|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.
Richard Kenworthy needs a wife and fast. We don’t know why initially he’s in such a rush to get married. Only that he needs to quickly find the right kind of woman and he thinks he has in Iris Smythe-Smith. The fact that he sees her first at the annual (and still tragic) Smythe-Smith musical and he still wants to meet her should have warning bells going off all over the place. Iris is definitely skeptical and being someone who observes and notices everything, she knows right off that Richard isn’t telling her the truth. But he courts her and after a very short time asks her to marry him. When she asks for time, he kisses her knowing full well that they’ll be caught, they are, and now with Iris being compromised, she has no choice but to marry him. She leaves the only home she’s ever known for Richard’s estate and meets his two sisters, one of them being the reason for his hasty marriage.
I feel like the majority of the books I’ve read lately have me torn in one way or another and this is no exception. I adored Iris. She’s smart, witty and nothing gets past her. She may not be as outrageous as some of the other heroines we’ve come to know in this series, or as crazy as her sister Daisy is (who I love as well), but she’s still written in a way that had me feeling for her even knowing that whatever it is that Richard’s keeping a secret was going to crush her. When it does, my heart went out to her and above anything else, I wanted Iris to be happy, somehow, someway.
Richard, for as good of a guy he truly is, he still deceives Iris for much of the story. Sure he does it for what he believes to be a valid reason and he’s trying to be the best big brother and guardian to his two younger sisters that he can, but he still lies. His secret is also the reason that our hero and heroine don’t do much more than kiss and mess around for nearly the entire book. No actual sex until the last dying page (pretty much) of the book. I need more romance! More stolen moments! Just more! Because of that, I just never really believed that these two people fell in love. It’s not just the absence of sex, there just wasn’t a strong connection between them and that was mainly due to Richard keeping the real reason that he married Iris a secret for so long. He even goes so far as to admit that he didn’t marry her for love or any of the reasons he should have. The problem was, I never believed that he actually did fall in love with her, even after he declares it.
I was let down with this latest Smythe-Smith story. It lacked that fun/humorous factor that other books in this series have. Iris is fabulous and I enjoyed getting to know her. I just didn’t think that Richard was a worthy hero for her. Sure, I get that he’s trying to do right by his sister with his big marriage scheme, but being a great big brother doesn’t automatically make a great hero. The connection between Iris and Richard was lacking and I was left wanting more for them and their relationship.
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Julia Quinn: Webpage | Facebook
Buy Here: Amazon.com | B&N
*eARC provided by publisher for review*