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Bridgertons #1

The Duke and I

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The Duke and I is a romance set in the Regency era.

In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable… but not too amiable.

Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.

The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule...

433 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 5, 2000

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About the author

Julia Quinn

138 books36.1k followers
#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch her winning the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code.

A graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, Ms. Quinn is one of only sixteen members of Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame. Her books have been translated into 32 languages, and she lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.

The Bridgertons, her popular series of historical romance, is currently in production by Shondaland as a Netflix original series starring Julie Andrews, Phoebe Dynevor, and Rége-Jean Page.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 33,934 reviews
July 8, 2022
This review is dedicated to my dear friend (haha) Navessa who was thoughtful enough to challenge me to read this book.

My name is Sarah and I'm a survivor.

Yes I am. Because I have done it. I have read all 384 pages of this Historical Romance masterpiece. And I am still alive to talk about it. Someone please give me a medal.

Where to begin? The possibilities are quite endless. Let's start with the obvious shall we?

Need I say more? Didn't think so. Moving on.

►► The sheer stupidity of this book is staggering. I didn't expect to either like or enjoy it but this went beyond my wildest imaginings. Stupid, non-existent, boring plot! Stupid, clichéd characters! Stupid, manufactured, artificial, ridiculous drama! Stupid everything! Yay!

►► Meet Daphne, our heroine: she's a pathetic idiot with TSTL tendencies who manipulates the shit out of people and doesn't seem to understand the meaning of the word NO. But hey, she's got a great excuse: she's naïve and inexperienced! She doesn't realize she's doing anything wrong! WTF?! [phone rings in the background] Me: hello? Julia Quinn: I'm sorry to interrupt this delightfully enlightening review but I can't let you insult poor Daphne here. Me: you have got to be kidding me. Julia Quinn: no no, I assure you I'm quite serious. Dear old Daff might be a teensy bit naïve but she's witty and clever! Me: err, excuse me but there's a difference between being naïve and being a total, complete twit. Bye now.

►► Meet Simon, our hero: he's one of the flattest, most ridiculous, idiotic characters I've ever come across. [phone rings in the background] Me: bloody hell, I'll never manage to write this stupid review for this stupid book. Julia Quinn: I'm sorry to interrupt this delightfully enlightening review again but I can't let you insult poor Simon here. Me: watch it woman, I can be quite the homicidal maniac when I want to. Julia Quinn: oh dear, such violence! I mean no harm, I promise. I only wish to make you understand how wonderfully dashing, rakish and yet very complex Simon is. Me: excuse me but there's a difference between being complex and being a pathetically clichéd rake wannabe. Bye now.

Oh will you people just chill for a second?! This gif applies to this section up here ↑↑↑, not this one right there ↓↓↓. You know I ♥ you all (sometimes) despite your appalling taste in books.

►► Most of my friends who read this delightful piece of literature keep mentioning its overflowing humour and witty banter. Right. Let's explore our options here:

Option A: I have no sense of humour at all and my wit radar is temporarily out of order.
Option B: above mentioned friends have clearly lost it.
Option C: above mentioned friends were actually talking about this book.

Option A can be discarded right away because I obviously have a fantastic sense of humour and my wit radar is performing quite spectacularly these days. I'd go for option B but if I say so my friend list may plummet. Option C it is.

►► The Sleeping Pill Club: Julia Quinn, you can be proud of yourself. You have officially joined the likes of V.E. Schwab, Diana Gabaldon, Charlaine Harris, Stacia Kane and J.C Daniels in this very exclusive club. Congratulations! You have completely mastered total and utter boredom! The cure for insomnia is held in your witty banter blah blah blah blah!

►► The sexy: you know that feeling you get when you're reading great smut and you're suddenly in dire need of a cold shower? Think of this book as the cold shower. Believe me, you won't be throwing your underwear across the room while reading this story. The make out/sex scenes are even more lacklustre here than they are in Dead Until Dark. I kid you not. Julia Quinn, I commend you for this latest achievement. There is no way in hell I could get pregnant from this.

►► Brow gymnastics: What, pray tell, is this mysterious disease? I do hope it isn't contagious. I have to say there is so much brow action going on in this book I was quite exhausted by the time I turned the last page. There are more than 50 instances of brow gymnastics here. The poor characters' brows are in turn: doubtful, raising, rising, drown together, scrunched, arched, wrinkled, lifted, knit together, quirked and wiggled. Spocky has nothing on these people.

►► I am in a very lenient mood today so I shall forgive the author for putting me through all this and will actually go as far as offering her some friendly advice:

To make your plot more exciting: call 1-800-IA, the Ilona Andrews emergency hotline. This week only: 30% discount on Character Development 101 classes.

To help with the humour and witty banter: call 1-800-Oscar, the Oscar Wilde emergency hotline. In case you can't get through (Oscar operators are in high demand), consider reading The Importance of Being Earnest to get an idea of what wit really is.

For sex scenes that get your readers "boom! Pregnant!": please call 1-800-JZB, the Jericho Barrons emergency hotline. Your case being particularly desperate, please press #4 after the recorded message. You will be redirected to the dedicated Book 4 Chapter 4 line. Listen carefully and you might learn a thing or two.

Don't be shy, Julia Quinn! Call the emergency hotlines now, you'll be glad you did! And remember, there are no stupid questions, so ask away!

💌 To all my dear friends who loved this book: shush now, it's okay, I promise you will be fine. We will find a nice big house for you where lovely people dressed in crisp white uniforms will take good care of you. They will give you cute little blue pills every morning and dress you in a lovely white jacket with very fashionable (if a bit unusual) sleeves. You will love it.

💌 To thoughtful Navessa: just wipe that smug look off your face and pass the vodka will you?

►► One last piece of advice to all you well-meaning human beings out there: the next person who sends me a Historical Romance rec is dead meat. Just sayin'.
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
June 6, 2022
In recent years, I have instituted a strict policy: I can't watch any tv or movie adaptation without having read the book first. And so in this fashion, many shows are forced to languish while I furiously try to read through my TBR. The Duke and I was one such victim, but no more.

And now that I'm done with the book, I can't help but feel slightly underwhelmed. Like, is this what everyone is swooning over? To be fair, the story is mostly fine, though a bit superficial. The majority of it is told via dialogue form. And while witty repartee is a big part of reading a Regency romance, this felt less witty and more cheesy. So while I smiled a lot, I also cringed at the overwritten and hammed up style.

The characters are all fairly one-dimensional. The only personality I was able to ascertain were from the men, who behaved ever more apelike as they asserted dominance over situations and each other. It really was a bit over the top. The fake dating trope of Daphne and Simon is one I'm normally a big fan of, but somehow I didn't quite connect with it this time. One moment, they were fake dating, then the next moment they were in love. Where is the transition? Still, it was mostly a bit of harmless fun.

However—and this is a big one—there is one particularly questionable scene near the end that I think most readers will object to. Reproductive coercion is not okay, and I'm baffled that this book not only portrayed it as no big deal, but in fact made it into the moral high ground. (I know this book is set during the 1810s, but was it written during that time too?)

