Excerpt/Promo & Giveaway: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
Smythe-Smith Quartet # 4
By: Julia Quinn
Releasing January 27th, 2015
Avon Romance


Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second-or third-look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe-Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. And when his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something...even as her heart tells her to say yes.

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Except that Miss Smythe-Smith knew that she was a better musician than her cousins. He’d seen it in her eyes as she reacted to his statement. “We have all studied since we were quite young,” she said.
Of course,” he replied. Of course that would be what she’d say. She wasn’t about to insult her family in front of a stranger.
An awkward silence descended upon the trio, and Miss Smythe-Smith made that polite smile again, with the clear intention of excusing herself.
The violinist is your sister?” Richard asked, before she could speak.
Winston shot him a curious look.
One of them, yes,” she replied. “The blond one.”
Your younger sister?”
By four years, yes,” she said, her voice sharpening. “This is her first season, although she did play in the quartet last year.”
Speaking of that,” Winston put in, thankfully saving Richard from having to think up another exit-preventing question, “why was Lady Sarah seated at the pianoforte? I thought the quartet was for unmarried ladies only.”
We lack a pianist,” she answered. “If Sarah had not stepped up, the concert would have been canceled.”
The obvious question hung in the air. Would that have been such a bad thing?
It would have broken my mother’s heart,” Miss Smythe-Smith said, and it was impossible to tell just what emotion colored her voice. “And those of my aunts.”
How very kind of her to lend her talents,” Richard said.
And then Miss Smythe-Smith said the most astonishing thing. She muttered, “She owed us.”
Richard started. “I beg your pardon?”
Nothing,” she said, smiling brightly … and falsely.
No, I must insist,” Richard said, intrigued. “You cannot make such a statement and leave it unclarified.”
Her eyes flitted to the left. Maybe she was making sure her family could not hear. Or maybe she was simply trying not to roll her eyes completely. “It is nothing, really. She did not play last year. She withdrew on the day of the performance.”
Was the concert canceled?” Winston asked, brow furrowed as he tried to recall.
No. Her sisters’ governess stepped in.”
Oh, right,” Winston said with a nod. “I remember. Jolly good of her. Remarkable, really, that she knew the piece.”
Was your cousin ill?” Richard inquired.
Miss Smythe-Smith opened her mouth to speak, and then at the last moment changed her mind about what she was going to say. Richard was sure of it.
Yes,” she said simply. “She was quite ill. Now if you will excuse me, I’m afraid there is a matter I must attend to.”
She curtsied, they bowed, and she departed.
Author Info
JULIA QUINN started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only fifteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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  1. This lovely excerpt merely whetted my appetite even more for this story! One of the reasons I love the romances in this era is that conversation and repartee is so central to the writing style. And Julia does it soooo well!! :-) I think Richard is going to find himself in quicksand with Iris. Ha! Love it. Thanks for the post. jdh2690@gmail.com


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