Author: Julia Quinn

Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Posted September 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia QuinnReviewer: Holly
Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1) by Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #1
Also in this series: The Sum of All Kisses
Published by Piatkus
Publication Date: June 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 374
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four-stars

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:

A) a really bad violinist B) still miffed at being nicknamed “Bug” as a child C) not in love with her older brother’s best friend D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:

A) the Earl of Chatteris B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles C) not in love with his best friend’s younger sister D) all of the above

Together they:

A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake B) survive a deadly fever and the world’s worst musical performance C) fall quite desperately in love

It’s Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is . . .

D) all of the above

Just Like Heaven, the Smythe-Smith Quartet, book 1 by Julia Quinn,, is such a fun, witty novel.

This series isn’t as quirky as the Bridgerton series, but there was still a lot of humor. The antics of the main characters, as well as the secondary, made for a quick, fun read.

Daniel, Marcus’s best friend is living in exile out of the country, and he charges Marcus with watching over his younger sister. Marcus takes the duty seriously. All is well until Honoria decides she’s going to do what she needs to do to marry by the end of the Season. She has someone in mind and she isn’t going to let anything get in the way of her snaring him…not even her brother’s annoying best friend. As Marcus chases her around, foiling her plans and being a general pain, they find themselves developing a mutual attraction.

Honoria has a sunny disposition and doesn’t let life get her down. I loved her outlook on life and how determined she is to take her future into her own hands. Marcus isn’t used to having anyone in his life to care for – or who cares about him. Honoria surprised him. Their romance was super sweet. I adored it.

As expected Quinn delivers a fun, fresh romp. This is Quinn at her best.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Posted June 27, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia QuinnReviewer: Rowena
The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys Series #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

While you were sleeping...

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He's unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier's life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie...

I told everyone I was your wife

When Edward comes to, he's more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he'd always assumed he'd marry his neighbor back in England.

If only it were true...

Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

We first hear about Edward Rokesby in the first book, Because of Miss Bridgerton. He’s the Rokesby brother that everyone thought was going to marry Billie Bridgerton. He’s the brother that is fighting in the war and though he doesn’t make an appearance in that book, we still got to know him through his family and I was pretty stoked to hear that we were going to finally meet him in this book so I couldn’t wait to get this book for review.

Edward was everything that I hoped he’d be. He was fun, flirty and a little rough around the edges. He was a good man at heart and he protected those close to him and he considered Cecelia close. He’s never met her in real life before but when he wakes up from an injury and finds out that she has been by his side for days now and that they’re…married, he doesn’t question it. He steps up and does what he can for Cecelia. She’s his best friend’s sister and she’s a good person so if she says they’re married then it must be true.

Only it’s not and the only person that knows that is Cecelia. Sure, she has a legit reason for telling everyone that they’re married and that reason is why she ran away from England but I have a hard time with secret plots and this particular secret messed with my enjoyment of the book as a whole because Cecelia took too long to come clean with Edward. I sympathized with her because she’s pretty much all alone in the world now and with a money hungry cousin sniffing around, I get that she felt like she had no choice but to lie but the longer she kept the lie from Edward is where I started having issues with her. I didn’t care about her lying to everyone else. That was necessary but when it became unnecessary for her to lie to Edward, she should have come clean and she didn’t.

I loved Edward’s character. I could totally see him fitting in perfectly with the rest of his family back home. I loved seeing him fall in love with Cecelia and seeing him keep his distance from her until she was comfortable with him made me laugh because he’d gone without female companionship for a long time and then to have Cecelia so close and not being able to touch her, his wife to boot, poor guy.

Cecelia’s love for her family was something I liked about her. She was a good person at heart and I still liked her as a person. I loved seeing her fall in love with Edward and just be there for him when he needed her was great to witness. She thought of the little things to make his life easier and I loved that she handled all of that stuff for him. When she wrote his family to make sure that they knew that he was okay was great and I loved reading her letters to both Thomas and then later, Edward. They were carrying torches for each other long before they met and I liked that Quinn added that to their romance.

