An Early Book By Quinn is Good But Not Up to Her Later Standard
FINAL DECISION: A book that feels more formulaic than a normal Julia Quinn novel, SPLENDID has some madcap moments but after a while the number of dramas that had to be negotiated wore on the story.
THE STORY: Emma Dunster is an American heiress who intends on enjoying her season in London with no plans for marriage because she wants to return to America, marry and run her father’s business. Masquerading as a kitchen maid, she goes out on an errand and ends up saving the nephew of Alexander Ridgely, Duke of Ashbourne, a notorious rake. Furious when he finds out her deception, Emma and Alexander begin a dance where neither wants marriage but yet they cannot stay away from one another.
OPINION: This book begins well. The twist of having Alexander believe that Emma is a kitchen maid and then discovering that she is actually an heiress is funny and brings the characters immediately together in an intimate fashion. Emma shows herself to be independent and determined as she wants to use her business sense. Alexander is a bit of a jerk about the whole thing. The two cannot seem to stop being attracted to one another despite each believing that they want something else.
This book just has too many dramatic moments and twists and turns to drive the story forward instead of fostering connection between the characters. For me that means that while I like the book, I found it somewhat forgettable. It’s one of those books that I read, enjoyed but won’t think to pick up again.
The good news is that Quinn has gone on to write some amazing books.
WORTH MENTIONING: This was Julia Quinn’s first book and at times it shows.
CONNECTED BOOKS: SPLENDID is the first book in the Splendid or Blydon Trilogy.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.