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...
I have to hold my hands up and admit that when this book dropped onto my doormat I wasn’t too keen. Historical romance has never gripped me, and when I saw this book I came over a little shivery at the thought of stepping out of my contemporary chick lit comfort zone. However, I am all for the benefit of the doubt and once I picked it up and read the first few chapters, I found that I was enjoying it.
The two main characters, Daniel and Anne, are not just your everyday Earl and governess. They’re both running from something in their past and this creates a brilliant sense of mystery throughout the book. You’d be fooled into thinking that this is some cheesy historical romance, as I was at first, and boy did I like being proved wrong. It’s always a good sign in a book when something happens and you’re like ‘Well I didn’t see that coming!’
Without saying too much for fear of ruining it for you, the background stories of the two characters are intriguing, especially Anne’s, as you know that she’s desperately trying to run away from something (or someone) from her past. At the beginning of the book, Daniel’s past is explained, and what he’s trying to escape from becomes clearer as the story progresses. The courtship between the two is very sweet, and knowing that everyone is trying to keep them apart, makes it that bit more romantic.
There are touches of humour throughout the book that add lightness to it so you’re not always thinking ‘God, when are these two going to catch a break?’ The three young ladies who Anne looks after are very amusing and the situations that they get Anne and Daniel into, mainly trying to get them to star in their play, are very funny. Of course the pair of them come up against some obstacles, mainly Daniel’s aunt who doesn’t agree with their pairing. I was rooting for the pair of them the whole time and hoping that they overcame those obstacles and found their happy ending.
This is the second book in the Smith-Smythe series, which confused me at first as I thought that I would have to read the first one to understand what was going on. However, they’re all separate stories that contain the same characters throughout, and after reading A Night Like This, I think I’ll be purchasing Just Like Heaven to see where it all began for the characters. The storylines were well written and contained the right amount of mystery to keep the reader hooked, and the characters of Daniel and Anne immediately drew you in and I couldn’t help but want things to work out for them.