Tag: Smythe-Smith Quartet

Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Posted September 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia QuinnReviewer: Holly
Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1) by Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #1
Also in this series: The Sum of All Kisses
Published by Piatkus
Publication Date: June 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 374
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:

A) a really bad violinist B) still miffed at being nicknamed “Bug” as a child C) not in love with her older brother’s best friend D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:

A) the Earl of Chatteris B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles C) not in love with his best friend’s younger sister D) all of the above

Together they:

A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake B) survive a deadly fever and the world’s worst musical performance C) fall quite desperately in love

It’s Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is . . .

D) all of the above

Just Like Heaven, the Smythe-Smith Quartet, book 1 by Julia Quinn,, is such a fun, witty novel.

This series isn’t as quirky as the Bridgerton series, but there was still a lot of humor. The antics of the main characters, as well as the secondary, made for a quick, fun read.

Daniel, Marcus’s best friend is living in exile out of the country, and he charges Marcus with watching over his younger sister. Marcus takes the duty seriously. All is well until Honoria decides she’s going to do what she needs to do to marry by the end of the Season. She has someone in mind and she isn’t going to let anything get in the way of her snaring him…not even her brother’s annoying best friend. As Marcus chases her around, foiling her plans and being a general pain, they find themselves developing a mutual attraction.

Honoria has a sunny disposition and doesn’t let life get her down. I loved her outlook on life and how determined she is to take her future into her own hands. Marcus isn’t used to having anyone in his life to care for – or who cares about him. Honoria surprised him. Their romance was super sweet. I adored it.

As expected Quinn delivers a fun, fresh romp. This is Quinn at her best.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

Posted January 8, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
Rowena’s review of The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet #4) by Julia Quinn.

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.

I was so happy to find out that this was Iris’ book. From the very beginning, she was my favorite Smythe-Smith cousin. In each and every single book before this one, she cracked me up. I knew that Julia Quinn would deliver another fabulous historical romance with this one and I’m happy to say that I was right.

Iris Smythe-Smith has a duty to her family to play her cello in the annual Smythe-Smith musicale each season because she is unwed and she plays each and every season even though she hates it. She hates it because unlike a lot of people in her family, she knows that the musicale every season is terrible. Anyone with working ears can tell you just how terrible they are. But this season is different. It’s different because this season, Sir Richard Kenworthy attends the musicale and notices her.

He pursues her. And after a whirlwind romance, he proposes marriage and Iris is blown away.

She’s not the kind of lady who inspires whirlwind romances but she can’t deny that Sir Richard intrigues her. She also can’t deny that given a little more time, she would have said yes to his marriage proposal. But Sir Richard is in a hurry to get married and we spend a huge chunk of the beginning of the book, wondering why he’s in such a rush to find a bride.

Well, Iris finds out why he needed to get married as quickly as possible and I had an inkling right before it was revealed, what his reasons were and that wasn’t surprising. What was surprising was his plan. His plan for Iris. I was kind of blown away by that. My heart broke for Iris and even though I knew that Richard had fallen in love with Iris over the course of their courtship and marriage, his plan really tripped me up.

I felt Iris’ pain throughout this story and my heart went out to her. I thought Quinn did a great job of telling this story and bringing feelings out of the reader that they weren’t quite expecting. Richard had a lot of making up to Iris to do and by the end of the book, like Iris, I had forgiven him. It helped that I knew just how deep his feelings for Iris were. I enjoyed seeing the two of them fall in love with each other. Even though things happened quickly, the romance between Richard and Iris felt real, and true.

Richard’s sister, the older one is the one that got on my hot damn nerves. I got that she was going through some pretty heavy things but the way that she treated those that loved her and wanted to help her made me want to punch her in the throat. The younger sister came off as a brat at first but I ended up really liking her.

It was a treat to see Iris’ cousin’s and the play had me cracking up as only the Smythe-Smith family could make me. It wasn’t an easy story to get through at some parts but I still really enjoyed the book as a whole and thought that it was a great ending to a fabulous series. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

Posted January 6, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

The Sum of All Kisses
Rowena’s review of The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet #3) by Julia Quinn.

Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she’s long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn’t matter. She doesn’t care that his leg is less than perfect, it’s his personality she can’t abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless …

New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn’s enchanting third novel in the Smythe-Smith quartet is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and tug at your heartstrings in equal measures.

