Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can't be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family's infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She's the type of girl you don't notice until the second—or third—look, but there's something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she's the one.
Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can't quite believe it's all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can't help thinking that he's hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.
Another positively splendid book from Julia Quinn!
I will start this review with a confession. I have been a fan of Julia Quinn’s for a while. As a lover of all things Austen and Bronte, there is something so comforting to me when I open a Julia Quinn book. Just as when I pick up Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice, when I open the pages of Julia’s books I am transported to another time and place. These books have always been an escape to me. They are filled with strong women, the men who love them, and all the pomp and circumstance you can expect from a Historical Romance.
In the fourth book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet, we are introduced to Iris Smythe-Smith and Sir Richard Kenworthy. Iris is a woman who has never put much effort into being married, until now. She makes a decision that she does not want to be part of the Smythe-Smith concerts for another year and the only way to do that is to be married. However, in the beginning of the book, the reader can see that her plan is more wishful thinking until Richard Kenworthy enters the picture. After meeting Iris on the night of the latest concert, he is intrigued by her. After a few more encounters, Richard decides that he will marry Iris. But there is more to the story than that. Richard’s urgent need to marry is surrounded by a secret. Through a clumsy series of events, Iris and Richard do wind up getting married to one another.
Since the beginning of their relationship, Iris feels that there is a secret Richard is not telling her. She is concerned about this secret, but pushes it aside as the two become closer. The real question is, will Richard Kenworthy’s secret ruin their marriage? Will Iris be able to get past what he is hiding? And more importantly, will Richard be able to save to love that he feels for his wife?
If you have not met the Smythe-Smith family, this series is a must. Though I would always suggest that you start with the first in a series, should you choose to read this first, you will be greeted with all the fabulousness that Julia Quinn brings to every book. Each time I begin to read one of her stories there is this perfect balance of romance, drama, humor, and history. As far as Regency/Historical Romances go, you don’t get much better than Julia Quinn. Each page is enchanting and brings you further into the world of these characters. When you open one of her books, you are able to time travel back to a time that many of us Janeites long to visit...if only for a little while. Simply the book is positively splendid! This is the perfect book to curl up with while the snow is falling outside and a warm cup of coffee in your hand.
As a side note for all those audio book lovers…should you like to listen to your books or want to try an audio book, let me tell you that this version is so enjoyable! The reader perfectly captures the characters and really allows you to feel like you are in their world.
This may make me go off this author. His sister is pregnant. His brilliant idea is to marry not have sex with his wife (which hurts her feelings) and pass baby off as his. It’s takes almost 200 pages to get here. Book drags and characters are not like able. End is rushed to wrap in pretty bow.
Hang in there....
THE BEST ENDING!!! I laughed.....I cried......I smiled! There is something so lovable about Sir Richard and Iris. Quinn did an excellent job of developing their characters in the beginning of the book, in fact, it was quite slow at first (if you've read the first 3 books in the series, you'll know they all begin the same way). Anyway, I stopped reading this book in the middle because they would not....just.....connect. Richard and Iris were like two magnets flipped on opposite sides. It was frustrating to read! Then, I of course wanted to know what was so wrong with his sisters, and from there finished the book in 1 sitting. Pick up this book and don't put it down until the very end :)