The Duke and I written by Julia Quinn
Publisher Recorded Books, Avon
Publication Date: September 13th 2016, first published January 5th 2000
Genres: Historical Romance
Series: Bridgertons, #1
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
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Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813
By all accounts, Simon Basset is on 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 suitors 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…
Don’t want to read the whole review? Click to jump to the Skinny Review.
I have a confession to make. I am a Bridgerton virgin and so when I decided to read The Duke and I, I was not prepared to binge read, in this case, binge listen, to the whole series!
What do you mean a VIRGIN?
Well, as much as I am a fan of historical romance, I haven’t read this Julia Quinn series! I know, THE HORROR! In fact, I had not read Julia Quinn until last year when I went to a book signing (a book signing in Lancaster, CA of all places!) and discovered that she is hilarious and amazing in person! While I did not really like her newest series The Rokesby’s even though I read the 2 books in the series: Because of Miss Bridgerton and The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband, I was enchanted by The Duke and I.
What is so enchanting out it?
I have been reading darker historical romances and so I was delightfully surprised to read something that was very lighthearted and sweet! And although The Duke and I didn’t blow me away, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Not only that, I was laughing out loud while listening to it! Yes, it was that hilarious. Plus, I loved all the Bridgerton siblings! And as someone who does not have any siblings, this book made me want to get one!
It had real issues!
Just because The Duke and I was a lighthearted read, it also dealt with real issues in that it talked about Simon’s affliction. He had a stutter and had been hiding it from everyone since he was three years old. He also had the right kind of broody hero that I liked, too!
But Daphne did something ICKY!
One of my complaints about this book is that Daphne did something despicable to Simon that I think cannot be forgiven that quick! Plus, what she did was just WRONG on so many, MANY levels! If you have read this book, you would know what I am talking about!
I mean, come on! Leaving for about 2 months wasn’t enough! I wanted him to have words with Daphne and tell her what she did was despicable! Also, what he did prior to that was a little bit self-centered of him but he had his reasons (very reasonable IMHO) and Daphne really didn’t. But this wouldn’t have been an immediate issue since they just got married maybe two or three weeks before!
Another annoyance for me was the shotgun wedding aspect to the whole thing. Ick! Yes, they were caught in a compromising situation. Yes, I have read a lot of historical romances that have this trope. But man, has this trope been overdone! Also the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me has this trope.
The second epilogue is interesting…
The best thing about reading (or listening to) The Duke and I is that The Second Epilogue is now included at the end!
What a lovely surprise! I loved reading about what happened to Daphne and Simon after their HEA! This was definitely a good idea for Julia Quinn to do! In fact, I did not want the second epilogue to end because it was that poignant!
Audiobook was not as bad as I thought
The Duke and I is definitely a book best listened to, in my opinion. I’m not a fan of lighthearted historical romance so it is would be very hard for me to get through this book. Luckily, this book is available in audio format which really helped me zip through the whole thing!
Rosalyn Landor, although not one of my favorite narrators, is pretty good. Not as good as the others, but she actually made listening to the whole book fun. Also, I am not a fan of high pitched feminine voices, so hers was perfect. Her male voices sound a little bit weird, though.
Have you read the Bridgertons series before? Which book is your favorite?
What do you think about what Daphne did? Should she have been forgiven just like that?