Tag: Julia Quinn

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 Avon
Publication Date: September 30th 2008
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 370
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
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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Julia Quinn’s Book Signing in Orange County (+Giveaway)

Posted April 5, 2016 by Rowena in Giveaways, Promotions | 14 Comments

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Julia Quinn was in town this past weekend to promote her new release Because of Miss Bridgerton and I was in the area so I stopped by the book signing with my girls to see if we can find out the scoop on future books she’s planning but also to hear what Julia Quinn had to say about anything and everything in her writing world.

The signing was held at the Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach, CA right next door to Cheesecake Factory. There was a good crowd that gathered to see Julia Quinn. All of the chairs that were set out for her had people in them and some B&N workers had to come back out with more chairs for the people standing in the back.

Right off the bat, she started up a question and answer session which for the most part was kept going by different members of the audience. She answered all sorts of questions from her new series, her old series and some writing and publishing questions as well.

Her latest series, The Rokesbys will be another quartet of books and will feature the four Rokesby brothers. We got George’s (the oldest brother and heir) book first but we can also expect books for Andrew, Edward and Nicholas (not in that order though).

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Some other stuff that she mentioned while talking with the crowd are:

  • Lady Danbury probably won’t get her own story told because she’s on record in books talking about how her husband is an idiot. (Do we really want that story anyway? LOL)

  • Quinn has been inspired to write while reading books by other authors in her same genre. Authors like Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Jude Devereaux, Lisa Kleypas and Amanda Quick.

  • She has a lot of help keeping her facts and books straight from her readers. Within hours of books releasing, she hears from readers about things she got wrong. She appreciates all the help!

  • The epic pall mall matches in the Bridgerton books were inspired by the time she spent visiting her grandparents house. She had some pretty epic croquet matches with her sister and those memories are brought to life in her books.

  • No plans to switch over and start writing contemporary. She loves writing historical romances and challenges herself to keep things fresh by changing things up, by writing different kinds of historical romances.

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The time zipped right by as I sat there and listened to Julia Quinn talk. She’s very charming and she’s also really funny. I got some goodies to giveaway on the blog and she was nice enough to sign them for me. It’s really cool when you go out and see authors who are celebrities to us readers and they know about your blog. I get a thrill out of that every single time I meet an author whose work I admire and you tell them you’re a book blogger and they say, “I know Book Binge!” I just love it!

All in all, I’m glad that I attended the book signing. Julia Quinn is a classy lady and I’m really looking forward to this new series that she’s working on. I enjoyed Because of Miss Bridgerton and you can read my review of that book here.

GIVEAWAY ALERT: I bought two paperback copies of Because of Miss Bridgerton to giveaway on the blog and they’re both signed by the lovely Julia Quinn. All you have to do use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
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 Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

Posted January 8, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
Rowena’s review of The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet #4) by Julia Quinn.

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second—or third—look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

I was so happy to find out that this was Iris’ book. From the very beginning, she was my favorite Smythe-Smith cousin. In each and every single book before this one, she cracked me up. I knew that Julia Quinn would deliver another fabulous historical romance with this one and I’m happy to say that I was right.

Iris Smythe-Smith has a duty to her family to play her cello in the annual Smythe-Smith musicale each season because she is unwed and she plays each and every season even though she hates it. She hates it because unlike a lot of people in her family, she knows that the musicale every season is terrible. Anyone with working ears can tell you just how terrible they are. But this season is different. It’s different because this season, Sir Richard Kenworthy attends the musicale and notices her.

He pursues her. And after a whirlwind romance, he proposes marriage and Iris is blown away.

She’s not the kind of lady who inspires whirlwind romances but she can’t deny that Sir Richard intrigues her. She also can’t deny that given a little more time, she would have said yes to his marriage proposal. But Sir Richard is in a hurry to get married and we spend a huge chunk of the beginning of the book, wondering why he’s in such a rush to find a bride.

Well, Iris finds out why he needed to get married as quickly as possible and I had an inkling right before it was revealed, what his reasons were and that wasn’t surprising. What was surprising was his plan. His plan for Iris. I was kind of blown away by that. My heart broke for Iris and even though I knew that Richard had fallen in love with Iris over the course of their courtship and marriage, his plan really tripped me up.

