The Duke and I (Bridgerton Series #1)

The Duke and I (Bridgerton Series #1)

4.4 329
by Julia Quinn

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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

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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!

Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
Ms. Quinn writes delightfully fast-paced, funny, sparkling, and bright romance.
Oakland Press
The Duke and I has everything a romance reader could want: gentle humor, superb writing, a good woman, and a slightly misguided man... The Duke and I is one memorable read.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Bridgerton Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.72(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.03(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Duke And I

Chapter One

The Bridgertons are by far the most prolific family in upper echelons of society. Such industriousness on the part of the viscountess and the late viscount is commendable, although one can find only banality in their choice of names for their children. Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth--orderliness is, of course, beneficial in all things, but one would think that intelligent parents would be able to keep their children straight without needing to alphabetise their names.

Furthermore, the sight of the viscountess and all eight of her children in one room is enough to make one fear one is seeing double-or triple-or worse. Never has This Author seen a collection of siblings so ludicrously alike in their physical regard. Although This Author has never taken the time to record eye colour, all eight possess similar bone structure and the same thick, chestnut hair. One must pity the viscountess as she seeks advantageous marriages for her brood that she did not produce a single child of more fashionable colouring. Still, there are advantages to a family of such consistent looks-there can be no doubt that all eight are of legitimate parentage.

Ah, Gentle Reader, your devoted Author wishes that that were the case amid all large families ...

Lady Whistledown′s Society Papers,

26 APRIL 1813

Ooooooooohhhhhhhhh!" Violet Bridgerton crumpled the single-page newspaper into a hall and hurled it across the elegant drawing room.

Her daughter Daphne wisely made no comment and pretended to be engrossed in her embroidery.

"Did you read what she said?" Violet demanded. "Did you?"

Daphne eyed the ball of paper, which now rested under a mahogany end table. "I didn′t have the opportunity before you, er, finished with it."

"Read it, then," Violet wailed, her arm slicing dramatically through the air. "Read how that woman has maligned us."

Daphne calmly set down her embroidery and reached under the end table. She smoothed the sheet of paper out on her lap and read the paragraph about her family. Blinking, she looked up. "This isn′t so bad, Mother. In fact, it′s a veritable benediction compared to what she wrote about the Featheringtons last week."

"How am I supposed to find you a husband while that woman is slandering your name?"

Daphne forced herself to exhale. After nearly two seasons in London, the mere mention of the word husband was enough to set her temples pounding. She wanted to marry, truly she did, and she wasn′t even holding out for a true love match. But was it really too much to hope for a husband for whom one had at least some affection?

Thus far, four men had asked for her hand, but when Daphne had thought about living the rest of her days in the company of any of them, she just couldn′t do it. There were a number of men she thought might make reasonably good husbands, but the problem was--none of them was interested. Oh, they all liked her. Everyone liked her. Everyone thought she was funny and kind and a quick wit, and no one thought her the least bit unattractive, but at the same time, no one was dazzled by her beauty, stunned into speechlessness by her presence, or moved to write poetry in her honour.

Men, she thought with disgust, were interested only in those women who terrified them. No one seemed inclined to court someone like her. They all adored her, or so they said, because she was so easy to talk to, and she always seemed to understand how a man felt. As one of the men Daphne had thought might make a reasonably good husband had said, "Deuce take it, Daff, you′re just not like regular females. You′re positively normal."

Which she might have managed to consider a compliment if he hadn′t proceeded to wander off in search of the latest blond beauty.

Daphne looked down and noticed that her hand was clenched into a fist. Then she looked up and realised her mother was staring at her, clearly waiting for her to say something. Since she had already exhaled, Daphne cleared her throat, and said, "I′m sure Lady Whistledown′s little column is not going to hurt my chances for a husband."

"Daphne, it′s been two years!"

"And Lady Whistledown has only been publishing for three months, so I hardly see how we can lay the blame at her door."

"I′ll lay the blame wherever I choose," Violet muttered.

Daphne′s fingernails bit her palms as she willed herself not to make a retort. She knew her mother had only her best interests at heart, she knew her mother loved her. And she loved her mother, too. In fact, until Daphne had reached marriageable age, Violet had been positively the best of mothers. She still was, when she wasn′t despairing over the fact that after Daphne she had three more daughters to marry off.

Violet pressed a delicate hand to her chest. "She cast aspersions on your parentage."

"No," Daphne said slowly. It was always wise to proceed with caution when contradicting her mother. "Actually, what she said was that there could be no doubt that we are all legitimate. Which is more than one can say for most large families of the ton."

"She shouldn′t have even brought it up," Violet sniffed.

"Mother, she′s the author of a scandal sheet. It′s her job to bring such things up."

"She isn′t even a real person," Violet added angrily. She planted her hands on her slim hips, then changed her mind and shook her finger in the air. "Whistledown, ha! I′ve never heard of any Whistledowns. Whoever this depraved woman is, I doubt she′s one of us. As if anyone of breeding would write such wicked lies."

