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The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1)
The Duke I - Bridgerton, Bk 1
Author: Julia Quinn
Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town's marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn't as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry -? though there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Sim...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780749936570
ISBN-10: 0749936576
Publication Date: 6/30/2006
Pages: 339
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 25

4.4 stars, based on 25 ratings
Publisher: Piatkus, Judy Publishers
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 27
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Lenore avatar reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on + 190 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Cute, Quinn is a better writer than most. She structures her stories in a way that reminds me of Joanna Lindsey. This is a Bridgerton story.

Daphne meets her brother's old friend from Eton, when he returns from years of travel abroad to assume his title, now that his father is dead. The young Duke is a man who has overcome a childhood stutter that caused his father, the old Duke, to cast off his imperfect heir, but who hasn't yet overcome the bitterness of that rejection, or a seething hatred of his perfectionist father. His hatred may poison his future with Daphne, unless she can convince him that the Duke is still haunting his son by making him miserable, even from the grave.

The only thing I don't like about this sort of novel is the "force the dishonored female to marry the man she was caught alone with will she or nil she" sort of high-handedness. For some reason, Quinn seems particularly fond of that sort of thing (using it in several novels, including this one), and it shows a lack in her writing that she can't think of another resolution than that old hackneyed romance cliche. Shotgun weddings are so passe!
skywriter319 avatar reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
While not as steamy as I tend to prefer my historical romances, THE DUKE AND I stands out from the crowd with its enviably witty dialogue and memorable characters. The banter between Mrs. Bridgerton and the Bridgerton siblings nearly had me bursting out in laughter at inopportune moments. Consequently, I enjoyed Simon and Daphne as a couple, and thought that their relationship was well-played. I did want more heat though! (Perhaps I am more dirty-minded than the norm)

That said, I look forward to reading more from Julia Quinn. She has a way of creating crush-worthy characters that color up an otherwise ordinary historical romance world.
reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book had some very funny moments, and I did enjoy reading it. The romance wasn't quite my speed...there's no sex until after marriage! Not even any good "hot & heavy" moments! Daphne tended to annoy me a bit because she was so completely clueless about her body and how children are conceived. There was also a bit of nonsense about being pitied because you don't have children. Ha! (Pity me as I sip my umbrella drink and relax.) So I guess if you're not into premarital sex, like tame romance books, and don't mind a sheltered heroine you'll dig this book. I however like unrepentant rakes, hot lovin', and a smart heroine!
Catherine1 avatar reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I never thought that I could have a whole book spoiled for me by one action, but this book proved that I could. What's so irritating about this is that I was enjoying the book. I liked the character's amusing dialogue and the friendship the developed.

Things did start to go a bit downhill for me when Daphne chases Simon down at the duel. I don't get the most optimistic feeling when I see someone willing to die rather than marry. I know it wasn't Daphne in particular, but when the hero has so much baggage that death is preferable to his other options I know the road ahead is not going to be smooth. I started to get nervous about how something with that weight would be handled by the author. She has skill but in all the books I've read by her they all seemed very light and not really serious at all. I was willing to go along for the ride though.

In some ways I wish I had stopped reading half way through and never got such a bad taste in my mouth. I know that Simon lied by omission in letting Daphne assume he wouldn't have kids because he couldn't have them. But who can really blame him? He was ashamed of how he was when he was a kid. If he would have said he just plain wouldn't have kids she would have demanded to know why and he would have had to explain all his humiliation. Who would willingly do that? She had to maneuver him into marrying her in the first place. He would have rather died in the duel than marry her and be put in that situation! She was even the one that initiated the situation that led to them having to marry! She seems to forget it was all her idea toward the end.

I just can't help but think that the whole conflict in this book was manufactured by Daphne. The way the book was written seems to make Simon seem like the bad guy when what she did to him was unforgivable. I was ready for Simon to find someone new after that. I can't believe he came back and actually apologized to her. She tried to take a baby from him by force! I'm sorry I know he was into it, but he was drunk and didn't realized she wouldn't let him pull away at the end. When he realized he started struggling. That right there is force. If a man had done that to a girl there would have been a lot more people upset by it.

I know that Daphne made a token statement about being okay with him not wanting kids if it was for the right reason, but I doubt that. She was consumed by the thought of children like she wouldn't have been complete without them. Besides, she may not have agreed with his reasons, but who is she to try and say he doesn't have a right to feel that way?

I don't know if I'll read anymore of her. I've read her other Bridgerton books (and decided to finally read the 1st one) and I thought most of them were ok, but this one really disturbed me. I don't know if I want to risk feeling like that again. I read to watch two people fall in love, not to watch someone try to force her husband to impregnate her.
cindyw5 avatar reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
The Duke and I was the first book I read in 2009 and what a wonderful way to start a year of reading! This book was packed with larger than life characters and a story that consumes you. I could not flip the pages quick enough to find out what was going to happen next. Simon and Daphne never expected to fall in love after their pretend courtship, but love is what happens. Simon's a true tortured hero, he has a horrible stammer that leaves him scared to death every time he opens his mouth to speak and pure hatred for his father. You want to do exactly what Daphne did and just love him to pieces.

