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The Duke and I (Bridgertons) Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2015
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Setting: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: 7
Relentlessly pursued by match-making mamas and their charges, Simon Bassett, the handsome Duke of Hastings, has grown tired of the societal chase. Tired too is the lovely Daphne Bridgerton, whose matrimonially minded mother is set on finding her daughter the perfect husband. Neither Simon nor Daphne is happy with this annoying state of affairs and both would give anything for a little peace and quiet. Their mutual wish for a respite from the ton's marriage mart leads to a pretend engagement--a scheme that is threatened with exposure by Daphne's suspicious older brother, who happens to know Simon's way with women very well. The two never anticipated that a mutual attraction would lead to the very thing they set out to avoid--a wedding. But Simon fears that his painful past may keep him from being able to truly love anyone. And though Daphne cares for him deeply, she won't settle for anything less than his heart.
The Duke and I is rich with author Julia Quinn's trademark humor and engaging dialogue. Beneath the Regency charm of this novel, however, dwells an insightful exploration of the impact of childhood trauma and the healing power of love. Quinn just keeps getting better and better, a fact that's sure to delight readers. --Lois Faye Dyer --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
"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."--"Oakland Press"Quinn will give you pleasant dreams." ---"Romantic Times"Ms. Quinn writes delightfully fast-paced, funny, sparkling, and bright romance." --"Romantic Times --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
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This book had exactly what I look for in a historical romance; wealthy, tormented hero and a heroine who is strong and knows who she is. In fact, the more I think about it this book really encompassed everything I would want in my ideal romance novel. Aside from the characters themselves, the fact that what needed to be overcome for them to be together was an internal struggle and not you typical villain, really put this book into my favorite category and made it one I will read again.
To make this simple here is a list of every thing I loved about this book.
*self torturing hero needs to face past in order to embrace his future
*heroine is self confident and stands up for herself and her beliefs
*the characters actually speak to one another about their problems and what they want. There are a few times when a conversation is put on hold because she can see that it is causing him distress, but unlike other romance novels I didn't feel like it was her giving up on a conversation, she just knew that it would be better to wait until later to finish it.
*there is no crazy plot twist or entanglement, murderers or spies, that consume the whole story and are wrapped up conveniently in just a few pages at the end to distract from the real story.
This is a book about a man who had a rough childhood and how the love of the right women helped him face it and overcome it. It is not fancied up to be something else, it is perfect for being honest about human nature and having characters that react the way real people would and that is the reason it received five stars and why I would recommend it.