Review: A Night Like This by Julia Quinn

Posted 28 June, 2012 by Pushy in Blog Tour, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 19 Comments

Review: A Night Like This by Julia QuinnA Night Like This

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: May 29th 2012 by Avon
Book provided by TLC Book Tours for review
Get your own: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
synopsis from goodreads

“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 . . .

Romance and suspense combine in this latest installment of Julia Quinn’s amazing Bridgerton spin-off: the Smythe-Smith quartet.

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!

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

I laughed and cried and absolutely DEVOURED this book. My only complaint was that it ended too soon.  If you love a good love story, run out and pick this book up today!

Additional Notes

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:

Friday, July 6th: A Cozy Reader’s Corner
Monday, July 9th: Book Reviews by Molly

And before you go, please let me know: do you like historical romances? If yes, do you have a favorite? If not, have you tried them and know they’re not for you or have you just never gotten around to reading one?  Let me know in the comments!
Now go and get lost…in a book!
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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.

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19 Responses to “Review: A Night Like This by Julia Quinn”

  1. Love this review. I’ve been wanting to try Julia Quinn for a long time. Do you recommend that I start with this one?

    Did you see the NPR article about romances the other day that recommended Julia Quinn’s book? Great to see NPR stretching out to make different kinds of recommendations.
    Alison (AlisonCanRead) recently posted..Read Outside the Box: Best Adult Historical FictionMy Profile

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    Pushy 6/29/2012

    Alison!!! You should start with The Duke and I. It’s the first in the Bridgerton series and it’s SO funny and SO heart-breaking and the ending is SO….*sigh* It’ definitely one of my favorites! Plus, it’s the start of an 8 book series, so if you love it, you have PLENTY of GREAT books to follow it up. 🙂
    Pushy recently posted..My Friday Love {63} – All Male Review Challenge – Reading Suggestions!My Profile

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  2. Oh this sounds like such a great book! Series! I might have to read this. It’s definitely going on my Goodreads list. I love books like this! Again, fantastic review!

    hrose2931 recently posted..Derek the Ghost Guest Post on Inspiration and GiveawayMy Profile

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    Pushy 6/29/2012

    It really is, Heather!!!! I would love to hear what you think about any one of these books. Everytime I talk about Julia Quinn I get ALL fan-girly! 🙂
    Pushy recently posted..My Friday Love {63} – All Male Review Challenge – Reading Suggestions!My Profile

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  3. I do so love Julia Quinn. I’m really into funny romances and she always leaves me with the most ridiculous smile on my face.

    Thanks for the review! I’m going to have to pick this one up.
    Laura @ A Jane of All Reads recently posted..Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

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    Pushy 6/29/2012

    Oh, I agree! She’s one of those authors that is a treat to read every single time!!!
    Pushy recently posted..My Friday Love {63} – All Male Review Challenge – Reading Suggestions!My Profile

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  4. I love reading historical romance books as well when I need a break from YA. This book seems pretty fantastic. I’ve never read anything by this author. To be honest, the only authors I’ve ever read are Lisa Kleypas and Sarac MacLean. I need to check out Julia Quinn’s books as well.
    Great review, Pushy 🙂

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    Pushy 6/29/2012

    If you like Lisa Kleypas, then you’ll love Jula Quinn! I found Julia Quinn right after I found Lisa and I love them both so much!!! Thanks for stopping by, Nick!
    Pushy recently posted..My Friday Love {63} – All Male Review Challenge – Reading Suggestions!My Profile

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  5. YES! I thought this book was really cute & had the Julia Quinn charm. 🙂 I do like historical romances! I think my fav are some of the books in the Bridgerton series (of course), Devil in the Winter by Lisa Kleypas, and A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare!
    elena recently posted..(you pierce my soul) review: for darkness shows the stars by diana peterfreundMy Profile

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    Pushy 6/29/2012

    You’ve nailed it, elena! It’s that Quinn charm – witty and so romantic it leaves me with a loopy smile! And Devil in Winter was SOOO great! I’m hard pressed to pick my favorite of the Wallflower series….I do love It Happened One Autumn, Lillian’s such a kick in the pants. But Evie and St. Vincent….they are SERIOUSLY swoon-worthy!!!
    Pushy recently posted..My Friday Love {63} – All Male Review Challenge – Reading Suggestions!My Profile

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  6. First…i didn’t know you liked historical romances cupcake! This was my favorite genre for years and years..i still enjoy them but now tend to read them in the summer when romance books call me..LOL I love Quinn, as she brings such lovable characters to life. Adding this to my list..terrific review!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..The Sandcastle Girls: A Novel by Chris BohjalianMy Profile

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    Pushy 6/29/2012

    Oh, darling, regencies are my first love! This YA awesomeness is a later in live passion. I have a few romance authors that I go to al the time and Quinn is definitely on the top of that list. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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  7. Ooh I love forbidden romance too!! I mean what’s not to love!? 😀 I’ve never heard of this one before or read any Julia Quinn book (don’t hurt me). Historical romances aren’t my fav genre though but it seems like lately when I do read one I really enjoy it so I’ll keep this one in mind!

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    Pushy 6/29/2012

    Oh I LOOOVVVEEE historical romances! You should definitely try Julia Quinn out. Her books are so funny and romantic they’re the equivalent of reading chocolate!
    Pushy recently posted..My Friday Love {63} – All Male Review Challenge – Reading Suggestions!My Profile

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  8. “questionable musical talents” Heh. Do you think Julia planned to have a quartet when she started this series? Or was it just synchronicity? Been a while since I’ve picked up a Julia Quinn book but you reminded me how fun they usually are–I love the “falling for the wrong woman” premise, especially in historicals. Have a great weekend! Stay cool!
    Mary @ Book Swarm recently posted..Speed Date with Ava: SEA CHANGE by Karen WhiteMy Profile

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