The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Daphne, barely past twenty years of age, has been deemed a spinster by her worrisome mother. Constantly paraded around to the various elite men of Regency-era London but catching the interest of none, she resigns herself to her friendships. But her older brother’s friend, notorious flirt, and newly deemed duke Simon Bassett has returned from his travels. A bright spark burns between them, but Simon has vowed to never marry. Instead, they decide on an arrangement - to court each other with no intentions of escalation, to prevent mothers from throwing their daughters towards the eligible duke, and to spark jealousy in the hearts of the men who have never considered Daphne as anything more than a friend. Unfortunately, their time together only feeds the flame of their attraction and it’s only a matter of time before something gives. I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did but I found the banter and chemistry between the characters extremely engaging. I thought the plot started out rather well but fell into some tropes that I disliked, but overall I tore through it and had a good time. I would give it three stars.