I have always loved historical romance novels, but in recent years, I haven’t had as much time for them. Julia Quinn was always my favorite author, and I’ve been catching up on some of the books that I missed. I had listened to the Audible version of Just Like Heaven, which is the first book in Quinn’s Smythe-Smith quartet. After that, I started listening to When He Was Wicked, which is part of her Bridgerton series… but I had to find out what happened next in the Smythe-Smith series. I had a paperback copy of A Night Like This, and I found myself unable to resist bumping it to the top of my reading queue.
A Night Like This begins during the events at the end of Just Like Heaven. Daniel Smythe-Smith, the Earl of Winstead, has returned to England after a few years abroad. It’s a long story, but the prologue covers the reason for his departure. But now he’s back, and the one of the first things he notices is that there is a strange woman participating in his family’s annual musicale. She isn’t one of his cousins, and he is intrigued by her identity.
Anne Wynter has a big secret. She is trying to move on from a scandalous past, and enjoys her position as governess for the Pleinsworth family. She is attracted to the handsome young earl, but knows that involving herself with him will only lead to scandal- which is exactly what she is trying to avoid.
Daniel is not a stranger to scandal, and as they grow closer together, they discover that there are forces at play that may reveal the past that they are both working so hard to move beyond.
This is a very funny book. Julia Quinn’s books are always witty, but this one was especially funny, mostly because of Anne’s three young charges. They are a lively trio, and their antics include playwriting and unicorns. There is also plenty of angst: Daniel tries relentlessly to capture Anne’s attention, and she is somewhat horrified to discover that she enjoys spending time with him. There are even some tense moments- elements of a thriller- when Daniel and his friends must stage a daring rescue.
I would absolutely recommend A Night Like This. I read this book quickly, and didn’t want to put it down. This is the second book in the series, but it functions well as a standalone. Quinn does a nice job of setting up The Sum of All Kisses– the third book in the series, which I am looking forward to reading next. It should be noted that this book is intended for mature readers.