Title: The Duke and I
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: Historical Romance
Year Published: 2000
Number of Pages: 371 pages
Date Read: 7/17/2013
Series: Bridgertons #1
Content Rating: Ages 18+ (Some Language, Sex Scenes and Attempted Rape)
My first exposure into Julia Quinn’s romance novels was through a recent book “Just Like Heaven.” But, after I heard so many good things about the first book in Julia Quinn’s legendary “Bridgertons” series “The Duke and I,” I just had to give this book a shot and goodness, was I blown away by this brilliant romance novel!
Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, had a troubled childhood as his father, the former Duke of Hastings, had rejected him as a child due to Simon’s speech impediment. Years later however, Simon Basset becomes a proper and well made man and the mothers of London are dying for him to marry their daughters. However, Simon meets a spunky and independent young woman named Daphne Bridgerton who comes from a large family and it becomes apparent that these two have fallen madly in love with each other. But, will Simon tell Daphne his deepest and darkest secret about his father or will their relationship be ruined by this secret?
Julia Quinn has woven a brilliant tale about letting go of the past and focusing on the future. I loved the way that Julia Quinn wrote each character as each character had a spunky and independent personality that really made me care about them. I really loved the fact that the Bridgerton family is so close to each other as they are willing to protect each other through hard times, especially Anthony, Colin and Benedict as they are EXTREMELY OVERPROTECTIVE of Daphne! But the characters I really loved in this entire novel were Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton as they were truly interesting and complex characters. Simon Basset is probably one of my favorite romance heroes as he has a tragic past that I can really sympathize with and yet, he was able to try to become a better person despite his tragic past. I loved the fact that Simon is so intelligent and is able to talk smoothly with absolutely anybody (especially DAPHNE) and I also loved the fact that Simon has to battle with his inner demons at discovering who he truly is and letting go of his father’s scorn for him as it provides great character development for his character. I really liked Daphne Bridgerton as she was a strong and independent woman and every time I see her punch someone, I was practically cheering for her! I also liked the fact that she tries to get through Simon and make him see how he is a better person than his father, which really made her into a caring character. I really loved the banter between Daphne and Simon as it is hilarious and witty to read. One of my most favorite quotes from Daphne and Simon was this quote:
“Quite possibly,” he agreed, “but I have excellent taste. And you” – he leaned down quite suddenly and nipped at her mouth- “taste quite good.”
Daphne giggle, quite unable to help herself.
Simon wiggled his brows, “Dare you mock me?”
“Normally I would,” she replied, “but not when you’ve got both my arms pinned over my head.”
For anyone who does not like language and sex scenes, there are some sex scenes in this novel, although they happens a bit towards the end. There is also some language, but it is not strong as the only words really muttered are the “d” word, the “h” word and the “b” word.
Also, the scene where Daphne seemed to force herself on Simon when Simon was drunk did unsettled me a bit since it made her look manipulative since she was so desperate in wanting a baby. What was so problematic about this scene was that the rest of the book seemed to go through this like it did not happen and I cannot help but wonder why this scene was not taken more seriously. I probably would have taken a point off this book if it did not go over so quickly and was forgotten about later on.