Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is…
But she's managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job 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 that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy—no one is sure), 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, even if that means spending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she's a unicorn. 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…
After three years on the Continent in exile Daniel Smythe-Smith has returned. He happens to return on the night of the infamous Smythe-Smith Musical and sees Anne for the first time - he is mesmerized. He seeks her out the moment she heads off stage and plants a kiss on her. Anne is more than startled to not only see a strange man coming at her but when he kisses her she’s shocked. She figures out who Daniel is but since she’s only a governess she knows that nothing more can become of the kiss.
Daniel isn’t one to stand on convention and he certainly doesn’t care that he’s an Earl and Anne is a governess. He’s smitten and the more time he spends with Anne the more he wants her. Anne has feelings for Daniel that seem to grow exponentially every day but there is more to her than meets the eye and she knows that it will stop her from ever finding love or having a family…or any kind of future with Daniel.
Book two in the Smythe-Smith Quartet and oh was it a good one. I just adored Daniel and how he was so determined to get Anne. He was just so persistent but was very sweet and tender about it without looking like a weak man. He knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it.
I completely understood Anne’s reluctance to get involved with Daniel in any way. First she didn’t want to lose her position. If her charges mother let her go she would be out on the street with nowhere to go. Because of things that happened in her past her family had turned her out and that just broke my heart. I was so happy to hear that she secretly still corresponded with one of her sisters (a future story about Charlotte would be great!). Then there was the threat of the man who had been involved with the scandal in her past who wasn’t quite in her past as she would have liked. She couldn’t live with knowing that if she gave in to Daniel she might be putting him in danger. I had to admire her for her strength. After everything that this woman had gone through she was still a very kind person and wasn’t afraid to share her humor and generosity to her charges and Daniel.
Part of my love for this story was Daniel’s thoughts about Anne. He struck me as such a romantic at heart (though that didn’t stop him from being strong and protective at the same time). There were times when his thoughts just spoke to me. Early on in the book Daniel and Anne head to Rotten Row with Anne’s charges:
…he and Miss Wynter had sat and chatted, talking about very little in particular. And all the time he could not stop thinking how very much he’d wanted to take her hand.
That was all. Just her hand.
He would bring it to his lips, and bow his head in tender salute. And he would have known that that simple, chivalrous kiss would be the beginning of something amazing.
That was why it would have been enough. Because it would be a promise.
*sigh* What a guy! lol
Julia Quinn’s stories are almost always a great read for me and this one was no different. A Night Like This was delightfully romantic and fun with characters that I felt I’d like to be friends with. My kind of book.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5