By Julia Quinn
In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable… but not too amiable.
Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.
Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.
The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule...
My thoughts: It only took me 10 years and a Netflix series to get me to pick up this book from my shelves! I was given the entire Bridgerton series by a friend who highly recommended it. Why did it take me so long? Well, I really, really need to be in the mood to read historical romance books. However, with all the buzz with the Netflix series, I knew it was time to finally pick it up and read it. And guess what? I really liked it!
The book focuses on Daphne and Simon's love story. The characters decided to come into an arrangement: pretend that they are courting one another so Daphne could receive more suitors while Simon can stop all of the momma's from pushing their daughters on him. But of course, this is a romance, which means that this arrangement is going to lead to something else, such as them falling in love with each other.
I highly enjoyed reading this book. It was so much fun! Simon and Daphne's flowering relationship was absolutely adorable during their "courtship." They teased and bantered. It made sense as to why they fell in love with one another. The only thing that had my eyes rolling was Simon's insistence and determination not to sire an heir. His hatred towards his father kind of frustrated me but luckily, it was quickly resolved.
The book briefly focused on the other characters, unlike the Netflix series. As mentioned, the first book of the series heavily focused on Daphne and Simon's relationship. We do get to read about Daphne's brothers Anthony, Benedict, and Colin. Their brotherly love was fun and enjoyable to read. This was the author's way of preparing the reader for the following books in the series. I do have to admit that the lightheartedness of the book and the silliness of the brothers was something I would have liked to have seen more on the Netflix series.
In conclusion, I am very glad that I finally got to read the first book in the Bridgerton series. I am super excited that I was able to read it after 10 years on my bookshelves. I loved the romance development and the characters. I can't wait to continue reading the rest of the series! I rate it: