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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Duke And I: Number 1 in series (Bridgerton Family)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2006
Apparently the author chose the pseudonym Julia Quinn so that her books were beside Amanda Quick's on the shelves and more people might buy them. Amanda Quick is, of course, hugely successful in this genre but I believe Julia Quinn is a much better author - and this book is a good example of that. If you want complete accuracy in historical detail then this is perhaps not the best author for you - her characters speak with American turns of phrase and rather more 20th century than 19th century worldviews in some cases, but this is common to so many Regencies it's almost de rigueur now - if you can read it as fiction and not history you'll be fine.

"The Duke And I" is the first of the Bridgerton series, focusing on daughter Daphne, and it's a good Regency Romance like many out there (there are also, of course, countless dreadful Regency Romances in print too!) However, like "The Viscount Who Loved Me", the second book in this series, Julia Quinn's characters have a lot more depth than you often see in modern books of this genre.

Yes, we have the usual requirements - balls, gowns, the marriage mart and all the rest of it - but this series delves more closely into family dynamics and character growth. Daphne is the fourth child and the first girl of the Bridgerton family; her father died some time ago and her mother has brought up all eight children in a strong atmosphere of love. This was by no means usual at this time amongst the aristocracy - nannies and nursemaids often functioned more as parent figures than the actual parents - and it has enabled Julia Quinn to build a foundation of strong ties between brothers and sisters that she uses in the books.

And this is the contrast between Daphne, the heroine, and Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, the hero. His upbringing was completely different - his father rejected him, thinking he was stupid because he stammered, and Simon vowed to avoid marriage and children to get back at his father - the direct line of the Dukes of Hastings would die with Simon. But when he meets Daphne and they discover that a sham betrothal would be of benefit to both of them, their plans start going awry.

What's so good about this book is the way in which the characters begin to understand each other. Daphne learns to stand on her own two feet away from her family - particularly her brothers - and Simon learns to deal with the dreadful legacy that his father has given him. This book often deals with strong emotions and I, for one, think Daphne's behaviour at one particular point is unforgiveable, but I suppose it's this warts-and-all portrayal of two people trying to come to terms with sharing their lives together that is so powerful about the story.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is such fun - a wonderfully witty novel full of sparkling dialogue and lovely characters. Even if you don't usually read historical romances I urge you to give this book a try as it's more like chick lit in a Regency setting than the more classic Georgette Heyer-style of historical romance.

It's a wonderful chocolate souffle of a novel - light-hearted and easy to digest but oozing with charm. A real treat - and deliciously satisfying!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2000
As usual, JQ has written a winner, this book is absolutely wonderful. The Bridgerton family are both adorable and hilariously funny, especially Violet, Daphne's mother, and I like the way that the hero isn't perfect. Some authors make their heroes out to be Gods, JQ made Simon totally human, complete with flaws, which made him even more sexy. Daphne is a very funny, down-to-earth heroine, and together Daphne and Simon are lovely, likeable characters. The only reason I gave this book four stars instead of five is because although the sex scenes are pretty hot, they're not as steamy as I like them! Apart from that, this book is perfect and I can't wait to read the next one in the series, about Anthony, Daphne's sexy eldest brother. Julia Quinn is a fantastic author, she should be very proud.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2013
Having been urged by reviewers of other novels to read Julia Quinn as they consider her to be the epitome of Reegency Romance I gave her a try. I'm in the minority here. Bland and boring is the polite response. Ifound the characters shallow, the plot a cliche and there seemed, to me, to be no sense of period. As for wit or humour I found it to be inane and childish. It did, however, leave me with a profound sense of relief that I was an only child!

I bought this via kindle and couldn't help but notice how the first in most series was priced at just under two pounds rising through the series to over five pounds. Why? Does the quality or quantity improve? Being a cynic I think the plan is to draw the reader in with the low price and then expect them to pay more and more to find out what happens to the seven siblings. I couldn't care less what happens next to any of them and will save the money to buy something with more plot, decent characters and 'bite' to it. I would pay a great deal for my idea of a good book but resented the price I paid for this dull offering.

I'm no plot 'spoiler' but if a man had behaved as the 'heroine' did he would have been given the 'cut direct' by the ton. After two weeks of marriage? Unbelieveable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ah, the 'Bridgertons'. Eight siblings; four boys, four girls; named in order from A-H. Eight books detailing their lives, friendships and their mother's (sometimes relentless) quest to marry them all off. For nothing less than love, of course. Not to mention Lady Whistledown. Oh my!

If you've not stumbled across Julia Quinn before then you're in for a treat. No one writes Regency Romance with such wit, flare and heart-warming amusement, and 'The Duke and I' is no exception.

Simon Basset, the new Duke of Hastings, is freshly arrived in London having spent several years abroad avoiding his father. Now that the old duke is safely dead, the first person Simon looks up is his best friend Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton, who issues dire warnings about insipid debutantes and their matchmaking mamas. However, none of this signifies to Simon because he has plans to Never. Ever. Marry. So the whirl of the London 'ton' holds no interest for him, which should make the avoidance of his fate simple. Really.

