The first character to meet is Simon Basset (who really has a much longer name than should be legal - Simon Arthur Henry Fitzranulph Basset, talk about a mouthful). Some background information about him is provided as the prologue talks about how hard it was for him at birth and his early childhood with his father who, at the time, is the Duke of Hastings. Wanting an utterly perfect son, the Duke is very hard to please and totally unforgiving. Simon spent his first 4 years of life not speaking, and after the Duke realizes Simon has a stutter he totally rejects him.
Simon grows up hating his father and to further smite him Simon refuses to get married. He never wants to fall in love! He never wants to get married! And he has absolutey no plans on having any children so the family line of Dukes will end with his death. Shouldn't be a problem, right? ... Well, not exactly. The mothers in this time are on brutal missions to marry off their daughters to well-to-do eligible men. And Simon is pretty high on that list since he is now the Duke.
This is where Daphne Bridgerton and her family comes in. The Bridgerton family consists of eight children which isn't too terribly unique. The fun part is the way Violet has named her children: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. (I'm curious as to how to correctly pronounce the youngest girl's name) I love the ABC naming style. So anywho, Violet is on her own mission to marry off her oldest son and oldest daughter. She's even made lists of eligible people for both children, which definitely made me giggle.
After meeting Daphne, Simon comes up with a brilliant plan to keep away the persistant mothers and their trailing daughters: fake a courtship! This idea could even help Daphne in gaining more suitors since many haven't had an interest in her of late. Not that there is anything wrong with Daphne. She's quite pretty and extremely nice. It's just that most men think of her as a good "friend" and nothing more. But that does change after Simon's fake interest in her. But to make this pretend courtship even more complicated, it turns out Simon is Anthony's best friend. And ever since the father of the Bridgerton children died, Anthony has been the man of the house, looking after his mother and siblings. So of course he's furious at the idea of Simon and Daphne together at all!
As you probaly guessed by reading the blurb, Simon and Daphne end up falling for each other. And while they do get married (not really a spoiler, I promise), they don't quite do it for the right reasons. Their story is filled with humor, hardships, trust, and of course love in the most unexpected places. I thought it was such a great story and I really enjoyed it. The characters were great and I adored the chemistry between Dapne and Simon. I had no trouble with Julia Quinn's writing style. I must admit, I was always afraid I wouldn't like historical romances because of the "old" feeling to writing of certain time periods. But this was nothing like I imagined.
One character I just have to point out is the ficticious Lady Whistledown. She writes a gossip column that everyone absolutely hates and yet always finds the time to read (sound familar?). There are passages included in the beginning of every chapter and I'm dieing to find out who it is. I'll definitley be reading on in this series to see if she is ever revealed and to follow the rest of the Bridgerton family.