Maybe I'm just too used to historical romances with more substance, where women are actually empowered, the plot is complex, and the dialogue makes me swoon. In comparison, this book feels rather simple, with a thin premise, fairly bland characters, and questionable scenes that masquerade as romance. It's an alright way to pass a few hours, but that's about it.

At least now I can finally go on to watch the show, so yay me!
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.5k followers
January 7, 2020
why would you ruin a perfectly good romance with a rape scene. just because it was a guy doesn’t mean it’s not rape!!!!

hoping the creators of the netflix adaptation uh change that
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books600 followers
October 14, 2014
review posted on Got Fiction? Books

A lot of my GR buddies love this book, and a few have recommended it to me. So I ordered it, and up until a certain part in the end, I really was enjoying it.

I won't feel bad about the spoilers in here, because this is an older book, and a ton of people have read it.

I liked Daphne, and I really liked Daphne and Simon's interactions, witty reparte, banter. all of the above. Obviously they were meant for each other, and not in the sickeningly sweet sort of way. They were fun to watch together.

I hated Simon's father. Hated him so much. What a bastard. Simon at one point said his father wanted an heir, not a son. So well put.
The two of them decided to fake an interest in each other so that all the match-making mamas would leave Simon alone, and Daphne could have better prospects, because with a handsome duke interested in her, suddenly every man finds her lovely. At one point, Daphne has 6 suitors (7 if you count Simon) in one room, and one is reciting poetry (bad poetry) from one knee for her! Too funny, their plan was actually working!

But around 200 pages in or so, it all began to lose some of its appeal. Daphne is bossy...no problem there, I'm bossy, totally works for me. But she becomes more arrogant than bossy at one point, and this is right around the part where Daphne's brother catches Simon with his mouth on Daphne's breast. He says "Marry my sister or else!" or something as cliched. Simon, who we all have known since moment one, is never going to marry. Simon tells Daphne that, Anthony and Benedick (her brothers) tell Daphne that. But still Daphne feels (even though Simon never claimed any feelings of any sort towards her) that Simon cares enough for her to marry her instead of duel with Anthony. Wrong, Simon would never raise a pistol at his friend Anthony, so he goes in with the assumption that he will die.

Daphne says "I-I've always known that I wasn't the sort of woman men dreamed of, but I never thought anyone would prefer death to marriage with me."

Wow, that line made me want Simon to explain things to her. He says "If it could be anyone it would be you." which was heartbreaking, but not enough.

So, Daphne gets her other brother Colin to take her to the duel so she can scam the duke into marriage-she tells him people saw them in a compromising position and he just has to marry her so she won't be labeled damaged goods. I didn't buy it. yes some folks saw them leave together but it was still manipulating. That is where I began to dislike Daphne. She manipulated him into marriage trying to justify that he might not want to live, but he might live to save her. It made no sense to me. She pressured him for marriage, got it, and they were actually happy for a while, but to me it felt hollow.

Daphne found out from the housekeeper what kind of childhood Simon really had, and about his awful father who berated him, then declared him dead to any who would listen, all because Simon stuttered as a boy.

Daphne finally understood that when Simon said he couldn't have children, he didn't mean he couldn't father them, but rather that he could never be a father...he wouldn't have children. Her dream of a family was dead.

What bugs me here are 2 things:
1. She went in knowing no children would result
2. When Simon was drunk and aroused and she wouldn't let him pull out.

That sobered him up pretty quickly. That whole scene was a mess-she was wrong. Absolutely manipulative and wrong. Simon was absolutely right to be furious. That drunken scene was sweet and touching and funny and then...that. I was so angry because Daphne then rationalized to herself that it's not like she went in thinking "I'm going to force him to come inside me." She did. She said she felt powerful and loved it.

And for her to not explain to her family that he was angry because she did something, to let them think Simon was a prick for his boorish behavior, really made me lose a lot of respect for both Daphne and Julia Quinn.

Simon was the one who had to apologize-yes he lied, I was mad he never clarified, but good Lord...Daphne just infuriated me.

So, the book was good til Daphne became a master manipulator. For her to give Simon ultimatums about no sex until you say we can have children was selfish and pretty messed up of her.

The ending was sweet, but not sweet enough for me to forgive the mess Daphne made of Simon's/their life/future.

Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
December 26, 2020
I am not sure what to rate this book so for now I’m leaving it blank.

I mainly read this because Shonda freakin’ Rhimes is creating the Netflix series. And also because I adore historical romances and Julia Quinn is well loved.

Up until the scene, this book was pretty much perfect. The introduction to the Bridgerton family was amazing. The relationship that began to develop between Daphne and Simon was equally as amazing. Their buildup and their overall chemistry was one of the best things I’ve come across in historical romance. Or romance in general because it flowed so fuckin’ beautifully.

However, we get to that unfortunate scene and I was beyond uncomfortable reading it. I found myself skim reading the book somewhat afterwards because it left a bad taste in my mouth. My enjoyment started waning.
I don’t classify it as rape but consent was definitely a major issue for me and the feelings Simon expressed were completely disregarded even though the act itself at the time was consensual. But it read as abuse. It bordered onto rape.

Like many said, if the roles were reversed, it would have been screamed about. But the roles don’t need to be reversed in order for the gravity of the situation to be understood. The time this book was published does play a part into the consent issue and has to be taken into account. That nuance and dialogue we have now of discussing what consent is and is not did not exist then as far as my knowledge goes.

Thank god we’ve come a long way since then.

So if you do decide to read this, at least be aware you are coming across a scene that is problematic and the experience will differ for every reader.

I’m not writing this book or author off. I just wish it was dealt with in a different way. But we live and we learn.
Profile Image for Catherine.
523 reviews551 followers
March 9, 2010
I never thought that I could have a whole book spoiled for me by one action, but this book proved that I could. What's so irritating about this is that I was enjoying the book. I liked the character's amusing dialogue and the friendship the developed.

Things did start to go a bit downhill for me when Daphne chases Simon down at the duel. I don't get the most optimistic feeling when I see someone willing to die rather than marry. I know it wasn't Daphne in particular, but when the hero has so much baggage that death is preferable to his other options I know the road ahead is not going to be smooth. I started to get nervous about how something with that weight would be handled by the author. She has skill but in all the books I've read by her they all seemed very light and not really serious at all. I was willing to go along for the ride though.

In some ways I wish I had stopped reading half way through and never got such a bad taste in my mouth. I know that Simon lied by omission in letting Daphne assume he wouldn't have kids because he couldn't have them. But who can really blame him? He was ashamed of how he was when he was a kid. If he would have said he just plain wouldn't have kids she would have demanded to know why and he would have had to explain all his humiliation. Who would willingly do that? She had to maneuver him into marrying her in the first place. He would have rather died in the duel than marry her and be put in that situation! She was even the one that initiated the situation that led to them having to marry! She seems to forget it was all her idea toward the end.

