Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Regency, Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
“Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?”
Well my Mama refused to find me a duke, even though she is desperate to see me settled down (apparently, I am a spinster at the ripe age of 24). In fact, she laughed at the idea, and then started her "stop reading-start living" lectures, while arranging to introduce me to the Lady of the Caramel's son, who is "rich, young and available"(I think available is her most important quality). Me, well, I ignored her as per usual, and started spinning, following the notes of an imaginary melody, pretending I was dancing with a handsome, sexy and mysterious duke (or prince, I'm not picky).
Because that's The Duke and I's major effect; daydreaming.
“There were rules among friends, commandments, really, and the most important one was Thou Shalt Not Lust After Thy Friend's Sister.”
But Simon Basset couldn't help it. Daphne Bridgerton haunted his dreams, evoking dark fantasies that could not see daylight. There was something about her, something that made him forget who he was and what he was, she was the perfect match for him. She challenged him. But he had taken an oath, and he was determined to keep it. No matter how much he wanted her.
Daphne Bridgerton was not a popular debutante. She was witty (perhaps too witty for her own good), and gentle, but not the kind of woman that would inspire poems and make men go crazy over her. But Simon Basset was different. He made her heart race and her body burn, and when he proposed an arrangement that would benefit them both, Daphne could not refuse. But she also couldn't stop hoping that one day this wonderful man would become hers, body and soul. That she would tear down the walls he was building for years.
“When you smile it takes up half your face.'
'Simon!' she exclaimed. 'That sounds horrible.'
I've been dreaming of balls and gowns since I was a little girl. I still close my eyes and place myself in fairytales, and a part of me whispers that I was born in the wrong century. Julia Quinn satisfied every girly fantasy I've ever had, and then some more. She had a Jane Austen vibe, but added sizzling tension, steam to make you drool, and a not so gentle gentleman (imagine a dirtier Mr. Darcy, with many issues but always eager to please a woman). It was delicious.
The Duke and I was a light, entertaining and utterly addicting novel. Every time I turned its pages, a brand new old world opened before my eyes, sucking me into a society that demanded of women good manners and healthy heirs but gave them nothing in return, a London shocked but mesmerized by Lady Whistledown’s gossip papers, ballrooms full of Ambitious Mamas that became the nightmare of every eligible bachelor, and a loud family whose banters cracked me up. I must admit there were times I wanted to punch Simon for being so stubborn, guided by the hatred towards his father, but I also ached for his difficult childhood and the lack of love and acceptance that marked him. But Daphne knew that she could cure him and fight his demons, I admired her for her persistance and devotion, and I could empathize with her. Simon and Daphne were an explosive couple, that warmed my heart and my cheeks!
“The world seemed somehow different when one was lying down. Darker, more dangerous ... And in that moment, as he slowly closed the distance between them, he became her entire world.”
In this world, I was a debutante. An innocent girl seduced by a devilishly handsome duke. A woman determined to fight for the man she loved.
And I savoured every single moment.