The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

I’m officially jumping head first into the Bridgerton craze! A month or so ago I started watching the much hyped TV show with fairly low expectations, but I always love being up to date with whatever show is currently capturing the short attention span of pop culture. As I often find with the positive raves of the masses, I thoroughly enjoyed the show! I shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but I always tend to be. The imagery is beautiful, script witty and fast paced, and the story is just so entertaining. Despite knowing the show is based on a book, I wasn’t initially eager to pick up what I thought must be just a romance novel, until a book club group I recently joined decided to have The Duke and I be their read for January. 

Reading this book through the audio medium, I couldn’t stop listening! Quinn creates a whimsical setting in which characters are ruled by rigid social structures but whose interactions and banter are equally playful and witty. While I was processing data at work and listening to The Duke and I, I found I couldn’t help but giggle out loud at the various volleys of sass. I’m quite curious as to what my feeling on this read would have been had I not watched the TV show first. Honestly, I find this is the rare example where I enjoyed the show more, even though the book is fantastic. This is a great example of how book to TV adaptations should work, with key changes making the overall story even better. I can’t think of one change the TV show made that I didn’t like. Plus the casting was phenomenal, lending imagery for the characters as I read the book. I feel as though my review of the  book has gone a bit off the rails and is now a borderline review for the show. Regardless, they go hand in hand in my mind as I read/watched the various platforms back to back. As much of the material I’ve recently read is on the darker side, The Duke and I was a much needed breath of fresh air, with humor and romance permeating throughout. Interestingly, the book provided spoilers for the upcoming Bridgerton series that I’d rather have not read and would have enjoyed seeing played out on the screen for the first time. Oh well, I will likely enjoy it regardless! Overall, The Duke and I is a delightfully, eloquent story of love and society that will keep you smiling and even laughing out loud throughout each twist and turn. 

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • I loved the diversity that the show added into this story. It was hard to remember that The Duke and I wasn’t initially intended that way but it really enriched the overall story.
  • You should read about Queen Charlotte! What a fascinating real life person!
  • Colin and Penelope end up together! What is their story?
  • I’m sure other books will flesh out other characters, but the show started developing them earlier with Eloise, the Queen, Benedict,
  • Violet has so much more depth in the book than the TV show and was a wonderful addition.
  • I love that in the show Lady Danbury helped raise Simon. She was one of my favorite characters but only had a minor role in the books.
  • We didn’t have a clue who Lady Whistledown was by the end of the novel, whereas in the TV show it was revealed to be Penelope. When do we find this out in the book?


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