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

lighthearted fast-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

I listened to the audiobook after watching this on Netflix, and I'm glad I did, although I usually don't watch a show until after I've read the book. I liked some aspects of both, although there were some parts of both the show and the book that I didn't like so much.

Reading about Regency-era life was rather interesting, although it seemed like a very rigid and stifling time for women. I really felt for Daphne when it became clear how her entire life was focused on finding a husband, and that if she could, her life goal would be fulfilled, while if she couldn't, her life would be ruined. Initially, she seemed really sweet and innocent (with a great punch), although she did have some manipulative tendencies that became clear later in the book. I liked her, until there was one event that occurred later in the book. While perfect characters aren't interesting, Daphne did something that I really struggled with. 

Simon was the other main character. His flaws were on display right from the start, but he was a cinnamon roll under all the rakish behavior. I loved seeing him come out of his shell and learn to be his authentic self. His arc showed the most character growth, and it allowed him to resolve some of his longer-standing issues. 

The romance wasn't always an easy one, and it grew out of what is rapidly becoming my favorite trope - the fake relationship. Daphne and Simon pull it off well, even amongst the heavy societal pressures of Regency-era London and Lady Whistledown's society papers. I think the story could have been written without removing one character's say in their own reproductive rights, but aside from that, it was a light-hearted and enjoyable read. The narrator was perfect for the role, with a posh British accent and a voice that kept me engaged throughout the story. While it was a long read, it didn't feel that was at all, with the story maintaining a fast pace that held my attention and kept me entertained.

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