Two Minute Review: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Title: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: romance
Series: The Symthe-Smith Quartet #4
Pages: 400
Published: expected January 27 2015
Source: publishers via edelweiss
Rating: 2/5

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.

Before this, Julia Quinn had yet to disappoint me. I've only read a few novels by her, but her Smythe-Smith Quartet is a genuine pleasure and has been from the first book, Just Like Heaven. The final book, The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, tries to be as entertaining and sexy as the first three, and its success is limited. It also felt a overly long at 400 pages, but the last book in this favorite series was  aquick read, if nothing else.

This is definitely the weakest of the series, and the love interest is by far the most objectionable. He's an ass - he lies, he's selfish, rude, uncaring. He's a terrible counterpart for any Smythe-Smith, and Iris deserved better. It's hard to stomach any scene with him in it and a romance with him central is hard to care about. There was so much potential for fun with Iris's story and I am unsure why Quinn thought this route was the best. 

If anything, I say treat this series as a trilogy. The first three are engaging and entertaining, if somewhat predictable. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy is a misstep for such a prolific and well-loved author. 

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