I don’t know why I put off reading this series for so long. I’d heard really great things about it and it sounded right up my alley. After reading a series of only so so historicals, I decided to start The Duke & I. Just a tip for those who haven’t read it - be smarter than me and don’t start reading this book after midnight. Because if you do, you’ll probably end up staying up until 4:30am trying to finish it before succumbing to sleep.What can I say except that I loved this book? Simon and Daphne were both fantastic characters and I fell in love with both of them. Simon, intense and brooding, is still living in the shadow of his father’s disdain. I really felt for Simon and the damage that his father caused. I felt sad for the little boy that Simon was once and I fell in love with the man that he became. Bright and gregarious, Daphne is the perfect match for Simon. She doesn’t allow him to be too serious and her intelligence is a match for his. Their rapport was immediate and I enjoyed their quick banter. I truly felt like they had an emotional connection that had me, as a reader, fully invested in their relationship. I had so much fun getting to know the entire Bridgerton clan. The large, loving, and extremely boisterous family made me laugh with their antics. All of the Bridgerton men sound quite dashing and I want to know more about them. I also enjoyed Lady Danbury and the gossip pieces by Lady Whistledown at the beginning of every chapter.This is my first Julia Quinn book and won’t be my last. I enjoyed her writing and the dialogue especially. The book was surprisingly funny and there was a good mix of humor, romance, and angst. The writing seemed very modern, which is unusual in historical novels, but I liked it. The book flowed really well and, as I said, I stayed up half the night because I could not stop reading. The Duke & I is one of my new favorites and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the Bridgerton series.