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About the book
A Night Like This is the second book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet series by Julia Quinn. The book was published by Piatkus on 7th June 2012 and it is 373 pages long.
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
Anne Wynter's job as governess to three highborn young ladies can be a challenge - in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he's the first man who has truly tempted her, and it's getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.
Daniel Smythe-Smith might be in mortal danger, but that's not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family's annual musicale, he vows to pursue her. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending...
What I thought
Although this is the second book in a series, it is about different characters than those in the first book... kind of. Anyway, you don't need to have read the first book although it would help slightly with the characters.
Anne Wynter somehow finds herself playing the pianoforte at the infamous Smythe-Smith yearly musicale. How, she doesn't really know as she is only a governess. However, while trying to get by as best she can, Anne sets eyes on Daniel Smyth-Smith, who was once banished from the country. She doesn't know who he is at the time but she cannot keep her eyes off him. Anne was a wonderful protagonist who is full of secrets. She knows that Daniel is off limits, due to her position as a governess but at times, she really doesn't care. Her first proper meeting with Daniel ends up in a quite passionate kiss and after that, she can't stop thinking about him.
Daniel, the man who was exiled for accidentally shooting someone, was by far one of my favourite Julia Quinn characters. Even though he is an Earl, never does he act above himself and he isn't an arse like some of these Aristocrat characters are to begin with at times. There is no false personality with Daniel and that is what I loved about him. Daniel wears his heart on his sleeve and although he should stay away from Anne, he can't help himself. However, he is more than clear about how much he likes her and what his intentions are. He never treats her as a secret.
The romance between Anne and Daniel was extremely sweet. While Julia Quinn does this well in the rest of her books, I think this was by far the nicest of the romances that she has written. I do think that a lot of that is because of Daniel's personality and he isn't like many of her other male characters. Anne's personality has a lot to do with it too though. She's feisty and while she is reserved at times, she is outgoing, funny and full of life. Due to her being a governess, Daniel and Anne's time alone together is quite funny due to the girls always getting in the way. I did love the girls as secondary characters though.
A Night Like This also has a wonderful plot. With Anne keeping her own secrets and Daniel having only recently coming home after three years abroad, there is plenty of excitement and entertainment. With Daniel having enemies from the past, he is put into quite a few difficult and dangerous situations, some while Anne is with him. Although he is sure of who is behind these events, Anne is keeping some very important things to herself. It isn't until the last third of the book that it is revealed who is behind all of the drama. I loved not knowing who was doing what and what the exact reason behind everything was.
A Night Like This is one of my favourite Julia Quinn novels and I can't wait to read the next in the series now and to see who that book concentrates on.