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The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (2000)

  1. 20
    The Duke by Gaelen Foley (faither)
    faither: This is the first in a similar series about a large family looking for spouses in Regency England. Both series are quite entertaining.

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4 ½ Stars ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
Daphne Bridgerton is starting her 3rd season on the marriage market, all because almost every guy she talks to seems to only think that if she were a man they’d be friends or something. She blames this problem of hers on the fact that she knows the inner workings of men’s minds too well, because of growing up with 4 brothers. So Daphne is becoming quite depressed as the only suitors she receives are either; 3 times her age, jerks, or whiny halfwits.

So when she runs into the Duke of Hastings, Simon, and he makes the proposal that they pretend to court each other she practically jumps at the chance. This little bargain will let Simon escape from the husband hunting mamas of the ton and Daphne will attract better suitors due to a Duke taking interest in her.

I really liked the fake courtship Daphne and Simon had going on. They had a lot of little moments together that were nice and easy going. But after Simon and Daphne got hitched things went downhill for me. The two pretty much locked themselves away at one of Simon’s country estates where they had a bunch of annoying fights and there’s a bunch of secrets and misunderstandings popping up all over the place and Simon starts being a really touchy. As for Daphne, she wants a kid and is getting a little obsessive about it. So Simon stomps off a bunch of times whenever Daphne hits one of his many nerves and Daphne is only getting more and more obsessive about this whole kids thing and so you know there’s bound to be an explosion of some kind coming. And when it does come Simon goes out and gets completely sloshed and makes the mistake of coming home to Daphne who is still in her obsessive kid having state. This leads to a rape scene. Yes, Simon was consenting in the beginning but first off he was drunk and secondly when someone says no and stop and the other person doesn't stop or gets forceful it becomes rape folks. And that's what killed this book for me. ( )
  Book_Minx | Jan 24, 2015 |
After that hot, offensive mess of a romance titled [b:Devil in Winter|114166|Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3)|Lisa Kleypas|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1309220205s/114166.jpg|1823830], I decided that a good romance was necessary. So I picked up [b:The Duke and I|110391|The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1)|Julia Quinn|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1379594717s/110391.jpg|846763]. It didn't disappoint, with lots of witty dialogue, but I found myself skipping over the emotional parts. ( )
  IsaboeOfLumatere | Jan 14, 2015 |
A strong opening, a predictable development, then a cliched and improbable ending.

A meet-cute encounter in a back corridor during a high-society ball results in Simon and Daphne deciding to fake a courtship: he to dissuade the legions of wannabe duchesses and their determined matrons; she to raise her profile and attract more suitors. The concept was sweetened by some excellent characterisation and witty dialogue, but soured by the implausible reactions of Daphne's brothers, some of whom are Simon's school buddies.

The story goes completely off the rails when Ms Quinn overplays Simon's childhood trauma and its effect on his love life, then crashes and disintegrates with Daphne's ludicrous ignorance of sex -- even though she's been brought up in a happy family full of male and female kids.

Ms Quinn tries, unsuccessfully, to regain the impetus of the opening by introducing misunderstanding, separation, then reconciliation leading to a HEA ending.

I found myself skipping paragraphs about two-thirds through the book, near enough to the finale to keep reading. I probably would have been better off trusting my instincts and putting the book aside when I lost focus. ( )
  skirret | Jan 2, 2015 |
Simon, the new Duke of Hastings, is determined never to marry. More specifically, he has decided he will never have children. His family line will die with him as revenge against his recently deceased emotionally abusive and withholding father. Having only recently returned from a tour around the continent, Simon reunites with his best friend Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton, and is introduced to Anthony's younger sister Daphne.

Daphne is in her second season and struggling to get any decent men to propose to her not because she is ugly or mean spirited, but because every man sees her as just a friend. Witty, intelligent, and charming, men just do not see her as a potential wife. So after a funny initial encounter with Simon, the two devise a plan: they shall pretend to court each other so Simon can avoid matchmaking Mamas and Daphne (having garnered the attention of an important man of high rank) may get more attention from potential suitors. After all, someone desired by someone else instantly becomes more desirable themselves.

