Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

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
D) all of the above

 Favorite Quote:

“You really do think I’m dull,” he said to her.

 She looked at him accusingly. “The Crusades are not dull.”

 “But you only bought Volume Two,” he reminded her.

 “I can certainly go back and look for the first volume.”

 He decided to interpret that as a threat.

 And also:

 He’d spent his life being a perfect gentleman. He’d never been a flirt. He’d never been a rogue. He hated being the center of attention, but by God, he wanted to be the center of her attention.

Just Like Heaven is the first in a new historical romance series by Julia Quinn, The Smythe-Smith Quartet, about a foursome of female cousins in 1820s England, the land of the Ton, the London Season, and the finding of a husband as the most popular sport and pastime.  But the best thing about historical romances is the romance of it all.  During this time in history, love was not a primary concern when one entered into marriage.  At least, not initially.  It’s all about serving the family, continuing the blood line, doing what is prudent and sacrificing what you want for what you think you need.  So the love stories about this time are actually about the surprise of falling in love when you least expect it.

Anyway…Honoria is the youngest daughter, and as such, has always held her only brother, Daniel, in high esteem.  So it was only fitting that she try to tag along and spend lots of time with him and his best friend, Marcus.  And when Daniel is forced to depart England, he has Marcus keep an eye on her.  Marcus, who was without family after his father dies, enjoys spending his time with the raucous Smythe-Smith clan.  So, he takes up his new task and quietly discourages Honoria’s suitors. 

When Honoria is invited to a friend’s house near Marcus’ estate, he quietly spies her as she tries to fake a twisted ankle to attract attention from one of the men in the party.  Marcus then gets himself injured and subsequently becomes deathly ill, which causes Honoria to demand that she and her mother be there for him as he has no family.  It’s during this time of Honoria attending to him around the clock that she starts to have feelings for him and he, upon becoming well again, kisses her for the first time, which causes Honoria to take off like the devil is on her tail. 

Both Honoria and Marcus are down to earth, sensible people.  They are thrown together by their extensive history and like each other as people and friends before they inevitably fall in love. 

One of the best parts of the book is the “musicale,” in which the four cousins rather abysmally play before an audience of the ton.  Together, they’re not very good or very enthusiastic, but it’s a family tradition and Honoria enjoys it even though she lacks the talent. 

My only real issue with the book is the rather abrupt love scene, which seems out of character and out of left field.  I enjoyed the book and look forward to the subsequent sequels.  And in the meantime, I shall begin working through the rest of Ms. Quinn’s books.

Pecans:  4/5

2 thoughts on “Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

  1. Patricia February 1, 2012 at 10:40 am Reply

    I think I should bookmark this review and read it once I’ve read the book. Too afraid to spoil myself. Did the exact thing with the fourth Bridgerton novel and could still bite myself. Gah! XD

    • Dixie February 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm Reply

      i do that, as well. i don’t want to read a review of a book i know i’m going to read (rather than finding a book i want to read due to a review)…i’d rather see what they have to say after the fact. so get on with it! 🙂

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