I guess it's the downers bench for me

The Duke and I  - Julia Quinn

Nothing is more painful than when you realized that a book you hoped would sweep you off your feet has disappointed you. That you couldn't connect to the writing emotionally like you hoped.

 

I found it impossible to discern anything other than forced and awkward conversation between Daphne and Simon. I found their interactions contrive and force, they had all the ingredients that I usually like in romance. A strong man with a vulnerability, a heroine who is strong willed and unusual but somehow I wasn't able to click with them. 

 

I found inventive that the authoress would give the male love interest a stutter but at times Simon's existential crisis felt rather force. He devolved into an angry man who at times genuinely scared me in his rages. Daphne went from a possibly likable heroine to a girl who accepted anything and everything, pushed Simon into revelation he did not want and took advantage of him. Yes, she did, having sex with Simon while he was still asleep in an effort to conceive a child he did not want, felt very much like rape. I am terribly sensitive to issues of consent.

 

The last quarter of the book felt nothing like the lighthearted and comic romance that it had started as and I felt thrown for a loop. I guess we just weren't meant to be and nothing pains me more than that.