The very short version of this review would be “Where have the Julia Quinn books been all of my life?” But I feel like I need a little more than that to call it a review (or a blog post), so here’s the slightly longer version (I’m not going to waste too much of your time with a long review because you really need to read the book).
I read A Night Like This as part of the Historical Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Anna at Herding Cats & Burning Soup. I also first heard about the book when she reviewed it on her blog (thanks, Anna!). It’s a cute, quirky, happy read. Anne Wynter is a governess with a past, her charges are hilarious, and their cousin, Daniel Smythe-Smith (Anne’s love interest), is an all-around great hero.
A Night Like This has a great cast of characters. The secondary characters are more than just fillers because the main characters have to interact with someone else; they’re interesting on their own. (Apparently some of the secondary characters have their own books, and I can’t wait to read those as well.) It was also nice to read a romance that had some humor woven in. The girls in Anne’s charge are hilarious, and there’s a good bit of banter back and forth between Anne and Daniel that really adds to the story.
I used to read historical romance novels almost exclusively, but I started to feel like so many authors just recycled the same stories over and over – boy meets girl, they’re of different social classes so don’t think they can be together, blah, blah, blah, then it all works out in the end, so I took a long break from reading them. A Night Like This is enough to restore my faith in historical romance authors, though. How many books feature historical romance, really bad musicians, a run-down of the fates of Henry VIII’s wives, unicorns, and attempted murder?