The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (Bridgerton) – A book review

I don’t usually read Historical romances but with the hype from the Netflix series and the bookstagram, I had to pick The Duke and I by Julia Quinn, the famed Bridgerton series. How did that work for me? Read my book review to know more.

Have you read The Duke and I by Julia Quinn? What do you think about the Bridgerton series on Netflix? What other Julia's books should I be reading? Let us talk. Share on X
Duke and I Bridgerton Featured

About The Duke and I

Book Name: The Duke and I (Bridgerton #01)

Author: Julia Quinn

Genre: Fiction – RomanceHistorical

Characters: Daphne Bridgerton, Simon Basset

Setting: London, England, The UK

Plot Summary of The Duke and I

Set in the Regency London, Daphne Bridgerton is the fourth of eight siblings in a close-knit family and is ready to meet her suitors. While everyone likes her wit and kindness, no one actually adores her. She is too friendly with her young suitors to be a romanced.

Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings is new to the scene as he has just returned to England from his stay abroad. He is not interested in marriage nor progeny, but he is constantly paraded by the mothers and daughters as an eligible bachelor.

So when Daphne, Simon’s best friend’s sister offers him a way out he takes it. They fake court, so that Simon will deter the parade and Daphne will get more prospects to choose from.

The plan works well, until it goes wrong horribly. Does the Duke and Daphne understand the folly in their plan and do they end up in a HEA? Read The Duke and I by Julia Quinn to know more.

Book review of The Duke and I

The Duke and I was my first book set in Regency London and my first time reading Julia Quinn’s writing as well. And imagine my surprise when I flew through the pages in an afternoon.

Julia Quinn’s writingwas witty and hilarious. I loved the banters and the sibling’s taunts. Even if they followed a half of Julia’s dialogues in the Netflix version, I won’t be surprised at what a hit the Bridgerton series has been. (Yes, I haven’t watched it yet.)

I loved the Bridgerton family dynamic and the drama. I would definitely have to keep a watch out for the other books.

On the other hand, I didn’t like the female lead at all, not even before that ONE SCENE. Don’t even start me with the Duke. He was lying and manipulative as well. So made for each other I guess.(?)

I loved the book and had a merry time with it, until that one scene.

Yes, it was cringe-y, manipulative, non consensual scene that spoiled everything for me. I understand the book was written in early 2000s, the “rules were different” then (no, they weren’t) and blah blah, but I completely lost it after that. (I am hoping that Netflix guys changed this one.)

What worked for me

  • The funny, witty banter sprinkled all through the book. I loved them. Julia Quinn made chuckle, grin, laugh and even snort at one point.
  • I loved the Bridgerton family dynamics and the younger ones were funny as well. I want more of the Bridgerton world y’all!

What may have been better

  • Both the leads were flawed, manipulative and lying. But given the time period it was set in, maybe it was normal I guess. Anyway, I was able to look past it.
  • Why did I have to read a non consensual sex (rape?) scene. It spoiled everything for me.

Content warning

Non consensual sex, parental neglect

Bottom line

While I loved the writing, the character building and the Bridgerton world, there were things that put me off The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. But I will definitely read Julia Quinn’s other books and continue the Bridgerton series soon (assuming they were not problematic or off putting).

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Let’s chat

Have you read The Duke and I by Julia Quinn? What do you think about the Bridgerton series on Netflix? What other Julia’s books should I be reading? Let us talk.


  1. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    I binge watched the tv show and then bought the book. I haven’t read it yet though. I found the show pretty corny but enjoyable so that’s what I’m expecting out of the book too lol

  2. Robin Loves Reading

    I understand how you feel. I think, however, because I watch the Netflix series first, that I was able to appreciate this book.

    • Gayathri

      Oh maybe I will give it a chance!

  3. Ruby Jo

    I love historical romance. I agree with you, while I enjoyed this book, there were things I wish I didn’t have to read. I can’t wait for you to meet Anthony’s heroine though. So far, the second book is my favorite in the series. Can’t wait for you to read it <3

    • Gayathri

      OK you guys are pushing me to continue to read the series.

    • Gayathri

      Oh Let me know how it goes.

  4. Kate @ Bitch Bookshelf

    I think the series is worth continuing. The first few books (largely this one) are iffy for me, but I love books 4-7.

    • Gayathri

      Ok I might persevere through then.

  5. Bianca

    I’ve been thinking about reading this!

    • Gayathri

      Oh let me know how it goes, if you do read it.

  6. DJ Sakata

    I adore funny, witty banter, maybe I should give this one a try. I typically avoid these.

    • Gayathri

      Oh let me know how it goes!

  7. Whispering Stories

    I’m not a fan of historical romance so not something I have read nor watched. Lovely review.

    • Gayathri

      I totally get it.

  8. Jo Linsdell

    I loved the Netflix show and plan on reading the whole book series.

    • Gayathri

      Oh I am glad you liked it, I have to start it yet.


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Gayathri has been reviewing books since 2010. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she works as a writer and a digital marketer. Head over to meet me!