"The Duke and I," was my first foray into true romance novels, my only other experience being the "Outlander," series (which I have not yet finished). A friend of mine recommended starting with Ms. Quinn and specifically with the Bridgerton series, and I'm very glad she did! I enjoyed this book quite a bit, finding it enjoyable and easy escapism of just the sort I was looking for. I would absolutely and without hesitation recommend this book as an excellent starting point for other romance-newbies!
The characters are interesting and well drawn, and the chemistry is between the lead characters doesn't feel forced, false, or overly abrupt. There are some cliches indulged in, and fairly early, but this seems to be part of the appeal of the concept. I enjoyed that Ms. Quinn writes from the perspective of both her leading characters, often alternating between their viewpoints within the same scene in a way that never feels jarring. I expected to spend most of my time reading either the damsel's perspective or that of the rakish suitor, and instead found myself with a rounded vision of each scene, including the bedroom scene.
Some of the language is a bit repetitive, but the dynamics among characters feels fresh and honest. I especially joy the relationships among the Brridgerton family, who are a large, happy, loving, close knit group. There's no angst on the family front for this ingenue, which is incredibly pleasant.