But when he attends a ball to pay his respects to a dear old friend, he's rather surprised to stumble upon a damsel in minor distress. Far from providing a chance for heroics, said damsel saves herself and finds herself faced instead with a rakish duke. Then, just as Simon begins to enjoy himself, he discovers the damsel's indentity: Daphne Bridgerton. His best friend's sister.

It isn't one of the best night's of Daphne's life. As the oldest Bridgerton daughter, she recieves the brunt of her matchmaking mother's endeavours to force her children down the aisle to matrimonial bliss. And it's all very well knocking out an unwanted (and persistent) suitor in the hallway, then arguing with a duke one has been ordered to avoid, but it still doesn't prevent her from being towed around the ballroom and foisted upon unsuspecting, eligible young men. To make matters worse, instead of doing the gentlemanly thing by rescuing her, her three elder brothers skulk in corners for fear that their mother will turn her attention on them instead.

When a dance with the duke confirms that they are both walling in equally appalling evenings, Simon makes Daphne an offer that sounds far good to be true: a false attachment to keep the mamas away from him and draw the suitors to her. A perfect plan that simply cannot fail...

Domineering brothers, maidenly ignorance and even a duel keep this tale rattling along in true JQ style. There are plenty of flashes of her trademark wit (the trip to Greenwich), and a whole heap of new characters to adore (Anthony, Colin, Lady Whistledown, Lady Bridgerton), which make this book never anything less than enjoyable.

Unlike many of her tales this one has an added emotional depth in Simon and the long shadow his father casts over his life. Daphne's need to heal him, and his own slow realisation of his need for her, make this story what it is - a gem. Daphne's intelligent and likeable, without being anything out of the ordinary, or over-special as some Regency heroines try to be. She knows who she is, what she wants and she knows how to love - even if her hero takes a little while to understand all of that. And if Simon happens to be tall, dark, rich and handsome with ice-blue eyes, well, who cares? He's a Duke!

There are no deep, dark secrets here, no skeletons lurking in the closet, no mysteries or gun-wielding madmen, it's just a love story. One that comes with a big family. And that's all it tries to be. That it does it beautifully is why you should read it and enjoy every page. Kick back, put your feet up and relax. Julia Quinn is a master of her genre and this is the perfect place to begin. Read it and smile.

(Then get The Viscount Who Loves Me because it has Pall Mall - you will laugh till it hurts)

The only reason this doesn't get five stars is because there are other books amongst the 'Bridgertons' that are even better. Yes, they really are that good. So do yourself a Regency favour, buy them all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2000
I loved the Bridgerton Clan and can't wait to read more of them, what a boisterous, rakish family! Daphne's season really makes a lovely entree for the coming sequels. Simon is a hero with an enchanting flaw, that resulted in a major rift between Simon and his father when he was child. He has struggled all of his childhood to overcome this and succeeded, but the hurt child within him still rules the life of the handsome man. Daphne is a lovely woman, oh I loved her eyes!(Thx JQ!) You just have to read how a friendship to outsmart the Ton developes in a sensuous romance. How Simon deals with Daphne's protective gang of three elder brothers. Daphne's Mother struggling to enlighten her daughter about the marital act.. It is laugh and tears guarantied.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2005
It is recommended, however, that all safety-minded people stay far, far away from the latest crop of unmarried men when Bridgerton daughters E, F, and H come of age. Lady B is not likely to look both ways when she barrels across a ballroom with three daughters in tow...
- LADY WHISTLEDOWN'S SOCIETY PAPERS, 28 April 1813 (herein)
All of Quinn's Regency novels to date are set in the same narrative universe, so that supporting players in one book may turn up in leading roles in another. This book, however, introduces the biggest continuing group of supporting players: the Bridgerton family. There are eight Bridgerton siblings altogether, named in alphabetical order: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth.
And along with the Bridgertons, this novel sees the debut of LADY WHISTLEDOWN'S SOCIETY PAPERS, the scandal rag famed for its accuracy, wit, and naming of names. The Bridgertons are among Whistledown's favourite topics, presenting as they do a combination of being very desirable marriage market fodder (good looks, title, charm, money, and nice people) with strings attached that tend to foil the most ambitious matchmaking parents (their mother being particularly notorious) and fortune hunters.
In the case of the males, they're having too much fun being rakes to be eager to settle down. For the girls - well, having three hulking older brothers lurking in the background who know *all* about unscrupulous men tends to ensure that only fools and desperate cases persist in courting the sisters.
Daphne, for example (the female lead this time out) has a reputation among the gentlemen of the ton as a "good sport". Surviving in such a large family has given her the skills to hold her own in any company (including dealing with drunken nitwits, throwing a mean punch, all the tricks). She's always been good ol' Daphne, rather than the object of any gentleman's pursuit.
Simon Basset, the male lead, suffers from an unusual drawback in his relationship to Daphne's family. He's Anthony's best friend from university, so Anthony knows just what Simon's track record with women is. On the other hand, Simon is determined not to marry, and of course the reasons behind Simon's reluctance to marry form a puzzle that any woman who wishes to capture him will eventually have to solve. (The reader, I must say, isn't left to guess, since the groundwork of the explanation is plainly laid out in the prologue describing Simon's early childhood. The main question(s) are whether anyone can uncover Simon's secrets, let alone address them.)
Simon's life this year carries an additional complication. Thanks to the many marriages among his old school friends, Simon feels obligated to attend a lot of social functions, and thanks to his money and title he's a high-profile target for every debutante in town.
In other words, Simon wants a little protection from husband-hunting females, while Daphne needs to prod the gentlemen into realizing that she's a desirable target.
I'm sure the gentle reader can figure out what kind of arrangement *that* leads to.
About three quarters of the book is taken up with the "courtship", and is quite entertaining, as we all get to watch the brothers (particularly Anthony as head of the family) struggling to quash their impulses to beat Simon to a pulp for courting their sister, because it's all just a ruse, isn't it? And Simon and Daphne, of course, egg them on...
Other nice bits: sibling byplay (offering to compare prospects lists; remarks that they *should* go over and rescue yet another sibling from their mother); bachelors commiserating over being hunted down; the kind of silly idiots who pursue Daphne prior to her teaming up with Simon.
Cameos by: Macclesfield (EVERYTHING AND THE MOON); Lady Danbury; Riverdale (TO CATCH AN HEIRESS); the ill-dressed, mostly twittering Featherington sisters and their mother; and the brainless Nigel Berbrooke.
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on 11 April 2008
"
"Men are sheep. Where one goes, the rest soon follows..."
Lady Whistledown's Society Papers,
30 April 1813"

