I lurked on the NOOK store and then quickly snarfed A Night Like This as soon as it became available for purchase after midnight. Mmmm, books.
I find that the Smythe-Smiths are strangely endearing, bad taste in music and writing included.
Miss Anne Wynter, whom we met at the end of Just Like Heaven, takes the heroine's role this time and boy does she EVER have a backstory. So does Daniel, Honoria's elder brother. They've both been running from their pasts, Anne by changing her name and station in life, Daniel by living a nomadic existence on the Continent. Daniel arrives home just in time for the Smythe-Smith musicale - he spies Anne at the piano and that, as they say, is that (he also spies Marcus and Honoria kissing on the stair, giving us his perspective on that scene, but that's neither here nor there). He pursues Anne over the next few days, even hinting that Lady Sarah Pleinsworth (who may-or-may-not-have faked her illness to get out of the musicale) might convalesce at his country estate which means all the Pleinsworth ladies - Anne in tow - remove to Whipple Hill.
When mysterious incidents threaten both their lives, Daniel takes precautions to protect the woman he loves. Anne, on the other hand, is acutely conscious that an earl, even one with a notorious past such as Daniel's, is unlikely to marry a mere governess no matter how pretty or genteel. As much as she tries to keep away, she also wants to reclaim the part of her past that allowed her to dream.
Although the time frame of the novel seems really compressed the narrative just chugs along without to many stopovers along the way. People were serious about their revenge during the Regency, I mean really serious (although, I have to wonder why people always exile the bad dude as opposed to throwing him in jail? The ton needs to sort out its priorities).
I loved the little funny bits in the book, like the way Frances is obsessed with unicorns or how Harriet turns nearly everything into fodder for her plays. I also quite liked Anne as a heroine - she manages to rescue herself once in the book, almost twice (Daniel sort of muddles up the second one), with just good, old-fashioned smarts and courage.
One odd thing: Anne plays the piano quite well, or at least well enough to muddle through a very difficult piece of Mozart (and hit most of the notes). Yet, we never see her practice....
Is the next Smythe-Smith heroine Sarah? Or Iris? And who will her hero be? (Someone say Hugh - that poor man needs something else to do beyond torturing his father with his possible suicide.)