I just can't help but think that the whole conflict in this book was manufactured by Daphne. The way the book was written seems to make Simon seem like the bad guy when what she did to him was unforgivable. I was ready for Simon to find someone new after that. I can't believe he came back and actually apologized to her. She tried to take a baby from him by force! I'm sorry I know he was into it, but he was drunk and didn't realized she wouldn't let him pull away at the end. When he realized he started struggling. That right there is force. If a man had done that to a girl there would have been a lot more people upset by it.

I know that Daphne made a token statement about being okay with him not wanting kids if it was for the right reason, but I doubt that. She was consumed by the thought of children like she wouldn't have been complete without them. Besides, she may not have agreed with his reasons, but who is she to try and say he doesn't have a right to feel that way?

I don't know if I'll read anymore of her. I've read her other Bridgerton books (and decided to finally read the 1st one) and I thought most of them were ok, but this one really disturbed me. I don't know if I want to risk feeling like that again. I read to watch two people fall in love, not to watch someone try to force her husband to impregnate her.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
November 3, 2020

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I think it's been a while since I've seen such an even split among my friends when it comes to how they rated the book. Half my friends loved THE DUKE AND I and the other half apparently hated it. The Bridgertons series is Julia Quinn's most famous historical romance offering so I've been wanting to read it for a while, but I'm not unfamiliar with her work. In my opinion, she's a bit notorious for over-aggressive heroines who come across as petulant and bitchy and Big Misunderstandings that are especially stupid and tends to draw them out for extra dramatic tension in the last act.

The titular duke, Simon Basset, is cast in your typical damaged hero mold of "I slut around because I have daddy issues." In his case, the issues are probably warranted. He didn't speak until he was four years old, and when he did, it was with a stutter. After his dad basically rage-quits on parenting, Simon is left on his own, unloved, except for the tender hand of his nurse. His father basically disowns him, telling his servants and all his friends that he has no son, and refuses to answer any of his correspondence.

Of course, once Simon is able to overcome all of this and become the most desired bachelor in the ton, his father is secretly pleased and ready to take pride in his son because hurray, Simon got over his stutter and that means that he isn't mentally defunct, i.e. "an idiot." Simon is so over his dad, though, and since breeding, honor, and titles are all that matter to his father, he has vowed never to have children so that the Hastings line dies with him, and all the property will cede to his cousins.

Daphne, the heroine, is part of the Bridgerton family, and the daughter of a viscount. They name their children like hurricanes, in alphabetical order, chronologically, so Daphne is the fourth-born child (as well as the oldest daughter). She's also a bit of a wallflower and a spinster-in-the-making, and her mother is determined to make a match. Daphne's brothers are friends with Simon, and they end up meeting at a party when Simon saves her from a creepy friend-zoned suitor who won't take no for an answer. They end up liking each other, although Simon denies his attraction once he's figured out that she's the off-limits sister of his friend. They decide to pretend to have developed a tendre for one another, to keep Simon's unwanted suitors at bay while also making Daphne more desirable. Too bad that he ends up compromising her and Daphne's oldest brother, Anthony, calls him out at dawn.

Knowing that Simon's honor will lead him to not fire, and that Anthony's rage on her behalf will undoubtedly result in a killing shot, Daphne demands that they be married and Simon protests, much to Daphne's hurt (because he'd rather be dead than marry her? ouch). He tells her that he can't have children and that since she's always yapping about wanting a Little Women type family, he doesn't want her to be unhappy. Daphne tells him he's worth it and insists. And it seems like this actually might be a cute little love story...until Daphne rapes her husband in order to forcibly get him to impregnate her. That's right, when Simon is drunk, Daphne mounts him and then hunkers down on him so that he has no choice but to come inside her, and she is so smug and so pleased, thinking that she has "fixed" him and then has the gall to cry and get all teary and sanctimonious when he is angry.

My friends had warned me about this scene going in, but reading it still left a hugely bitter taste in my mouth. Now, I do want to say that as a reader of bodice-rippers, I am no stranger to unconsensual scenes in books. But there is a major difference between acts of rape in which the rapist is depicted as a rapist, and acts of rape in which the rapist is depicted as having the moral high ground. This is part of the reason sexism is so harmful: not just because women are victimized or robbed of agency, but also because people don't ever think that women can be the perpetrators of physical or sexual violence, because they are so "harmless," and so we get bullshit scenes like this.

Daphne can fuck right off.

1.5 to 2 stars
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
July 20, 2021

Been waiting for AGES to do this Unboxing and Review Video for the Bridgerton Box from Once Upon a Book Club!

My reading rep code: MIRANDAREADS10

The Written Review

Daphne Bridgerton, the fourth eldest of the Bridgertons, is eager to make her debut into society...but much to her dismay, everyone seems to find her "friendly" and "a good person" but not marriage material.

Meanwhile Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, has finally retuned to England and he wants to finish up some business without dealing with all the marriage-happy mothers and their desperate daughters. He's sworn to never get married, and he has no plans to stop it now.

And so the two of them quite literally stumble into each other and hatch a plan.

If Simon feigns interest in Daphne, then she will seem more desirable AND all of the other girls will back off on Simon.

But...but what happens when the interest is no longer feigned?

So...ultimately this book was hugely entertaining, but also kinda problematic.

Daphne and the Duke were such an engaging couple and truly had some amazing banter. The cast of characters were fun and witty.

And, of course, there's Lady Whistledown - the wildest of them all - always with a quick phrase and snappy comeback in her published papers.

But also the story was chock full of sexism, classism, misogyny and more. Some of it was era-appropriate and some of it hugely exaggerated.

There's one scene in particular (that if you've read it, then you know what I'm talking about) that I wish wasn't included cause I feel like the character change catalyst that the author wanted to happen could've easily happened without such extremes.

But at the end of the day, this was an entertaining fictional story with compelling plot and entertaining twists and turns.
September 28, 2020
”To say that men can be bullheaded would be insulting to the bull”.

¡Hace muchísimo tiempo no me divertía tanto con un libro! ¡Amo a los Bridgerton! Toda historia que empiece con fake dating y se convierta en real dating tiene mi absoluta aprobación.

En El Duque y Yo nos encontramos con la historia de Daphne Bridgerton, una chica de una gran familia que ya está en edad de casarse. Además, siente un poco de presión porque, si ella no se casa pronto, sus hermanas menores tampoco podrán hacerlo. Así que su vida es un solo desfile de pretendientes, bailes y presentaciones en sociedad que ella detesta. Por otra parte, tenemos a Simon Basset, un duque muy acomodado y con una reputación interesante. Simon también detesta un poco la vida de sociedad y que las madres le ofrezcan a sus hijas en bandeja de plata. Así que cuando Simon y Daphne se conocen y ven que sus problemas pueden tener solución, deciden pretender que están comprometidos para que las personas intensas de la sociedad inglesa los dejen en paz un rato. ¿Pero cuándo un cliché de fake dating ha acabado sin que los protagonistas se enamoren?

