If you’ve been missing “Bridgerton”, as in the Shonda Rhymes show, then this book is 100% for you. I haven’t read the Julia Quinn books, so I can’t say on that front how closely “Aphrodite and the Duke” line up there, but the parallels to the Netflix show are easy to see. You have a tightly knit family traversing the “ton” as one daughter begins her season, the balls are colorful and over the top, the queen feels taken straight from the show with her attitude and massive wigs, even the title of this book is closely tied to that of Quinn’s. Plus, you have our main character who is so attractive she’s intimidating and thus has a hard time getting suitors, though the one she does want has broken her heart before and, due to his family trauma, doesn’t really want a wife though he is obsessed with Aphrodite. I could go on, but trust me when I say that if you want a fluffy romance steeped in the regency vibes of Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhymes, give this historical fiction romance a try!
I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved Aphrodite as a character concept, just as I loved Evander’s troubled past as a concept. But in execution I found both characters to be a little boring and I didn’t get swept up in their second chance romance the way I had wanted. Plus, on the romance side, the steamy bits all seemed to be done with rather quickly? Which I have mixed feelings about as well because, originally, that’s what I wanted this book for, but I liked the drama and thriller aspects that came into play later, I just don’t think those aspects got explored nearly as much as they should have been, either. The book and story were very easy to read though, both with the writing style and the plot of the book. It was quick and fluffy and sweet with just enough excitement to keep me invested, but it wasn’t mind blowing, either. I did enjoy the Bridgerton show though, so that definitely helped with my enjoyment of the book, but even so, this was a pretty solid 3 stars for me.
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