Book Review: Bridgerton: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Today I am pleased to bring you my review of Bridgerton: The Duke & I by Julia Quinn.

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 . . .

Their ruse works like a charm – at first. 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. It wasn’t the plan, but it seems she’s falling for the duke, for real. And amidst the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule . . .

I’m going to assume that you know all about Bridgerton – if you don’t, have you been living under a rock?! Bridgerton, series one, was the Netflix hit of lockdown. If you don’t want to marry the Duke of Hastings then I don’t know what is wrong with you! Anyway, after falling in love with the Bridgerton family thanks to Netflix I just knew that I had to dive into the novels!

Having already seen the series (over the course of two days, I really binge watched it!), I already knew the premise of this first novel. But as we all know, movies and tv series will never include all the finer details included within a novel, so I was keen to dive right in.

The Duke and I focusses on Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter in the Bridgerton family. She has been on the debutante circuit for a while now, without any suitable marriage proposals. She’s forthright, and knows what she wants; she’s also lucky enough to have supportive brothers who won’t palm her off on the first man to propose.

The Duke of Hastings has returned to England following the death of his father. With his new title, he is the most eligible bachelor in London, with mothers everywhere desperately pushing their single daughters towards him, hoping to secure their futures. Naturally, Simon has a secretive past that has him convinced that he needs to remain single – he will never marry, and no one can persuade him otherwise.

When Daphne and Simon come up with a mutually beneficial fake courtship, everything seems perfect for them – Daphne is now attracting suitors and Simon is no longer constantly surrounded by meddling mothers. As we all know though, the route to love is never a smooth one, especially when you have the elusive Lady Whistledown providing a very thorough commentary…

Based on the assumption that you have watched Bridgerton (and loved it – what’s not to love?!), then it is safe to assume that this is the novel for you. It’s got all the little details that are missing from the series, but includes all the handsomeness, sauciness and amazing costumery. Plus, we all know that we’re going to have to wait for series 2…no need to wait for the novels though! I shall be diving into The Viscount Who Loved Me as soon as I am able to, I can’t wait to learn more about Anthony, the eldest Bridgerton, and his rakish ways! So go and grab yourself a copy of this book, a large glass of wine and get ready to devour the naughtiest book of the season!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Purchase Links

Obviously this book can be purchased at all good bookshops, but personally I’m rather attached to my local independent bookshop – so if you want to support a local business, then please follow the link below when buying your copy (not an ad, I just happen to love that I have a local independent bookshop!)

Maldon Books

*BLOG TOUR* Primrose Park by Christie Barlow

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Primrose Park by Christie Barlow as part of her fabulous Blog Blitz!

Vet Molly has always been career driven and focussed on caring for her animals, but when she meets a gorgeous Mystery Man at a conference and their connection is off the charts, well, one night off work won’t hurt anyone…except the next morning he’s vanished and all Molly knows about him is his first name.

Three months later, back in Love Heart Lane, everyone loves the story of Molly’s amazing one-night stand.  It’s so unlike her! But when Mystery Man turns up walking his dog through Primrose Park and their night together seems to mean nothing to him, Molly needs her friends and neighbours more than ever. And especially when she’s left with the most unexpected of surprises…

Molly is a career driven, independent woman. She loves being a vet, and her veterinary practice is her sole focus, caring for the animals in her community. When the opportunity to do some new training comes up, she jumps at the chance – she is keen to ensure that everyone has the opportunity for a loving relationship with their dogs, even the more difficult ones! A random encounter with a handsome stranger at the training conference makes her question if she actually does want something more in her life, but her night of passion ends abruptly when he vanishes the next morning, leaving Molly with nothing but his first name – Cam.

Three months later, Cam is never far from her thoughts. Whilst she is not one for one night stands, she knows they had an amazing connection – so when he turns up in Heartcross Molly cannot believe her luck! Until of course, he makes it quite clear it really was just a one night stand…for Molly though it will never just be a one night stand, when she finds her situation changing dramatically – it could be said that she finds herself with a lifelong commitment thanks to their one night together!

I was so excited to revisit Love Heart Lane – this is a series that I love. It is full of characters that we know and love, whilst learning more about a character that we are aware of, but know nothing about yet. It’s like putting on your favourite jumper – its warm and comforting, and that is how Heartcross feels to me. Yet again, I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this novel, so I was able to make my sisters jealous again as they waited until publication day to get their hands on it!

Molly is such a lovely character, although I did find her a little needy at times when it came to Cam – this is easily forgiven though when you consider her raging hormones and her own upbringing. She is keen to create her own family, and I can understand her reasons for wanting Cam to be a part of that.

Primrose Park is an excellent addition to the Love Heart Lane series, and I am more than happy to recommend it to you all! So grab yourself a hot chocolate (because quite frankly it’s still chilly, despite now being May!), a blanket, and a copy of this lovely book!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Christie Barlow and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting to me a part of this Blog Blitz, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Social Media Links