June 20, 2011

Book Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Just Like Heaven
US Cover
At First Sight: Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith is just a little bit desperate to be married. Her once happy house has been rather quiet since her older brother Daniel had to flee the country after a duel gone badly; and she's just about done with the silence.

So, she sets out to get married this season, which brings her to Cambridge, which makes her stumble into her brother's best friend Marcus Holroyd, Earl of Chatteris.

Before Daniel left, Marcus used to be a fixture of the Smythe-Smith family, they are the only family he has ever known. In Daniel's absence, Marcus took upon himself to look after Honoria - partially because he promised Daniel he would- and he has done a good job of it, even though they haven't really talked in the last three years.

But now they are together again, and finally aware that they know each other best than anyone, that they might be each other's rocks and that maybe it's time to do something about it.

Heaven UK
UK cover
Second Glance: Just Like Heaven is the kick off the the Smythe-Smith quartet, featuring the infamously bad musicians of the Smythe-Smith family -their annual musicale is a running joke through most of the Bridgerton books and other works of Julia Quinn - and I'm happy to say that I truly liked it. I hadn't liked one of JQ's books so well in quite a while.

I had already been warned that it was more of a character driven than a plot driven book, and I'm glad I knew this going in because it sort of got me in the mood of the book. 

Both Honoria and Marcus were lovely characters. Honoria was fun and loving, even though she always felt just a little left out of her family because she was the youngest she compensated by building bonds with her cousins. Marcus is sort of an understated hero, he's smart and nice and loves sweets but he's also very reserved and shy, which other people mistake for arrogance and aloofness, but Honoria never does.

The other girls in the quartet, well, I had my ups and downs with them. I liked Daisy, the youngest even though she was the type to say things without thinking them through (but she's 15, so it doesn't bother me much), Iris was a bit tiresome sometimes because she's actually a good musician and feels ashamed to have to play. Sarah was okay. 

Oh, another thing I liked about the book was when I realized that the ending took place around the start of Colin and Penelope's story Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. I just loved seeing it from a different angle.

Bottom Line: Just Like Heaven is a story about two people finally realizing just how much they mean to each other. It's sweet and funny and just a lovely relaxing read. And I definitely want to read the next ones in the series.

Favorite Scene: “Treacle tart is not an appropriate food for the sickbed.”

“I don’t see why not,” he replied. With utmost honesty.

“Because you’re supposed to have broth. And calf’s-​foot jelly. And cod liver oil. Everyone knows that.”

He forced his stomach not to turn at the mention. “Have any of those delicacies ever made you feel better?”

“No, but I don’t think that’s the point.”

“How is it possibly not the point?”

 Her lips parted for a quick reply, but then she went quite comically still. Her eyes tipped up and looked off to the left, almost as if she were searching her mind for a suitable retort. Finally, she said, with deliberate slowness, “I don’t know.”

"Then you’ll steal me a piece?” He gave her his best smile. His best I-​almost-​died-​so-​how-​can-​you-​deny-​me smile. Or at least that’s how he hoped it appeared. The truth was, he wasn’t a very accomplished flirt, and it might very well have come across as an I-​am-​mildly-​deranged-​so-​it’s-​in-​all-​of-​our-​best-​interests-​if-​you-​pretend-​to-​agree-​with-​me smile.

There was really no way to know.

starstarstarstar2/3Personal Favorite

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