Can there be any greater challenge to Londons Ambitious Mama’s than an unmarried duke? Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813.
By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friends sister, the lovely – and alomost on the shelf – Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth – It’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from the marriage-minded society mothers. As for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that a Duke has declared her desirable….
Their ruse works like a charm – at first. But as Daphne waltzes accross ballroom after ballroom with Simon it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he lookds at her. It wasn’t the plan, but it seems she’s falling for the duke for real. And amidst the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite there is only one certainty: Love ignores every rule.
Like many others I watched Bridgerton on Netflix at the behest of a friend who declared that I would absolutely love it. I watched it, and now I am that friend trying to convince everyone and anyone that they absolutely need it in their lives. It was hilarious, and just a tiny bit outrageous. I adored it.
So obviously then I went to read the book – In one sitting. That bit was accidental.
I found the book to be more singular than the series – It mainly follows the Daphne and Simon storyline with minimal side-chatter going on around that plot. I am about to embark on the rest of the book series, and I strongly suspect I will find a lot of the plot from the series in those books (watch this space!).
By only following the one plot line the book is able to focus on it and engage far more in the banter and the relationship between the two than the series. I laughed out loud multiple times while reading the book, and recommend it as an easy cheeky read for when you want to indulge yourself in a little harmless romance and scandal.
One thing that the book doesn’t quite manage to live up to is those deep dark gazes that Rege-Jean Page perfected on screen, sending women swooning en masse accross the globe. In a rare act, the actor has managed to intensify the relationship past what the book is able to portray through mere words – Those of you who have not seen the two of them play out their romance need to stop what you are doing and write the rest of the day off for a Bridgerton binge.
The book is significantly less in-your-face sexy than the series (I watched an interview with Mr Page where he discussed his family’s reaction to those particular scenes – it made me chuckle) and a lot less explicit than you might expect, which is handy for those of you looking for the relationship development without the soft porn.
Having finally tracked down the second book (along with the third and fourth) I am now off to indulge my inner society-scandal lover. I will report back accordingly.