Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Review: What happens in London - Julia Quinn

What happens in London by Julia Quinn
(Bevelstoke 2)

Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 384
Published: June 2009

When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancée, 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 a 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...

Ever since I saw this one around blogland, I wanted it, then I saw the trailer and wanted it more. Then I visited one of the biggest cities in the country and yes of course I fell to temptation and bought it. And I am glad I did.

This was a funny book, I could giggle and smile.  It was such a cute and sweet book. I really liked Olivia, sure she was silly, listening to her even more silly friends. Which leads to her spying on her neighbor, and she thinks she is getting away with it but he has been aware for days. This then leads to more funny things, like when she first meet in real life. What can I say, they do not like each other at first. But they are falling, and I love when she realize the has fallen for him.

As for Harry, aww I love him too, he is rather nerdy, he likes sitting at home translating and gets really caught up in his work. He has not been as lucky with the ladies as his cousin (the hero in the 3rd book). But you just have to like him. He then is being told to spy on her since there is a certain prince, and well this prince could be a threat in these dangerous times. Napoleon, war, what more to say.

As for the prince, ugh, not liking him. Sebastian Grey then, well, dunno, I did like her brother, and I did like hearing about her friend Miranda. Who I later learned was the heroine of book 1.

Why did I like this book then, well the chemistry between Harry and Olivia. Her being silly, him falling for her. The funny things that happened, the general sweetness of the story. Oh and this one scene with Sebastian and the book. Loved it.

But there was one negative thing about the book, the first 300 pages were great! Then came some sex that threw me off. Not that it was anything weird about it, I had just not expected it cos the book felt rather sweet and I thought ok no sex in this historical for once. It was just rather not sexy. And it is not cos I am such a conservative reader when it comes to historical books. It was just--unexpected.

Then the story took another turn, and it could have ended before. I guess that I just didn't think the last part of the book was up to standard with the first part.

But then the last couple of pages saved it again and I smiled. And loved it. This is the best book so far this year, and I am fairly sure it will be on my best of 2010 when December comes.

A final note, can be read without reading book 1, cos we all knwo in the end who is gonna end up with whom when we open a book.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner. Rather refreshing not to have the guy without a shirt and the woman falling over him (of course I love those ;)
Reason for reading: My own book
Final thoughts: Read it!


  1. You didn't read book one? Most of the time, I have to start with book one regardless if these are stand-alones. If you can jump in, I admire you! I would love to be more like that.

    Anyway, I'm reading a book where the sex scenes are messing up the story. It's because the wording is so crude compared to the rest of the story, if that makes sense.

    Ugh, I just noticed how much I am writing in this Your post just touched the chatty button inside me.. :)

  2. Oh, I love Julia Quinn. Again this is another book I have on my shelf! I agree with your "cover corner" comment... It is refreshing :)

  3. Hmmm...I've been wanting to read this too but I thought it was a spinoff of the Bridgertons? Apparently not, but if there is another book before it I'm going to have to read that one to check out her webpage...

  4. I love your comment on the cover ;-) Hilarious.

  5. J.Kaye
    I am usually very very very! Strict with those kinds of things, but this time I just didn't know there was a book 1. And then when I googled afterward to find out about the next book I found out about the 1st. So it didn't feel like I jumped in, if it has been about the same characters then yes then i would have gone insane and rushed out to get book 1 ;)

    I do get what you are saying, it was not crude here, but it felt out of place and maybe how they did it played the biggest part (oh and that I read one thing wrong too).

    The chatty button is always nice

  6. Muse,
    Do read it, I truly enjoyed it, and honestly historical romances are mostly just ok for me.
    Very refreshing, and I also saw another cover of the book, and that was very chick.lit.

    I have to go and google those
    Bridgertons again.
    Later: That is a lot of kids! But nope still I can't see a connection, no idea who these Bridgerton people are.

    Lol, well thank you :)
    I am glad to have some humor here and there

  7. Your review made me smile, thanks Blodeuedd! I like historicals but Julia Quinn for some reason has that "regency vibe" I always have a treshold in reading it :S I've got Romancing Mister Bridgerton, I'll start there if I need to venture in to historical England :) And I love the half nekkid mancandy too for me this cover is kinda *bleh* LOL

  8. Bridgertons star in one of her series. They are a family, and I think there's about 8 books out there. It's a very good series (I loved especially the first book, The Duke and I)!

    I've read What Happens in London and also the previous book (Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever). I think people don't need to read the first book to understand this. This was such a nice and funny story!

  9. Sounds like a fun, light read. I actually am not in love with the cover. It doesn't really say anything to me.

  10. This one sounds like one I would enjoy!

  11. Thats so weird about the sex thrown in. I mean I love sex in books as much as the next person but if it doesn't fit with the the mood then how are you supposed to be up for it? :) Love the name "Harry Valentine" though...

    btw Blod - your header at the moment is gorgeous! I love the orange and the pink together <3

  12. Leontine,
    I love the regency era :)I did pick up another Quinn novel once, but never got into it cos the story was all wrong. But then again that was some earlier novel. And this sure rocked.
    Lol who doesn't love half nekkid mancandy.

