by Julia Quinn
Pub. Date: Jan. 5, 2000
Narrator: Kristen Ellison
Length: 9hrs (approx.)
Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813
By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy sutiors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.
But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love…
I have had this series on my TBR list for so long! Now that I have finally started it, I hope to get through the entire series this year, as I am sure that the Bridgerton family will continue to be entertaining. How could they not be? 8 siblings, named in alphabetical order so none is forgotten, and all remarkably alike in looks being shepherded through each season by their matchmaking mama.
The first Bridgerton featured in the series is Daphne, eldest daughter of Violet Bridgerton. Poor Daphne, she has been friend-zoned by all the desirable men of the ton. They see her and they like her... they say how easy she is to talk to and like that she is so utterly normal. She is not like the lithe blonde females that are in fashion. I totally identified with Daphne... the cool relatable chick that all the guys like to hang out with but don't see as a romantic interest. I feel you girl. Le sigh.
Of course I was hooked on Simon, Duke of Hastings from the beginning. The story starts out at Simon's birth and moves quickly through his childhood where you want to wrap him up and protect him from the world. With a stammering problem, Simon works tirelessly to overcome the impediment and prove himself to his father. Having just arrived back in the country, and vowing never to marry, Simon is unprepared for the marriage-minded misses of the ton. And his Bridgerton brother friends are certainly not going to help him, as they want the attention diverted from their own bachelor status.
Simon and Daphne together were fabulous. Simon could speak with Daphne w/o worrying about his stammer, and Daphne was good at making Simon get out of his own way. Daphne made Simon see that he deserved to live and love and wasn't the boy his father disavowed. I loved seeing Daphne fight for her relationship and marriage, and for understanding the reasons behind Simon's actions. I also loved the closeness of the Bridgerton family, from their family outings to the brothers' protectiveness of Daphne, it was nice to see that such a large family got along and coexisted together under one roof.
Throughout the story, you have commentary in the scandal rag written by Mrs. Whistledown. But the question remains - who is Mrs. Whistledown? I have my suspicions, do you?