Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Review: The Duke And I by Julia Quinn
Blurb: After enduring two seasons in London, Daphne Bridgerton is no longer naive enough to believe she will be able to marry for love. But is it really too much to hope for a husband for whom she at least has some affection? Her brother's old school friend Simon Basset- the new Duke of Hastings- has no intention of ever marrying. However, newly returned to England, he finds himself the target of the many marriage-minded society mothers who remain convinced that reformed rakes make the best husbands. To deflect their attention, the handsome hell-raiser proposes to Daphne that they pretend an attachment. In return, his interest in Daphne will ensure she becomes the belle of London society with suitors beating a path to her door. There's just one problem; Daphne is in very real danger of falling for a man who has no intention of making their charade a reality...
What I thought: This definitely fulfilled the requirements for my post-Allegiant, fluffy, feel-good although slightly predictable book. It was funny, romantic and sweet.
One of my favorite aspects was the characters, especially the Bridgerton family, especially Daphne in the first half of the book. Her mother, Violet, was a rather Mrs Bennet-like woman, desperate to marry off her children, although she paired this with a more kind, slightly badass side. Anthony, the eldest Bridgerton child, was amusing in the first half, overbearing and irritatingly overprotective in the second, as was Benedict. Colin was my favorite of the brothers, not including Gregory, and I absolutely loved Hyacinth, although she was rarely mentioned. All the Bridgerton children were funny and smart, and contributed a lot to the story.
In the first half of the book, I really liked Daphne. She was intelligent, sensible and funny, especially compared to the empty-headed, marriage-obsessed fools she was surrounded with. She was just incredibly awesome, but in the second half, her awesomeness kind of tailed off. I felt as if Julia Quinn had thought "okay, I've created this great character, and now I'm just going to leave her as she is, and not add anything else to her for the rest of the book", which was disappointing.
Simon was cool, although he seemed to spend half the time lusting after Daphne, and the other half being all angry and messed up because of his dad. It was like those were the things that defined him, and aside from that he wasn't all that amazing.
The setting was very interesting for me- I don't read much historical fiction, so it was a nice change to read something Regency-set, even if I didn't understand words like "ton" (er, what?). I really got a sense of the restrictions on women, and the way in which everyone was supposed to act. What did annoy me was how everyone (except maybe Penelope Featherington) seemed to be stunningly gorgeous, which could probably be said for most books, actually. Simon's stutter went a little way to improve this, but Daphne could have had at least one ugly sibling.
Right. We need to talk about the sex in this book. The good thing was that it didn't start until about halfway through, and even then, it didn't really take over the story. Most of the story became related to it (sounds odd, but makes sense if you read it), but interesting things still happened, and it didn't turn into a boring porn book with absolutely no plot.
What I did find, though, was that the (few) grammatical/ typo errors increased quite a lot in the second half. Even though there was still a storyline, when the sex part started, character development and grammatical accuracy seemed to pretty much stop.
Despite this, it really was a good book. To anyone looking for something to cheer them up after reading Allegiant, I would suggest this. Very funny, sometimes almost absurd, clever and romantic.