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The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet) Paperback – 27 January 2015
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About the Author
Julia Quinn started writing her first book one month after finishing university and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.
Please visit Julia Quinn online:
- Publisher : Piatkus; 2015th edition (27 January 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0749956399
- ISBN-13 : 978-0749956394
- Item Weight : 220 g
- Dimensions : 16 x 2.6 x 19.9 cm
- Country of Origin : United Kingdom
- Best Sellers Rank: #213,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top review from India
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Iris is a sensible and intelligent girl who has immense love for her family and when she's ardently pursued by Richard Kenworthy and proposed to in the matter of a couple of weeks, she can't but be suspicious as to truth of his zeal. As the title suggests, Richard is hiding things from his newly wed wife and within a week, iris is forced to confront the bitter truth of the hurried and forced wedding.
I liked the angst between the married couple, one can't help but feel for Iris as she wavers between the hot and cold approach by Richard. The ending was expected with everything tied up neatly.
Top reviews from other countries
How an author chooses to present her characters is entirely her business, but I can moan about the storyline! Sir Richard was so determined to avoid any whiff of scandal for his family but takes his bride to his home and estate - and not one neighbour called to meet the new Lady Kenworthy? Very, very unlikely in that period of time and would have made the story tighter, while they needed to hide the 'evidence'. Despite Richard's obvious self-flaggelation about his ealier actions towards his sisters when he inherited his title, I never got any feeling of what the family was like - and given all the old retainers, I would have thought Iris would have discovered something more pertinent about her husband and his family. I suppose there simply wasn't a big enough cast of relevant characters for me, particularly since this is part of the Smythe-Smith saga, where relationships on a grander scale are so prevalent.
Julia Quinn is always worth reading, but as with many historical romance authors' more recent offerings, I am finding stories rushed, characters not fleshed out enough, and the endings trite. However, I can't say that of Iris' character, because I was rooting for her from the beginning and admired how the author brought her out of herself to effectively direct the outcome of the plot. I don't know if too much pressure is being brought from publishers, but I think I'll start rereading some of the really excellent series, such as the Bridgertons and wait until some better new stories come along!
It started with such promise, I was enjoying reading it until the secret Richard was keeping was obviously going to be kept; to keep the reader in suspense I suppose. However, it didn’t work that way for me because he kept on and on and on about it but we never learned what it was about.
Had Ms Quinn let us in on his secret I could have kept reading, sympathised with him and also understood Iris’s confusion. However, she chose instead to leave both her heroine and her readers confused. I suppose she thought it would keep up the excitement and suspense for the reader – no – it was just irritating to treat the readers like children who she perhaps felt couldn’t manage to enjoy the book knowing the hero’s dilemma and watching him trying to keep his wife in ignorance without losing her.
The way it read, he would have lost her.
I have enjoyed Ms Quinn’s Bridgerton series and several of her other books and after a period of trying to find a new author decided to fall back on what I knew (I couldn’t find any other authors I liked) and bought this book.
What a disappointment.
I liked Richard but skipped to the last chapter (I tried a bit here and there in between to see what the secret was so I could understand him better and see if it was worth persevering with but couldn’t find it) and eventually got the drift of what it was in the last half of the last chapter.
If you want suspense, buy a thriller, this was just annoying. It could have been better and I believe Ms Quinn could have made a much better job of writing this story.
Not a page turner in its current form.
This is the fourth and final installment in the Smythe-Smith quartet, though you don't necessarily have to have read the previous books in order to follow the story. For those that have, however, there are plenty of returning characters; with special mention to the Pleinsworth family, who provide an evening of the greatest entertainment!
This is actually my favourite Julia Quinn novel for some time; the story filled with her trademark humour, warm and witty characters, a dash of intrigue and lots of romance. I loved both Iris and Richard, and the relationship that slowly developed between them. Iris, I think is one of Quinn's most sensible heroines, not one for histrionics, even when she might well be entitled to such; and I found her utterly delightful with her quiet charm and sly observations. Furthermore accustomed as she is to being over-looked, it was lovely to watch her confidence grow under Richard's admiration; though at the same time I felt for her acutely when she simply didn't know what to make of his hot and cold behaviour.
Richard himself, could have been quite easy to dislike, with his rather unorthodox reasons for marriage and in a way entrapment of Iris into such; hence it is a credit to Quinn's characterization of him that I couldn't help but love him despite of everything, much like Iris herself. For the reader it is plain to see that whatever his motivations in initially choosing Iris, he does genuinely fall in love with her; and that he does despise himself for what he is having to do.
Quinn does not reveal Richard's secret till the final quarter of the book, rather teasing at it throughout; though I have to say that I did guess what might be going on relatively early in the story. Personally I liked the pacing of the story, as it allowed most of the emphasis to be on Richard and Iris' blossoming relationship; the reveal of the secret well timed to add some drama, and to watch Iris' reaction, with just enough time to reach a resolution too. Had Quinn played her card earlier, I think it might have detracted from the main relationship; and I personally felt that Richard's sisters were better tolerated in a small dose, and could have got very annoying had they been introduced earlier. The secret itself I thought was an interesting dilemma; and I could appreciate why Richard felt compelled to act as he did, though perhaps he should have ensured that he had gleaned all the facts straight before doing so.
All in all a charming, witty and romantic read, which had me flying through the pages and totally absorbed in Quinn's regency world. A perfect guilty pleasure for a rainy day.
Iris, used to being ignored and invisible, is taken aback by the sudden interest and attention this gentleman is giving her. Iris is no fool, she understands that there's something he's not telling her, but she also enjoys his company and appreciates his wit and charm. Richard also finds himself pleasantly surprised by this wonderfully charming lady. He is smitten by her quick responses and sense of humor, and finds he is enjoying her company way more than expected.
However, this does not change the fact that he needs to be married before the month is over, and so finds himself in conflict with himself about how to go about doing it. His plan is to compromise Iris, in order to push things forward, however having got to know her, he can't bring himself to do that. He attempts proposing like a gentleman, but Iris asks for more time to get to know him and think about it - something he does not have - so back to Plan A.
Hence, Iris finds herself being escorted across the country to his home to start a new life and meet his family - comprising of two sisters and an aunt. Richard is wary the whole time they are together, and Iris is starting to get more suspicious but also hurt. She thinks he is not attracted to her, and is torn by the feelings she has for him.
Upon reaching his home, his sisters are nowhere to be found - they have decided to give them some alone time, a "honeymoon", while they stayed at their aunt's for a couple of weeks. In this time, Richard decides he will make Iris fall in love with him, so when she knows his terrible secret, it wouldn't be as bad.
Or would it?
I was honestly shocked by the secret. I kind of saw it coming, but I didn't quite understand what he had in mind to do. When he explained it to Iris, I wanted to slap him. I could not believe he was serious. It also seemed a little...out there. I expected something much worse, but was sort of put down when it turned out to be what it was, and his solution for it is simply bizarre.
That being said, I loved Iris and Richard together. I loved what they had, their interactions, their chemistry, their conversations. It's been a while since I've felt this way about two characters in a romance. It may not be Quinn's best, it may not even be in her top 10, but I guess I was simply in the right mood to read this book. And sometimes, that's all you need to really enjoy reading a book.