The Duke and I (Bridgerton Series #1)

( 319 )

Overview

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. ...

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The Duke and I (Bridgerton Series #1)

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Overview

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!

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Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
Ms. Quinn writes delightfully fast-paced, funny, sparkling, and bright romance.
Romantic Times
Quinn will give you pleasant dreams.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380800827
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Series: Bridgerton Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 149,051
  • Product dimensions: 6.72 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Quinn started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since.

The New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only fifteen authors ever to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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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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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

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 alphabetize their names.

Furthermore, the sight of the viscountess and all eight of her children in one room is enough to makeone 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 color, 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 coloring. 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 honor.

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 realized 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 319 )
Rating Distribution

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(191)

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(35)

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(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 323 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Witty Regency romance

    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. <P>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. <P>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. <P>Harriet Klausner

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Outstanding

    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.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Scenes were too graphic. Not necessary - Otherwise a great story!

    I can not recommend this book due to the graphic sex scenes. Ruins the book.

    7 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    !

    Sure wish bn would stop harriet klausner from revealing all in her 'reviews'. I read reviews to c if the book is good or not, not to have the entire plot dissected by this wannabe review queen.

    6 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    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!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    The way Dafne shows her emotions didn't sound disgusting nor exa

    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 &amp; practical considering the situation Simon is in, well.. the situation, they're both in.  I also liked the idea that Simon &amp; Dafne started as friends then developed into something deeper.  They shared thoughts &amp; dreams as well as fears &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &quot;real&quot; 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 &quot;traditional&quot; 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.   

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Great book and well written. Enjoyed the plot because it was dif

    Great book and well written. Enjoyed the plot because it was different from many other romance book I've read. Highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2013

    Pretty Good.....................................................

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    If you like Series Books these are the books for you. With a infamous author who writes down everything about everyone at every ball to the oldest daugther of the Bridgerton Family to the Duke of Hastings. A good love story is in here also and friendship and love for the family. I have also read: The Duke And I 2nd Epilogue, The Viscount Who Loved Me, The Viscount Who Loved Me 2nd Epilogue, An Offer From A Gentlemen, An Offer From A Gentlemen 2nd Epilogue.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    Superb!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2007

    One of my Faves

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2014

    Good start to the series

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Duke Place

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    Loved it

    Great book just the right amount of everything, love this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Loved this book so much I've continued buying the whole series!

    Stephanie Laurens Cynster series was my absolute favorite, but upon discovering the Brigerton's I've got another whole family to follow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book was wonderful and all I could have hoped for. I love Q

    This book was wonderful and all I could have hoped for. I love Quinn's romances for their witty humor and how she can take us into each character's life with such ease. The Duke and I delivers and then some. Simon and Daphne are wonderful. Julia Quinn has created characters who are down-to-earth and so likeable, they feel like well-known friends. Simon is intelligent and makes Daphne's ( and my ) knees weak. I especially enjoyed Daphne who is a strong woman who knows what she wants and loves her family and her duke in ways that feel real, not overly romanticized. You will laugh, fall in love, and maybe even cry a little. It is one of Julia's best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    good read

    I have read this story line, but liked the main female lead. I will be reading the others in the series

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  • Posted May 3, 2013

    Ah, Julia Quinn, one of the geniuses behind historical romances

    Ah, Julia Quinn, one of the geniuses behind historical romances of our generation. For the last three years, I have been meaning to pick up a book by her but never got the chance until earlier this month and I am speechless. I fully understand why she's such a big hit all over the world.

    'The Duke and I' is the first book of the Bridgerton Series. A series that each represents a member of the Bridgerton Family. In this case, 'The Duke and I' was all about Daphne, the eldest daughter of the family.

    For Daphne the one thing she hated the most was when her mother introduces her to every amiable bachelor at every ball they went to. Don't get her wrong, Daphne wants to marry but every gentleman she likes turns out to only want her as friend and all the men who would even think about marrying her seemed to be the odd ones with weird habits and weird faces. Hence, she has her moments of self-doubt, unrequited love and so much more. In the end, she can't take anymore of suitors she can't see herself happy with and the indirect rejection with the bachelors she actually sees herself marrying.

    But then one day, Simon, a friend of her eldest brother comes back into town and after running away from his share of single women. He confides in Daphne and comes up with the wonderful idea of faking their 'interest' for each other to keep the women and men at bay. And it worked!

    I adored the plot! What kind of hopeless romantic woman wouldn't? It had all the characteristics of the best historical romances I have ever read. It had your unrequited love pains, the steamy moments, the snarky banters, the shy romantic scenes, and most of all, the conflict that brings the couple closer than ever. And honestly, I would love to see this romance in the big screens.

    Julia Quinn built her characters around hardships that each and every one of them faced. In this book, we were made to hate Simon's father for disowning him because of his son's disability. Likewise, we were made to love every one of the Bridgerton children from the eldest to the youngest. Their bond and love for each other is as realistic as it gets. Imagine bickering in the sophisticated dialogue of the 1800's.

    This book was page-turning and is one of those books that keeps you up all night with its sweet moments, and hilarious banter. And no matter how many historical romances I manage to read. I will always enjoy them. And this book was no different. If you're a romance junkie waiting for your next fix, why not try the historical kind? Julia Quinn might surprise you with her amazing Jane Austen writing. I'm definitely getting the rest of the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Boring!

    The first 1 hundred pages merely covers about 3-4 conversations within 2 days. The scenes feel dragged out and unnecessary and do not meaningfully contribute to the establishment of a romantic relationship between the 2 characters. When your book is only 280 pages long, I do not see how you can take 100 pages merely to set the scene and spend endless time on sarcastic candor between characters. I'm an avid reader of romance novels but this one is the first I've read in a while that I'm struggling to get through. Read the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas instead!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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