Smythe-Smith Quartet #4
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.
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.
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.