Wow. Can I just say that I have sorely missed Julia Quinn’s writing since her last novel? Seriously, starting one of her novels gives me that great feeling you get after you return home from a long journey. No one can write romance like Julia Quinn. She gives her novels the perfect combination of wit, humor, and heart that always has me running to the nearest store the day her new novels are released. I think this is the first review I’ve ever written for a JQ book and that is a crying shame. It makes me want to lock myself in my room and reread all of her novels just to review them….
But since I don’t have time for that, I’ll settle for writing this one. First a little background. I am probably a little biased to JQ’s because I’ve been reading them since my early teens. I had just started reading romance novels, not being particularly choosey over them, simply reading anything romance I could get my hands on, contemporary, historical, paranormal, harlequins, westerns, whatever there was available. I came across the novel Romancing Mister Bridgerton by this amazing lady at a flea market one day and gladly handed over my dollar without paying much attention to what the novel was about. That’s bad, yes, but hey, I was fourteen and it had “romancing” in the title, so I figured it would be a love story and that was as far as my thought process really went. I early started the novel and fell in love. Not just with JQ’s writing, but with historical romance novels in general. I spent my entire high school career stealing any time I could to sneak away and hide in a historical romance. These days, I seem to have fallen into a world of YA, but I still strive to make time to read historical romance novels because there are some qualities you just don’t find anywhere else. For me, it’s like reading a book set in your hometown, even though I have never been to London, I’ve read countless novels about it and I know this world as well as I know my own. …Okay, enough of my sentimental drivel.
Daniel Smythe-Smith has just returned from his exile. After a night of drinking, Hugh, a friend of his challenges him to a game of cards which he wins at impossible odds. Hugh accuses him of cheating and a challenge to a duel is swiftly issued. Daniel accidentally shoots Hugh in the leg, almost killing him. The shot maims Hugh for life which angers his father who swears he will murder Daniel. Now, three years later, Hugh has convinced his father to let Daniel be and Daniel happily returns home just in time to catch the end of the annual Smythe-Smith musical. But it isn’t one of his many cousins who is sitting behind the piano. Completely snared by this mystery woman’s beauty, he finds that he must learn more about her.
Anne Wynter is just a governess trying to maintain the position she has found with this wonderful family and kept her past in the past. But when Daniel barges into her life and refuses to leave, she knows this will end badly. Even though he is a kind-hearted man, no respectable family will keep her as a governess if she is known to take liberties with members of the family. So she does everything she can to avoid him. But she can’t hide from him or her past for much longer.
Whether you are already a JQ fan or just a historical romance novel junkie, this one is a must. Daniel is probably one of my favorite heroes, confident without being cocky, sweet, and kind. Watching Anne fight her attraction because she is sure nothing can happen kept me up until 2 in the morning trying to finish it. It’s got just the right amount of humor, heart, and smut that you just can’t go wrong.