Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel
Welcome also to Series Sunday!
This is my favorite day of the week! I love reading books, especially historical romances in series. I have the opportunity to live vicariously through the family that the series is about. Today, I’m posting a much awaited release (at least for me personally) A Night Like This by Julia Quinn was released on May 29th and I snapped up a copy hot off the press. I haven’t met a Julia Quinn book that I haven’t liked….and this book is no different. I’d like to say it was well worth the wait, but frankly, I hate waiting long periods of time between releases!!
I hope you enjoy my thoughts on this long awaited book, and of course, return next week as I’m giving away some Julia Quinn novels!
A Night like This by Julia Quinn
Release: May 29th, 2012
Publisher: Avon Historicals
Source: I purchased a copy of this book to read and review
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.
The long anticipated day finally arrived! The next Julia Quinn novel arrived to the bookstore near me! As everyone knows, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book since the book signing I went to back in January. This book follows Just Like Heaven and again is a bit of an offshoot to the Bridgerton family books that span so many years.
In Just Like Heaven, we are introduced the the Smythe-Smith family members. This is the family that creates the yearly concerts that are so horrible, yet everyone in the ton attends. They are the source of humor in the Bridgerton books as most of the Bridgerton siblings either have to attend a concert or attempt to plot a way to avoid them. We are now meeting the ladies that perform in those concerts.
It is a long standing tradition in the Smythe-Smith family that all the unmarried girls perform in a concert. Much is made about some of the girls who are desperate to marry so that they don’t have to perform again. In Just Like Heaven, we met Honoria – the one member of the family, it seems, that feels performing in a concert is an honor. She’s aware of how horrible they are, but enjoys being part of a long standing tradition. The concert that Honoria performs in, allows us to be introduced to Anne Wynter, the heroine of A Night Like This. She is the governess of some of the girls performing and is drafted to play the piano when one of the girls becomes too ill to perform. The concert occurs the the very night that Daniel, our hero arrives home from 3 years of exile because of a duel that he participated in.
For a lady who had spent the last eight years trying not to be noticed, Anne Wynter was in an awkward position.
In approximately one minute, she would be forced to walk onto a makeshift stage, curtsy to at least eighty members of the creme de la creme of London society, sit at a pianoforte, and play.
That she would be sharing the stage with three other young women was some consolation. The other musicians – members of the infamous Smythe-Smith quartet – all played stringed instruments and would have to face the audience. Anne, at least, could focus on the ivory keys and keep her head bowed. With any luck, the audience would be too focused on how horrific the music was to pay any attention to the dark-haired woman who had been forced to step in at the last minute to take the place of the pianist, who had (as her mother declared to anyone who would listen) taken dreadfully – nay, catastrophically – ill.
A Night Like This is a thoroughly delightful book. Definitely worth waiting for! Anne is a wonderful person who has had a rough time of it in life. She made a mistake early on that she has been paying for for years. The same is true, but in a different way for Daniel. Daniel was involved in a drunken duel in his youth and accidentally shoots his best friend. This enraged his best friend’s father to the point where he feared for his life. He has spent the last 3 years running from hired hit men and thugs. A truce has finally been reached and he comes home to see the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. The fact that she is a governess is a bit of a problem, but one that Daniel doesn’t let get in his way.
Julia Quinn has the ability to create a story that has the reader laughing while they read. The romance is present and beautifully presented, but the humor always comes through. I have read many of Ms. Quinn’s books. I certainly have my favorites, and there were one of two that I wasn’t as fond of, but I always eagerly anticipate the next book coming out!
“Have you ever read one of your cousin’s plays?” Miss Wynter asked innocently.
Daniel shook his head.
“They’re rather like this conversation, actually,” she said, and then, while he was absorbing that, she turned to her charges and accounted, “Good news, everyone! Today, instead of Julius Caesar, we will study one of Harriet’s plays.”
“Study?” Elizabeth asked, all horror.
“Read from, “ Miss Wynter corrected. She turned to Harriet. “You may choose which one.”
“Oh my heavens, that will be difficult.” Harriet set down her fork and place a hand over her heart as she thought, her fingers spread like a lopsided starfish.
“Not the one with the frog,” Frances said forefully. “Because you know I will have to be the frog.”
You’re a very good frog,” Miss Wynter said supportively.
Daniel kept quiet, watching the exchange with interest. And dread.
“Nevertheless,” Frances said with a sniff.
“Don’t worry, Frances,” Harriet said, giving her hand a pat, “we won’t perform The March of the Frogs, I wrote that years ago. My recent work is much more nuanced.”
“How far along are you on the one about Henry VIII?” Miss Wynter asked.
“A yen to have your head lopped off?” Daniel murmured. “She did want to cast you as Ann Boleyn, didn’t she?”
“It’s not ready,” Harriet said, “I have to revise the first act.”
“I told her it needs a unicorn,” said Frances.
Daniel kept his eyes on the girls but leaned toward Miss Wynter. “Am I going to have to be a unicorn?”
“If you are lucky.”
He whipped his head around to face her.
“What does that m-”
As you can see from the quote above, Ms Quinn does a wonderful job of humorous conversations between the various characters that simply brings the story to life. The reader can imagine this scene where Miss Wynter is obviously setting Daniel up for something and involving her young charges in the action.
Whatever will Julia Quinn write next??? And when will it appear in bookstores….two very important questions!