“The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn, narr. by Rosalyn Landor

Yea, I’m one of those who watched and was hooked on Netflix’s Bridgerton. The drama and all the gossiping in it made it very entertaining, but it was the costumes and the acting itself that lured and held my interest throughout.

Since learning that it’s based on a novel, I’ve wanted to read the source material ever since to find out what happens next and to see in what ways it defers from the show. So, when I saw that the audiobook was available at my library, I quickly downloaded and began listening to it. It, too, was very entertaining.

Genre

Romance; Historical Fiction

Series

Bridgertons, book 1

Pubbed

2000

Quick summary

Taking inspiration from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (and probably other classic novels I do not know of), The Duke & I centers on the large Bridgerton family whose matriarch wants to see her children married off well. The story focuses on Daphne Bridgerton, who was recently introduced to society but hasn’t had many suitors, probably because her older brothers (there are three of them) are a bit intimidating.

When she bumps into Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, the two hatch a plan to feign interest in each other to attract more suitors to Daphne and to stave off the eager society mothers seeking Simon as a suitable match for their daughters. The plan goes too well and soon the two begin to truly develop feelings for each other. But Simon knows he can never be with Daphne because he has vowed never to marry or prolong his family line to spite his awful late father. (Goodreads)

My thoughts

Oh man! I enjoyed the book almost as much as I did the TV show. It progresses very quickly, the characters were funny, and, of course, I loved Lady Whistledown’s voice. It was a very entertaining read.

I do prefer how some characters come across on the page than in the TV show. I think we get more insight into Simon’s thoughts and perspective on things in the book, so I prefer him there. I also like that Daphne and Simon share their plans with Anthony in the book. It’s something I wished for while watching the show although keeping Anthony in the dark about their pretend relationship added more drama to the situation. I also preferred Mrs. Bridgerton (the mother) in the book. We only view her through her children’s eyes, which made her come across as a mama bear most times who’s very intent on marrying off her eligible children. She is also funnier in the book. My favorite part was when she tried discussing sexual intercourse with Daphne and looked at the window as if she could escape through it.

There aren’t as many sex scenes in the book as there is in the show, of course, but the book is still quite steamy and problematic in the same spot that arose in the show. I really wish the characters had discussed that situation since Daphne (in the book) didn’t seem to understand that she’d done something wrong by taking advantage of Simon when he did not want her to do so.

Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next in the series. My only complaint is that I was a bit inpatient with the dialogue scenes and at times thought they went on for too long. But I see that as more my fault (too impatient) than something wrong with the story. Also, we don’t get as much of the Featheringtons as I’d hoped (the show spoiled me on them; I like the Featheringtons and their “unflattering” style) and almost nothing of Eloise, which I didn’t expect. Of course, the book is very different from the TV show but after experiencing one, it does set you up with expectations regarding the other.

Another thing is that I listened to the second epilogue that was included in the audiobook edition I listened to and it spoiled me on who Mrs. Whistledown is. Yes, I know who she is in the show, but I didn’t agree with it and didn’t want to believe it, so I convinced myself that it would be different in the book. It’s not.

As for the narrator of the audiobook, she did a great job bringing the story and its characters to life for me and keeping me engaged in what I was listening to. I hope she’s the narrator for the rest of the series. I think I might listen to the audiobook of the others as well.

Overall: ★★★★☆

An entertaining historical romance novel that you’re sure to speed through. I highly recommend both the book and the TV show adaptation of it on Netflix — Bridgerton.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

If it sounds like your sort of thing, then get yourself a copy.

20 thoughts on ““The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn, narr. by Rosalyn Landor

  1. It’s really awesome to see how excited you are about the audiobook, especially when you adored the show so much! While I doubt I’ll ever check these out, it’s nice to read your enthusiastic thoughts about it all! Have you heard that the dude on the cover won’t be back for season 2? I didn’t read up on why he’s out but I can online it making a bunch of fans depressed! 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yo man! I heard that news and it upset my entire day. He’s one of the best parts of the show. Just him. Looking good and all. Lol! 🤣🤣 But the reason why is because the story doesn’t focus much on his character in the other books. He becomes a side character, I guess, and he knew the show would be a short project for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have done exactly the same and just started reading it. The book is definitely making me laugh and I’m glad to hear that the whole thing is just as strong. Great review!

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  3. So glad you enjoyed it! I agree, the book is much funnier, and Violet Bridgerton (in the books) is one of my favorite characters! Reading the books makes me appreciate how the show includes more of the family, since the books really just focus on one sibling at a time. I appreciated getting more of Simon’s backstory in the book too. I can’t wait to keep going with the books — I took a pause after #4,but I’m itching to continue!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear that about Violet. I really didn’t expect her character to be so funny!
      And it’s really your reviews that made me read this sooner than expected, so thank you for that! 🙂 I look forward to continuing with the books.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, they took out most of the humor. I guess that’s part of the reason why I like the Featheringtons in the show because we get a lot of the humor from them.
      Oh yes! I totally plan to continue with the series.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s worth picking up 🙂 I think each book focuses on a different Bridgerton, so not all of them get much air time in each book, whereas the tv show introduces us to all of them at once.

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    1. Yea, it’s heavily romance so if that’s not your jam, then maybe avoid it. However, there is some humor to it to lighten the plot some. It strikes me as a mash-up of P&P and the TV show Gossip Girls.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Not exactly my sort of thing but I always enjoy seeing someone else really enjoy a book, show or movie, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed them both. With audiobooks I always prefer when a series is narratored by the same person, it’s always kind of jarring to suddenly have different voices than what you were used to. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series just as much.

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    1. I’m with you there on how jarring it can be when narrators change. I started listening to audiobooks about 2 years or so ago and have listened to a series where almost every book has a different narrator. It threw me off a bit.

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  5. Great that you have enjoyed the audiobook as much as the series. I watched a little bit of the series, but I’m not much of a fan of books/shows focused on young women finding husbands even when the characterisation is so great. It annoys me immensely. One day maybe I’ll get over it and actually read Jane Austen. But you do make this sound enticing all the same.

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    1. Thanks!
      And I get your frustration. I think you’d be very annoyed/angry with this story (TV show and book) then. I think the TV show tries to make the characters seem closer in age, but the focus is still on women having to secure a husband in order to have a good living/future. I found it frustrating.

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