February 6, 2015

Book Review: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

Summary (GoodReads)

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can't be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family's infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She's the type of girl you don't notice until the second—or third—look, but there's something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she's the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can't quite believe it's all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can't help thinking that he's hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes

My Thoughts: 

On one hand... Julia Quinn can do no wrong. She's just that type of author who can write a grocery list and I would read it and it would be worth my while. Even the books that aren't GREAT are good and way better than the average. 

That's the case with Sir Richard Kenworthy: the plot is convoluted, the hero not entirely likable, but I loved Iris - her fortitude, the fact that she might crumble for a bit but then put herself together again and go on with her life - and for her I finished this book. She was the best part about it and I almost felt like Richard didn't deserve her. 

See, I get Richard, he's overprotective of his family to the point of foolishness, but he means well so there is that. His sisters were mostly insufferable though, so I couldn't see why he was trying so hard, though eventually I came to respect the older sister, the little sister was a big NO in my head. 

Still, I don't know how much of my lack of enjoyment on the plot came partially from the fact that I'm a reader and a writer and that I could see the 2 big reveals of the plot from miles away. There were very specific tales written in, which I could easily identity because I have both written and read them many times before. 

But, regardless, I neglected work and stayed up all night to read, because... well, its Julia Quinn and that's what I do when she publishes a new book. 

Also, that scene with Frances in "The shepherdess, the unicorn and Henry VII" was the best, most funniest scene I have read EVER. I was rolling on my bed laughing so hard. That's another thing, so far the books have relayed a lot in the connection between the girls in the quartet, and they just weren't around all that much this time around... and the book suffered from it, I think. Specially after two Frances heavy books as A Night Like This and The Sum of All Kisses because, believe me, there can never be enough Frances in a book.

She's like a puppy: makes everything better just by being there.

Anyway, did The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy usurp Just Like Heaven's place as my favorite book of the Smythe-Smith Quartet? Not even close, but it was a good read. 


  1. Your review captured EXACTLY how I felt while reading the book! The dynamic of the Smythe-Smith family is absolutely hilarious. I love how they're aware of how terrible they are at performing arts, yet they trudge through supporting each other anyways. And totally agree about Richard's sisters! His heart was in the right place, but yeah, he didn't really think everything through, like Iris clearly points out. Loveeeed Iris!

  2. I did love the whole sheperdess scene...it was awesome. But I felt like this story was lacking what I usually expect from Quinn. It was still a enjoyable story but probably one of my least favorite of her works. Lovely review hun.

  3. Frances is awesome. I know what you mean about Julia Quinn, you can't really go wrong with any of her books, but some are better than others. I got this one in the mail this week, so I'm hoping I'll like it! :)

  4. Yes, to all of this. I liked the book but what made the story for me was Iris. I adored her. Everything she tackles in this book (including Richard) made me love her a little more and while I ended up not hating Richard, there were times when I wanted to punch him in the throat. The sister too.


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