The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
Smythe-Smith Quartet # 4
Smythe-Smith Quartet # 4
By: Julia Quinn
Releasing January 27th, 2015
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.
I have never read a book by Julia Quinn before but I can see why her fans love her. Some of my friends have been reading her for years and now I count myself a new fan. Ms Quinn's writing is breezy and flows perfectly and you can tell that she loves this time period in all the fine descriptions she sets up. I was also charmed by her sense of humor throughout the story.
Sir Richard is a handsome charmer, but he has secrets and the need to find a bride in a hurry. At one of the "infamous" Smythe-Smith musicales, his eyes come upon Iris, not a beauty, but there is still something special about the woman who is trying not to be seen. Iris is a smart and witty heroine, so she is wary when Richard shows interest in her. Weeks later, Iris finds herself married and on her way to her new home a long way away from family and friends. Richard knows what he has done is wrong, but in his eyes necessessary. Their road to happiness is like a roller coaster, and strong emotions come into play as Richard begins to care for the woman he was using to help his family and Iris finds the true Richard of her heart.
It was clear to Richard that Iris Smythe-Smith planned to flee the concert the moment she was able. She wasn’t obvious about it, but he’d been watching her for nearly an hour; by this point, he was practically an expert on the expressions and mannerisms of the reluctant cellist.
He was going to have to act quickly.
“Introduce us,” Richard said to Winston, discreetly motioning toward her with his head.
Richard gave a curt nod.
Winston shrugged, obviously surprised by his friend’s interest in the colorless Miss Iris Smythe-Smith. But if he was curious, he did not show it past his initial query. Instead he maneuvered through the crowd in his usual smooth manner. The woman in question might have been standing awkwardly by the door, but her eyes were sharp, taking in the room, its inhabitants, and the interactions thereof.
She was timing her escape. Richard was sure of it.
But she was to be thwarted. Winston came to a halt in front of her before she could make her move. “Miss Smythe-Smith,” he said, everything good cheer and amiability. “What a delight to see you again.”
She bobbed a suspicious curtsy. Clearly she did not have the sort of acquaintance with Winston as to warrant such a warm greeting. “Mr. Bevelstoke,” she murmured.
“May I introduce my good friend, Sir Richard Kenworthy?”
Richard bowed. “It is a pleasure to meet you,” he said.
Her eyes were just as light as he’d imagined, although with only the candlelight to illuminate her face, he could not discern their precise color. Gray, perhaps, or blue, framed by eyelashes so fair they might have been invisible if not for their astonishing length.
“My sister sends her regrets,” Winston said.
“Yes, she usually attends, doesn’t she?” Miss Smythe-Smith murmured with the merest hint of a smile. “She’s very kind.”
“Oh, I don’t know that kindness has anything to do with it,” Winston said genially.
Miss Smythe-Smith raised a pale brow and fixed a stare on Winston. “I rather think kindness has everything to do with it.”
Richard was inclined to agree. He could not imagine why else Winston’s sister would subject herself to such a performance more than once. And he rather admired Miss Smythe-Smith’s acuity on the matter.
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.