"Save your pathetic words," Anthony spat. "I'll see you at dawn."Please let there be a duel. Pleeeeaaasssse let there be a duel.One sec, flipping the page. *pause* Damn...no duel."I've always known that I wasn't the sort of woman men dream of, but I never thought anyone would prefer death to marriage with me."3.5 stars. I would have definitely gone for a solid 4 star had there been a duel. What a missed opportunity that was! There are more brothers in this family; it wouldn't have been a big deal to off one of them.So, I am no longer a Quinn virgin. The seduction is complete. Gonna take a sec and stub out this "we made it official" cigarette so I can write my review.Summary in a sentence : A duke who was abused and shunned in his childhood because of a speech impediment grows up to be a handsome young man that pushes away the one woman who sees him for more than what his father made him out to be.Truth be told, I wasn't a fan of the first half of this book. The banter was lackluster, the sexual tension was almost nonexistent, and not a whole lot really happened.Who knew that a failed duel scene would be the turning point of the story? I have no idea what happened, but once Daphne rode in on her horse, ready to throw herself in the way if necessary in order to stop her brother and the man she loved from shooting themselves, it was as if life had suddenly been breathed into the dying tale. From there on out, it became fun. All of a sudden, Daphne and Simon were actually worth reading about.I liked seeing a few reminders of other series I've enjoyed in the past. The Bridgertons came along before series like The Hathaways and The Luxe but since I read the latter 2 series beforehand, I had a smile on my face when I noticed the "gossip column" segments as chapter headers (Luxe), then later couldn't help but get excited over the possibilities of seeing what's to come in the future for the siblings of the main character (Hathaways). I especially can't wait for Colin's story. He sounds like the fun and careless rake : Colin's one-shoulder shrug matched his lopsided smile to perfection. The mother is also a riot. Her dialogue in the scene where she's explaining to her daughter what happens on the wedding night was priceless.Addressing the somewhat controversial scene... Okay, so I'd seen mention of a scene in this book which might raise an eyebrow for some people. I understand that had the roles been reversed, it would have been an extremely difficult scene to read. I don't mean to fall into the category of double standards because I do agree that the manipulation was extremely wrong. It just didn't anger me the way it did others. She made a bad choice in the moment and did end up having to pay for it to some extent, so at least she was partially held responsible for her actions. Sexy time was eventually sexy. The steam factor wasn't off the charts and it took a while before I even felt the heat between this couple but it got there at some point.As his hands moved to his trousers, he saw that she was pulling the bedsheets over her. "Don't," he said, barely recognizing his own voice. Her eyes met his and he said, "I'll be your blanket."Overall, this was a nice read. Not my favorite historical romance, but still an endearing love story when everything came together."Simon, she pleaded, "save me."And he was lost.