Thursday, September 19, 2019

Audio Book Review: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance/Audio Book
Pub. Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Recorded Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads says, "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 - though 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 it 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 should have had a childhood set in the lap of luxury, but instead, he grew up with affection only from his nanny as his mother was dead and his father resented him.  The resentment began when Simon had trouble talking as a young child.  This was a colossal embarrassment to the Duke, so instead of helping his son, he made it Simon's nanny's problem and even told people that his heir was dead.  This obviously broke Simon's heart, especially as he got older and realized the severity of the situation.  Simon used his horrible childhood to create a life a different life for himself. While he did get a stellar education, he then decided to travel abroad and live life according to his own rules.  After his father dies and he reluctantly becomes the Duke of Hastings, so in turn, he returns to society and returns to all the scheming mothers, too.  Simon's good friend from school, Anthony Bridgerton, has told him that his sisters are off limits, but when Simon meets Daphne Bridgerton by chance, they realize that they have undeniable chemistry.  Plus, maybe Daphne could help Simon ward off all of the mothers who think their daughters would be an excellent Duchess of Hastings.  In turn, Simon would help catapult Daphne's depressing social life into one that has many possible suitors.  Julia Quinn's The Duke and I is a fun historical romance that I loved getting lost in; it was the perfect escape.

Daphne is everything you could want in a romantic heroine in The Duke and I . She is beautiful, but doesn't know it, she is smart, but not obnoxious about it, and while she does adhere, mostly, to the norms of the time period, she can break a rule or two.  This is especially true when it comes to her interactions with Simon.  Although they meet under tense circumstances, from that moment forward, they both can't deny the spark between them.  There is one problem though. Simon truly doesn't want to marry, at least he thought he didn't.  Daphne is getting up there in age and she needs someone to jump start her social life.  Her overprotective brothers don't help matters for her, but thankfully, Simon will help her out with that.  Obviously we know where this is going, but I didn't mind its predictability as it was so much fun to get there.

Simon is the perfect romantic suitor in The Duke and I   Obviously he is a duke, so he has a ton of money, but his past is super complicated. His childhood will no doubt tug on your heartstrings and the fact that he is a rake should turn Daphne away, but perhaps she will be the one to change him?  Once they do start to get serious about one another, other issues arise. I don't want to give much away, but for awhile there, I thought things were definitely doomed between them.

At the time, I needed a light, romantic, but funny audio book to listen to and The Duke and I  was the perfect escape. I loved getting lost in the Bridgerton's world and the rules of Regency England. The dialogue between the family was hilarious at times.  It was a nice break from the seriousness of life and sometimes we need that, right?  Plus, Netflix and Shonda Rhimes will be adapting this book for TV and Julie Andrews is attached to it, so I knew I had to read it before it hit the small screen.

The narrator for The Duke and I  audio book is Rosalyn Landor and she is fantastic. She's one of my favorite narrators so far.  Landor was able to voice both Simon and Daphne very well; it felt authentic and not jarring. It was almost like I was listening to a BBC show.

So, if you want to try a historical romance that isn't overly saccharine, but just enough to make you smile and not roll your eyes, definitely give The Duke and I  a try. While it didn't feel that void left by Downton Abbey like I was hoping, I will definitely be continuing with the series and can't wait to see what it's store for the Bridgerton family.


  1. I want to read books like this, that are light and fun, with just hints of strife, and of course the historical aspect is very appealing to me!

  2. I just started to read historical romance and Julia Quinn is in my radar. I feel like I've read about the Bridgertons' before but I'm not fairly certain. I'll have to pick this up some time.


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