My only real gripe with this story was how long it took Cecelia to come clean with Edward. Everything else was more of the same that I’ve come to love about reading a Julia Quinn book. She has a talent for writing humorous love stories that hit me in the feels and this book was no different. It wasn’t my favorite book by hers but it was still a quality read that I’m sure fans of her books will enjoy.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Retro Review: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn

Posted March 22, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 19 Comments

Retro Review: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia QuinnReviewer: Rowena
Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn
Series: Two Dukes of Wyndham #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: September 30th 2008
Pages: 370
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four-half-stars

THERE WENT THE BRIDE ...
Amelia Willoughby has been engaged to the Duke of Wyndham for as long as she can remember. Literally. A mere six months old when the contracts were signed, she has spent the rest of her life waiting. And waiting. And waiting ... for Thomas Cavendish, the oh-so-lofty duke, to finally get around to marrying her. But as she watches him from afar, she has a sneaking suspicion that he never thinks about her at all ...
It's true. He doesn't. Thomas rather likes having a fiancee --- all the better to keep the husband-hunters at bay --- and he does intend to marry her ... eventually. But just when he begins to realize that his bride might be something more than convenient, Thomas's world is rocked by the arrival of his long-lost cousin, who may or may not be the true Duke of Wyndham. And if Thomas is not the duke, then he's not engaged to Amelia. Which is the cruelest joke of all, because this arrogant and illustrious duke has made the mistake of falling in love ... with his own fiancee!

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on September 26, 2008.

This is the second book in the Two Dukes of Wyndham series. The first story follows the long lost son of John Cavendish, Jack Audley. John died before he could become the Duke, leaving his younger brother the Duke. Years later, John’s son, Jack tries to rob the Dowager Duchess of Wyndham who recognizes him as her grandson. John was the Dowager Duchess’ favorite son so she did everything she could to make sure that Jack became the true duke of Wyndham. The first book follows Jack and the Dowager Duchess’ ladiesmaid Grace while this book follows the other Duke, the acting Duke of Wyndham, Thomas Cavendish.

Thomas was made the Duke when he was very young and so being the Duke of Wyndham was all he knew, it was all that he was. So then this new guys comes in and might be the true Duke of Wyndham which means that everything he knows and everything he is will be stripped from him and in this book, we find out how he deals with it. The first book shows us Jack’s point of view. We see the story unfold and we’re in one duke’s head. This story tells us the same exact story, only in the other’s duke’s head.

When I was reading the first book, I often wondered what Thomas was thinking, why he did certain things he did. Reading the first book with all of these questions about Thomas made for some frustration moments but all of my questions were answered in this book and even though it was the exact same story, I really enjoyed it.

I wasn’t a big fan of Thomas in the first book. I liked him well enough but for me, it was all about Jack. The same could be said for Amelia. I wasn’t a big fan of hers, for me it was all about Grace but I can say with all certainty that I’m a fan of both of theirs now.

I really enjoyed both of their characters. In the first book, we don’t get to see much of what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling so it was really easy for me to overlook them but in this book, I got to know them, I grew to like them and I’m so glad to have the whole story in front of me. My nosy self is very happy right now. =)

I really enjoyed Thomas’ character. He was such a stand up guy, a very honorable man and I found myself growing to like him more and more. To have everything he was and everything he lived for stripped away from him by a long lost family member that he never knew existed had to have hit him like a freight train but he handled himself in such a way that blew my mind. He could have gone along with Jack but because of the kind of man he was, he didn’t. He almost lost the woman that he had come to love by giving up the title but he did what was needed to be done and then he made sure that Jack would honor his word, so that Amelia didn’t have to worry about her future.

So sweet.

The only thing I didn’t quite understand was why he waited so long to marry Amelia but whatever, he fell in love with her and that’s all that matters to me.

Amelia’s character kinda got on my nerves in the first book but I couldn’t fault her for being the way she was, she was engaged to be married and her fiance’ knew nothing about her. He didn’t care to get to know her and he completely ignored her. He kept saying that he would marry her but year after year after year she stayed unmarried. Having gotten to know her a lot more in this book, it made me like her so much more than I thought I would. I loved the way that she was with her sisters and I loved the way that she was with Grace and then how she stood by Thomas, I really liked that. She was a great heroine and the perfect match for Thomas.

This book was like getting the other pieces of the puzzle and putting them in place. Everything made sense and everything was made whole. It was a great story with great characters and I liked how even though I hecka loved Jack and Grace and loved seeing them again, I loved how JQ didn’t make them so great in this book that they took away from Thomas and Amelia. It was the perfect mixture of everything I loved about both couples and I really enjoyed it.

I still hated the grandmother, she was still a horrid grandmother and that didn’t change in this book, I didn’t care for Amelia’s father but they didn’t matter in the big scheme of things. What mattered was that Thomas was a great hero and Amelia turned out to be a fantastic heroines. I loved the scene at the end when Grace and Amelia, pissed as all hell start swapping curses, that was too funny. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a great sequel.

