Who is Iris Smythe-Smith?

The final novel of the Smythe-Smith Quartet has a title! Julia Quinn has been hard at work on The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy for a while, but it’ll be some time before we actually get to read Iris and Richard’s story since the release date is tentatively set for January 2015.

Which begs the question…who are Richard and Iris?

Richard is a new-to-us, but well-known to Ms. Quinn hero…though she has revealed very little about him so far. In fact, all we know about him is his first and last name…as well as the fact that he will fall undeniably in love with Iris by the end of his story, or maybe even before that.

As for Iris – she’s the sarcastic, younger cousin of the Smythe-Smith family who makes her first appearance in Just Like Heaven, the book one of the series:

Marcus’s appearance the day before had been discussed, dissected, analyzed, and—by Lady Sarah Pleinsworth, Honoria’s cousin and one of her closest friends—rendered into poetry.

“He came in the rain,” Sarah intoned. “The day had been plain.”

Honoria nearly spit out her tea.

“It was muddy, this lane—”

Cecily Royle smiled slyly over her teacup. “Have you considered free verse?”

“—our heroine, in pain—”

“I was cold,” Honoria put in.

Iris Smythe-Smith, another of Honoria’s cousins, looked up with her signature dry expression. “I am in pain,” she stated. “Specifically, my ears.”

Honoria shot Iris a look that said clearly, Be polite. Iris just shrugged.

“—her distress, she did feign—”

“Not true!” Honoria protested.

“You can’t interfere with genius,” Iris said sweetly.

“—her schemes, not in vain—”

“This poem is devolving rapidly,” Honoria stated.

“I am beginning to enjoy it,” said Cecily.

“—her existence, a bane . . .”

Honoria let out a snort. “Oh, come now!”

“I think she’s doing an admirable job,” Iris said, “given the limitations of the rhyming structure.” She looked over at Sarah, who had gone quite suddenly silent. Iris cocked her head to the side; so did Honoria and Sarah. Sarah’s lips were parted, and her left hand was still outstretched with great drama, but she appeared to have run out of words.

“Cane?” Cecily suggested. “Main?”

“Insane?” offered Iris.

“Any moment now,” Honoria said tartly, “if I’m trapped here much longer with you lot.”

More of Iris’ sarcasm can be found in the rest of the Smythe-Smith backlist, including  A Night Like This and The Sum of All Kisses.

Rika Ashton

(aka The Self-Proclaimed Smythe-Smith)

 

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