En serio, no saben lo mucho que me hizo reír este libro. Julia Quinn presenta de una manera tan real a la sociedad inglesa y sus excentricidades que es imposible no imaginárselo todo y disfrutarlo como una espectadora más. Me encantó ver absolutamente todas las interacciones entre Daphne, una chica bastante ingenua y poco instruida en lo que es ser mujer, y Simon, un hombre que está empeñado en vengarse de todo lo que le hizo su padre, incluso cuando el viejo ya está muerto. Tanto Simon como Daphne son dos personajes que hacen que los quieras inmediatamente, aunque, claro, ambos tienen sus momentos de what the fuck are you doing?!

Y quizá eso es lo que lo hace tan disfrutable. Simon y Daphne son personajes humanos, que ignoran cosas, que cometen errores, que gritan, que se alteran, que dicen cosas que realmente no piensan y que, eventualmente, reconsideran sus posiciones y actúan como es mejor para el otro. Si bien las peleas y las discusiones son duras (particularmente una que surge de un acto muy cuestionable de Daphne), todo se compensa con los momentos de humor (¡es increíble que la madre de Daphne no le enseñara nada sobre reproducción a su propia hija!) y de amor absoluto porque, si hay algo que tengo clarísimo, es que Simon ama profundamente a Daphne. Son hermosos cuando dejan todo lo malo de lado.

Creo que El Duque y Yo es, en general, un libro tremendamente divertido (madre mía con los hermanos de Daphne) y que te deja con muchísimas ganas de conocer al resto de la familia Bridgerton. ¡Necesito leer pronto el segundo!
Profile Image for Chan.
708 reviews38 followers
February 7, 2020
Once upon a time in a make believe world...
Jane: I love you, but I can’t marry you. I can’t have children and I want you to be happy.

John: We were seen kissing. If we don’t marry, they shall literally burn you at the stake. Please marry me, Jane.

Jane: Only if you understand that I cannot have children because I know how badly you want them.

John: I understand.

Jane: Okay. I’ll marry you.

A few weeks later...
John: Why do you have birth control pills?

Jane: To prevent pregnancy.

John: I thought you couldn’t have kids.

Jane: Something horrific happened in my childhood. It scarred me for life and I will not have children.

John: You lied to me.

Jane: I’ve been in therapy and on antidepressants for 15 years to deal with my childhood. I’m not having children.

Two months later...
Jane: *Screaming* I’m pregnant. How did this happen? When I was on antibiotics you wore condoms.

John: I poked holes in them because I want a child

My Dear GR Friends, how does this make you feel? How on earth can this guy take advantage of a woman like this? It’s her body and stuff, right? He needs to respect her wishes?

This is kind of what happens in The Duke and I, but it’s the female who wants kids. We sometimes forget that men have rights too. Men are allowed to say NO and women need to respect that.

This book was really good up until Daphne disrespected Simon’s wishes and didn’t even have the decency to apologize. Then she was shocked when he left. She also allowed her family to think he was mistreating her.

I will probably continue with the series because the Bridgerton brood is interesting, but I need a break first. I didn't like what Daphne did.
Profile Image for Literary Ames.
830 reviews395 followers
October 7, 2012
It's okay to rape your husband. (Source: Chapter 18 onwards.)

Up until this chapter The Duke and I was on the road to four stars. Four and not five because of:

➜ Anthony's behaviour after witnessing his friend's mouth on his sister's chest in the garden of a house party, challenging his FRIEND to a duel after Simon refused to marry Daphne on the grounds it would make her unhappy because he couldn't give her what she'd always wanted i.e. children and therefore happiness. If Simon really was a friend, Anthony would've asked more questions about the why and been more tenacious in getting an accurate answer instead of jumping into a duel where he'd be forced to kill his friend;

➜ The following duel scene the next morning when Daphne outright lies to Simon about others, besides Anthony, witnessing their intimate act to prevent Simon from being killed in the duel and to force him to marry her, followed by Simon omitting the fact he won't have children and instead says he 'can't' have them so he doesn't have to tell her his very personal reason why.

I swallowed these things hoping it would come out later and they'd forgive each other in the end.

What I was not expecting was Daphne's grotesque arrogance and selfishness in taking advantage of her drunk husband after she found out the truth, denying him sex and companionship, and not allowing him to pull out during sex so she could have the children she'd always wanted. They'd been MARRIED TWO WEEKS, there was plenty of time to discuss his problems, his worries, about even contemplating children and instead she takes the choice from him against his will as he struggles with her once he realises her intentions.

After what Simon's father did to him Daphne's behaviour is even worse because she knew about Simon's stuttering and his father's abandonment of Simon because of this. And then two months after Simon leaves her he finds he misses her and he CAN'T REMEMBER WHY HE LEFT IN THE FIRST PLACE, thereby excusing any wrongdoing on her part. But not only that, Daphne sends her angry brother after Simon without telling him she was the reason Simon left and not Simon himself.

So, four stars to one. If the gender roles had been reversed I'd expect more people would've been outraged at the rape. Completely ruined a perfectly good book, and my first, and possibly the last, by Julia Quinn.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,883 reviews5,801 followers
December 23, 2020

Disappointed. Actually, disappointed doesn't even begin to describe it.

*Unpopular opinion time*

Once upon a time, I wasn't into historical romance. I thought they were silly and anti-women, and I wasn't even interested in trying them. Thankfully, I discovered historical romances by Tessa Dare and Courtney Milan, and I fell head over heels for the genre.

I'm thanking my lucky stars that I didn't try this book first because I fear I would have never read the genre again.

I've been meaning to try this series for some time now. I've read Julia Quinn before, and I really liked Because of Miss Bridgerton. EVERYONE has told me to try the original Bridgerton series, starting with The Duke and I. So, of course, I decided to take the series on, and I even bought the next couple of books following the first. However, I'm absolutely flummoxed by the love for this book.

Daphne Bridgerton was the worst heroine that I've read in a long time. She is meant to be strong and spunky, but I thought that she was self-serving and TSTL. I actually hated her. She manipulated poor Simon every step of the way. She forced him to befriend her, she forced him to marry her, and forced him in other ways that found absolutely morally reprehensible. She was vile, truly, and thought herself to be entirely blameless throughout the story.

Simon didn't quite make sense either. He had a rakish reputations, one that I didn't see any evidence of in the story, and had a twisted mentality about his situation. He was self-pitying and broody, and though I didn't like him, I thought he got the short end of the stick being stuck with Daphne.

To top it off, the book was way too long, and it took me ages to finish the audiobook. I wasn't motivated to keep listening, even with a flawless narration from Rosalyn Landor, who did her very best to add personality and sympathy for these odious characters.

