Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy

THE SECRETS OF SIR RICHARD KENWORTHY
Smythe-Smith Quartet #4
Julia Quinn
Historical Romance
384 pages
Avon
Available Now
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy is yet another gem from Ms. Quinn, drawing us right back into this world on the evening of a now-infamous Smythe-Smith musicale, an event that never fails to make us cry with laughter. This latest musical adventure is as hilarious as expected; missed cues, small children playing the roles of multiple barnyard animals, and a unicorn horn affixment issue combining to ensure any chance we had of only reading a few chapters before bed goes right out the window. Any reader picking up a Julia Quinn novel should prepare themselves to be absolutely delighted with not only the humor, but also the beautifully emotional romance as well, both Iris and Richard characters who easily make the list of favorite couples.

Iris is a product of the time period in which she lives yet also years ahead of it, a smart mouth and quick wit something she employs regularly when in the company of friends and family alone. With Richard she plays the role of a more demure young woman, her inexperience with romantic situations keeping her quiet when she knows something between them is amiss, but even when she’s at her most hesitant and wary, she still allows her personality to shine through and gives Richard a bit of sass. Just when we reach the point where everything in us demands that Iris finally give voice to all that’s worrying her, she steps up and does just that, letting Richard see her hurt, anger, and sense of betrayal. She never seeks to hurt him in return though, instead maintaining a more than appropriate level of ire without striking out him and making the situation between them worse.

Richard, for his part, is someone we’re hesitant to fully support in the beginning knowing he’s after Iris out of necessity rather than want, but over the course of the book he proves himself to be genuine in his affection. He’s laughably terrible at communicating however, keeping Iris in the dark as to his physical–and later emotional–reaction to her, which leaves her little choice but to assume his interest in her does not extend to the bedroom. Much like Iris though, when it comes time for him to step up and let her see the truth of all that he’s been hiding, he does so, trying with sincerity to make amends for the many mistakes he’s made along the way.

Overall The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, in a way quite opposite from the fine ladies that play in the Smythe-Smith musicale, hits every romantic note beautifully, leaving us with a broad smile and a warm sense of satisfaction.

Rating: 4/5


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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

31 comments:

  1. I haven't read a Quinn book in ages :/

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  2. I really love love love a good historical romance novel! I haven't read this author's work but I'm quite curious because I heard great things about her. I really need to! Thanks for the review!

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    1. Julia Quinn never disappoints Melliane! Her books always have a lot of humor and heart, and they bring a smile to my face every time:)

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  3. Ooooooh I love Julia Quinn she is my favs Romace Historical Fiction writer :) I love all her book and I actully own all of her books, happy to see you loved her book as well Jenny :D

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  4. I really enjoyed this one too, Jenny! It was such an endearing book. As much as I loved Richard, part of me wanted him to grovel a little bit more at the end. I like to see my heroes being tortured! Haha!
    Iris was so great though! I love how mature she was. I'm glad you enjoyed this.
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. I have a problem with wanting men to grovel in romance novels Nick. I feel like I always want them to grovel more than is probably necessary because I hold a mean grudge when they hurt a heroine I'm a huge fan of. I could have done with a little more groveling from Richard as well, but I just loved this so much ;-)

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  5. I love when the female characters have the sass and the spine to stand for themselves but don't cross the line of spite and strike!
    Great review Jenny!

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    1. Iris was awesome. I understood why she wasn't as outspoken with Richard as she was with other people given the time period and the emphasis on social etiquette, but she didn't allow herself to be a doormat either:)

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  6. I've heard amazing things about Julia Quinn, but never picked up one of her books! You review definitely has me wanting to now, Jenny!

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    1. I think you'd really love her Hannah! Perfect for when you're having a bad day and you just need something to make you smile:)

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  7. This just sounds delightful! How have I not heard of it before now?
    Wonderful review Jenny!

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  8. I'm not much of a historical romance reader but even I have heard great things about Julia Quinn! I'm so happy you liked this one Jenny! Great review :)

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    1. If you ever feel yourself in the mood for a historical romance Lily, she's a good one to start with:)

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  9. I haven't read much of Quinn, despite loving the historical romance genre. I think I'm going to have to check her out, though, since this seems too good to pass up. Lovely review, Jenny! :)

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    1. I think you'll really enjoy her books Keertana, they're just plain fun. The Smythe-Smith family is hilarious:)

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  10. I still haven't read this author. But I love that it's funny. I also like that there's not the back and forth, that she restrains herself from striking back at him. His poor communication might be frustrating but it sounds like it works out. Sounds good!

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    1. He was so poor at communicating I just had to smile Candace. It wasn't frustrating because it made me laugh, it all just worked in the context of this particular story:)

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  11. I've haven't read any of her books, which is odd, because these feel-good romances are exactly my thing, even if they are historical. Iris sounds like such a fabulous heroine, especially considering the historical context.
    I'll save this one for the next rainy day.

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    1. Yay! So glad I could get this one added to your list Maja!

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  12. I was curioous about this one. It sounds lovely. I like a feisty heroine for sure.

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    1. Then you will be a big fan of Iris Heidi!

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  13. I haven't read anything but Quinn, however, I do want to try her books. This series sounds great and I'm all for a feel-good historical romance.

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    1. Julia Quinn is one of those go-to authors for me when I just need a pick me up. She's never failed to make me laugh, and her characters are always fantastic:)

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  14. *flails* JENNY. This book arrived on my doorstep today and I am SO EXCITED to get to it. So. Excited.

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    1. WOO HOO!!!! I hope you love it Amanda:)

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  15. I've never read any of Julia Quinn's books and now I see that I must, immediately if not sooner! Excellent review, Jenny. I'll put this one up first if this is your favorite couple. :)

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  16. I had this book on preorder and now I'm sad that I decided to cancel it. I let my book budget talk me out of it!

    Also I'm sad to say that despite owning several books by Quinn I have yet to actually read one. Between you and Amanda, I think I'm going to need to correct this as soon as possible. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  17. I adore Julia Quinn so much, I didn't know she had a new series though. Clearly I haven't been following her as close as I should.

    Happy to see that this is up there with the Bridgerton Family series!

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