Wednesday, August 25, 2010
What Happens in London
2nd in Bevelstoke series
Summary: Olivia Bevelstoke hears some ridiculous gossip about her new next door neighbor Sir Harry Valentine but she still can't help spying on him. Harry can't figure out why that gorgeous blonde is spying on him but he is not displeased to be assigned by his employers at the War Office to look after her and the suspicious Russian prince who may be wooing her. He will just keep an eye on her and report back because he couldn't possibly be falling for her, could he?
Thoughts: Julia Quinn and I had a bit of a falling out after she finished her Bridgerton series. The last one On the Way to the Wedding made me cry and I absolutely loved it. Then I tried the first book in the Bevelstoke series called The Secret Diaries of Miranda Cheever, which I'm pretty sure I finished although I didn't much like it. Then I tried The Lost Duke of Wyndham and Mr Cavendish, I Presume and I couldn't finish either. But I really wanted to read 10 Things I Love About You (check back tomorrow for my review) and I figured I would try to read it in order to get back in to her world.
Luckily I loved it! It was so funny especially the scene where Sebastian reads aloud from a lurid gothic novel; I can see why he got his own book because he's absolutely charming and seemingly happy-go-lucky. Harry is quite good with an interesting background that could have been expanded on more. Olivia is mostly delightful although I lamented her disinterest in reading fiction (luckily she loves newspapers. I mean can you imagine a heroine of a romantic novel who despised reading?) Their banter made me laugh a lot. It was just what I needed in a book.
One part I loved was when Harry talked about romance novels: if they're written by a man, the woman dies; if they're written by a woman, they have a happily ever after (page 185). I immediately thought of A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks and then the complete list of works by Julia Quinn and it seemed rather true!
The biggest problem was an injection of intrigue as Olivia is kidnapped for poorly defined reasons and rescued in somewhat of a ridiculous manner, leading to a loss of trust between the couple and a quick restoration. I also did not like the big romance scene (because of the setting) nor did I like the marriage proposal (absolutely ludicrous). There were also some loose threads relating to Harry's career and his relationship with his brother (who may grow up to get his own book?)
Overall: Not as good as the Bridgertons, I would say this was much closer to form for Quinn.
Cover: Kind of boring-the red's pretty and I like the rose but it doesn't stand out.