Published June 27th 2006 by Avon
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...
My ThoughtsLovely story! Simon and Daphne made a charming couple. I truly enjoyed my time with them!
Simon, the Duke of Hastings, is adamant about not marrying and keeping his deceased father’s title and land in the family. After a life-long struggle with dealing with a father that was ashamed of him because of his speech impediment, Simon has no wishes to honor the Hastings’ title and land, nor keep it in the family through a proper marriage. However, when an opportunity arises to keep himself out of the clutches of the ton who would love to arrange him with a suitable lady, Simon hatches a plan with Daphne Bridgerton where they strike up a false courtship in order to attract suitors for the lovely Daphne and keep them away from Simon. When their plan starts to fall to pieces, partly because they start to fall for one another, they are each forced to decide how much they are willing to sacrifice for the other in the name of love.
I enjoyed how the entire story just flowed with a steady sense of continuation. There was not one moment of downtime between the parties, the courtship, the family outings and the ongoing development of Daphne and Simon’s relationship. These two characters kept me engaged in their story and captivated by their romance. Together they made a great pair and despite each of their mistakes, I couldn’t help but hope that their relationship would thrive at the end.
Throughout the book, The Society Papers were fun to read at the beginning of each chapter. I’m sure the clue was right in front of me as to who The Author was, but I’m not sure if Lady Whistledown was possibly Lady Danbury or maybe even Daphne’s mother. That was a fun mystery I wasn’t able to solve.
Daphne’s family dynamics was an interesting part of the story. I loved how the eight siblings watched out for each other and clearly cared for one another very deeply. It was a sad contrast to Simon’s life where he didn’t have a family. Having eight siblings, I liked how Julia Quinn named them from A through H. I actually kept track of all of them (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth), which was easy because of their unique personalities. Lovely family!
I would have wished that Simon had read the final letters from his father, but I guess that’s for another time.
As a historical romance, The Duke and I has all of the right elements to make the experience rich and grandeur in nature. Well done!
- Read a book set in the past.