    I saw a map of the books and family, yup a lot of kids. perhaps I should read the first one day.
    It sure was, I truly enjoyed it.

    That is true, I just like it cos it fits, and it is different

    Great title ;)

    It was fun and sweet! _D

  13. Aimee,
    Yes, true. And here it was so abrupt,and I thought, wait what? Now, really, here? And with the mood I did not think ti would happen, oh and it was so un romantic. But that was just me, we all know I get picky with sex in books like these ;)
    His name = <3

    Thanks :D I do love it too!

  14. Glad you like this one Blodeuedd! Julia Quinn is one of my all time favorites and I have this one waiting for me in the TBR stacks.

    Great review!

    :) VFG

  15. Hmmm. Not my normal sort of book but I've got to admit you've managed to put it on my wish list. Thanks.


  16. So glad you enjoyed this! I've been looking at it, too! :)

  17. I read Book 1 and loved it, so this was a let down for me. I too felt the same way about the sex, it seemed so out of character with the rest of the book. I thought the end was cute, but kind of on the cheesy, side. I enjoyed reading your thoughts!

  18. I like Julia Quinn but haven't read this series, sounds like a fun read. Thanks for lovely review!

  19. Well you know from my blog that I love Ms Quinn but the truth is I had much the same quarrel with this book you did. Nevertheless I'll say I laughed more than not so I was ok in the end. I just love your reviews.
    You take care.

  20. I do have this one my TBR shelf. After many reviews -great,good and okay- I bought it. I have to say that I am intrigued to read it to see what I find in there myself. But I do agree with you in the sense that sometimes there is such a thing as it not fitting the context of the book (sex or the language). I mean, why do that... I know there is a right way. But I can not wait to read it and share with you my thoughts!
    I hope you have a great night and a wonderful tomorrow honey!

  21. I enjoyed this one too especially after the disappointing Cavendish books. The Bridgertons are still my favorites though.

  22. I've seen this around too and you've def. made me want to pick it up next time I'm out.

  23. I bought The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever from London last fall. Haven't read it yet, but this review really made me want to read that book since you say so positive things about this one. :)

  24. what an enthusiastic review- i'm glad you enjoyed it so much! :-)

  25. Hi VFG
    I am so glad I tried it, and I am so glad I saw it this summer. Cos it was sure a fun read.

    Lol, well what can I say, it was just sweet, and a really good historical romance.

    It sure has something about it doesn't it, it just jumped out at me.

    Are you saying that book 1 is better? Need that one then.
    But yes the sex was so so, wrong.
    Though loved that cheesy end.

  26. Teddyree
    Totally worth a look, so fun, so good!

    Evening Simone,
    It was just not right, I am glad I wasnt not the only one. I just felt the style shifted too much, still in the end I got over it cos the book had a good ending

    yay you have it, oh I hope you will enjoy it. For me it was a true pearl just cos of the tone of the book, even if one part wasn't as good. Still totally worth every penny!

  27. Debbie,
    I do have to check out those Bridgerton books cos they do seem to be the talk of the ton.

    Thanks DC
    I do like it too, very fitting.

    It was a treat, had this chick-litish feel to it, or perhaps that was just me.

    I do hope you read book 1 so that i can get an inside scoop then :)

    Thanks, oh yes I got very happy with this book

  28. Hi B!

    I haven't tried this author, I've picked up a couple of her books, but I've yet to take one home. I just don't read that many historicals that aren't paranormal. When I do read one, I remember what I loved about them. I do have a couple for review, so maybe those will put me in the mood for more. Excellent review!

    Dottie :)

  29. Dottie,
    Oh yes nothing paranormal here, I have actually only read one historical like that and that was Wild Heart...well and those freaky zombies and vamp Austens.

    But this was a good and fun book. Such a great vibe about it

  30. You really do make me smile with your reviews....

    I know I wont read this book, but I get you with the sex being out of charaters for the book...

    It sounds as if Harry is the sweet beta hero that got the girl and fun all round....

    Hope you jump back to bk 1, it sounds as if it's worth it...


  31. Sex scenes can definitely mess things up if they're not expected. It's like you got hit with a hammer at the back of the head (okay, maybe not that bad,lol).

    Great review, very funny. I'll give the book a try.

  32. EH
    That's great to hear :D Makes me happy.
    Oh yes such a sweet beta hero, and I just loved him. Good that he gets the girl too.
    It sure does sound worth it.

    Lol, honestly it can sure feel like that if it is really bad. Perhaps now it just felt like I walked in on something I really shouldn't.
    Oh yes please do!

  33. This one sounds sooo good! But I so should not buy more books at the moment. But it sounds so sweet.
    Great review!

  34. Susi,
    I know how you feel, I sure wish I had a million dollars and could buy all the books I want ;)



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