After enduring two seasons in London, Daphne Bridgerton is no longer naïve enough to believe she will be able to marry for love. But is it really too much to hope for a husband for whom she at least has affection?

Her brother's old school friend Simon Bassett - the new Duke of Hastings - has no intention of ever marrying. However, newly returned to England, he finds himself the target of the many marriage-minded society mothers who remain convinced reformed rakes make the best husbands.

To deflect their attention, the handsome hell-raiser proposed to Daphne that they pretend an attachment. In return, his interest in Daphne will ensure she becomes the belle of London society with suitors beating a path to her door...

There's just one problem, Daphne is now in danger of falling for a man who has no intention oaf making their charade a reality... "

I must say, I very much enjoyed reading this book ..... well, at least most of it.
The characters are interesting and fun, the author is funny and imaginative, the story keeps you pretty much glued to the pages. The ending of the story is nothing but predictable, however everything that happens before we get to the happy ending, is surprise after surprise.
What I found incredibly infuriating was how Dephe's character was all of a sudden twisted from being levelheaded and caring to being such an egotistical, baby-crazed dimwit. After growing quite found of her character, I found myself feeling nothing but resentment for her and definitely unable to relate to her later actions (the ones who have read the book will know exactly what I refer to. *hint: the first act that led her to believing that she might be pregnant). How disappointing and possessed were her actions ?!
Anyways, what I described as a disappointment to ME might seems like something not even worth mentioning to other readers. However it was a major "turn-off" factor that almost ruined the story for me. I am glad it ended the way it did and don't let me scare you off by these comments.
You will love the book even if you are as "sensitive" and confused to certain aspects of the story as I am.
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The Duke & I was the first book of the Bridgton seris & the first book i read. What a book? What a stayle and What a creativitiy! JQ put herself in the top of my list for romance writers. In this book, Simon Basset, the Duke of Hustings is the most eligable bacholr in London plus he is a Duke. every matchmam and batron is looking out for him and even lady wiseldown keep mentioning him in her cloummen. the story is the story of Daphne Briadgton and Simon. Simon have his own demons from his childhood with uncaring father and uncertantis to face. Dapheny need a hasbend. they meet and decided to help each other by pretending that Simon courting her. He will lay off any marriage plan on him from the mama of the ton and she will gain the attantion of the prospected bachlors of the ton becuse a duke looked at her. Her brother Anthoney (the Viscount who Loved me) is Simon best frined and he is not happy about the arrangment. what following is interdcution to one of the best romancing families ever and you will see love, family affires, laugh, heart ach and passion in one book. the characters is soo real in thier humnaity and feeling, you can actually visuallise them. the plot is logical and consistant. JQ made excellent book. The love scence it extermally hot and graphic and related to the plot of the story.

I can't recommend engoh the book.. it is a self keeper.
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This wasn't the first Bridgerton book I read but as soon as I'd read the other one, I knew I had to read them ALL. So I began in chronological order. The Duke and I is absolutely marvellous. Simon is both funny and endearing and of course he's very much a Duke, you cant miss that. Daphne Bridgerton is my second favourite Bridgerton sister, the favourite being Hyacinth. Daphne is smart and the encounters between her and Simon are hilarious and romantic at the same time, but there's Julia Quinn for you. She pulls this off in every book! Love this writer.
Simon's dark childhood overshadows his life. He doesn't want to marry. Yet, he cannot resist Daphne. The shadows linger and Daphne must fight them alongside Simon. However, as circumstances would have it, the Duke must choose between being honourable and being honourable. What's the choice? Read the book and find out. Although the books can be read separately, it's so much more satisfying reading them in order. Start with this. You'll love the Bridgertons.
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