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The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet Book 4) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 389 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 4 of 4 in Smythe-Smith Quartet
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About the Author
--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
“[A] wild romp... There’s witty banter, a colorful cast of characters and enough secrets and scandals to keep the gossip-mongers happy. A great, entertaining read.” (RT Book Reviews on THE SUM OF ALL KISSES)
“[A]n unstoppable romp that sparkles with enough hilarious situations, over-the-top characters, and laugh-out-loud dialog to keep the chuckles coming long after the book is closed. A lovely tale that is just plain fun!” (Library Journal on THE SUM OF ALL KISSES)
“[Q]uintessential Quinn: witty, whimsical, and wonderfully romantic.” (Booklist on THE SUM OF ALL KISSES)
“RITA Award-winning Quinn wraps up her Smythe-Smith quartet in splendid fashion as she once again successfully marries sparkling wit with seductive passion to create another swoon-worthy love story.” (Booklist (starred review) on THE SECRETS OF SIR RICHARD KENWORTHY)
“Witty, sexy, and often quite funny…a heartwarming story that won’t disappoint.” (Library Journal on THE SECRETS OF SIR RICHARD KENWORTHY)
“There’s humor, sensuality and poignancy blended in perfect amounts into a plot that twists the marriage-of-convenience theme in ways that are sure to intrigue readers.” (RT Book Reviews on THE SECRETS OF SIR RICHARD KENWORTHY)
“Secrets abound in Julia Quinn’s The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, and all of them are well worth discovering.” (Heroes and Heartbreakers on THE SECRETS OF SIR RICHARD KENWORTHY)
“This is the last volume in the delightful Smythe-Smith Quartet, a series that highlights Julia Quinn’s inimitable mix of charm, wit and breathtaking romance.” (NPR on THE SECRETS OF SIR RICHARD KENWORTHY) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- Publication Date : January 27, 2015
- File Size : 656 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 389 pages
- Publisher : Avon (January 27, 2015)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00LEX1N1C
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #45,507 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Iris Smythe-Smith is no fool. She knows Richard is hiding something, but for once she has met a man who not only sees her, he seems to actually like and understand her. Still, after a lifetime of being overlooked she doesn’t quite trust his motives. Then Richard forces them into a compromising position, and Iris has no choice but to marry him. Though she doesn’t understand his actions, Iris truly believes she has a chance at happiness with her new husband. Then Richard’s true reason for needing a wife comes to light, threatening to break their fragile bond forever…
Julia Quinn knows how to pen stories that are fun, charming, and impossible to put down. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy isn’t quite Ms. Quinn’s usual fare, but thanks to the author’s talent, the pages of the story do fly by.
Iris Smythe-Smith is a gem. She’s a smart, quiet woman with a quick wit who generally blends into the background. You want to see her shine and get the attention such a compelling heroine should get. Simply put, Iris is easy to love. She’s no saint, but that only makes her an even better heroine and it’s impossible not to root for her to get the love she deserves. When Richard first courts her, even though you know it’s because he’s using her, the two of them are so delightful together it’s easy to be swept away by their banter.
However, some of the shine soon wears off of The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, and that’s due to the hero. All the internal flagellation in the world doesn’t make up for the fact that he locks in on Iris from the start in order to use her. The ends may justify the means in his mind, but it won’t in anyone else’s. His secret – the reason for him marrying Iris – seems pretty obvious from the start, and if this plotline hadn’t dragged on for so long, I might have liked Richard a lot more. Ms. Quinn does a good job of showing that he isn’t a bad man, but that doesn’t make him a great hero. And Iris really deserved a great hero. I’m afraid I can’t say more about Richard without spoiling the story, so suffice it to say it would have been nice had there been a bit more to him that I could have latched on to so that his negative qualities (lying and manipulation) weren’t so stark.
It’s a testament to Ms. Quinn’s skill as a writer that even though I had issues with Richard I was entertained by The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy. Ms. Quinn makes even the most serious of her books feel light on their feet and I devoured this story in one day. Even though this is the final book in the Smythe-Smith quartet, I do hope that Ms. Quinn returns to the supporting characters one day, because after the all-too-brief appearances of the comical Winston Bevelstoke and the unicorn-obsessed Frances Pleinsworth, I am desperately hoping these two get books of their own.
This book was reviewed by Shayna for Joyfully Reviewed (JR), and was provided by the publisher/author at no cost to JR for the purpose of being reviewed.
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!
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.
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.
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.