I love books that make me smile, but this book made me laugh out loud, for pages! The funniest part has to do with their wedding night and impotence. Tears, I tell you, tears! This books starts the Bridgerton Family series, one of eight books and let me tell you if all the books in the series are this funny, and pack a story that rivals a Garwood historical, boy have I hit a jackpot!
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scoutmomskf avatar reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on + 1994 more book reviews
I read this book eighteen years ago but wanted to reread it before watching the Netflix series. I'm so glad I did because knowing Simon's past makes it easier to understand why he is the way he is. I've only seen the first episode so far and haven't seen anything about it other than the mention of his estrangement from his father.

I liked Simon. He has a well-earned reputation as a rake, yet the reason behind it is heartbreaking. His mother died when he was born, and his father was only interested in having the perfect heir to the Basset name. His father ignored Simon until he was two and then cruelly rejected him as an "idiot" because of a speech problem. I ached for Simon as he worked to overcome his problem and was continually rejected. I loved his determination and strength of will as the years went by. The Eton scene was immensely satisfying. When his father's rejection continued, Simon decided to live down to his father's expectations and shortly after left the country. He didn't return until after his father's death.

Simon states that he will never marry and have children. His father's obsession with the perfect heir and carrying on the family line made Simon determined that the Basset dynasty will end with him. Unfortunately for him, as a very eligible bachelor, every matchmaking mother in the ton wants him for their daughters. I loved his conversation with Anthony Bridgerton at the beginning of the book and Simon's belief that he could avoid them.

I also liked Daphne. She is young and naïve but also reasonably practical. As the fourth Bridgerton offspring and oldest daughter, she is the first one to make her debut. With the example of her parents' loving marriage, Daphne wants the same for herself. Thus far, her dreams have not been realized, and she starts to lose hope. It doesn't help that she feels most men don't even see her or only see her as a friend. She has a terrific relationship with her family, whom she loves dearly. I especially enjoyed watching her with her three older brothers, who rarely come out on top when dealing with her.

I loved the first meeting between Daphne and Simon. He may be a rake, but he is also a gentleman who overhears a young lady in apparent distress. His reaction to seeing her deck the man with a well-placed punch was priceless. Their conversation was great as they traded barbs over what to do with her erstwhile suitor, and the sparks between them were obvious. The ballroom scene was fantastic as Simon found himself in the very situation that Anthony predicted, up to and including his introduction to Daphne's mother. It's at this point that Simon comes up with his plan and presents it to Daphne.

I loved watching Simon and Daphne's relationship grow from co-conspirators to something much more. Simon's attraction to Daphne hits him hard from the beginning and horror! It's his best friend's little sister! Add that to his determination not to marry, and it's clear that Simon is in deep trouble. He is fascinated by her, drawn to her practical nature, and can't stay away even when he knows he should. I laughed out loud at how many times she called him out on statements or actions because "I have four brothers. I know how you think." The more time he spends with her, the harder it is to remember his vow.

Daphne is equally fascinated and attracted. That same experience with her brothers gives her the ability to see past Simon's façade to the hurting man inside. I loved her ability to bring him out of the depths of bad memories and intervened several times when things became awkward. It didn't take long for her to see that none of her other suitors measured up to Simon and that she wanted to make their deception real.

When their attraction gets out of hand, Daphne faces a ruined reputation if Simon won't propose. I was glued to the pages during the confrontation with Anthony, the early morning meeting, and Daphne's refusal to allow a duel to take place. I wanted to shake Simon when he fudged the truth about his vow because I knew it wouldn't turn out well. Their marriage starts well (except for that), with the two of them growing closer physically and emotionally. But trouble looms as Daphne discovers the truth and takes matters into her own hands. I ached for them both as Simon's insecurities burst forth due to his anger, and both say things they later regret. It takes time apart for both, but especially Simon, to face their feelings. I loved the ending. The scene in Hyde Park was deeply emotional as Simon finally opened his heart fully to Daphne. Even better was the following scene at Hastings House, as the couple faced three very determined Bridgerton brothers. Watching Simon and Daphne take their shots at them was great, but the winner of that confrontation was most definitely Lady Violet Bridgerton.

The edition I read contained both the original epilogue and the more recent second epilogue. The first one was great, but the second one had a twist that I did not see coming. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing what the author came up with for their second epilogues.

The secondary characters were just a wonderful as Simon and Daphne. My favorite was Lady Violet, mother of eight. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her "manage" all eight, with them being oblivious to how she does it. I also loved the three oldest brothers, Anthony, Benedict, and Colin. Their love for their family is indisputable, as is their protectiveness toward Daphne. It will be fun to reread their stories and watch them fall. Lastly, the invisible Lady Whistledown cannot be ignored. I enjoyed the excerpts of her paper at the beginning of each chapter. Because it has been so long since I read the books, I don't remember who she turns out to be, so I look forward to the revelation.
Smokey avatar reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on + 265 more book reviews
My favorite in the Bridgerton series. Heroine is very spunky.
reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on + 42 more book reviews
The duke and the debutante made a bargain to keep the ton's matchmakers at bay - but what happens when the charade becomes all to real?
reviewed The Duke & I (Bridgerton, Bk 1) on + 239 more book reviews
First in the series, Daphne and Simon's story.

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