Synopsis- Anne Wynter isn’t who she claims to be. Not exactly. She is a governess with proper manners and excellent references. But, she is also a woman on the run.
Daniel has just come out of exile and immediately falls head over heels for the governess.
My Rating- C-
I didn’t dislike this book quite enough to not finish it but I certainly didn’t like it enough to read again or to recommend to anyone else.
This is the second Julia Quinn novel I have read and the other wasn’t very exciting either.
Stylistically, I do like her and even “A Night Like This.” It is humorous and there is plenty of conversation and little extraneous details which annoy me in some romance.
I also liked the girls Anne was governess to. They were fun and the novel would have been AWFUL without them.
Now, here are my complaints.
Firstly, the beginning of the novel focuses on a duel between Daniel and his best friend. Daniel slips in the mud and accidentally cripples his best friend. Daniel then runs into exile so that his friends father doesn’t murder him. This does not help me to like Daniel very much and it made for a slow start of the novel. The scene might have been better off played as a flashback.
Daniel is never a very interesting character. He comes back from exile and meets Anne. He falls for her immediately and has no concerns whatsoever that she is very beneath his station (he is an Earl).
Anne is odd. I didn’t really like her much either. She is a mostly helpless woman who is running from her past. When she was a teenager she lost her virginity to a man she was in love with. Later, he tried to rape her and she slashed him with a knife on his face. He is furious at the scar (and possibly has become impotent or otherwise sexually dysfunctional because of it). He vows he will rape, cut, and kill Anne. Not in any particular order.
He is a very poor and stupid villain. Extremely 2 dimensional.
There were two particular scenes that ruined this book for me.
The first was the love scene between Anne and Daniel. It was weird. I don’t mean they did anything too weird. There was no hanging from a chandelier etc. But, Anne has been with one man. Daniel is trying to be slow and she is trying to rush him so she grabs her breasts and starts playing with them to make him speed things along. And of course she realizes this feels good as she is doing it. In this book and for these characters it was not appropriate.
The other scene that didn’t feel right was the climax of the story. Anne is captured by the villain and Daniel rushes to her rescue with a crew of assistance. My main complaint is that they more or less bring the cavalry but the villain is taken down with ease. Secondly, (and I need to point out here that I was listening to the audiobook and it is possible that I missed a detail here or there) I still had some unanswered questions by the end. I felt like there had been several clues laid along the way in the book and I expected something to happen with them. But, nothing. It was very anticlimactic. For instance, Daniel is robbed near the beginning of the book and he is sure that the robbers were sent by his best friend’s dad. He is assured they were not. The villain who attacks Anne also knows nothing about the robbers. Daniel’s best friend has said he will commit suicide if Daniel is killed. Daniel wonders if anyone could be trying to kill him to eliminate his best friend. Nothing. Unless I missed something, the robbers were just robbers. Sigh.
I overall felt like the author had been trying for something else and for whatever reason had changed her course leaving the book somewhat choppy and overall a not very exciting read.