Saturday 22 December 2012

Lady Scoundrels' Saturday: A night like This - Julia Quinn

Welcome to Lady Scoundrels' Saturday. We are re-inventing the whole idea so today you will get two full length reviews. Both Sense and Sensitivity and when 2013 comes around we will be back with new ideas.

Lady Scoundrels review A Night Like this

And now Part 2. Sense
I wish I could upgrade the rating from suckity-suck to the theory-good-practice-not level, but I can’t. This book read like someone, after having written one historical romance too many, decided to fake it and throw together an endless string of period appropriate sounding platitudes. When I start paying attention to the language and platitudes, you know the story sucks.

Annelise Sophronia Sawcross - Anne Wynter is a governess at the Pleinsworth household. She’s very lucky to have such a good position after being forced to live on her own and slave for her only two letters of recommendation. Of course someone is going to walk into her life and ruin it for her. The disaster comes in form of Daniel Smythe-Smith, the Earl of Winstead, recently returned from three year exile on the continent.

The heroine, at sixteen, was a vain and self-absorbed nitwit who got herself into trouble with a man she loved. After eight years she’s grown up a bit; I just don’t think she’s grown up enough. She’s a wishy-washy thing who on a theoretic level recognises the boundaries of her station in life, but in reality fails to show any kind of moral backbone and act accordingly. One minute she’s begging the oh so high above her earl to kiss her and another she’s pulling away, telling him to leave, and saying sorry for things she’s only half responsible for. Anne Wynter isn’t a woman who has learned to clean up her own messes.

What of the hero then? He’s another precious aristocrat, a babe in a man’s body, an adolescent who has given up alcohol but failed to fix whatever got him into the trouble with the Ramsgates and forced him to flee England in the first place. One minute he’s acting like any other man with a woman—stealing kisses, copping a feel—and another he’s a virginal youth dreaming of holding hands with his very first sweetheart ever.

Nothing of this story comes across convincing or consistent let alone appealing.

The whole book is basically about Anne thinking she shouldn’t but doing it anyway, and Daniel flying off the handle but failing to harm the one person most deserves to be harmed—himself.

Without the costumes and dates mentioned, I wouldn’t have thought I was reading a historical romance. The characters don’t exactly talk and act like people from the 1900’s. (I swear to all things holy Anachronist is brainwashing me because I never used to notice these things.)  Of course I’m not an expert on the language but some of the expressions Quinn uses feel too modern for the context. There were good quotes and an odd scene or two that were almost entertaining, but nothing in the way this author writes is especially attractive to me.

This was my first attempt reading a Julia Quinn novel and it looks to be my last.

Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #2
Pages: 373 (paperback)
Publisher: Piatkus Books
ISBN: 0062072919
Published: May 29th 2012
Source: Bought

Part 3 Sensitivity
I was disappointed, there is no other way to describe it. I was about to give this book a 3, solely cos of my love for Quinn and the last 30 pages...yeah. But hey I need to be harsh, if it does not work is does not work. It was sadly just ok (except for those last 30 pages that is.)

What was my first complaint? Insta love. I mean come on! Daniel comes home, spots a woman and falls in love. Ahem, no sorry Daniel, that means you fancy her and wants to throw her down on the rug and have your wicked way with her. You are not in love. He then tracks her down and jumps her, she just lets him. Again, what? This doesn't really fit her back story.

For me the insta love just did not work here. He chased a dream and she was cold and I never felt that she liked him  back. I never felt anything from her. She was a ghost, a very pretty ghost who changes the air in the room. Yes we get it, she is Miss Universe. And all of this ultimately means that the love story just fell short for me. On the one hand there was lust from our earl ( I refuse to say love) and from her...nothing.

I did like the mystery. Who is trying to hurt him. That was exciting. While her story, is someone after her was silly. Just get over it.

And then we have the epic last 30 pages. The chase is on. What will they do? Those were sadly the best pages of the book.

But something did  make me want more, Hugh, I want Hugh to find a girl. I really liked Hugh. Yes the person I liked the most was a side character that  shows up 4 times or so.

The only thing that would make me want more Smythe-Smiths, is that I heard that Hugh does in fact get a book. Because else, then this series would go from autobuy to maybe. And it still might.

Cover Snark
The Blue one is nice but when is she running at night, and wearing pink shoes?
The Second is cute, but not memorable


  1. Honestly, with Sense and Sensibility writing such great reviews who needs Scorn?

    I swear to all things holy Anachronist is brainwashing me because I never used to notice these things.

    It is called good influence. Dscerning things that matter. I am so proud of you ;p.

    Nothing of this story comes across convincing or consistent let alone appealing.

    Hear hear.

    BTW there was...ahem...a small change in the address of my blog. Now it is

  2. You are rubbing off on me, I am getting scornful

  3. It seems that Julia Quinn is not the writer for you :( I love her fluffy stories and find them to be great comfort reads-I've read almost all of her works and they make me so happy.

  4. I've heard so much about Julia Quinn's books, but never read any. I do read an occasional historical but it has to be something highly recommended for me to get it :)

    1. Then I would definitely tell you not to start with this one, there are others that are funny and cute, but not this one

  5. I have not read Julia Quinn and now know not to start with this book.

  6. I was so ready to start reading Julia Quinn after your previous reviews B, and now you have totally shot that down.

    1. I shot myself in the foot there is seems ;)

  7. lol OMG! Scathing but true reviews and made me laugh to boot! love it.
    thanks for the honesty. Never read any of Quinn's work, but always hear how good she is. I'll let you know ;)

  8. someone told me a lot of great things about this author and I think I should try one day... well maybe not these ones

  9. Really? It's nice to read these honest reviews. I keep seeing people rave about A Night Like This.



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