by Juila Quinn
#7 in the Bridgerton Series
#3 in the Readers of Romance Winter 09 Challenge
Meet Our Hero ... Gareth St. Clair is in a bind.
His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth's sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past .. and the key to his future. The problem is -- it's written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.
Meet Our Heroine ... All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton.
She's fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken, and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there's something about her -- something charming and vexing -- that grabs him and won't quite let go ...
Meet Poor Mr. Mozart ... Or don't.
But rest assured, he's spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual -- and annually discordant -- Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth's every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other ... and that there is nothing as simple -- or as complicated -- as a single, perfect kiss.
I thought Gareth to be true to human emotions. I like that he still feels a strong physical and emotional response to his boar of a father even though he doesn't want to. I like that he is self aware enough to want to be different and grown up. Somehow he can't. I love that even though he is a notorious rake and seems to take nothing seriously, he is fiercely devoted to his grandmother Lady Danbury. ( who I personally fell in love with in Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. Penelope's story.)
Hyacinth is a great heroine too. She is smart and diabolical (according to her brother Gregory). She doesn't realize that she sometimes comes across off-putting and is troubled by that when she becomes aware. She has a soft heart even though she doesn't know it. She agrees to help Gareth translate his grandmothers diary and the fun ensues. They fall for each other eventually without the help of his grandmother and her mother who both want the match very much.
Upon first finishing the book, I thought maybe it's a 4. But after perculating on it a little. I keep remembering scenes that I really liked. I keep smiling. So, I don't think it was a 5 for me, like An Offer From a Gentleman, and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton and The Viscount Who Loved Me. but it has upgraded to a 4.5.
There is only one more in the series and I'm starting it, but am hesitant. I kinda don't want them to be over. (sad face) I guess all good things must come to an end. All right Gregory, you're up. I am a little disappointed that there are no more Pall Mall/shooting scenes etc. Those were some very fun things.