romance, and many people categorize this as Regency Romance (I still need a lot to understand about things like these; regency romance, victorian romance, etc). So what does Tirta say about her first experience on this one? Well I enjoyed it helluva LOT! :D
My first reaction toward the first pages of The Duke and I was how I love the regency era feels! There's always a party at someone's place, and it's usually where our hero and heroine meet. After learning bits and facts about the Bridgerton family, I quickly found myself to like them a great deal (Hey, they named the children according to the alphabets! So the first kid is Anthony, second is Benedict, third is Colin, followed by Daphne, Eloise, and so on...). They were a lovely family, Mrs Bridgerton a charming mother for her children and the brothers are very protective toward Daphne, our heroine.
Sadly, the lovely family situation does not apply to Simon, the duke. He had a morose childhood, which resulted in him refusing the idea to marry and have children for his own future (Oh how I love to read a story which features a tortured soul!). Simon grown to be a very fine man, though, not only because he'll have the title Duke of Hastings, but also because his wonderful figure, smart mind, and this mysterious aura surrounding him that somehow makes him to be even more interesting, according to most female in the society. This issue about Simon would later bring readers to some painful, heartbreaking moments, and there were also parts that were kinda uncomfortable to read (especially the scene before Simon escaped... Ick). I love how Daphne could be someone who dares to confront Simon to fight the issue instead of letting it win and control his life forever, although there were moments where Daphne's actions seems what-the-hell-ish, too.
And surprise, surprise, The Duke and I was so FUNNY! I laughed a lot when reading this book. It's more like, silly-funny, there were moments where it's supposed to be serious and angst-filled but I found myself giggling instead (don't know... maybe it's just me), but this aspect was very welcomed, of course. Made the whole story a bit lighter and bearable from all the heartbreaking parts of Simon's issue. Not to mention because it's a ROMANCE book, there were lots of swoon-worthy moments that made me squee! XD
As his hands moved to his trousers, he saw that she was pulling the bedsheets over her.
"Don't," he said, barely recognizing his own voice.
Her eyes met his, and he said, "I'll be your blanket".
I'm so curious about Lady Whistledown, the gossip collumnist's identity, though! Knowing that this book is the first part of Bridgerton series, I found myself asking if there will ever be a moment of revealance about her in the later books because I would REALLY LIKE to know who it is! The bits of her columns in front of every chapters was somehow a nice touch. Will I read other books from the series? I'm not sure. I liked the first book so much, and I want to, but I think I won't read it in order (not that interested in Anthony or Benedict... sorry-not-sorry). I'll probably skip the next two books and hop onto Colin's story, Romancing Mr Bridgerton instead. Will I read other books from the historical romance category? Well I definitely will! I'm so glad that I finally did TRY, and while I'm still in the mood, I'd like to read other wonderful titles out there too :D
For further reading: Danielle and Stacia also like the book a lot (From Goodreads)
Are you a reader of historical romance, or have you ever thought about venturing into this genre? Have you read The Duke and I? What do you think of it? Have any book recommendation with similar theme like this one for me? Do not hesitate to share and leave a comment!
Have fun and read some more,