IT'S IN HIS KISS
Julia Quinn

 


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Avon, July 2005
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding
 
Gareth St. Clair is the beloved grandson of the Grand Dame of the London ton -- the irascible, intimidating and highly entertaining Lady Danbury. But Gareth's father, Lord St. Clair, hates him. Ten years ago, at nineteen, his father called him home from Cambridge to marry the dimwitted daughter of a neighbor. His father had signed the betrothal agreement without Gareth's consent, for the money. Lord St. Clair informed Gareth that he was not his son, but a by-blow of another man. The baron was deeply in debt and had finally found a way to save himself while destroying his "son." Gareth walked away from the agreement. Cut off by his father, he survived alone on a small inheritance from his late mother and the love of his grandmother, Lady Danbury. 
 
Now, ten years later, Gareth receives a journal, written in Italian, that belonged to his father's mother, Isabella Marinzoli St. Clair. He has always wondered who his real father is and he hopes her diary will provide some answers to the mystery.
 
When Gareth drops by to solicit his grandmother's help in finding an interpreter to translate the journal, he finds Hyacinth Bridgerton is visiting. Every Tuesday afternoon, Hyacinth reads racy romance novels to Lady Danbury. Hyacinth knows a little Italian, just enough to make out the gist of the entries and she offers to try to translate it. She is a close friend of his grandmother's and Gareth believes she would be the perfect choice since he can trust her discretion with the revelations she might discover.
 
Adventurous, outspoken and smarter than most of the men she meets, Hyacinth is excited about translating the journal. She is bored with her fourth season and this grand adventure is just the kind of excitement she's been hoping will distract her from her disappointing hunt for a suitable husband. The information found in the diary eventually leads Gareth and Hyacinth down a path that turns into a treasure hunt for hidden jewels. Soon their midnight escapades and clandestine meetings lead to more than either of them expected.
 
IT'S IN HIS KISS is a delightful madcap romp for Gareth and Hyacinth. It's filled with many laughable moments and the kind of wonderful dialogue that has become Julia Quinn's trademark. Lady Danbury is an amazing character -- she is formidable with a droll sense of humor. You can't help but love her. The only down side of the story is that I was a little confused by the ending in the epilogue. There is an uncertain event that is pivotal to the mystery and readers are left ... well, dangling. I don't know if this is a cliffhanger to be explored in the next book or if we are to reason out the meaning on our own. Whatever the meaning of the ending is, it has provoked a mixed reaction in every one I've spoken to about it.
 
IT'S IN HIS KISS is the seventh novel featuring the Bridgerton family -- the last son, Gregory, is next in line.
 
August 2005

 

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