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 ...
It's been a while since I've read a book by Julia Quinn but since I started the Smythe-Smith quartet I was curious about this story. I finally got the book and delved right in to it.
The story starts with the same event that the ended then last book. With Daniel Smythe-Smith returning from his exile in Continental Europe after being threatened by then father of the man he shot and maimed years before. On his return he meets his sisters' governess and his immediately attracted to her. Anne Wynter is also attracted to this dashing gentleman who keeps appearing where she is but she knows that anything improper could cause her to lose her position.
As things progress between them it is clear that Anne is hiding a secret and running away from someone. When Daniel is attacked they both believe that it is their past catching up with them. And while Daniel has probably the more reason to think so it is soon obvious that it is Anne who has to fear more action.
Quinn is known for her fluffy romance novels and while there is potential for angst in this story the truth is that this is a light, quick read. Unfortunately, to me it also meant that despite my expectations it falls on the forgettable instead of on the remarkable side of my reading.
I felt that Anne and Daniel fell for each other too soon and while she was an interesting heroine, with quite a bit of resilience. I didn't find him all that remarkable or interesting. All those children playing games also didn't do much for me and my favourite bit was the run against time at the end because it thrilled me to see some action. I realise that this book is also suffering from the fact that I am writing this reviews a few weeks after reading the book but the fact that nothing really stands out and that my memory is getting fuzzy on the details is another point in favour of it being nothing special.
I am now looking forward to the next book because I'm always intrigued by a disabled hero (or heroine for that matter).