I felt Iris’ pain throughout this story and my heart went out to her. I thought Quinn did a great job of telling this story and bringing feelings out of the reader that they weren’t quite expecting. Richard had a lot of making up to Iris to do and by the end of the book, like Iris, I had forgiven him. It helped that I knew just how deep his feelings for Iris were. I enjoyed seeing the two of them fall in love with each other. Even though things happened quickly, the romance between Richard and Iris felt real, and true.

Richard’s sister, the older one is the one that got on my hot damn nerves. I got that she was going through some pretty heavy things but the way that she treated those that loved her and wanted to help her made me want to punch her in the throat. The younger sister came off as a brat at first but I ended up really liking her.

It was a treat to see Iris’ cousin’s and the play had me cracking up as only the Smythe-Smith family could make me. It wasn’t an easy story to get through at some parts but I still really enjoyed the book as a whole and thought that it was a great ending to a fabulous series. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

Posted January 6, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

The Sum of All Kisses
Rowena’s review of The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet #3) by Julia Quinn.

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, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed 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 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 …

New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn’s enchanting third novel in the Smythe-Smith quartet is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and tug at your heartstrings in equal measures.

I love Julia Quinn. She’s one of my favorite historical romance authors. She writes the kind of historicals that I absolutely love. The kind that make me laugh, make me mad and makes me want to have its babies. I wanted to have this books babies. I thought it was adorable and perfect and just fantabulous. Hugh and Sarah were wonderful characters that leaped right off the pages and their witty banter kept the book going, hitting all of my happy buttons.

At first, I couldn’t remember who the hell Hugh was. I read the first part of the prologue, wondering…who the hell are all of these people and then BAM, it hit me. And I thought, “Duh. I remember who Hugh is now.” I thought it was pretty clever of Julia Quinn to write Hugh’s book. He’s not your normal hero. He’s not perfect. He’s wounded and he’s unhappy but man did he have potential and Quinn wrote him up and I fell right in love with him.

I liked Sarah from the previous books but she wasn’t my favorite. I think Iris is and man, I’m really looking forward to her book…we do get her book, right? Sarah was kind of a wallflower character for me. She existed in the background of the other books and I never really paid her much attention. But man was she quite the heroine in this book. She was dramatic and she was loud but I really, really liked her.

Hugh is one of those nerd heroes who makes being a nerd, sexy. He can do complicated math in his head and his memory is something for the books. He’s really good at cards because he counts them. He was injured in the duel between him and Daniel Smythe-Smith (Sarah’s cousin). Daniel was shot in the shoulder but is fine. Hugh was shot in the leg and he can’t walk without a limp anymore. In A Night Like This, we see Daniel coming to grips with the duel and what he’s done to Hugh and you see them try to repair their friendship. In this book, we see a bit more of that and we see what really happened the night of the duel and we see Hugh come to terms with it and truly move on from that night.

Hugh and Sarah do not get along. Sarah holds him responsible for Daniel having fled the country to save his life from Hugh’s father. That whole scandal pushed her coming out a year and in the year that she was supposed to come out, 14 gentlemen proposed and got married. Sarah is now one and twenty years of age and she’s still not married. She blames this on Hugh.

Sarah has made it crystal clear what she thinks of Hugh and Hugh doesn’t care because he doesn’t care about Sarah. But when Honoria asks Sarah to help Hugh feel welcome at her wedding to Marcus, Sarah has no choice but to agree. This was the beginning of the end of her hatred for Hugh Prentice. Over the course of the two weddings that Sarah and Hugh attend (first Honoria and Marcus’ and then Daniel and Anna’s), a bond is formed between the two and a love that takes them both by surprise pops up and wraps them both up.

This was a good book. It was fun and entertaining and I didn’t want to put this book down. Even when Hugh’s stupid father makes an appearance and makes me want to punch him in the throat, it was good. Seeing Hugh’s background and seeing what he went through and what he survived made him my very favorite hero of the series so far. I adored him and I really liked Sarah as well. This was a good book and it was a fabulous addition to this series and I cannot wait for more. I’m pretty anxious for the next book. Read this one!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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