I know, a very unpopular opinion, but this book only gets as high as 2-stars because of the narration. Otherwise, it would be in 1-star territory. *update, I still hate it. Downgrade to 1-star*

Profile Image for Karla Martínez.
Author 1 book14.5k followers
September 8, 2021
Mi corazón no me permite darle más estrellas. Les juro que me estaba gustando demasiado! Daphne es una protagonista muy entretenida, chistosa, fuerte y determinada y me sentía un poco reflejada en ella... hasta el final del libro. Simon, por otro lado, es un interés amoroso demasiado sensual y, aunque era un tanto machista, lo puedo perdonar por la época en la que el libro se centra. Es un libro que se pudo haber convertido en mis favoritos del año...



Encuentro demasiado fuerte que no estemos hablando de que Daphne violó a Simon e hizo que se viniera dentro de ella cuando él prácticamente le suplicaba que parara. POR QUÉ NORMALIZAMOS ESTAS COSAS? Imagínense hubiese sido al revés.

Ya, el libro es entretenido, tiene cosas buenas, obviamente, PERO NO PUEDO SUPERAR ESTO. O sea, weoooon!!!! AHHH.

Y lo que más rabia me da?

Es que no se condena esto de ninguna manera. Onda, Simon se enoja porque él tartamudea, no por lo que ella hizo eso. Y al final son felices para siempre? Cuál más tóxico xd.

Me enojé.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,208 reviews3,687 followers
December 5, 2020
So...writing this review is tricky because there is a very controversial scene in this book that a lot of people (pretty understandably) hate and it has soured them on the story. I knew going in that such a scene existed, even if I didn't know all of the details, and that may have colored my experience.

That said....I loved The Duke and I! And cannot wait to read on in the series. I fell in love with the characters, the world, and the tone almost immediately. From Lady Whistledown to the entire, boistrous Bridgerton family and their hilarious yet strong matriarch, to the banter and comedic situations involving Simon and Daphne, I'm here for all of it. I do want to address the controversy because it is sensitive, but also I don't know the last time I felt this connected to and invested in a romance series right off the bat. I can already tell it's something I will want to reread in the future.

That said, let's talk about the elephant in the room: the scene in question takes place after Simon and Daphne are married. It's a complicated situation, and from this point on, you should expect spoilers....


Things to know: Simon started speaking late and had a stutter. His complete asshole of a father called him stupid and wanted nothing to do with him. Now his dad is dead, but he has vowed never to have children and doesn't plan to marry. Which gets complicated when he gets frisky with Daphne and must marry her to preserve her reputation....

Daphne (like most young women of her day) has never taken sex ed and therefore knows virtually nothing about sex or how conception works. This leads to some hilarious scenes and conversations, but it's also tragically historically accurate. So when she marries Simon, she doesn't realize that when he says he "can't" have children, what he really means is he "won't" have children. Nor does she realize what he's doing when he pulls out every time they have sex. Simon takes advantage of her naivete, even knowing her intense desire for children, and basically lies to her for months. Honestly, I found his behavior to be pretty reprehensible and selfish, even if we understand that it's rooted in trauma.

So when Daphne learns more about how things work and realizes she has been lied to, it sets off an understandably giant conflict where she (rightly in my opinion) tells Simon she will no longer be in his bed. He gets very drunk and comes home asking her to stay with him and be with him. This sets the stage for more horrible behavior where Daphne has sex with him and basically refuses to let him pull out. Whew. Okay, so there are people saying this is basically marital rape. And reading the scene...kinda? It certainly has elements of dubious consent at the very least.

The thing is, it's not painted as okay, or as sexy in the book. It's very clearly portrayed as wrong, but I also think from the perspective of a sheltered, relatively powerless young woman at the time, I kind of get it. Selfish? Of course. Both of them are selfish and do terrible things, but for me that was part of the point and part of how they learned and grew together. And the behavior doesn't occur in a vacuum either- I think the author does a fantastic job of creating a nuanced portrait of what each of them has experienced and how that shapes their choices.

I am glad that a child didn't end up as the product of that night. I would have had a harder time dealing with that, but it's a non-issue. I also want to say, because I knew there was some kind of potentially problematic scene going in, it was obvious to me from pretty early on what was going to take place. I hear some people say they were blindsided, but for me it was like watching a train barreling down the tracks. And it's a real issue too, not that dissimilar from real life women who "forget" to take their birth control in hopes of having a baby their partner doesn't want. Because while people are calling this rape, it's not actually the sex that was unwanted. It was the potential pregnancy. Which still isn't okay, but I appreciate that the author was engaging with that issue.

I've been mulling over my thoughts on this for awhile before I wrote this review because I do know it's a controversial one. To readers who hated this and want nothing more to do with these characters, that's valid, especially if this is a personally triggering issue. I imagine if it was written today rather than 20+ years ago, the author might handle it a little more carefully (admittedly we maybe could have used a bigger conversation about what happened between the characters later on), but I found it to be compelling and thought-provoking, and most of the book was just a whole lot of fun and made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions! I'm also super curious to see how they handle things in the Netflix adaptation. But guys, I loved this book. So very much.
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
October 23, 2016
“Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?”

Well my Mama refused to find me a duke, even though she is desperate to see me settled down (apparently, I am a spinster at the ripe age of 24). In fact, she laughed at the idea, and then started her "stop reading-start living" lectures, while arranging to introduce me to the Lady of the Caramel's son, who is "rich, young and available"(I think available is her most important quality). Me, well, I ignored her as per usual, and started spinning, following the notes of an imaginary melody, pretending I was dancing with a handsome, sexy and mysterious duke (or prince, I'm not picky).

Because that's The Duke and I's major effect; daydreaming.
“There were rules among friends, commandments, really, and the most important one was Thou Shalt Not Lust After Thy Friend's Sister.”

But Simon Basset couldn't help it. Daphne Bridgerton haunted his dreams, evoking dark fantasies that could not see daylight. There was something about her, something that made him forget who he was and what he was, she was the perfect match for him. She challenged him. But he had taken an oath, and he was determined to keep it. No matter how much he wanted her.

Daphne Bridgerton was not a popular debutante. She was witty (perhaps too witty for her own good) , and gentle, but not the kind of woman that would inspire poems and make men go crazy over her. But Simon Basset was different. He made her heart race and her body burn, and when he proposed an arrangement that would benefit them both, Daphne could not refuse. But she also couldn't stop hoping that one day this wonderful man would become hers, body and soul. That she would tear down the walls he was building for years.
“When you smile it takes up half your face.'
'Simon!' she exclaimed. 'That sounds horrible.'
'It's enchanting.'

I've been dreaming of balls and gowns since I was a little girl. I still close my eyes and place myself in fairytales, and a part of me whispers that I was born in the wrong century. Julia Quinn satisfied every girly fantasy I've ever had, and then some more. She had a Jane Austen vibe, but added sizzling tension, steam to make you drool, and a not so gentle gentleman (imagine a dirtier Mr. Darcy, with many issues but always eager to please a woman). It was delicious.

