He did not need to be her first, he realized. He simply needed to be her last.
For the 20th book of my #50bookpledge, I read Julia Quinn’s A Night Like This. Julia Quinn is my favorite historical romance author. I love her for the fact that it was because of her that I got into historical romances in the first place. If not for her, I probably still wouldn’t be reading historical romances. So, when I learned that the second book of Julia Quinn’s Smythe-Smith series was coming out this year, I knew that it was going in my #50bookpledge reading list.
For those who are not familiar with Julia Quinn’s works, the Smythe-Smith are a family who hold the annual Smythe-Smith musical. It is a musical that is famous, not because the Smythe-Smith girls are gifted with musical prowess, but because of the opposite. They actually are really bad. But even though most people wouldn’t want to listen to music being massacred, the ton still attend the event. Since the first Bridgerton book, I’ve always been fascinated with the Smythe-Smith girls because I can’t imagine being forced to play in front of people, especially if I know I don’t have the talent for it. It made me really happy that Julia Quinn decided to write a series about the Smythe-Smiths.
Anyway, here is the synopsis of the book from GoodReads:
Anne Wynter’s job as governess to three highborn young ladies 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 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. 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 . . .
Was this what love meant?
That another person’s pain cut more deeply than one’s own?
I quite liked Daniel and Anne’s story. They both had secrets which led to both of them into hiding. But in the end, they were both able to open up their hearts. It did take longer for Anne to be able to share her secret with Daniel but I was relieved when she finally did. There’s a difference being being stupid and being strong. Opening up yourself to others, letting them in, giving them an opportunity to hurt you, it takes a lot of strength. It’s never easy to let people in. But if you know that your life might be in danger, you have to overcome your fear of being hurt by others and trust them with your life. I think that if Anne trusted Daniel earlier in the story, they could’ve avoided a lot of complications (of course, that would’ve made for a short story).
I do understand why it was difficult for Anne to trust people. As I said, it’s not easy to open up your heart and open yourself up for judging. Especially after opening up your heart once and being betrayed because of it. I also get that the reason she’s so distant is because people tend to judge her because of her appearance. She’s described as really beautiful and her stature in life is on par with the ton so there are men who expect her to act or be a certain way (obviously, in this case, like a loose woman). Who would want to call attention to themselves if men expect that from you? I’m happy Daniel was able to show her that not all men would hurt her and that there are men who would treat her like a lady. Because she is one, regardless of her occupation.
I hate George Chervil. He is a proud, proud, proud brat. He is not a man. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the reason he wanted to hurt Anne was because his face got cut in the process of Anne defending herself against his advances. It was his stupid fault. What kind of man leads a girl on, letting her believe that he loves her but just uses her in the end? Men who see women purely as sexual objects should get castrated. George should be happy he just got a scar on his cheek. At least he didn’t die. It’s just a stupid scar. Vain, vain, vain brat.
“I can take care of the George Chervils of the world, as long as you can take care of me.”
For those who want a sneak peek of the story, the prologue and the first chapter are available for reading on Julia Quinn’s website. Apart from that, there’s also a few tidbits about the story which are quite fun to read, especially after you’ve read the book. I always enjoy going to authors’ websites to read their personal thoughts on the story that they wrote.
Well, that’s all for today. Time for me to go. Until next time dear readers. 🙂