Hero: Simon Bassett
Heroine: Daphne Bridgerton
Grade: 5 out of 5
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!
From the moment I opened this book to the moment that I closed this book, I loved it. No matter how many times I open this book and read it, I love it. This is the kind of historical love story that never fails to get my heart strings engaged and keep me entertained. Julia Quinn did a magnificent job, in my opinion of telling Simon and Daphne’s story. The way that she handled telling Simon’s story with the events that led up to his hasty marriage to Daphne Bridgerton and then to see him battle his demons throughout the book always gets me.
Simon Bassett was some kind of hero, I tell ya. I mean, he was this proud, completely stubborn man who ruined his best friend’s sister and then fell in love with her and didn’t exactly know what to do about all of that considering he was adamant about not producing an heir for his dukedom and she so desperately wanted to have kids. I understood why Simon felt the way that he did and I even sympathized with him but because I’m a softy, I wanted to see him grow to want kids with Daphne. Simon was a troubled hero who captured my heart with the depth to his character and just the man that he grew up to be. I enjoyed watching him realize his worth and I was so happy that Daphne was able to show him that he was worth so much more than he thought.
Daphne Bridgerton was a great heroine. I loved the maternal way she had with her younger siblings, it had me laughing like a loon. When the entire family went out on the boat and Simon tagged along, the way that her hand snapped out and caught Gregory before he could do whatever devil thing he was wanting to do was too funny. I loved the way that she was the kind of girl that most every guy only wanted to be friends with and I loved how nobody paid her any attention and yet she was still so optimistic and happy. She was a genuinely happy person and her personality made me want her to be my best friend. I loved the way that she interacted with her family and I loved seeing her fight with her brothers. It was just too funny. The one thing that I did not like about Daphne is the way she handled Simon’s not wanting to have kids thing. That got on my nerves but I thought that JQ did a great job of making things right in the end.
What I liked most about Simon and Daphne was how different they were from each other and yet how perfect they were for each other. Simon was cold and aloof and Daphne was vibrant and witty and yet they meshed so well together. Simon grew up alone, Daphne grew up with a big brood of brothers and sisters that were always in your business and never quiet. Daphne was everything Simon didn’t want in a future and yet she was the future that he got and when he finally realized that his future was no future without her, I did my little happy dance because that is exactly why I love reading romance novels. The couple’s journey to true love is always ripe with conflict, drama and steamy romance and seriously, the sparks between Simon and Daphne in the garden was steamy, too cute and total page turners.
My favorite thing about this story outside of Simon and Daphne was the Bridgerton family. They were such a rambunctious bunch that you couldn’t help but love them. I come from a large family as well so I can totally relate to the kind of dinners this family had and reading about this family is so much fun. Each of them have their own personalities and this book got me totally revved up to read the other books in this series. It’s a great start off for a fantastic series and if you haven’t read the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn yet, you should definitely fix that because seriously, these books rock!