"Because for a moment she'd felt like herself again, like the girl she'd been just a few years ago, when the world lay before her, a bright shiny ball that glittered with promise. It had been a feeling she hadn't even realised she'd been missing - of belonging, of place, of being with someone who knew you utterly and completely and still thought you were worth laughing with." (Page 26).
Honoria Smith-Smythe and her family have been friends with Marcus Holroyd (Earl of Chatteris) for YEARS - since she was six. That means they know all sorts of embarrassing secrets about one another, but it also makes it difficult to put a couple in the appropriate situation for a romance. Julia Quinn manages this with her usual aplomb, and the help of a small garden shovel.
If this had been written by anyone else, I'd immediately have put that person onto my 'Buy other books by' list. Julia Quinn has been on that list since I first picked up one of her books, and has not disappointed while I read everything since. Therefore from this, I was expecting something - more.
Unfortunately, whilst interesting, and featuring several laugh-out-loud moments, this book doesn't quite match the rest of the body of work from this author. It felt a little - flat. Mrs Sarah Gorely's work 'Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron' makes an appearance, Lady Danbury is, as always, a gem and both Gregory and Colin Bridgerton have cameos, but this feels like the sort of novel that you can enjoy, rather than something you need to re-read immediately after you've finished it, and then at least another six times because of the delicious feeling it gave you.
I'm hoping that the other three books in the series - probably about other members of the quartet - Iris, Sarah, and the oblivious Daisy - possibly even governess Anne Wynter (who looks so familiar) - will have a little more of the zing that I've come to expect from Julia Quinn.
If you've not read JQ before, start earlier in her repertoire - preferably with the early Bridgertons - you won't regret it!
If you HAVE read JQ before, then obviously you'll read this - but don't expect TOO much from it. It's good, but doesn't quite make it to her usual level of greatness.