Review: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
“ I love you so much it scares me. If I could give you the world, you know I would do it, don't you?”
Title: The Duke and I
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Book 1 of the Bridgerton Series
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Historical Romance
Historical romances were not my thing. They were not my thing until I read this book. Now I just want to immerse myself in royal balls and luncheons, I want callers and palaces. The Duke and I is a beautiful tale of love and self discovery, mixed in with a little Gossip Girl style mystery. I totally read this because the Netflix show caught my attention and I knew I wanted to read it before I became enamored with the show. I am happy to say that both the book and the show delivered exquisitely.
The book narrates the story of the Bridgertons. A rich family in England, and it is Daphne's season to get married. However, in our book, she is seen as many a "friend" and not someone to marry. That is until she meets the Duke (who is also her brother Anthony's best friend), a handsome rake who is set to not marry anyone. Daphne and Simon devise a plan, for them both to come out victorious. They will seem to be courting to entice suitors to win Daphne's affection and for Simon to be considered as undesirable and keep him away of the prying mothers and daughters of the ton. However, Daphne doesn't expect to feel the way she does about him, and in a heat of passion she is found kissing him. Simon has to make a decision and marry Daphne. However this is where things get heated because Daphne's dream is to become a mother, a dream Simon will not fulfill.
The reality is that Simon was mistreated as a young child, his father was not a good man and he vows to never let him win. By doing so his own happiness comes into question. There were many things that attracted me of Simon, his stubbornness, his ability to want to love . However his inability to give Daphne what she wanted annoyed me, but this is what drove the story and allowed for the character development to exist (which was executed in an okay manner ).
Daphne on the other hand, was always someone I enjoyed reading about. Her wittiness and her intelligence (and innocence) made me laugh and I found myself wanting to be her friend. There is a scene where her character is put in question. A rape scene between her and Simon that goes unnoticed, but I feel that it should. In truth, Daphne forces Simon to ejaculate inside of her, and to the eyes of this reader that was not okay. I feel that the grief and the forgiveness after this event was executed well, but its not something that should be just looked over as a normal scene.
Overall, the background of the story was very enjoyable. I feel that we have this idea in our minds that women at this time period weren't strong. However, after reading this book I feel that they were stronger because of how weak they were in society. They had to endure so much and their dreams had to be revolving around men or if they wanted to live a life of passion and employment they were deemed as unladylike. It is incredible how society was built with those standards.
--- 4 stars ---