Jess's Reviews > The Duke and I

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: for_review, historical, favorites, family_sibling_series

Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads

Talk about starting off a book and a series by making me love a young Simon immediately as we get a few snippets of his childhood told during the prologue. His mother died during child birth and all his father wanted was an heir; a perfect mini-me version of himself. He got Simon, a sweet young boy who didn’t speak until he was 4 years old, and struggled to overcome stammering. His father, mortified that his heir wasn’t perfect, called him every name imaginable, stupid, idiot, he threatened to beat the stammering out of him…when Simon was only 4 years old. My heart went out to Simon and as he grew up, his own hatred towards his estranged father drove him to overcome his struggles with speech and when he became a successful, bright, well liked young man, he and his father were never able to repair the damage that was done before his father passes away. Simon swears off ever getting married or having children, especially having an heir of his own because it’s exactly what his father would have wanted for their family’s legacy.

On the flip side of the coin is Daphne. She grew up in a large family, full of love and laughter, with older and younger siblings to play and fight with; she grew up surrounded by people who cared about her. The family dynamic in any series always draws me in and the Bridgerton’s had me laughing out loud through the whole book. Each sibling has their own very distinct personality and we get to see them all throughout Daphne’s story. I love the easy playfulness and banter between them, and the way that Simon, in his own way, fits right in.

Simon and Daphne strike a deal – Simon is already tired of mothers trying to marry their daughters off to him, and Daphne is tired of being seen as only a “friend” to the male sex and they decide that if Simon acts as though he’s interested in Daphne, it’ll (hopefully) help keep the mothers from bothering him so much. While Daphne hopes that having Simon show an interest in her brings more potential suitors to her door, men who would finally start to see her as more than just friend material.

“I’m quite immune to your games.”


She gave his arm a reassuring pat. “But yours was a most admirable attempt. And truly, I’m quite flattered you thought me worthy of such a magnificent display of dukish rakishness.” She grinned, her smile wide and unfeigned. “Or do you prefer rakish dukishness?”

Simon stroked his jaw thoughtfully, trying to regain his mood of menacing predator. “You’re a most annoying little chit, did you know that, Miss Bridgerton?”

She gave him her sickliest of smiles. “Most people find me the soul of kindness and amiability.”

“Most people,” Simon said bluntly, “are fools.”

As these two get closer and become friends, they find themselves in a compromising position that forces Anthony, Daphne’s older brother, to challenge Simon to a duel, which then forces Daphne to intervene which ultimately results in their marriage. I loved the timing of this, it happens around the mid-point of the book, and things are very bumpy for this couple. While Simon gives in to his no marriage rule, he holds strong against wanting kids. Daphne can’t imagine a life without children, but she loves Simon, and they struggle at first, at one point being separated for 2 months by choice. I did knock a little bit off my final rating because in one scene, Daphne refuses to take into consideration Simon’s beliefs and wants about having children and has sex with him when he’s drunk and not in his right mind. It’s ultimately a selfish act and Simon, rightfully so, feels betrayed and this leads to their 2 month separation. But once they’re back together, Daphne helps Simon finally start to let go of all the anger he had toward his father and he starts to look at life differently.

I love, love, love all the different sides to Simon that we see. He’s a charming, smart man on the outside, who tends to not let too many people get close. But with Daphne, he lets himself be vulnerable and lets his guard down so he’s finally able to deal with all the feelings he’s kept inside for so many years. To balance out some of the heaviness of Simon’s story, the humor and laughs that Daphne, her brothers and the whole Bridgerton family provide, makes this a completely charming story, and I can’t wait to read more about each sibling.
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Reading Progress

November 28, 2011 – Started Reading
November 28, 2011 – Shelved
November 29, 2011 –
page 74
19.27% "Love, love, love so far!"
November 29, 2011 –
page 275
71.61% "I feel some angst coming..."
November 30, 2011 – Shelved as: for_review
November 30, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites
November 30, 2011 – Shelved as: historical
November 30, 2011 – Finished Reading
February 10, 2012 – Shelved as: family_sibling_series

Comments (showing 1-3)

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Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥ This was my first historical romance, I became hooked. Hope you enjoy this and the rest of the Bridgertons as much as I did.

Jess Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥ wrote: "This was my first historical romance, I became hooked. Hope you enjoy this and the rest of the Bridgertons as much as I did."

I love it already! The siblings relationship is so sweet and funny and *sigh* Simon. If ever I could punch a fictional character it'd be Simon's horrible father.

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