Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town's marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn't as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry—though there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Simon's heart beating a bit faster. And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that is seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever!
I added this book to my TBR list after the girls over at Sanctuary's Finest started reviewing the Bridgerton series not too long ago. Prior to this I had only read Julia Quinn in a novella in the Where's My Hero anthology. Another reason I picked up this book is because I am sucker for a series!
So this is the first in the Bridgerton series of book, featuring a family where the children conveniently get named in alphabetical order! This book featured Daphne, fourth oldest child, and a young lady in danger of being left on the shelf as far as the marriage mart that is the ton is concerned. She is in her second season, and has had several offers that she has turned down because she wanted a man she could love, like the love that her parents had, and to have lots of children.
After meeting Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, she agrees to a sham engagement with him. For her, this should mean that the other eligible men of the ton should see beyond her reputation as a good friend, and for him, it should mean that he will be free from the buzzards that are the mothers of young unmarried ladies who would love to catch themselves a duke! However, the more time they spend together, the more attracted to each other they become, until eventually the plan goes awry when they are caught in a compromising situation by her eldest brother Anthony, and Daphne and Simon have to marry.
The only thing casting a shadow over their marriage is the fact that Simon has issues left over from his terrible childhood, and this leaves to a really big problem for them, particularly around the issue of children. For the most part though I liked Simon. He seemed pretty honourable and a fairly nice guy, and was certainly a good match for Daphne.
As for Daphne, I did like her quite a bit. She was a likeable character, although VERY innocent, having absolutely no idea of what happened between a man and a woman. There is one thing though that she did that I really did not like, and whilst I understand her reasons, it seemed very disrespectful and deceitful for her to do what she did. I guess, though, now I think of it, Simon was no better, so why did I like Daphne less for what she did than Simon. Hmmm....something to think on!
I really like that this story was at it's very core, just a romance...no suspense subplots or anything like that to distract.
Overall, an enjoyable read, and I will definitely be reading more about the Bridgertons in the not too distant future.
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