The Duke and I was a light, entertaining and uttetly addicting novel. Every time I turned its pages, a brand new old world opened before my eyes, sucking me into a society that demanded of women good manners and healthy heirs but gave them nothing in return, a London shocked but mesmerized by Lady Whistledown’s gossip papers, ballrooms full of Ambitious Mamas that became the nightmare of every eligible bachelor, and a loud family whose banters cracked me up. I must admit there were times I wanted to punch Simon for being so stubborn, guided by the hatred towards his father, but I also ached for his difficult childhood and the lack of love and acceptance that marked him. But Daphne knew that she could cure him and fight his demons, I admired her for her persistance and devotion, and I could empathize with her. Simon and Daphne were an explosive couple, that warmed my heart and my cheeks!
“The world seemed somehow different when one was lying down. Darker, more dangerous ... And in that moment, as he slowly closed the distance between them, he became her entire world.”

In this world, I was a debutante. An innocent girl seduced by a devilishly handsome duke. A woman determined to fight for the man she loved.
And I savoured every single moment.

Profile Image for Talkincloud.
172 reviews3,366 followers
February 21, 2021
Słaby romans historyczny o wzajemnym pogwałcaniu swoich cielesnych praw. Nie, dziękuję.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,363 reviews2 followers
December 28, 2020
UPDATE, after watching the NETFLIX series ...

Please watch it. It is fantastic - I adored it. Loved the casting, the set, the acting ... The Duke, Daphne! It was beautiful ...

--------------------------- ORIGINAL REVIEW(s) below ...

I know, I know ... not another listen/read of this one? Well, when you are in a bit of a book slump go back to an old favourite. Seriously, I will never tire of reading this series. I am awaiting the Netflix series with a bit of trepidation... in my mind I have my vision of my perfect Simon and Daphne. Of course I have seen the pictures of the cast members and the promotional video ... what do I think? Mmmm, I will wait and see on December 25th (Happy Christmas to me) ... maybe I should cook the turkey on Christmas Eve this year!! Cannot recommend this series highly enough. I know a lot of you have already read it and cannot wait for the TV adaptation also...

And yes, the book is still a FIVE STAR read! (and listen).


This was a mixture of listening to the Audible and re-reading it. I LOVED IT.

Profile Image for Anne.
4,061 reviews69.5k followers
August 14, 2023
Man, I've heard some weird things about this book over the years - none of them good.
So, even though Quinn is a super popular author and I'd already read and likedish a few of the Bridgerton books, I just sort of crossed The Duke & I off my list.
Because life is too short.
And then the Nexflix show dropped.
*sizzle, sizzle, sizzle*


I grabbed the audiobook from Hoopla and dove in.
And it was great! I couldn't help but picture the actors from the tv show speaking the lines from this book and I just melted. Probably my favorite Bridgerton book so far.
It was adorable!


You know, until it wasn't.


Oh my, yes. There were definitely some hinky goings-on that despoiled the fun vibe this one was rocking.
It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be in the same sense that I thought it was going to be bad, but there was just too much grey area in that one little scene for me to not cringe. A lot. If the roles had been reversed, I don't think anything about it would have played out well at all.
So, buckle up because I'm going to have to say something that hurts:
The tv show did it better.


Here's the thing. Daphne and Simon were one of the best couples Quinn has written. But between the THING Daphne did, the THING Simon lied about, and the fact that Daphne never confronted her idiot mother for doing such a terrible job explaining life to her child?
It really put a kink in my enjoyment.


And you know what?
Violet and all of her flubbering, twittering, and blushing without actually telling Daphne about the mechanics of sex was maybe the worst sin this book committed.
What the hell is so difficult about it?
His penis goes into your vagina. And by the time that happens, you should actually want the penis to be there. FUN MOVEMENT ENSUES! There's some white sticky stuff that squirts out of your dude, which will head towards your eggs and may fertilize one of them. If so, this will eventually grow into a baby.
It's not hard.


Sorry, sorry, sorry!
I've been reading the series willy-nilly, and have always thought of Violet as a good mother. This completely changed my mind about her. As a woman first and mother second, you have a serious responsibility to get the fuck over whatever imaginary mortification you've drummed yourself up about when it comes to sex and reproduction, and you need to make goddamn sure your daughters are educated about their bodies. And while you're at it, make goddam sure your sons are equally educated about themselves and women. <--periods aren't gross!


I think I would have felt much better about the outcome of this story if Daphne had given Violet a boot in the ass for sending her off into the world without the protection that comes with knowledge.


But that's not what happened.
Violet was a product of her times and apparently, Daphne was ok with that.
I doubt I would have been as gracious.


Having said that, it was overall a very cute story that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in the Bridgertons.
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,774 followers
December 16, 2022

2.5 Stars

Simon & Daphne = Dumb & Dumber

I’m officially starting my journey with this series. Whether or not I’ll read all the books, we shall see since I’m not exactly off to a good start with this one. Do I have to read everything first if I want to watch the Netflix adaptation? I mean, of course I don’t have to, but will watching the show spoil ALL the books? Or is it one season based on one book? Please, lemmeknowww!

Anyway, this book. Simon’s stutter endears him to readers, but for the most part he’s just so... flat and uninteresting. Meanwhile, Daphne (I’m sorry) is so stupid it’s baffling. No one is that clueless and dim-witted. How can a daughter with SEVEN siblings from as respectable family as hers doesn’t know the basest knowledge on sex education?! I refuse to believe it.

Even more ridiculous is the mother who has birthed EIGHT children. She turns into a bumbling idiot when asked about the birds and the bees and can barely explain it to Daphne. Also, I’d been informed about *THAT* scene before going in, so while I was partly desensitized, reading it myself still disgusted me. Were things really that taboo and abhorrent during that time period?!

The only thing I enjoyed about this was the family aspect. I liked the fact that the children were named alphabetically cause it was easier for me to remember. I loved the brothers, Anthony especially, mostly because I always wish I had one and the brother-sister dynamic made me envious. Other than that, I also liked the Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers sections cause they were the ultimate comic relief.

(Read as an Audiobook)
December 10, 2018
4.5 Simon makes my heart stutter Stars

The Duke and I has been on my TBR list for years, but I just never got around to reading it. Now I can't believe I waited so long. I wasn't two chapters into this book before I knew two things for sure 1. I loved the Bridgertons and 2. Julia Quinn would be a new favorite author. This book grabbed me right out the gate. It captivated my heart, and I fell in love with this big, loud but sweet family. This book was cute, at times sad and had me laughing out loud more times than I can count.

Simon totally broke my heart. It bled for the way his dad was to him, and for all he had to suffer because of it. Simon was damaged but he was still a great guy. Daphne was funny, sassy, and very independent. I loved that she was honest and didn't play games when it came to how she felt.

Simon and Daphne were very sweet together. They had a strong connection from their first meeting. I loved them as a couple. They weren't perfect they messed up, did things that hurt the other, but in real life love is messy and people are imperfect. Simon and Daphne's missteps made them more human, and relatable. I loved Daphne's whole family. Her older 3 brothers really had a cute protective roll in this book. I can't wait to read their books too. I also loved her mom. The whole family was very cute and endearing. Overall a great read and I think Julia Quinn has herself a new fan girl.
Profile Image for ale ‧ ₊˚୨ ♡ ୧ ₊˚.
412 reviews2,146 followers
May 26, 2022
Will this be my only read of May? Yes, probably, and I hate me for it.

