"The Duke and I" is the first of the Bridgerton series, it deals with the story of the eldest Bridgerton sister, Daphne, and Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings. Daphne Bridgerton grew up in a loving and close-knit household. While Simon Bassett was raised by the household staff, his mother died giving birth to him and his father never paid him attention. His father thought him an "idiot" because of a speech problem: Simon did not talk until he was four years old and he stuttered. The old Duke did not even want to acknowledge Simon as his son; but through sheer will and determination, Simon Bassett mastered his speech impediment. But the emotional scar of his father's rejection has haunted him into adulthood.
Simon detached himself from his father by spending time abroad but when he came back to London, he was hounded by hunting Mamas wanting to marry off their daughters. Thanks to his friend, Viscount Anthony Bridgerton's sister, it seems that he might have found a solution to his problem. He proposed to Daphne Bridgerton that both of them will benefit by marrying each other. Daphne agreed to the idea since she herself needed to raise her "desirability" level to the ton's eligible bachelors because most of them treat her as a friend; and Simon will not be harassed anymore by London's bachelorettes. Then, once the marriage proposals started pouring in for Daphne, Simon suddenly wanted to make their sham engagement for real.
Daphne agreed once again for she is halfway into falling in love with her "sham" fiance; she thought marriage will bring her closer to Simon, but it seems that after sharing her bed, he is not willing to share his heart.
This report prepared by Rina Hall
Daphne Bridgerton is in the middle of the season, with no marriage prospects in sight, until she meets the mysterious Earl of Clyvedon, Simon Basset. They become allies, fending off the ton's most persistant match-makers so that they may live how they chose- to be free. Yet soon their masquerade becomes all too real, and neither are prepared for the consequences when the memories of the past interfere with the longings of the heart.
This report prepared by Meredith Griffin