Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 136 - The Duke and I

The Duke and I
Julia Quinn

Series or Stand Alone: Bridgerton series, book one

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 Simon's heart beating a bit faster. And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that is seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever!


I have recently become interested in starting some historical romances and I'm happy to report that my first experience has been a most excellent one. I really really enjoyed The Duke and I.

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.


LuAnn said...

As always, a great review!

Mishel said...

Thank you LuAnn 8)

stacybuckeye said...

I love historical romances. Good ones at least! I've not tried Julia Quinn.

Alea said...

Awesome! I recently bought this one after hearing how great it was! Glad you liked it!

Mishel said...

stacy - I really enjoyed this one, but I don't have much to compare it too. It definitely made me want to read more of the genre so I have to give it credit.

alea - That's great! Let me know what you think of it whenever you read it 8)

Melissa said...

Great review! This sounds really good, I'll have to check it out :)

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