A NIGHT LIKE THIS – Julia Quinn
The Smythe-Smith Quartet , Book 2
Assured of his safety after three years traveling Europe in fear for his life, Daniel Smythe-Smith, Earl of Winstead returns to his London house to find it's the evening of the annual Smythe-Smith musicale. In the prolific Smythe-Smith family, all the maturing female cousins take turns playing in a string and piano quartet until they marry. The event is always well-attended in spite of the lack of musical talent displayed by the girls. The family is a popular and respected one with many loyal friends willing to suffer for one evening a year in support. Daniel enters the house without notice and peers into the music room. He sees his youngest sister and two cousins with their instruments, but who is that stunner at the piano?
Betrayed at sixteen by a man she loved and disowned by her parents, Miss Anne Wynter (not her real name) is governess to three of the Smythe-Smith cousins. Their oldest sister, Lady Sarah, who is scheduled to play piano in the quartet this year, suddenly develops a malady and can't go on. (While most of the cousins love to play, a few realize how bad they are.) Miss Wynter is drafted as a last minute substitute. Anne has reasons to dislike appearing in public, so when the ordeal is over, she sneaks out of the room and runs into Daniel. Daniel is immediately and profoundly smitten with the unknown beauty! Under the guise of visiting his young cousins, he sets out to learn more of their governess.
One night Daniel is attacked by two men…bad luck, or does the mad man who hates him still want to kill him?
On the morning of her day off, Anne is informed the family has been invited for a week's stay at Daniel's estate in the country. As she runs errands in town, she's frightened by the sight of the man from her past…the man who has sworn revenge. Daniel sees her in her panic and loses his heart for good. His pursuit of her is gentlemanly, but what can come of a relationship that crosses the rigid lines between stations in Society?
As Daniel's wanting of Anne grows apace, her trust in him slowly deepens. However, it's not long before danger rears again, but which one of them is the target?
Julia Quinn's trademark likable characters and amusing banter fill the early parts of A NIGHT LIKE THIS. Who can resist Daniel's charm or not feel for Anne? The cast of players includes delightful old friends and acquaintances from many of Ms. Quinn's earlier books. But watch out! Hints of coming troubles appear along the way as the plot intensifies.
JUST LIKE HEAVEN (June 2011), A NIGHT LIKE THIS, and the other Smythe-Smith Quartet books to come fit right into the literary world created by Ms. Quinn, perhaps most closely connected to the epic Bridgerton series. You won't want to miss any of them.