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

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