Customer Reviews for

Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Is love truly the cure for what ails us?

Marcus Holroyd, the Earl of Chatteris knew two facts about his life - that he was well trained for his title and that he would always be alone. Honoria Smythe-Smith also knew two facts, she would never be alone since she was part of a large family, and not one of them h...
Marcus Holroyd, the Earl of Chatteris knew two facts about his life - that he was well trained for his title and that he would always be alone. Honoria Smythe-Smith also knew two facts, she would never be alone since she was part of a large family, and not one of them had a musical bone in their body. Marcus was taught friendship from Honoria's brother Daniel when they met at school and learned how to have the young Honoria around Marcus took his lonely childhood and grabbed onto the large, boisterous Smythe-Smith family.

When Honoria grew up, she became a stunning young woman who needed her brother to protect her but he had fled to Italy in scandal. What she did not know was Daniel had asked Marcus to watch over her and he did just that quietly and alone in the background as he did everything his life. He went to balls and stood by the back wall unnoticed, checking on the potential suitors who went after Honoria and drove them away one by one. He also attended the yearly Smythe-Smith Musicale, featuring the unmarried female cousins in the family who yearly massacred any type of credible music. The family was known for this event and all in attendance understood it was going to be awful but for Marcus who sat in the front row he never heard the notes being butchered he only had eyes for the beauty playing the violin, Honoria.

When Marcus decides he may try courting her, Honoria has decided to step up the husband hunt. Honoria sees Marcus less as a potential suitor and more like a brother while Marcus is trying to change that and his first step toward winning her hand finds him stepping in a hole and doing damage to his ankle. This simple twisted ankle turns into a bad situation when a secondary injury leads to infection and near death for Marcus. Honoria comes to care for Marcus with her mother and with no regard for propriety or knowledge of how to make him better only a willingness to be someone in his life when he truly has no one. Honoria and her mother take Marcus from brink of death to recovery and somewhere along the way Honoria and Marcus both realize what they feel for each other is love, not friendship or family affection but deep, burning love. Neither is quite sure what to do with these feeling but someone has to take the first step. Will it be the man wearing new boots or the woman in a pair of red slippers?

Reading a Julia Quinn book such a calming, romantic, and wonderful experience, you look forward to each book with anticipation. I am in awe of her ability to spin a fresh and exciting story with each book and make you think "I love these characters the most of them all" when in fact with the next book you will say the same and it will be true. Marcus will forever be dear to me because he knows he wants love he just does not know how to get it and Honoria is such a self-confident and strong woman who knows she can cure everything but her cousins' lack of musical talent.

posted by The_Reading_Reviewer on May 6, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Felt Rushed

I normally LOVE everything Julia Quinn writes and I've read everything she's written, but I was disappointed with this. I felt she could have done so much more, it felt rushed and all together too short. I swear when I finished the book I thought to myself, "that's it...
I normally LOVE everything Julia Quinn writes and I've read everything she's written, but I was disappointed with this. I felt she could have done so much more, it felt rushed and all together too short. I swear when I finished the book I thought to myself, "that's it?"

However I don't regret buying/reading the story and it wont prevent me from picking up the rest of the series.

posted by NeptuneKH on August 18, 2011

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  • Posted May 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Is love truly the cure for what ails us?

    Marcus Holroyd, the Earl of Chatteris knew two facts about his life - that he was well trained for his title and that he would always be alone. Honoria Smythe-Smith also knew two facts, she would never be alone since she was part of a large family, and not one of them had a musical bone in their body. Marcus was taught friendship from Honoria's brother Daniel when they met at school and learned how to have the young Honoria around Marcus took his lonely childhood and grabbed onto the large, boisterous Smythe-Smith family.

    When Honoria grew up, she became a stunning young woman who needed her brother to protect her but he had fled to Italy in scandal. What she did not know was Daniel had asked Marcus to watch over her and he did just that quietly and alone in the background as he did everything his life. He went to balls and stood by the back wall unnoticed, checking on the potential suitors who went after Honoria and drove them away one by one. He also attended the yearly Smythe-Smith Musicale, featuring the unmarried female cousins in the family who yearly massacred any type of credible music. The family was known for this event and all in attendance understood it was going to be awful but for Marcus who sat in the front row he never heard the notes being butchered he only had eyes for the beauty playing the violin, Honoria.

    When Marcus decides he may try courting her, Honoria has decided to step up the husband hunt. Honoria sees Marcus less as a potential suitor and more like a brother while Marcus is trying to change that and his first step toward winning her hand finds him stepping in a hole and doing damage to his ankle. This simple twisted ankle turns into a bad situation when a secondary injury leads to infection and near death for Marcus. Honoria comes to care for Marcus with her mother and with no regard for propriety or knowledge of how to make him better only a willingness to be someone in his life when he truly has no one. Honoria and her mother take Marcus from brink of death to recovery and somewhere along the way Honoria and Marcus both realize what they feel for each other is love, not friendship or family affection but deep, burning love. Neither is quite sure what to do with these feeling but someone has to take the first step. Will it be the man wearing new boots or the woman in a pair of red slippers?

    Reading a Julia Quinn book such a calming, romantic, and wonderful experience, you look forward to each book with anticipation. I am in awe of her ability to spin a fresh and exciting story with each book and make you think "I love these characters the most of them all" when in fact with the next book you will say the same and it will be true. Marcus will forever be dear to me because he knows he wants love he just does not know how to get it and Honoria is such a self-confident and strong woman who knows she can cure everything but her cousins' lack of musical talent.

    15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Loved it!

