[REVIEW] The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (Bridgerton #1)

Hello, lovelies! 🌵 I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by school lately. I have so much homework and group project, I’m so happy this is my last summer taking classes, 6 week semesters are brutal!

But, on the happy note I started re-reading my most beloved series of all time The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. I first read this series when I was about twelve years old if I’m not mistaken and until today, being a twenty-something years old I have never loved a series more than this one. I know these books by heart, I love these books and I’ve never laugh, cry and fangirl with any other book as I do with this 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…

Synopsis from Goodreads

Things I absolutely loved;

  • The family dynamic. There is something we need to appreciate in this book and it is – family. The Bridgerton family is different from the rest of the tons. They love and respect each other in a way were they don’t push.
  • Daphne’s relationship with her mother is just wonderful. They bicker like best friends but a the same time hold a respect for each other that is endearing and beautiful. Daphne loves her mother, feels a bit drowned under her continuos talk about marriage but at the same time she understand her mother only wants her to be happy. And Violet, while she wants her daughter to have a husband – she doesn’t push for someone Daphne is not comfortable or amiable enough.
  • Side note: the chat between Daphne and her mother, Violet the night before Daphne is married about the wedding night was HILARIOUS. So funny to see Violet sweat the bullet under Daphne’s question about sex.
  • Anthony, Benedict, Daphne and Colin were adorable together. Here, you have the mixture of overbearing, supportive, and funny brother-sister relationship. Anthony protects her, but doesn’t completely listens to her. Benedict doesn’t go against Anthony but Colin, Colin helps, supports and listens to Daphne.

“So?” Anthony echoed. “Mother would forgive any impropriety if it meant gaining an audience for Daphne with a duke.”
“Now look here,” Simon said hotly, “I’m not some sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered on the altar of your mother.”
“You have spent a lot of time in Africa, haven’t you?” Colin quipped.
Simon ignored him. “Besides, your sister said-“
All three Bridgerton heads swung round in his direction. Simon immediately realized he’d blundered. Badly.
“You’ve met Daphne?” Anthony queried, his voice just a touch too polite for Simon’s comfort.
Before Simon could even reply, Benedict leaned ever-so-slightly closer, and asked, “Why didn’t you mention this?”
“Yes,” Colin said, his mouth utterly serious for first time that evening. “Why?”

Chapter 4, page 78.
  • Daphne and Simon’s meeting was perfect – and funny, witty, almost made me want to pinch them. Daphne is unimpressed, used to being around men and their character she finds Simon no amusing at all and Simon, god forgive him, finds her attractive! until he learns she is his best friend’s sister.
  • Their banter and personality clash is the best, the author makes their conversation fluid – and not tense. They have fun moments, tense ones and the ones they can’t resist each other.
  • Anthony being the overzealous big brother was so well done. He knows Simon’s rake way and wants his sister to be a hundredth steps away from the Duke. He is almost brutish in showing his love for his sister but at the end, he is supportive – and a menace!
  • Simon’s background was so well-done. We see a child who didn’t talked until four years old, in today’s society the child would go to a therapist and things would move on. But back then, that was a sight of weakness – of him being a fool – when really, the fool was his father. His nanny being so protective of him, of teaching him the letter, sounds and words broke my heart. Simon grew up resenting his father and with the idea he should not have children because of how he grew up.
  • Simon and Daphne marriage has a different dynamic that I think suited the book. First they are partners in crime, then friends, then the chemistry and love starts to blossom but as a married couple they are stilled, awkward and almost strange to each other. But, before all, they were also strangers being rushed into a marriage for convenience and protection. I think the author did wonderful with the flustering, the feelings, the developing of attraction to love and the marriage.
  • Side notes: the scene of Simon with the Bridgerton family in the yacht was so damn funny and able to provide more insight in the family dynamic. Also, seeing Simon with children and how well he was with them was a small push for the reader to believe in a happy ever after.
  • Simon is funny, smart, stubborn, dry at times, serious and cold when in presence of those trying to make him feel inferior, sweet and charming and incredible witty. I loved his humor, his attention to details – like gifting Daphne’s mother flowers – his friendship with Anthony and his belief in doing the best – also, his idiotic thinking believing Daphne didn’t deserve him.
  • Daphne is lovable, with a motherly demeanor, friendly and honest. She wants a husband, someone to share with, she wants children and happy ever after. She wants Simon and is not shy to tell him she loves him – and she does so first! She is not afraid to ask him for marriage – even if the circumstances is not the best.

She snapped back to attention and looked back to his face, her dark eyes meltingly honest. “I want a husband. I want a family. It’s not so silly when you think about it. I’m fourth of eight children. All I know are large families. I shouldn’t know how to exist outside of one.”

Simon caught her gaze, his eyes burning hot and intense into hers. A warning bell sounded in his mind. He wanted her. He wanted her so desperately he as straining against his clothing, but he could never, ever so much as touch her. Because to do so would be to shatter every last one of her dreams, and rake or not, Simon wasn’t certain he could live with himself if he did that.

Chapter 5, page 99.
  • Simon and Daphne are pure passion, they love each other – though Simon is in denial and tries to put a barrier. The attraction is there from day one and as the book progresses we see Simon being in lust and affection to him in love.

Daphne felt something wild and wicked take hold. “Let’s walk in the garden,” she said softly.
“We can’t.”
“We must.”
“We can’t.
The desperation in Simon’s voice told her everything she needed to know. He wanted her. He desired her. He was mad for her.

Chapter 9, page 178
  • The ending was perfect. My book edition had TWO epilogues – one that showcase their near future but the other one is about twenty years later and is wonderful! Full of hope, happiness and love.

“I want to be happy,” he whispered.
“You will be,” she vowed, wrapping her arms around him. “You will be.”

Chapter 20, page 347

Overall, I would recommend this book with my eyes closed. Julia Quinn delivers in such a wonderful, funny, honest and sexy way that is impossible NOT to love this book.

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I love reading, writing and watching movies! You will often find me immersed in a book without a care for the world. From Julia Quinn to J.R. Ward, this reader will devour books for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - maybe even for a night snack.

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