You can also read my complete review here!

This book could have been a 3.5 stars rating if it had not been for THAT scene. Holy shit, what the hell? I wish I could unread that scene, please and thanks.

I was only following the train of hype for the Netflix show, because I still wanna watch it.

There were some parts that I liked, but not Daphne and Simon, they were unbearable, annoying and stupid. Daph's personal trait was "I've lived with four brothers my entire life, I know men" and Simon's personal trait was "I won't fall for her, but oh, she's so beautiful, how can I not?"

I'm gonna keep reading the other books because I've been told that the rest of the series is pretty good!
Profile Image for Kevin (Irish Reader).
274 reviews3,935 followers
February 6, 2021
I was giving this book 3 stars right up until the ending. It ruined all of my previous enjoyment of the book, unfortunately.

I did a full spoiler filled reading vlog/review on this book on my YouTube channel. If you’d like to know my thoughts on the book, you can watch that video here: https://youtu.be/idoDMGyn0-o
Profile Image for Christy.
3,919 reviews33k followers
November 27, 2020
4 stars
There were rules among friends, commandments, really, and the most important one was Thou Shalt Not Lust After Thy Friend’s Sister.

I've been trying to read more historical romance novels this year and I've obviously been failing... but I'm so glad I listened to this one. Honestly, I really want to watch the series next month so I made time for this. I loved it. Daphane and Simon were fantastic and I can't wait to read more from this series.

Audio book source: Libby (library borrow)
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Historical romance
Length: 12 hours and 9 minutes
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
1,016 reviews541 followers
December 28, 2019
Dicen que el hombre siempre desea, pero que pocas veces obtiene lo que anhela. Pues bien, hace tiempo, le comenté a una amiga que quería leer esta saga. Era uno de esos pendientes, que nunca encuentran su momento, hasta que ellos vienen hacia ti. Sí, así es. Se puede decir que estos libros vinieron a mí. Así que voy a cambiar el dicho por: El hombre desea y obtiene lo que anhela :)

Pero vamos a lo verdaderamente interesante, decir que este primer libro me gustó es quedarme corta. Me ha encantado sumergirme en esta saga familiar, conocer a sus personajes, vivir sus temores y ver cómo salían reforzados gracias al amor. La ambientación es maravillosa y el toque de humor que aporta la autora, hace que pases páginas sin darte cuenta. Un principio que promete mucho.
Profile Image for Layla.
341 reviews385 followers
May 24, 2022
tw~ rape

I was really enjoying this book to start off, but the way one scene can ruin an entire book... Can we please not write on page explicit rape scenes and then try to pass them off as consensual and also dismiss and make excuses for what happened like it was a simple misunderstanding? I'm literally asking for the bare minimum here.

2 stars
October 4, 2010
When I read a book, I want to become involved emotionally. A book that does that is more likely to be highly rated. Such was the case with The Duke and I.

I have a sickness, an infatuation for tortured, dark, conflicted heroes. The happy-go-lucky guys don't capture my imagination nearly so much as their darker counterparts. Fortunately, Simon was tortured enough to keep me happy.

The beginning of this book was brilliantly done. I was already captivated with Simon, the future Duke of Hastings. My heart cried for him. I wanted to see him overcome the obstacles that were unfairly set before him, to become the man he was capable of being. And boy, did he become quite a man.

Imagine my surprise, that for all my affinity for Simon, that the star of this story was Daphne? She started out very mild, sweet (typical Regency heroine), not necessarily standing out. But, by the end of this book, I loved her. She was just the woman that Simon needed. He was what she wanted, and she was going to get her man, and wouldn't settle for less than all of him. She had mettle, and she wasn't afraid to challenge Simon to change the future, and to shake free from the chains of the past, which held him prisoner. Perhaps he never would have found true happiness and joy if Daphne had not hammered (gently and not so gently, at times) at the walls around his heart.

The event that puts a strain on their marriage could be read in different ways. I like that Ms. Quinn put that scene in. It was a brave move on her part. And there is enough ambiguity there to wonder if there was some culpability on Daphne's part. And it turns around some of those ever-present outcries we often get about sexual dynamics in romance.

I liked that Simon had his so-called 'flaw'. I don't tend to care for perfect characters, because I don't enjoy rooting for them nearly so much as the flawed/less-than perfect ones. I loved that Daphne accepted that about him, and thought he was wonderful for overcoming the obstacles he faced, and that she thought he was brilliant. She loved him so much, enough to fight for him, and she did many times. In fact, I'd call Daphne the Knight in Shining Armor of this book. Go, Daphne!

What was underwhelming about this book?

Well, I thought some of the humor aspects were a bit off. I couldn't find the balance between humor and angst. On the plus side, I did like the family dynamics, and the humor they brought to the situation. Those were some of my favorite humorous moments. I liked very much that Daphne's family were useful weapons in her arsenal to win her fair prince. Simon had never felt the loving bonds of family. He was captivated by the Bridgerton family dynamics, good and bad.

I must say that Anthony annoyed the crap out of me. He was a bit of a hypocrit. I think that he forgot that Simon was a man he respected, and that he cared about his best friend. When he saw that Simon and Daphne had an attraction to each other, Simon became his enemy. He refused to believe that Simon could be honorable. I know what you're saying. I realize that Anthony took his responsiblity to protect his sister seriously. But, if Simon could look at the situation from Anthony's vantage point, I would hope that Anthony would try to do the same. I didn't see him doing that. I do have to say that I really admired how well Daphne stood up to her over-protective brothers, especially when they tried to interfere in her marriage. She put her foot down, and she needed to, or that wouldn't even stop, for as long as she was married.

The other thing that bothered me about this book was that at times, it seemed to lapse into a modern voice. I know I shouldn't be so picky, but that's a rather large pet peeve of mine. However, I do have to say that for the most part, Ms. Quinn does the Regency period very well.

I thought this was a good book, and probably my second favorite novel by Julia Quinn, after To Sir Phillip with Love. I don't go for the lighter Regencies that much, but this had enough angst in it to keep me pretty happy. Although I read it for a challenge, and to get it off my tbr pile, where it had been languishing for several years, I ended up reading it very quickly, and I enjoyed it very much.

Overall rating: 4.25/5.0 stars.

Profile Image for Elena .
53 reviews223 followers
December 30, 2021
Julia Quinn writes delightfully funny banters.

Julia Quinn has an obvious knack for romantic comedy.

Julia Quinn can turn the simple act of taking a glove off into something sensual.

Julia Quinn is utterly confused about what constitutes consent and what doesn't.

*spoilers ahead*

Just imagine: you've repeatedly stated that you do not want to have kids. You're taking every possible measure to ensure you don't end up pregnant. But hey, your partner knows best. So the day you have way too much to drink and go to bed wasted, he has unprotected sex with you in the hope to knock you up - because yes, he might have said he was okay with you not wanting a family, but... come on, seriously?! Once you're with child, you'll surely see reason. His reason, that is.