"Of course she′s one of us," Daphne said, her brown eyes filling with amusement. "If she weren′t a member of the ton, there is no way she′d be privy to the sort of news she reports. Did you think she was some sort Of impostor, peeking in windows and listening at doors?"

The Duke And I. Copyright © by Julia Quinn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Duke and I (Bridgerton Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 329 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been sampling historical romances (about fifty authors in all) and this easily changed my views that the genre contains content not worthy of commentary. With multi-dimensional main characters, a simple yet thoroughly engaging plot, and excellent writing, this first 'Bridgerton' has captivated me enough to get a Nook, simply to be able to access the entire series. Julia Quinn is easily one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The way Dafne shows her emotions didn't sound disgusting nor exaggerated.  She still have innocence but with a spark if naive naughtiness... Her actions are believable, understandable & practical considering the situation Simon is in, well.. the situation, they're both in.  I also liked the idea that Simon & Dafne started as friends then developed into something deeper.  They shared thoughts & dreams as well as fears & insecurities. They understood each other before words are passed, they formed a special bond before marriage - this is somewhat unusual in historical romances novels that I have read so far.  I would like to mention my teeny bitty complaint about this story though, I wondered what happened to Nurse Hopkins. She who supposedly loved and took care of Simon ever since he was a baby. I would have loved to read about her. It would be nice to read her proud reaction to see what Simon had accomplished. Since she was the encouragement & Simon's maternal support, it would have been nice to see her involved in Simon's life all throughout the book. Oh well, this is just a small flaw which I thought I'd mention. Oh it won't be fair not to mention the famous Lady Whistledown's gossip column.  My!  Not only is she mysteriously accurate, she is so funny.  Her column is one of my favorites in this book. This was my first (certainly not my last) Julia Quinn book and I was highly impressed with her ability to create characters who don't always speak and behave the way you expect them too. Daphne and Simon's relationship is believable, they seem like "real" people and their problems were fairly ordinary and not overly dramatic or contrived. The secondary characters each deserve (and will probably get) a book of their own. Quinn also had a knack for making me laugh -- the humor was not forced or too cutesy, just well written. Although this book is set in the Regency period, it is not your "traditional" Regency as it does contain some frank sex scenes and the characters often act with a more modern sensibility than one might expect. In any case, this was a great read and I am eagerly looking forward to reading Quinn's other novels.   
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that I read by Julia Quinn! And I fell in love with her writing, it is soooo good. The story line was interesting and very enjoyable. The characters were funny and felt like real people. It was just amazing and I have been trying to get my hands on all of Julia Quinns books!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1813, Simon Basset, the duke of Hastings, is prime meat for the mothers of débutantes and is front-page news for the gossipmongers of the ton. Everyone seems to need to read the recurring installments of Simon¿s non-matrimonial life as described by columnist Lady Whistledown. Rumors abound that the bachelor has selected a fiancee, a veritable nobody named Daphne Bridgerton.

Actually, Simon and Daphne have cut a deal to pretend they will be getting married. He is no longer a candidate for every mother and she has the opportunity of meeting beaus since she has been relegated upward by a duke. Daphne does not want to marry anyone except the love of her life. Simon wants to marry no one. However, neither one accounted for love exploding between them when they first made their agreement.

Very few writers are on a par with witty Julia Quinn (see HOW TO MARRY A MARQUIS) when it comes to a humorous, entertaining Regency romance. The mighty Quinn¿s latest novel, THE DUKE AND I is a jocular tale that will leave sub-genre fans fully satiated yet desiring more works, especially starring Lady Whistledown and her column.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and well written. Enjoyed the plot because it was different from many other romance book I've read. Highly recommended!
kronan1 More than 1 year ago
Pretty Good.................................................................. Nice girl from nice family meets nice duke from horrid family.   Predictable but well written.   I would like to know what was in the letters though.   I would  definetly read the next one.
atzbech More than 1 year ago
What else is there to say?! Reading a book by Julia Quinn is absolutely heaven! Good story here, great writing; humorous, witty, fun. I laugh til I cry at times. Wonderful book! Wonderful author!
Romancefanatic More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely superb. I started reading this morning and I am hooked. Sadly, I have no battery power on my nook (ahhhhhhhh!!!!) so I will have to finish when I get home. No more ad hoc break from work ;) Ms. Quinn writing style is captivating. I immediately fell in love with the characters; their strength and wittiness. Thus far one of the best books I've read in a while. Can't wait to finish!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was a very good romance novel, that introduced us to the Bridgertons. Wonderful family. Simon has a lot of issues but I was glad that Daphne was there to help him.
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Great start to the Bridgerton's series!
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The strong emotions that a person has to deal with as a result of having a narcissistic parent is dealt with in a powerful way in this srory. It is very difficult and I think JQ did a fine job in so doing. LORRAINE
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elleB81 More than 1 year ago
This story was a good start to the series, though it was the promise of more stories to read that helped me make it through. The characters the author has created are relatable and easy to sympathize with. Overall, I would recommend.
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