The fourth of five daughters, Iris is a sensible woman who doesn’t attract attention, so she’s puzzled but quietly pleased when Richard asks to call on her. He’s handsome and kind, but what’s the hurry to get married? When he deliberately steals a kiss from her in sight of her aunt, he forces her hand – and when Iris learns his true purpose, her anger is justified.
While the premise feels a bit over-the-top, this novel is rooted in the conventions of its time, when one careless decision could mean social ruin. Both gentle yet witty, Richard and Iris are a well-matched pair. Quinn also accomplishes the near-impossible by redeeming Richard’s character in the eyes of Iris and the reader and by crafting a believable reconciliation.
There are some lovely descriptions of the Yorkshire countryside, and fans of the series (this is book #4) can look forward to more terrible music from the Smythe-Smith string quartet.
Here's a special feature for Valentine's Day: my first review of a historical romance here. If you've read this novel, what did you think? According to other reviews I've read, Richard is one of Quinn's more controversial heroes; you'll have to read the novel to see exactly why.
I wrote this review for February's Historical Novels Review; thanks to the publisher for granting me access via Edelweiss. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy was published by Avon in 2015 (384pp, $7.99 / $9.99 Can). The UK publisher is Piatkus (£8.99). It was named to the LibraryReads list for February.