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.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
E convinced me to read Julia Quinn about five years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. She is the standard of which I base all other historical romance books on. My love for her knows no bounds.
Richard desperately needs a wife, and as soon as possible. He has some ideas of what he wants in a wife, but when he lays eyes on Iris at the annual Smythe-Smith musical, he knows that the little flower hiding behind her cello is the perfect woman for him. Richard is determined to court her quickly, and do everything in his power to marry her immediately.
Iris knows that something is going on with Richard, but she can’t deny that she is attracted to him. His quick courtship and proposal stuns Iris, but she marries him without knowing his secret. It isn’t until she returns to his family home and meets his sisters that she finds out the extent of his deception. Will the newfound love she has for her husband be enough to make up for his lies?
The Smythe-Smith concerts have always given me a chuckle, and I love that Quinn is finally writing stories for these heroines. I adored Iris. I thought she was smart, funny, and the dedication she had toward her family was so wonderful. I loved the way she was willing to make a fool of herself for her family, and that she stuck up for them to the ton through thick and thin, regardless of the circumstances. That kind of love and dedication for family is one thing I love to see in my romance books.
While I really enjoyed Richard, I was desperate to find out his big secret. Quinn was very tight lipped on it until well into the book, and while it was a twist I wasn’t expecting, it also didn’t rock me to the core like I expected (and hoped). Frankly, I was a little disappointed with his big secret and the way he handled it with both Iris and his sisters. I thought it stretched out a bit long, and I just wasn’t all that impressed with the twist it took. 🙁
Despite my lack-luster feelings for that plot line, the romance between Richard and Iris was cute. I liked the fact that they rushed into marriage, because it gave the book a bit of a “marriage of convenience” feel. There was definite attraction between them, but they had to build up their friendship before either was willing to explore the deeper emotional connection.
I sincerely hope that are more books in the series to come, because I really do love the premise of the Smythe-Smith musical and the heroines within the family. 🙂
All in all, I thought this wasn’t Quinn’s strongest book. While I liked the main characters and the romance, the whole plot with Richard’s secret and how he wanted to handle the situation just didn’t work for me.
I give The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy a C+