I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: What Happens in London

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
What Happens in London (Bevelstoke #2)
by Julia Quinn
Historical Romance
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

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 ...


This is sweet, fluffy read, with a wonderful romance between Olivia and Sir Harry.  I was very taken by the teasing and the humor of the story as well.  I think that aspect is the highlight, because it was so fun to read Olivia and Harry verbally spar as they got to know each other.  The author's writing is so light and whimsical too - she made the characters and the plot a wonderful world to fall into.

Although Olivia and Harry don't really like each other in the beginning, it is of course obvious they will fall in love, so just getting to the part where they start to realize the other isn't so bad is super cutesy and while that sentimentality was a little too much at first,  I think the author developed it perfectly to be completely and giddily romantic when they first begin to declare themselves, and the romance of it felt just right and just delicious.

As characters, I thought Harry and his family had an interesting backstory.  There's a whole prologue that reveals what Harry went through as a child with an alcoholic father with that detail having a payoff in the end.  But I think it more importantly gave an edge to Harry who would have otherwise have been a very light and teasing character.  It gave a little more heft to the story in general too which I appreciated.  Olivia is an almost perfect female heroine - beautiful, intelligent, and snarky but with a slight tendency to get herself into unusual situations.  She's very endearing and it was clear that Harry was the perfect match for her.

There's a great sense of fun in the characters and the story which belied a rather serious plot development that turned up in the last quarter or so of the book.  It really surprised me, because there was no indication that anything like it would happen and it made me more eager to turn pages to see how it would all turn out.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read with lovely main characters and a sweet romance!

(Special thanks to Quinn for recommending this book to me! :D)

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