The Duke and I

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Author: Julia Quinn
Published: January 5, 2000
Series: #1 of Bridgerton

Set in the regency era, Daphne forms an alliance with the Duke of Hastings: fake a courtship in order for Daphne to get more suitors, and for the duke to avoid the desperate Mamas eager to marry their daughters to him. Feelings soon flutter between Daphne and the duke but there is a secret that might destroy everything they’ve built.

I picked up this book after I binged Bridgerton on Netflix. And, I must say, that this is one of the rare moments where the series adaptation did better than the book. There were moments I wish should have been included in the series adaptation, there were moments that the series did better, and there were moments I wished was just scraped all together in this book. 

When trying to make sense of the actions done in the past, one must know how not to use the lens of the present, such as in the regency era where women were practically ignorant of the marital act and the importance of consent. However, this is fiction and not history and that very fact has found me quite disgruntled on how to approach the disappointing part of this novel.

I might be biased seeing as I’ve watched the Netflix adaptation before reading this but I loved every part of this book until that part (which you might have already known seeing as Bridgerton has become popular and a few articles have been made about the particular subject). I was actually really disappointed on Daphne here. I was seething. She rendered him literally speechless and made him relive his childhood trauma. And, she had the gall to be depressed on not conceiving! I say serves her right! But then, we must remember that Simon did take advantage of her by not being honest to her, given her ignorance. Her mother did not also help in explaining what happens between a man and a woman. So, does it justify her actions? I think not but she was also left ignorant and taken advantage of by withholding necessary information. If only all sides (yes, Violet too) have been honest to her, Daphne would not have resorted to such an act given the book’s constant emphasis on her being kind but then, who knows? However, I do think the book would have been better if the whole scene had been scraped or done differently. 

I apologize if this whole review is only about that particular scene but I do think it was really good until that scene. We got more of Daphne interacting with her older brothers and her younger siblings, although less with her sisters. We also had more banter from Daphne and Simon. It was interesting to read this after watching the series. I’d recommend reading this too, but after you’ve watched the series. Although I’m kind of quite curious about the perspective of those who had read this first and watched the series after.

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