Minda’s drunk review of The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
What I drank prior: A bottle of red wine and a brownie
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…
My Summary: Daphne Bridgerton (of THE Bridgertons, y’all) is on her third season as a debutante with a dream of a successful marriage and family, but no prospects on the horizon. Duke Simon Hastings is a to be a forever bachelor, but is in London for the dreaded season with Ambitious Mamas on the hunt for their daughters. When the two meet, they concoct a plan that will benefit both their goals. But will they find unexpected love with each other along the way?
Spoiler-free Thoughts: Loved. Seriously I’ve read a few of these in the series so far and this is by far one of the stronger ones. The Bridgerton family dynamic is great and you get a lot of that here. Also, the connection between Daphne and Simon is off the charts—their banter is amazing.
Characters: Daphne B. is my favorite Bridgerton—spunky, down-for-what within reason, and knows what she wants. I really liked her perspectives and that she could hold her own. Her personality may not be one that lands you a husband, but I think it’s great. The Duke of Hastings (aka Simon) is a great character in his own right. So complicated and broody—sounds like not someone you’d really want to meet, but once you get to know him he’s great. Many layers. And Lady Bridgerton! I got more of her here than I did in some of the others in the series and she is just the best. Her mother-daughter relationship with Daphne is very sweet and well-written. The boy Bridgertons though we’re all over the place—yeesh.
Plot: I liked how this was split up between their courtship and post-courtship. Also the way they set up the big reveal and Daphne’s innocence.
World Building: Strong, strong, strong. Loved the family descriptions and high English society in that period.
Writing Style: From the perspective of each of the two main characters.
Drink Pairing: Champagne—light and sparkly and great for a night in
Rating: 4/5 shots