As a fan of Julia Quinn I'm thrilled to bring you a glimpse of the just-released, The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, the fourth installment in the Smythe-Smith Quartet series. Keep reading to get my impressions of this historical read and learn even more about it by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour. Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a bundle of print books featuring the previous books in this series too.
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. And 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.
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Until the release of this latest book I could always count on Ms. Quinn for her witty and rapid-fire banter propelling the romances of her main characters. With this book though it's all about the angst as a desperate man must quickly find a wife to save his family. It's a different tone Ms. Quinn's taken this time around and while I found this story ultimately satisfying, the journey wasn't quite as enjoyable as it usually is.
From the moment Sir Richard Kenworthy lays eyes on the strong-willed and smart Iris Smythe-Smith there's a secret he's keeping that weighs heavily on their burgeoning relationship that takes some of the expected sparkle from their romance. To make Iris his bride takes an almost mercenary approach by the creating of a list that she fulfills completely. The only unplanned event is his attraction to her that continually has him questioning his plan. It's moments like this that keep me rooting for Richard. He doesn't purposely want to hurt Iris but desperately wants to help his sisters and sees no other way than through marriage. Richard is an honorable man and clearly conflicted but through it all he tries to be as caring as possible with Iris. When his big secret's revealed though I could've shaken him as he made a much bigger deal out of it than it needed to be.
Iris is a delightful heroine and a bit modern with her forthright thoughts and words. She's a serious soul who doesn't suffer fools gladly. She's not afraid to tell it like it is and is exceedingly honest, especially when describing her unremarkable looks. She's extremely loyal to family though which is what Richard values in her most of all. Iris senses all along that Richard's not being completely honest but his attentions overwhelm her as fate takes her in an unexpected direction that she tries to make the best of. I quite liked Iris and desperately wanted her to find her HEA. Throughout it all though she stayed strong, even as Richard's secret was revealed she saw it as easily surmountable. Even after Richard's final hurt she forgave him with only a tiny grand gesture on his part.
While the main couple was struggling under the weight of a secret, the secondary characters brought much-needed humor to the story. Iris' sister Daisy was delightfully confused with a bit of an ego that led to a larger-than-life personality. Richard's friend Bevelstoke could also be counted on to lighten the moment in his simple honesty and unconditional support of Richard. Watching Daisy set her sights on Bevelstoke brought even more lighthearted moments to the story and left me smiling when so much of the journey to HEA between Iris and Richard was full of angst. From dialogue weighed down with subterfuge to a heroine waiting for the other shoe to drop, this was a story that kept me on edge and desperate for the unconditional joy I've come to count on from Ms. Quinn. It's a new direction she's taken with this book but I look forward to a return to her usual fun and flirty style in the future.
My rating for this is a B.
*I got this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
JULIA QUINN started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only fifteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.
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