A review by cozycritiques
The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn

emotional lighthearted tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
"There were rules among friends, commandments, really, and the most important one was Thou Shall Not Lust After Thy Friend’s Sister."
 - The Duke and I

CW: Violence, Rape, Gaslighting
Warning: This review contains spoilers

Tropes:
📖 Fake Dating
📖 Marriage of Convenience
📖 Brother’s Best Friend

I don’t normally write prose reviews anymore, but I had a hard time trying to write this review, so here I am.
I think this is one of the books that sparked my decision to stop giving books star ratings. Because up until around the 60% mark, I was adoring this book. The banter, chemistry, and tension between Daphne and Simon was on point. The Bridgerton family is simply hilarious and I loved the sibling dynamic. I wanted to protect Simon and give him a big hug in the worst way, and be friends with Daphne and high-five her for throwing such a good punch.
But then the conflict happened, and I couldn’t in good conscious boil down my thoughts about this book into something as simple as a star rating. What Simon and Daphne do to each other is not okay, and I’m not sure that it was really necessary. There were plenty of other ways to introduce conflict without Simon gaslighting Daphne about his ability to have children and Daphne raping Simon to try to get pregnant. 
From what I understand, the rest of the series gets better, and the show handles it slightly differently (although I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t comment on it), so I will be continuing the series. But The Duke and I just left me with conflicting feelings. 

Spice Scale: 🌶🌶 

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