I love Julia Quinn. She’s one of my favorite historical romance authors. She writes the kind of historicals that I absolutely love. The kind that make me laugh, make me mad and makes me want to have its babies. I wanted to have this books babies. I thought it was adorable and perfect and just fantabulous. Hugh and Sarah were wonderful characters that leaped right off the pages and their witty banter kept the book going, hitting all of my happy buttons.

At first, I couldn’t remember who the hell Hugh was. I read the first part of the prologue, wondering…who the hell are all of these people and then BAM, it hit me. And I thought, “Duh. I remember who Hugh is now.” I thought it was pretty clever of Julia Quinn to write Hugh’s book. He’s not your normal hero. He’s not perfect. He’s wounded and he’s unhappy but man did he have potential and Quinn wrote him up and I fell right in love with him.

I liked Sarah from the previous books but she wasn’t my favorite. I think Iris is and man, I’m really looking forward to her book…we do get her book, right? Sarah was kind of a wallflower character for me. She existed in the background of the other books and I never really paid her much attention. But man was she quite the heroine in this book. She was dramatic and she was loud but I really, really liked her.

Hugh is one of those nerd heroes who makes being a nerd, sexy. He can do complicated math in his head and his memory is something for the books. He’s really good at cards because he counts them. He was injured in the duel between him and Daniel Smythe-Smith (Sarah’s cousin). Daniel was shot in the shoulder but is fine. Hugh was shot in the leg and he can’t walk without a limp anymore. In A Night Like This, we see Daniel coming to grips with the duel and what he’s done to Hugh and you see them try to repair their friendship. In this book, we see a bit more of that and we see what really happened the night of the duel and we see Hugh come to terms with it and truly move on from that night.

Hugh and Sarah do not get along. Sarah holds him responsible for Daniel having fled the country to save his life from Hugh’s father. That whole scandal pushed her coming out a year and in the year that she was supposed to come out, 14 gentlemen proposed and got married. Sarah is now one and twenty years of age and she’s still not married. She blames this on Hugh.

Sarah has made it crystal clear what she thinks of Hugh and Hugh doesn’t care because he doesn’t care about Sarah. But when Honoria asks Sarah to help Hugh feel welcome at her wedding to Marcus, Sarah has no choice but to agree. This was the beginning of the end of her hatred for Hugh Prentice. Over the course of the two weddings that Sarah and Hugh attend (first Honoria and Marcus’ and then Daniel and Anna’s), a bond is formed between the two and a love that takes them both by surprise pops up and wraps them both up.

This was a good book. It was fun and entertaining and I didn’t want to put this book down. Even when Hugh’s stupid father makes an appearance and makes me want to punch him in the throat, it was good. Seeing Hugh’s background and seeing what he went through and what he survived made him my very favorite hero of the series so far. I adored him and I really liked Sarah as well. This was a good book and it was a fabulous addition to this series and I cannot wait for more. I’m pretty anxious for the next book. Read this one!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

Posted October 16, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Sum of All Kisses by Julia QuinnReviewer: Holly
The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #3
Also in this series: Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1)
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 29th 2013
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

He thinks she's an annoying know-it-all

Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she's long since tossed them out the window. Besides, even if Hugh did grow to enjoy her company, it wouldn't matter. A reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now, unable to run, ride, or even waltz, he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

She thinks he's just plain mad

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought three years earlier, the one that forced her cousin into exile, nearly destroying her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn't matter. She doesn't care that his leg is less than perfect, it's his personality she can't abide. But when the pair is forced to spend a week in close company, they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless.

 

It’s been awhile since I read the previous Smythe-Smith book, so I was a bit hazy on the details going into this one. It wasn’t a concern, however. Things were explained in a way that brought me up to speed without bogging the story down.

One night of careless drinking led to events that changed the lives of too many young people – and not for the better. While Hugh was definitely the cause of said events, he’s the one who suffered the most. Not that Lady Sarah Pleinsworth is willing to see things from his side. Her life was ruined – okay, almost ruined – because of his actions and she isn’t going to forgive him for that anytime soon.

