“Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is . . .”
But she’s managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge–in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy–no one is sure), and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he’s the first man who has truly tempted her, and it’s getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.
“Daniel Smythe-Smith Might be in mortal danger . . .”
But that’s not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family’s annual musicale, he vows to pursue her, even if that means spending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she’s a unicorn. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending . . .
Have you met the Smythe-Smiths?
No? Then allow me to introduce you to this quirky family populated with women of questionable musical talents. I first heard of this family when reading Julia Quinn’s EPICLY popular and delciously good series about the Bridgerton family. That series is about a family of 8 siblings, each of which getting a book in which they have their own love story. It’s Regency Romance at it’s best: light on the heaving bosoms and heavy on the butterflies and first kisses. *sigh*
But I digress! This series is NOT about the Bridgertons, but rather a family who moved in the same circles as them who host an annual musical to showcase the talents of their daughters. If only ANY of those daughters had an ounce of muscial skill. Sadly they do not. But not all of them are aware of it, which makes for a delightful source of humor and plot movement.
This book is the second in the Smythe-Smith quartet (get it??? It’s a quartet…like of musicians… *crickets* Moving on…) and as soon as I had the opportunity to get my greedy paws on this book, I snatched it up! And fell in love all over again.
On The Run
One of the main drivers of tension in this book is the fact that both of our main characters are running from something damning from their pasts. Both have spent the last years not knowing, from one moment to the next, if the axe would fall and if the damage would be fatal. It’s a tough way to live, constantly looking over one’s shoulder, and it’s terribly isolating, never knowing if there’s a single soul one can trust.
Daniel returns to England after assurances that the bounty on his head has been removed, even though he has his suspicions. Still, he’s determined to regain some semblance of normalcy. Of course he returns on the night of the annual musical and this year’s drama is that one of the Smythe-Smith cousins has bowed out! Shock! Who will take her place in the quartet??
Enter Anne. NOT the woman Daniel should fall for. After his shady past that sent him into exile on the Continent, Daniel needs to be focused on getting back into the good graces of London society. What he should be doing is making the rounds, flirting with all the eligible young ladies, making himself availabe as a marriage prospect and then marrying one of the precious daughters of the ton. Instead, Daniel falls for Anne the moment he meets her. Which is a problem. For starters. because she’s his sisters’ governess. Definitely off limits. But….they connect.
No Obstacle Too Insurmountable For One Who Is In Love
The difference in their stations, not so insurmountable once Anne’s family connections are revealed, adds to the forbidden aspect of their romance, ratcheting up the tension a level. And I have to admit it, I’m a SUCKER for forbidden romance. I love that I-know-I-shouldn’t-want-you-but-you’re-so-damn-fine-I-can’t-help-myself tension!!!
Then there’s the fact that Anne knows better! While as a man (in a man’s world) who is both financially and politically powerful, Daniel has some discression in his affairs, Anne most certainly does not. She knows that she has the most to loose from any liason that might develop between them. And yet…
Ms. Quinn paints a touching portrait of a woman who has suffered because of the mistakes of youth and who has, for more than a decade, lived without any form of affection. And then, after all those years of loneliness, she finally feels that connection with another person. Add into the equation that the other person is a devestatingly handsome man who worships the ground she walks on…how could any woman hold out against that??
Live, Laugh, Love
As usual, Ms. Quinn makes the reader truly emerse themselves in the world she writes about. This doesn’t feel so much like a historical romance as it is the tale of an every-girl who, through extrodinary and often humorous circumstances, finds that one thing we all search for in life: love. Mix in a lovely English setting, the glamour of London society and the insanity that three younger sisters can bring to a courtship and you’ve got the recipe for a truly amazing book!
I’m so very happy to have had the chance to host this book by one of my very favorite authors today and I got the chance because of the lovely folks at TLC Book Tours!!! So please, check out what these other, amazing tour hosts have to say about this fantastic book:
Thursday, June 14th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, June 20th: Life In Review
Thursday, June 21st: BookNAround
Friday, June 22nd: I’m Booking It
Sunday, June 24th: Just Joanna
Monday, June 25th: Paperspines
Tuesday, June 26th: Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books
Wednesday, June 27th: Book Him Danno!
and stay tuned to find out what these upcoming tour hosts have to say: