My wife doesn’t read, which is a bit of a conundrum for a writer and someone who loves to read. She says that if the book is good enough, it will be made into a movie. I always chuckle when I think of this, mostly because I know a ton of great books that will never make it to the silver screen. And yet, Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I has done it. Better than a movie, but it is a series on Netflix. While I have never read any of Quinn’s books I know of her reputation and I have waited with bated breath to watch Bridgerton, the show based on The Duke and I. And it was all that I had hoped for and more. I adored the costumes, the Regency period mores, the ballroom scenes and the intrigues. But above all, I loved the hero, Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings.
He’s black y’all! He’s arrogant and yummy and black! I can’t tell you how mind blowing it is to see the hero from a famous romance be depicted in the form of a black man. To know that all that is desired and all that is good in a leading man is encapsulated in brown skin and wooly hair. It makes this writer want to jump up and down with glee. Thank you Shonda Rhimes for opening this world to us and reminding everyone that romance, historical romance, belongs to everyone. That it can come in all shapes, sizes and shades. That a black man can be what women (and men) most desire. And thank you Simon Basset for being you. Especially when being you means breaking the rules of who and what is a Regency hero.