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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town's marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn't as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry Although there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Simon's heart beating a bit faster. And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that is seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever!Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town's marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn't as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry although there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Simon's heart beating a bit faster. And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that is seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever!

Isabel Says

Just really quick, The Bridgertons are a family of 8 who are named in alphabetical order. Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca,Gregory and Hyacinth. They Bridgertons are a well liked and known family.

The Duke and I is one of my favorite Bridgertons books. I love Simon. Simon was born with a stammer. It took him 4 years to finally speak a word and it comes out in a stammer. His father of course was not happy. He saw Simon as an heir not a son. But Simon worked very hard to master his stammer. As an adult, he learned to think out his words. He only stammered when frustrated or stressed.

Daphne is the oldest daughters and she's in her second year on the marriage mart. She's miserable. No one wants to pursue her. They see her a friend. Nothing more. Which I can kind of relate. She wants to get married and have a family. However, things just aren't going that way. With the exception of Nigel. (great scene with him)

Daphne and Simon meet. They become friends and then Simon comes up with an idea. Pretend to court each other. Simon doesn't have to be chased by mothers wanting to marry their daughters off to him and Daphne will seem desirable to other men. But of course, Daphne starts falling in love with Simon. Simon finds himself drawn to Daphne, but doesn't want to marry her.

I love this book. My favorites are: When Anthony and Simon fall in the lake and when Simon gives Daphne her engagement ring. He's noticed a small ring of green around her pupils, so he gives her an emerald ring to match her eyes. Daphne scolds him about her eyes being brown. She checks the mirror and discovers Simon is right. Awwwwww. I thought that sweet.

My favorite quotes:



"I want to be in your heart. I want-" His entire body shuddered when their skin
touched, "I want to be in soul."




"B-But what-"His face-his strong, handsome face, which was always so firm,
always so in control- crumpled. "What if... if we have a child, a-a-and it comes
out like me?"

Awwww. How can you not love Simon?

Grade: A

Jazz's Take:

Well I finally started the series. Every raves about this series and you know what? I really enjoyed this first book. I loved the simplicity of it. There was no evil villain. No mysterious twist. Just two people that fall in love and have to come to terms with all that entails.

From the start Daphne has a confidence that is to be admired. She is not a heroine to swoon at a rakish remark or smoldering look. She holds her own with her quick wit and knowledge of all things male. Well except when it comes to the bedroom. Having four brothers, three of them older, Daphne is quite refreshing as a heroine. She doesn't even need a knight in shining armor to rescue her she is able and willing to throw down a punch to save herself or get what she needs. And while she did do one thing in the book to really irk me, she scored high on my heroine list. Once she realized she was falling in love with Simon she was determined to have him. Not only to make herself happy, but she was determined she was good enough for him and could save him and that he would love her just as much. She knew her self worth.

From the pain Simon had to deal with at a very young age he found anger the only tool to push him on in life. Anger made him find his words, anger got him into the school he wanted to go to. Anger....at his father. All he ever wanted was to be acknowledged but it was one of the many things his father denied him, to ashamed of him. So Simon was determined to defy his father at every turn of his life. Even when his father was dead. But when Simon realizes how much Daphne means to him and what he will be losing if he doesn't give up his hatred for a dead man he has some hard choices to deal with. Simon was a great hero. I loved everything about him. His speech problems made him more vulnerable to me and his honesty was refreshing. And just reading about his eyes made ME swoon.

I loved all the family interactions. All the Bridgerton siblings were great. Can't remember her name but the youngest girl (H-something) was so cute! Loved the possessiveness of Anthony and how B-something (lol) always backed him up. And Colin? Well I can't wait for his book, I can tell it will be a favorite. And I absolutely love the relationship all the Bridgerton's have with their mother Violet. Such a change from the traditional mother of the ton. She is so caring and warm yet strict and firm when need be. Great family.

If I were to find a fault in this book it would be the reason Simon didn't want children. I won't spoil the book and tell all, but for Simon being such a smart man he was very dumb in that one area.

But overall? Great read, looking forward to the rest of the series.

Grade: B+

The books in this series are:

The Duke and I
The Viscount Who Loved Me
An Offer From A Gentleman
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
To Sir Phillip, With Love
When He Was Wicked

It's In His Kiss
On the Way to the Wedding

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