When her favorite cousin asks her stand up with Hugh in her wedding, she can’t very well say no. Even if she’d rather impale herself on a sword than spend an extra minute in his company, she made a promise and won’t go back on it. She’s going to fulfill her duty, even if it kills her.

Hugh is extremely sorry that his actions hurt his friend’s family. But he isn’t sure the plight of Lady Sarah is on his head. He has enough sins on his soul to accept the ones she’s claiming are his. Plus, she’s infuriating and dramatic and…quite lovely, though he’s loathe to admit it.

Hugh and Sarah are a very unlikely match. He’s quiet and reserved while she’s overly dramatic and not afraid to voice her opinions. He doesn’t like her and she certainly doesn’t like him..but when they’re thrown together and forced to make the best of the situation, they find each other…tolerable. I really liked their acrimonious relationship and how it moved into a friendship, then more.

The story was sweet and fun. Exactly what I’ve come to expect from Quinn.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Review: A Night Like This by Julia Quinn.

Posted May 29, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins


Rowena’s review of A Night Like This (The Smythe-Smith Quartet #2) by Julia Quinn.

Hero: Daniel Smythe-Smith
Heroine: Anne Wynter

Nora Roberts calls Julia Quinn’s novels, “Delightful.” The #1 New York Times bestselling creator of the irresistible Bridgerton family, Quinn offers historical romance readers new delights with A Night Like This—the second book (following the phenomenal Just Like Heaven) to feature the affairs, romantic and melodic, of the endearing, if painfully untalented, Smythe-Smith musicians.

On A Night Like This in Regency England, anything can happen, especially when a beautiful pianist sitting in at the annual Smythe-Smith musicale catches the eye of a haunted, hunted man in desperate need of redemption. There is simply no author in the realm of historical romance fiction hotter than the remarkable Julia Quinn—and anyone who has ever been swept away by the love stories of Amanda Quick, Lisa Kleypas, or Jill Barnett will cherish A Night Like This.

This is the second book in the Smythe-Smith quartet and for me, it was another delightful treat from Julia Quinn. This book follows Daniel Smythe-Smith and Miss Anne Wynters on their road to true love. I loved every minute of this book, just as much as I loved Honoria and Marcus’ book before it.

In the first book, we see that Daniel was on the run from a pissed off father but he’s back. He’s home for good and even though he’s still wary of the pissed off Dad, he’s making the best of things. He comes home just in time for his family’s annual musicale and even though he knows that they’re horrible, he’s happy to hear them sing because hearing them means he’s home. No more running around Europe, trying to escape the wrath of a madman. He’s home and with his family.

It’s been three years since he’s been home and much has changed. His best friend and his sister have become engaged and there’s a non Smythe-Smith at the panio at the musicale. A very lovely non-Smythe-Smith girl that he must know.

Those Smythe-Smith’s are turning out to be a total hoot. Who knew that such personality hid behind their awful musical talents from the Bridgerton books? It’s been such a delightful treat getting to know each and every single one of the Smythe-Smith’s. I really enjoyed getting to know Honoria in her book but man was it a blast getting to know Sarah and Daniel. I’m anxious for more from these guys, especially Iris. I’m itching to read an entire book from her point of view.

The romance between Daniel and Anne was fabulous. It had the right amount of good and bad to make it just fabulously entertaining. Quinn excels in writing romantic historical comedies and this book was no exception. Daniel was the kind of fun loving hero that was totally swoonworthy for me and Anna was great in her own right. It wasn’t hard to see why Daniel fell so hard for her. She was gorgeous, she was caring and she was good to his cousins. How can you not fall for her?

I loved the girls. Harriett, Frances and Elizabeth. They had me laughing out loud more times than I could count. From the stories that Harriett would write, Frances and her obsession with unicorns to Elizabeth’s dry humor, it was enough to keep me in fits of giggles long into the night. The villain in this book was unlikeable but he didn’t really come off as mean spirited, more vain and annoying than scary but still, that didn’t stop me from loving the book anyway.

My reading experience with this book was nothing but good. I read, I laughed, I sighed and I was thoroughly entertained. Julia Quinn did a great job of keeping me interested in what was going on in this story but also for keeping me interested in the stories to come. I’m already salivating for the next book in this series so kudos to Julia Quinn on another outstanding read.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

The series:

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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