    This book is so deliciously witty, easy flowing and the characters are lovable...I love Julia Quinn books and wasn't disapointed with this one! I recommend this book if you love to laugh out loud while reading, warning though people may look at you weird if you are reading this book in public and laughing out loud!! Happy reading!

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    What a great book!!!

    Very sweet book. I like when two characters grow up together and then find out each other are their soul mates..... Very good funny clean book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2011

    Ehhh

    There was barely any romance. I expected better.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Good easy read

    interesting characters, good plot. Emotion, good romance, humor, a little suspense. One of my favourites. I enjoyed it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Felt Rushed

    I normally LOVE everything Julia Quinn writes and I've read everything she's written, but I was disappointed with this. I felt she could have done so much more, it felt rushed and all together too short. I swear when I finished the book I thought to myself, "that's it?"

    However I don't regret buying/reading the story and it wont prevent me from picking up the rest of the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 18, 2011

    I really liked it!

    I have read all of julia quinns books. While i wouldnt describe this as one of her best, it was still really good. It was a pretty simple story but the love story between marcus and honoria was really sweet. Many familiar characters from past books make appearances as well. Well worth the time and money to read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2011

    Quinn at her best

    Julia Quinn has done it again. This book is one of her best. It was worth the wait and a perfect summer read. The relationship is believable and unique. I also enjoy that Quinn adds elevated vocabulary to her novels. The worst part about finishing this book is that I now have to wait for her next book. Write quickly, Julia!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

    Good

    Nice story. VReliable JQ

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    What Happened to JQ???

    This book was such a bore! It was as if she was trying to fill up the pages with meaningless words. The hero was beyond dull and the plot was stale and so boring that I wanted to cry from boredom. The entire book was filled with useless chatter, then at the end I guessed she realized she had to implement a little romance. It's been awhile since JQ has released a solid, entertaining novel. I hope she goes back to the beginning amd start writing some better novels.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2011

    I normally love Julia Quinn==just not this one

    I have long enjoyed Julia Quinn's books--I have them all and have re-read most of them--some several times, but this one was very disappointing to me. I have always enjoyed her characters and their repartee' which is usually fun and clever, but in this one that feels like all there is--lots of silly conversations that don't really go anywhere. In my opinion, she doesn't develop her characters satisfactorially and so they really have no depth. In all her regency novels she, like most regency authors, is always putting down the empty-headed, vapid, insipid debutantes but this book felt like it was written by one of them. And worst of all the romance (i.e. seduction) was not satisfying at all. I just kept hoping for more-- of everything. I understand that this is the first in a series, so I hope the next ones are a little meatier.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I kept this book on my nightstand and my "currently reading

    I kept this book on my nightstand and my "currently reading" shelf for about a year before finally deciding to just mark it as DNF (did not finish). It's not that the book is SO bad that I couldn't keep reading, but rather, I kept putting it down, forgot about it, and was never really inclined to pick it up again... that went on for about a year. There are way better books I could be spending my time on.

    Overall Just Like Heaven just bored me; nothing was exciting, and nothing intrigued me enough to want to continue reading. There's very little action both romance- and plot-wise; even by page 158—which is how far I got—hardly any of Honoraria and Marcus's relationship is built. If there is no swoon-worthy romance by the halfway mark, we've got a problem.

    Honoraria isn't a dreadful heroine but she's rather desperate for a husband and childish, blushing at ever sight of skin and brush of fingers, and so on. I can understand these traits were meant to color her "cute" and "clumsy," but I just found it annoying. There's almost no chemistry between her and Marcus, which bothered me a lot considering this is a historical romance, and the dialogue and description scenes drag on forever, which made this one even more difficult to digest.

    Pros: Well written // Playful, readable style

    Cons: Romance moves at a snail's pace // Honoraria is annoying and Marcus is uninteresting // Boring // Not enough action!

    Verdict: Containing too much backstory and not enough action, this first title in the Smythe-Smith quartet is rather boring. It isn't a terrible or intolerable—in fact, stylistically, Julia Quinn is a pleasure to read—but I just didn't have the patience to finish it. I was quite annoyed by the "witty" (not witty) banter and passionless relationship that's supposed to pass as a romance. True historical fiction fans may be able to swallow Just Like Heaven, but I definitely wasn't impressed.

    Rating: 2 out of 10 hearts (1 star): Not completely a lost cause, but could not finish and did not enjoy; potentially could be used as a cure for insomnia.

    Source: Complimentary ARC provided by Romance Novel News in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Carolyn!).

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  • Posted April 19, 2014

    I was disappointed by this one. The situation was preposterous.

    I was disappointed by this one. The situation was preposterous. I couldn't suspend reality enough, although the characters were likable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Wonderful

    The whole series is worth reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Anonymous

    I laughed and cried through the whole book. Not to spoil, but i especially loved the hole scene and the broken violin scene. Very good book.

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  • Posted November 22, 2013

    Nice, easy reading

    This book was a really nice easy reading, I usually like sci-fi so it was a good break from all the action and something sweet and romantic.

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  • Posted November 16, 2013

    Yeah!

    Can't wait for the next in the series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Lukewarm

    I have read the other reviews and I am sorry to say, but I agree with the readers who were disappointed with this Julia Quinn book. It was a slow read in too many parts and I hope the next book in the series has more meat to it. I will purchase it however, as everyone is entitled to less than perfect occasionally.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2013

    loved it

    Loved it, I just finished the Cynster series by Stephenie Laurens and wanted to find something like it. This was perfect. I liked the fact that the hot and steamy parts were left more to my imagination than in the Laurens books...Just enough to be great but not boring and overdone. Laurens goes overboard with too many repetive hot chapters. I read everything but find these light romances are calming when my stress levels start to peak. good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    Enjoyable

    A story that will make you smile

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