Fans of JQ should definitely read this, it’s a good one.

four-half-stars


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Review: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Posted March 29, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia QuinnReviewer: Rowena
Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Published by Avon
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Pages: 384
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four-stars

Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places...

This is not one of those times.

Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband... someday.

Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should...

Or not.

There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he's arrogant, annoying, and she's absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can't stand the sight of him, either.

But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor...

Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can't abide is the one person they can't live without...

When I first heard that Quinn was coming out with another Bridgerton book, I was curious and excited but when I found out that this Bridgerton heroine is Aunt to all of the Bridgertons that I know and love, I was…still curious and excited.

The book follows Sybilla “Billie” Bridgerton as she surprisingly falls head over heels for George Rokesby. Her least favorite Rokesby brother. The Bridgertons and the Rokesbys are neighbors and their mothers are best friends so they were one big happy family growing up. Billie was close in age with her best friend Mary Rokesby and Mary’s brothers Andrew and Edward. They were the best of friends who got into trouble together and ran wild over both of their properties.

George was the oldest Rokesby brother and he was older than Billie and his other siblings so he never ran wild with them. He’s the family heir so his time was spent doing more serious things like learning how to run his family estate and how to eventually take over everything. He didn’t have time to mess around.

Billie is reckless and fearless. She’s the opposite of reserved and deep thinker George. They have nothing in common but when Billie gets stuck on the roof with a sprained ankle, it is George that comes to her rescue and their relationship is never the same after their shared time on the roof.

Julia Quinn writes the historical romances that make readers the world over laugh, sigh and swoon all over the place but what I appreciate the most about her writing is that each story is complete with refreshing characters who are distinctly different from her other characters. Sure there are some of her characters that share certain characteristics but they don’t share enough to blend together in my head if that makes any sense. Each of her characters shine on their own and I always end up loving the heck out of them.

Billie was a great heroine who stayed with me even after I finished the book. I liked that she was wild and reckless but she also had a practical side that made her a great mix of everything. She knew what her strengths were but she also knew that there were parts of her personality that wasn’t very popular. I liked seeing her vulnerabilities and seeing her fall in love with George.

I loved seeing these two fall in love with each other. I loved the way that they tried to brush it off, I enjoyed seeing them bicker but I loved how George saw Billie. He loved every part of her, even the parts that he didn’t like. I loved that he respected her but was there to pick her up whenever she needed him and I loved how well they both understood the other. Billie understood George’s desires and his regrets and accepted him. Same with George.

This was another great piece of work from Quinn and fans of the Bridgerton series will definitely like this one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

Posted October 16, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Sum of All Kisses by Julia QuinnReviewer: Holly
The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #3
Also in this series: Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1)
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 29th 2013
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

He thinks she's an annoying know-it-all

Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she's long since tossed them out the window. Besides, even if Hugh did grow to enjoy her company, it wouldn't matter. A reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now, unable to run, ride, or even waltz, he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

She thinks he's just plain mad

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought three years earlier, the one that forced her cousin into exile, nearly destroying her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn't matter. She doesn't care that his leg is less than perfect, it's his personality she can't abide. But when the pair is forced to spend a week in close company, they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless.

 

It’s been awhile since I read the previous Smythe-Smith book, so I was a bit hazy on the details going into this one. It wasn’t a concern, however. Things were explained in a way that brought me up to speed without bogging the story down.

One night of careless drinking led to events that changed the lives of too many young people – and not for the better. While Hugh was definitely the cause of said events, he’s the one who suffered the most. Not that Lady Sarah Pleinsworth is willing to see things from his side. Her life was ruined – okay, almost ruined – because of his actions and she isn’t going to forgive him for that anytime soon.

When her favorite cousin asks her stand up with Hugh in her wedding, she can’t very well say no. Even if she’d rather impale herself on a sword than spend an extra minute in his company, she made a promise and won’t go back on it. She’s going to fulfill her duty, even if it kills her.

Hugh is extremely sorry that his actions hurt his friend’s family. But he isn’t sure the plight of Lady Sarah is on his head. He has enough sins on his soul to accept the ones she’s claiming are his. Plus, she’s infuriating and dramatic and…quite lovely, though he’s loathe to admit it.

Hugh and Sarah are a very unlikely match. He’s quiet and reserved while she’s overly dramatic and not afraid to voice her opinions. He doesn’t like her and she certainly doesn’t like him..but when they’re thrown together and forced to make the best of the situation, they find each other…tolerable. I really liked their acrimonious relationship and how it moved into a friendship, then more.

The story was sweet and fun. Exactly what I’ve come to expect from Quinn.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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