Series: Bevelstoke

Review: 10 Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

Posted June 17, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: 10 Things I Love About You by Julia QuinnReviewer: Holly
Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, #3) by Julia Quinn
Series: Bevelstoke #3
Also in this series: What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: May 25th 2010
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 377
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Annabel Winslow is in a pickle. Having newly arrived in London for her first season and being in possession of a voluptuous figure, is being openly courted the the Earl of Newbury, who is at least 75 and a nasty brute to boot. Annabel does not want to marry him, of course, but feels that she has no choice since her father has recently died and left the whole family, including Annabel's mother and her 7 siblings, almost destitute.

Then, while attending a party in the countryside, Annabel met Sebastian Grey, the Earl of Newbury's nephew. And suddenly she found herself not only courted by the lecherous uncle, but also the charming young nephew. Should she follow her heart so that she can be with the one she loves, or should she marry the loathsome earl just so she can put food on the table for her family and make sure that her brothers get to stay in school?

10 Things I Love About You  by Julia Quinn is book 3 in the Bevelstoke Series.

I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t focus on this book. I started reading it back in April but never got past the 2nd chapter before I’d set it down again. Yesterday I finally decided to push through and I’m glad I did. It was a cute book.

I liked how open and honest Sebastian and Annabell were with each other. Annabell was in a tough position, needing to do what was best for her family (her mother and brothers and sisters) but also wanting happiness for herself. Sebastian wasn’t looking for anything permanent with anyone, much less a virginal lady, but I loved that he didn’t shy away from his feelings for her.

Lord Newbury’s character – the villainous earl Annabell is supposed to marry, and Sebastian’s uncle – was pretty cookie-cutter. But I absolutely adored Annabell’s grandmother. From her clandestine drinking to the advice she gave Annabell on how to deal with marital relations and keeping a lover, she was a riot.

It was nice to see Olivia and Harry again, though Harry seemed somewhat different in this book. Or maybe I just expected to see more of them together and not so much of Olivia without him? I’m glad that they played a part in the story but didn’t overwhelm the current plot or take away from Sebastian and Annabell.

I loved Sebastian. I loved the way he thought, his charming attitude and the way he stood strong for Annabell. The fact that he was a sniper in the army really made sense and added the perfect serious balance to his otherwise affable character.

Annabell was adorable. I loved that she was always confused, trying to figure out the real meaning behind what people said, then getting angry because everyone spoke in riddles. She was open and honest, which was very refreshing. I also loved that shew as a country miss, proud of being the Winslow Most Likely to Outrun a Turkey and happiest away from the city. She wasn’t naive or too innocent, she was just sweet and preferred the simpler life.

Overall I enjoyed the story. It was sweet and light and a great way to pass an afternoon. It isn’t one of JQ’s best, but I’d recommend it if you’re looking to be entertained.

4 out of 5

The Series:

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda CheeverWhat Happens in LondonTen Things I Love About You

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

four-stars


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Review: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn

Posted June 30, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: What Happens in London by Julia QuinnReviewer: Holly
What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2) by Julia Quinn
Series: Bevelstoke #2
Also in this series: Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, #3)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: June 30th 2009
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 372
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

RUMORS AND GOSSIP ... THE LIFEBLOOD OF LONDON

When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancee, she doesn't believe it for a second, but, still, how can she help spying on him, just to be sure? So she stakes out a spot near her bedroom window, cleverly concealed by curtains, watches, and waits ... and discovers a most intriguing man, who is definitely up to something.

Sir Harry Valentine works for the boring branch of the War Office, translating documents vital to national security. He's not a spy, but he's had all the training, and when a gorgeous blonde begins to watch him from her window, he is instantly suspicious. But just when he decides that she's nothing more than an annoyingly nosy debutante, he discovers that she might be engaged to a foreign prince, who might be plotting against England. And when Harry is roped into spying on Olivia, he discovers that he might be falling for her himself ...

What Happens in London by Julia Quinn is book 2 in the Bevelstoke series. I believe it stands alone well.

I have a confession to make. Although I enjoyed Olivia’s character in The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (the prequel to this book) as Miranda’s best friend, I didn’t really think she was heroine material. She was enjoyable, but I didn’t latch onto her and think, “I can’t wait to read her book”. I’m happy to admit that I was wrong not to be excited for this story. It turned out to be wonderful.

Based on the last book I thought Olivia was amusing, but she seemed to be missing something. Some indefinable thing that didn’t make me dislike her but didn’t make her stand out as heroine material either. I was happy to see that JQ really bit into her character, however, and gave her a bit more depth than we previously saw.

Olivia is whiling away another London Season – bored out of her mind – when she hears that her new neighbor, Sir Harry Valentine, possibly murdered his fiance. While she doesn’t believe this for a minute – really, she doesn’t – she is curious about her new neighbor. And if her bedroom window just so happened to face directly into his study – where he spends almost all of his time – then she can hardly be blamed for noticing, can she? And if she happens to stand there spying on him for five days, well, that’s hardly her fault either.

Because although she doesn’t believe for one moment that Sir Harry is a murderer, there is something very suspicious about his character. He spends an inordinate amount of time in his study, bent over what appears to be some type of document. He rushes to the fireplace on several occasions and burns things. And he even walks around wearing some very strange type of hat, almost as if he’s in disguise!

Although Sir Harry Valentine has finished serving his commission, he still does some work for the war office – mostly translating documents. Despite the fact that he prefers texts to espionage, he can’t help but be suspicious about why his neighbor – the daughter of an Earl – has been spying on him for 5 days. He’s just about to jump on his desk and start dancing around – just to annoy her – when he makes the mistake of looking up at her window at the wrong time, catching her watching him.

The war office asks Harry to keep an eye on a visiting Russian Prince they suspect of being a Bonaparte supporter. It just so happens the Prince is an admirer of Olivia, and therefore Harry is charged with watching out for her as well. Although they start off on a rocky note, it isn’t long before they come to like each other.

I thought this was a really sweet, fun novel. After my disappointment in The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, I wasn’t sure I’d like this one. I needn’t have worried. JQ is at her best here. The dialogue is crisp, the banter witty and both characters are fun and very likable.

I liked how they got to know each other slowly while spending time together. Reading awful Gothic novels together, discussing politics and bantering back and forth. I actually felt I got to see them fall in love, rather than just being told they had.

The secondary characters really added extra zing to the story. Harry’s best friend Sebastian and the Russian Prince particularly stood out for me. There were scenes involving them where I was literally laughing out loud.

I had some issues with Harry’s backstory. His father was an alcoholic, but seeing how he grew up (quite a bit of time is spent watching Harry grow up in the beginning of the book) didn’t really seem to serve a purpose. I didn’t see that Harry was really scarred by the actions of his father. Other than his refusal to drink he seemed mostly unaffected. So I’m not sure why JQ spent so much time in his past.

I also thought the end was a bit on the cheesy side. It was cute, don’t get me wrong, but it just crossed the line into “too cute”. I was also disappointed that Miranda wasn’t present in this book. The relationship between the girls was so strong in the previous novel I expected it to carry over here. Although the reasons for that were mentioned, I was surprised we didn’t see any interaction between them at all.

Overall a cute, well written novel. I highly enjoyed both main characters and the journey they took together. This book reminded me why Julia Quinn is a master at light, witty romances.

4.25 out of 5

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

Check back later today, because we’re going to be giving away two copies of this book! One digital copy and one print copy!

four-half-stars


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