Unfortunately, the plan is complicated by the fact that there is an undeniable attraction between the two. What's worse, being a woman of rank and his best friend's younger sister, Simon knows he can't dally with Daphne unless he intends to marry her. And Daphne really wants children. Eventually, the sexual tension between them proves too much and Simon compromises Daphne. They are caught by Simon's brother Anthony and after a bit of shenanigans, the two marry. The second half of the book is basically just about the major issue of Simon not wanting children and Daphne really wanting them.

Okay, so this was my first introduction to author Julia Quinn (whom I now absolutely love!) and for that, it holds a special place in my heart. The story was well written and funny at times. Simon and Daphne really did have a good friendship going into the marriage and their relationship felt real to me. Simon's difficulties made him very sympathetic and completely understood where he was coming from in terms of seeking revenge against his father.

What I didn't like was the unresolved letters issue. Simon's father wrote him a bunch of letters before he died and a friend delivered them to Daphne. Simon never opened them and I was left highly curious as to what the old Duke of Hastings had to say for himself. It was a huge hole that left the happy ending feeling somewhat empty.

I also didn't like something terrible Daphne did towards the end of the book that forced Simon to leave her for a bit. There is no way I can describe why I dislike it without spoilers so . Simon usually pulled out after they had sex. One night, after a really bad fight, he comes home drunk and passes out in her bed. While Simon is still drunk and half a sleep, Daphne climbs on top of him and initiates sex. She purposely grinds down on him so he can't pull out in an attempt to get pregnant. This really turned me off and it seemed out of character for her. Up until then, she'd been a very sweet girl and I understand she was mad at Simon, but this definitely crossed a line in my mind. Because of that, I cannot give this book a 5/5.

Other than that, very well written and a great start to the Bridgerton series! ( )
  jnp1013 | Dec 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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For Danelle Harmon and Sabrina Jeffries, without whom I never would have turned in this book on time.
And for Martha of The Romance Journal electronic bulletin board, for suggesting I call it Daphne's Bad Heir Day.
And also for Paul, even though his idea of dancing is standing still while he holds my hand and watches me twirl.
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The birth of Simon Arthur Henry Fitzranulph Bassett, Earl Clyvedon, was met with great celebration.
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Book description
By all acounts, Simon Basset is one the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy sutiors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it's hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it's his devilish smile, certainly it's the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her... but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke... for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380800829, Mass Market Paperback)

Setting: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: 7

Relentlessly pursued by match-making mamas and their charges, Simon Bassett, the handsome Duke of Hastings, has grown tired of the societal chase. Tired too is the lovely Daphne Bridgerton, whose matrimonially minded mother is set on finding her daughter the perfect husband. Neither Simon nor Daphne is happy with this annoying state of affairs and both would give anything for a little peace and quiet. Their mutual wish for a respite from the ton's marriage mart leads to a pretend engagement--a scheme that is threatened with exposure by Daphne's suspicious older brother, who happens to know Simon's way with women very well. The two never anticipated that a mutual attraction would lead to the very thing they set out to avoid--a wedding. But Simon fears that his painful past may keep him from being able to truly love anyone. And though Daphne cares for him deeply, she won't settle for anything less than his heart.

The Duke and I is rich with author Julia Quinn's trademark humor and engaging dialogue. Beneath the Regency charm of this novel, however, dwells an insightful exploration of the impact of childhood trauma and the healing power of love. Quinn just keeps getting better and better, a fact that's sure to delight readers. --Lois Faye Dyer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The rakish Duke of Hastings will stop at nothing to hold the marriage-mongers and matchmakers of his town at bay, even if it means pretending to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton, but strong feelings soon intervene on both sides of this convenient arrangement.… (more)

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