Real charming, isn't it? Now swap the gender of the protagonists of this sweet little romance: does the fact that it was a man and not a woman who was taken advantage of change anything? If you think it doesn't, then probably you'd better stay clear of The Duke and I.

The book was funny and adorable until it wasn't. I was ecstatic when Daphne confronted Simon about his stupid and offensive ploy to avoid getting her pregnant: he deliberately misled her into thinking he couldn't have children - when, in fact, he simply didn't want to; and he did so taking advantage of his wife's obvious (and unavoidable, given the times) ignorance of sex. Not cool. And the whole reason behind him not wanting kids was pretty asinine, really. But still. You talk to him. You try to understand what brought him to such a drastic decision and make him understand your needs and hopes for the future. You try to be patient - after all, it's been what, two weeks since the marriage?

Or, you know, you can always take advantage of the drunk moron who passed out in your bed. There. All done!

The fact that neither Daphne nor Simon - or Quinn herself, obviously - seemed to think that anything much was wrong with this scenario had me alternately outraged and seriously confused. I mean - pardon my French here - but: what the actual fuck ? Is it just me? I re-read that awful passage three times and there's just no way to make it right, no matter how blasé Daphne and Simon are about it. Whatever, guys: if you're happy...

... still, what a way to wreck an otherwise perfectly lovely romance.
Profile Image for Nicole.
750 reviews1,937 followers
January 9, 2021
I was surprised when I discovered this book is gonna be a tv show. I mean are we going ignore that rape scene? But maybe, just maybe, since tv adaptations are rarely loyal to the real thing, they’ll ignore that scene. And won’t include it in the tv show. Spoilers or not I no longer care. This is unacceptable and if genders were reversed the book and tv show would’ve received hate to no end. Please guys tell me how most are raving about the tv show and ignoring what happened in episode 6? He clearly said “wait”. Sure it did not start that way but it wasn’t consensual at the end.

I advocate women’s rights. I work on empowering women. This is not it.

Now the sales of this book increased again.

And the show runners thought this is a part of Daphne’s education process. Sure.

I did not continue the show but I heard BOTH apologized? Mind you Daphne didn’t in the damn book at least she did in the show. But what did he have to apologize for? She made it sound like it’s HIS fault because he lied? Like lol sure that completely justifies your behavior.

If a man did the same thing.. I can’t even imagine the outrage the book would get. Or show. And rightfully so. But simply reversing the genders makes it “uhm sure not the best behavior but I’ll turn a blind eye”? Not in my book.

This is very annoying and unacceptable.

I was considering giving this book 2 stars but I can’t get over what Daphne did at the end, if roles were reversed and the guy did the same thing, this book would’ve probably never seen light!

Every now and then, I pick up a romance book and decide not to take myself seriously. Just enjoy the story. Ignore the insta-love, the irrational decisions, and the overused tropes and simply enjoy myself. The Duke and I was one of the lucky ones. I decided to go easy on it. And all was well until the end... So how did it deserve this low rating?
-1 star because only close to perfect books deserve 5 stars
-1 because Daphne acted too needy and could not but impose her opinion on others
-5 because of that damn hideous thing she did at the end. No matter how much I liked a book, such act cancels everything.

You see, I have yet to come across a worse behavior from a heroine. Some do bad things and regret them. Others aren’t supposed to be “good” from the start –even then none did what Daphne had done. But this is different, forcing herself on someone is NEVER okay. Not regretting is NEVER okay. And not even seeing why it is wrong is NEVER okay.

This horrendous act shouldn’t have been romanticized in this book!! Spoiler or no, this is terrible and crosses the “acceptable things” line in books! If a man did the same, the books community would’ve been outrageous! I honestly want to give it 1 star because I simply can’t stand what Daphne did at the end nor the fact that she wasn’t worried/remorseful about what she’s done. If she apologized and admitted the error in her behavior, it would’ve been okay with me. But nope. I honestly don't understand the high ratings, how can people shrug off what she did .

What a waste honestly, the story was very fun and the characters otherwise enjoyable for a mindless read.
Profile Image for Liz* Fashionably Late.
435 reviews387 followers
March 5, 2016
I don't wanna be that guy but let Aunty Liz tell you a spoilerish story! gather 'round, dear children:

A loving husband, very much in love, is eager to start a family but his wife is not mentally ready yet. She's been through a lot so she asks him to wait. She needs time to heal.

That night, the wife enters the bedroom a little drunk. Yeah, she's been drinking, my children, don't drive if you're drinking. Anyways, the wife is very drunk so she goes to sleep. Suddenly, the husband lures her with kisses and more. He wants her and she, drunk and sleepy, won't say no.

Sexy times, sexy times, he goes for it, sexy times.

Once she is completely awake and realizes what he's doing, she tries to stop it BUT he's enjoying it too much to stop. She asks him to stop but at the same time she's doesn't want him to do it because some physical needs are, sometimes, stronger than will itself.

Everything finishes in a bittersweet note and the wife, angry with her husband for using this weak moment against her, leaves the room. AAAAAND THAT'S HOW BABIES ARE MADE.

Cute, sweet, LOVELY STORY? I don't think so... gender roles reversed and there you have it, The Duke and I.

Show me the way, lord, because I am about to kill someone.

Oh, I'm getting there.

I could say so much about this book. I'd love to talk about the sassiness of the MC and how lovely her relationship with the brothers was. I'd be happy to say kudos to the author for the witty dialogues and charming characters.

I'd love to talk about the banter between her and Simon and how hard I was shipping them. But everything good about this book was lost after terrible and WRONG choices. Daphne turned into a manipulative and selfish prat, Simon a possessive jerk and Anthony... ugh, don't get me started.

I'm that guy, apparently. Everybody and their mothers are loving this book and I'm here thinking how on earth this book went from 5 stars to 2 in just a few chapters. I'm not sure if I'll continue with the series but I think I'll try to read something from the author in the future.

Profile Image for Victoria Resco.
Author 7 books25.6k followers
February 25, 2021
El puntaje se lo di teniendo en cuenta que es un cliché adictivo y divertido. No es la mejor historia del mundo pero entretiene.

Le bajé un punto porque hay una parte recontra mega turbia y porque, todo bien con las escenas picantes, pero había setenta y eran tODAS IGUALES. DALE FLACA UN POQUITO DE CREATIVIDAD PORFAS.

Lo que sí voy a decir es que definitivamente está carísimo el libro porque salió la serie en netflix y es una pena, porque a pesar de que me gustaría seguir leyéndola saga, no voy a poder. Están demasiado caros para lo que son.

PD: diversidad, cero. Pero trato de tener en cuenta que fue escrito hace 20 años y en el período de tiempo en el que transcurre la historia tiene sentido que no haya tanta. Pero bueno, siempre me gusta ver algo de diversidad, así que F.
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