Sunday, February 1, 2015

Historical Romance Review: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn


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.

My Review:

How do I begin?!! Julia Quinn is one of the few authors that make me want to reread a book right after I finished it! I feel like I've been through an emotional wringer. How can she make me fall in love with the hero, make me absolutely despise him, then make me fall in love all over again!!!! I will NOT be posting a spoiler. I will NOT be posting spoiler! (Yes, it needed said TWICE!) 

I love historical romances but sometimes the plots get a little redundant. NOT THIS ONE! O.M.G! My heart hurt for ALL of these characters when the secret came out! My emotions were all over the place! Julia Quinn is a phenomenal writer! Her heroines are strong, independent, courageous women! Iris certainly has all those qualities! On the surface she’s a wallflower, quiet, unassuming, almost “on the shelf” lady, when underneath, she’s this outspoken, forthright, snarky, sarcastic woman. LOVED HER! I could FEEL her emotions. She’s so damn smart! She KNOWS Richard is up to something. She doesn't understand just what it could be, but she knows herself well enough that when he singles her out so quickly that there is something to be suspicious about. Doesn't stop her from falling for him, though.

Richard, Richard, Richard!!! He’s in London for a reason, to marry quickly. No reason given, but hints are laid. He seemed so adorably cute in his interactions with Iris in the beginning. His inner dialogue was compelling. Here was a gentleman who knew he wasn't doing the right thing for Iris. So much guilt there! But you can see that he really does like her for who she really is. The betrayal hit my heart and I was in a rage!!! But dammit! He was trying to make the best of a bad situation! In the end, I had to forgive him. Sigh.

Ok, that was all about the main plot. If you’ve ever read a Julia Quinn novel, you’ll know about the Smythe-Smith Musicales. Yes, that’s where Richard met Iris. I love how they are such a train wreck every year but people still go see/hear them! What you won’t know about is the Smythe-Smith poetry readings! Oh, Francis!! I can’t decide if I want you to grow up or stay sweet and young and continue to believe in unicorns!  (Unicorns have a special place in my heart! I used to have a small collection of unicorn figurines, but our many moves, have depleted them. :( ) 

Although I did receive a complimentary copy of this book, my words are heartfelt. I’ve read EVERY Julia Quinn novel out there.  Oh, Anthony Bridgerton! Sigh. She is one of my favorite authors. I've found some of her recent books so-so but with this one, she brought me back into the fold.  I laughed, I cried, I gritted my teeth in fury, but eventually I sighed in contentment.

PSST... I hear that the BRIDGERTONS are coming back!! *YES!!!!* Oh sister dear...I'll get you to read again yet!! *rubbing my hands together and grinning evilly!*

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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