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The Duke & I was written by Julia Quinn and published by Piatkus on 2nd October 2008. It is book 2 in 'The Two Dukes of Wyndham' series. The story is actually set at the same time as the other in the series - 'The Lost Duke of Wyndham', so either can be read first.
Amelia has been engaged to Thomas - the Duke of Wyndham - since she was a child. She has spent the rest of her life waiting for him to marry her, although he doesn't seem very keen to get around to doing that.
Thomas likes the idea of a fiance - mainly to keep the husband hunters away. He does plan on marrying her one day - once he's finished having fun. But just as he begins to realise that he actually quite likes Amelia, his long lost cousin, the possible true Duke of Wyndham, shows up, and if he really is who he says he is, then that makes him Amelia's true fiance also.
As they travel to find answers, Thomas and Amelia find themselves growing closer, just as circumstance might tear them apart...
What I thought -
It was a nice story, but nothing I'd be moved to read again. Having read 'The Lost Duke of Wyndham' first, I actually found this story lacking compared to that one. Definitely not one of Julia Quinn's best stories.
The plot was a good one, but the mystery was all gone if you'd already read 'The Lost Duke of Wyndham', so I was more focussed on the romance instead of the storyline, and what would be the fate of Amelia and Thomas. And honestly, I just didn't feel a connection between the two characters. Their encounters just didn't seem very emotion envoking, and I had a hard time believing in it.
The character's themselves were likable. Amelia was strong willed and lovely, and Thomas was a lot less stuffy than he seemed to be in 'The Lost Duke of Wyndham'. But all in all, they just didn't grow on me.
Not a strong book for it's genre. I found it lacking the excitement and passion you usually find in historical romances.
However, Julia Quinn writes beautifully as always. Although I found it a little dull, it was easy to follow and nicely worded.