“The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn

I had it downloaded for a while, since before “Bridgerton” became a thing (I swear!). I had started watching the series with our au-pair but did not really get it and stopped after twenty minutes max. I was expecting something else… But then I gave it another go when the second season arrived and I enjoyed every crazy twist and turn of it (and I am a proud Kanthony supporter… I mean, all that breathing, come on! The Duke had a nice ass, but nothing beats some off-the-charts chemistry). Anyway, I digress. Something was telling me that there was no way the book could be better than the series, and yet I had to give it a go. The moral of the story is, you should always trust your gut.

What is it about?

Who does not know the story? All right, all right, for the three people who have not seen Bridgerton, each one of these series of books follows one of the members of the Bridgerton family. The first one focuses on Daphne, the eldest daughter of the family, and her hasty marriage to the Duke of Hastings after the two are discovered in a compromising situation at a ball. There is more to it than that, but this is the core of the story.

What makes it good?

Well, it is probably that the two are married halfway through the book. There is no engagement ending a la “Pride and Prejudice” and there is not much build up to their relationship really. It is more they are young, they develop an “attachment” (they fancy each other!), and then they have to be married. Fortunately for them, they seem to be actually falling in love with each other and be compatible with each other, so despite some misunderstandings (“So did you say you cannot have children? What is that on the cover of the bed? Is that you being ill or…” Poor naive Daff). there is a happy ending. Besides this change in the trope of the rom-com, I did not find much to like about the book, besides encountering the characters of the series and make me appreciate the work of the writers of the same. They took the seed of the idea, which was good, they took the characters, which were good, and made them into something a bit less young adult (despite the racy scenes) and more modern and diverse.

The style

The novel’s style did not stand out majorly in my eyes, it is quite a short book and it definitely feels like stuff is just happening a bit too fast and without too much description. It is a testament to the good idea the author had that despite everything, the Bridgerton family still manage to stand out and being something worth working on.

Final Mark

I almost never say this, but the series is better than the book, and that is it. That odd mismatch between the young-adulty tone, the racy description and the hastily sketched characters are just not enough to keep my interest. Points for inventing the Bridgerton family.

5/10

On Goodreads.

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