Author: Julia Quinn
Published: 2000, Avon
Category: Historical Romance
I thought that I had read all the Bridgerton books, but then I saw someone blog about this and realized that I somehow missed this one. And it's the first one in the series! Don't know quite how I managed that.
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 it 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!When I first discovered Julia Quinn I thought she was just fabulous, maybe because her writing seemed very different from most romances. Her books are so bright and frothy, while at the same time being quite sweet and surprisingly touching. I gobbled up a lot of them all at once. Nowadays I seem to be able to take her only in small doses. I'm not sure exactly why. They're not getting worse or anything, I think it's a personal thing. But sometimes all that froth becomes tedious to me.
Anyway, this one is quite delightful. You get to meet the boisterous Bridgerton family--all eight siblings, who fight and bicker and get on each others' nerves, but really are close-knit and loving. The family dynamic is definitely one of the things people like most about the Bridgerton books. They sound like such a fun family, everyone wants to be a part of it. :)
The romance in this didn't particularly grab me, but the characters are really nice. Daphne is just a nice girl. And you don't see too many nice girls in romance novels! It was refreshing. And Simon is a bit angsty, but his stutter is so endearing that I could easily forgive his thick-headedness.
Quinn has a new book out next month, The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, which I believe is the beginning of a new series. I should be about ready for another Quinn by then, so I'll definitely check it out. :)