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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book Four in the Smythe-Smith Series by Quinn

Smythe-Smith Quartet Book 4
Julia Quinn
ISBN# 978-0-06-207294-8
Feb 2015
Historical Romance

Following along with the others in this series, this book deals with one of the "floral" girls, Iris Smythe-Smith. Readers are well aware of the Smythe-Smith Quartet from Ms. Quinn's previous books in this series, as well as her Bridgerton Series. The Smythe-Smith Quartet boasts of young ladies who are of marriageable age, playing some sort of instrument in a spectacular concert (but rarely do any of them have any talent whatsoever), and are looking for a husband.

This is why Sir Richard Kenworthy has found himself at the latest concert: looking for a wife and quickly. He must get married as quickly as possible, even to the urgency of "forcing" the issue with a compromising position if need be. He would like to at least find one he likes, as well as be attracted to, but she must believe his very quick romance. Iris does not exactly fit the bill at first, but as he watches her during her performance, he realizes she is perfect for him. The issue now is if he can get her to accept his quick proposal, which is unlikely.

Iris knows something is amiss when Richard pursues her rather quickly, then proposes marriage when he barely knows her. She is forced into marrying him after he "passionately" kisses her in front of her aunt. She still doesn't know what his motivation is and even after their wedding is done and they are on their way to his home, she becomes even more confused. Then she meets his sisters and she realizes that he's lied to her about everything. Now stuck in a farce of a marriage, will she be able to forgive him, or has her chance of a real marriage been taken away from her?

I have to say that the more I read about Richard, the less I liked him. This is unusual for me because I'm normally sympathetic to the hero. Not so here. Iris has done nothing to deserve what Richard does to her, and even after he marries her, he still is unlikable. The first part of the book is good, but the second half gets annoying where Iris seemingly loses her spine, which is regrettable. Readers may or may not sympathize with the plot devise, but I did not. I felt Richard should have been upfront with Iris after the marriage took place, but continued on with his agenda that only alienated her and made him nonredeemable. The writing and characters are always well done by Ms. Quinn and that's the main reason I'm giving this book three stars. I'm a big fan of the Bridgerton series, and even the first few of this series. This book, not so much.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 3

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