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Publisher's Summary

Raised by an unloving father who told him he was actually a bastard, Gareth St. Clair, the second son of a viscount, has plenty of private demons to battle. Years later, after ironically becoming the heir to the St. Clair title when his older brother dies, Gareth still doesn't understand why his father, Lord St. Clair, hasn't publicly denounced his position in society. His brother, always a champion of Gareth, leaves him a diary written in Italian. Unsure of what to do with the mysterious journal, he heads to his grandmother's house where he meets Hyacinth Bridgerton, youngest of the famed eight Bridgerton siblings. Though she is known for being outspoken and dramatic, there is something charming about her that keeps her in everyone's good graces. Fortunately for Gareth, Hyacinth can read Italian and, as she begins to decipher the text, clues to the mysterious St. Clair history begin to unravel.
Long ago, Gareth's grandmother hid jewels on the St. Claire estate, jewels that can replenish St. Claire coffers left bare by Lord St. Claire's gambling debts. As Gareth and Hyacinth begin their search, they soon realize that they're uncovering another treasure, a love infinitely more precious than any shiny bauble.
©2005 Julia Quinn (P)2006 Recorded Books
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Critic Reviews

"Practically bouncing with humor, this book will keep readers happily on edge, waiting to see how the final unmarried Bridgerton will fare in Quinn's talented hands." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By A on 05-31-07

Solid historical romance

This is another installment in the Bridgerton family series.
You do NOT have to read the preceding books to enjoy this book. It stands alone.

This is probably one of the weakest of Ms Quinn's books, who I have come to count on for witty repartee (Audible, please publish her earlier books). There are some moments worthy of a laugh or two, but not to the usual level. I actually bought this in paper quite a while back, and even a mediocre Quinn book shapes into a decent historical romance. But obviously it was not that memorable, since I bought it again on Audible as I couldn't remember reading it.

That said, it makes a better book to *listen* to than to *read* -- a real credit to the narrator. I was a little concerned to start - he is a older male voice - but he read the characters skillfully, and really gave "flavour" to the book -- an excellent reader (although the whole sex scene seemed, well -- I had to turn down the volume on my MP3 player as I expected shocked stares from others on the bus ;-)

Our heroine is intelligent and strong (although the way she is described, she borderlines being a shrew) from a loving and large family. Our hero is a reforming rake, with a seriously dysfunctional relationship with his nasty father. Hero and Heroine are thrown together while attempting to solve a mystery (the mystery was not that engaging, but that is fine, I didn't buy this for the mystery). There is the holding back of secrets, that impedes the relationship between our hero and heroine, it is eventually (of course) cleared up. The story was stronger at the start, a little rushed at the end, their relationship happened a little too fast, but overall it was a fine romance.

This book is not Julia Quinn's best, but still a solid, albeit a little predictable, historical romance. It gets 3 stars (3.5 stars for the parts that make me laugh/smile). The narrator pushes it to 4 stars (I am going to look for more from Mr Prebble!) Recommended.

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20 of 21 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Zzrole on 01-31-13

Excellent book, excellent narrator!

Which scene was your favorite?

When Hyacinth's (Heroine) brother teasing her about marrying Gareth and says the whole relationship will be inundated with lisping. It was hilarious.

Any additional comments?

First let me say that Simon Prebble, narrator, is simply amazing! Wow! OK, that said, this book kept me intrigued, chuckling and happy to the very end. I loved it. Ms. Danbury, the old coot, was a such a great character. Hyacinth is so endearing and quirky. And the hero is very sexy! Very witty dialogue all around. The love scenes are steamy and detailed and beautiful! I loved everything about this book.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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