Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:

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

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Overview

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

It's Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is . . .

D) all of the above

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  • Just Like Heaven
    Just Like Heaven  

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Reprising incidental characters from her popular Bridgerton series, Quinn launches a new quartet featuring the memorable Smythe-Smith family of stunningly discordant musicale fame with a witty romp that has a pair of childhood friends resisting their feelings because they couldn't possibly be in love with each other—could they? An accident and a brush with death turn their preconceptions upside down—just in time for misunderstandings to complicate things even further. VERDICT Lively, swiftly paced, and often hilarious, this engaging story overflows with likable characters and will keep readers laughing, flipping pages, and happily rooting for caring, sensitive Honoria and honorable, conflicted Marcus finally to get it right. A delightful start to a promising series. Quinn (Ten Things I Love About You) lives in the Seattle area.
The Barnes & Noble Review

As any woman will tell you, behind every successful marriage there is likely to be a secret or two--for example, that not every single pair of shoes she's bought in the last fourteen years was reduced to half price. Still, any divorce lawyer who overhears your conversation will attest that secrets, especially significant ones, are not conducive to long-term marital happiness. They can pull a couple apart even if the motive behind them was well-meaning. These five novels defy that axiom: their plots are shaped by secrets that come close to destroying relationships--and in some cases, lives--and yet honesty wins out. The particular reading pleasure is not discovering those secrets, as it might be in a mystery novel, but the emotional fallout of their revelation. Whether belated candor leads to humiliation, rage, or grief, the suspense that builds before the moment a character discovers that a lover has lied to them is of a special, and especially compelling, kind.

Julia Quinn creates utterly charming characters who, generally speaking, lead enviable lives. The hero and heroine of her new novel, Just Like Heaven, are no exception. Marcus Holroyd, the Earl of Chatteris, is handsome and rich, if a bit shy and lonely. Miss Honoria Smythe-Smith is a lovely young woman, albeit humiliated by her lack of success on the marriage market. Quinn's plot stems from the way even the kindest secrets, secrets kept for someone's own good, can destroy lives. Some years before the novel begins, Marcus made an ill-advised promise to his closest friend, Honoria's brother. The promise is one thing--but when he neglects to tell Honoria, the consequences come near to killing him. That one secret ricochets through the novel, leading to a dramatic revelation...and a broken heart.

Stefanie Sloane's The Devil in Disguise is a debut historical that pits an intelligent but innocent young lady against a rake with secrets of many different kinds. Lord William Randall is a member of a young group of aristocrats, used by the crown in various spying capacities. When Lady Lucinda Grey is threatened, Will is assigned to "court" her, while keeping her safe. Lucinda is no fool, and she mistrusts the motives of the libertine who suddenly appears at her side. But Will soothes her fears by promising that he has "no intent to court her for sport." That's true enough--he's courting her because he was ordered to do so. As in Just Like Heaven, Lucinda's humiliation on finding out the truth--when she demands whether William plans to steal her dignity, having already stolen her heart--makes for an enthralling reading experience.

In both of these novels, secrets grow from an effort to keep the heroine safe. Nalini Singh's inventive fantasy Kiss of Snow, reverses the paradigm: the heroine's secret stems from her wish to protect the hero. Singh's complex world of Psy and Changelings explodes when alpha male of the SnowDancer wolf pack, Hawke, finds himself wildly attracted to a young Psy woman, Sienna. But Hawke lost his mate at an early age, and hesitates to break Sienna's heart by failing to bond with her. Sienna, for her part, has a secret that she's afraid to tell Hawke--because it might impact the entire future of the pack. Sienna is deeply frightened--and until she shares that emotion with Hawke, they cannot form the wild devotion that will allow them to survive the ferocity of Sienna's unleashed power. This is Nalini Singh's breakout into hardcover, and it is worth every penny of its new format.

The Soldier by Grace Burrowes deals with an entirely different sort of secret. Devlin St. Just, the Earl of Rosecraft, arrives at his estate to find a thin, dirty nine-year-old girl standing in a dry fountain, only to be told that "in a manner of speaking, the child is, well...Yours." Devlin has been given the title and estate by the Crown, and the illegitimate daughter of the former earl comes right along with the neglected estate. Devlin is an enchanting, complicated and wonderful character who falls in love with both the girl and with his new neighbor, Emmaline Farnum. The Soldier brings together PTSD, abandonment, illegitimacy and love in an enormously satisfying story. Emmie has the power to mend what war has broken in Devlin: "His grip was that of a drowning man--a dying man--and she would not let him go." But their love affair is undermined by a secret she feels compelled to keep from him. Here again it is the deceived person who sacrifices his self-respect, by demanding not just honesty, but love. As Devlin puts it, "his dignity wasn't too high a price to pay if it meant Emmie understood what his feelings were."

If the other novels in this column have circled around a secret, Mary Kay Andrews' Summer Rental offers a whole circus of them. Friends Ellis, Julia, and Dorie rent a run-down house in North Carolina's Outer Banks. But even though they're best friends, it turns out that they're keeping secrets...from each other and from their spouses. Mr. and Mrs. Perfect are getting a divorce; there are secrets to do with babies and jobs...In fact, everyone they meet--from the gorgeous Ty Bazemore next door, to the runaway Maryn who joins them in the house--is hiding something: "I have a confession to make" is the most often-repeated sentence in the novel. Just like the other novels in this column, unraveling secrets makes for fascinating reading. This is a perfect beach book: the tale of a sandy, flea-bitten summer house and one month in August in which honesty triumphs over silence, and love over lies. Ellis falls in love, and Dorie meets a new guy, and Julie makes a big decision, and Maryn breaks free...and the readers of Summer Rental will stay glued to their sandy beach chairs waiting to see what happens next.

--Eloisa James




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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062079534
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet Series , #1
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 13,833
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

The author of twenty-three previous novels for Avon Books, Julia Quinn is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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Read an Excerpt

Just Like Heaven


By Julia Quick

Avon

Copyright © 2011 Julia Quick
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061491900


Chapter One

March 1824
Cambridge, England
Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith was desperate.
Desperate for a sunny day, desperate for a
husband, desperate—she thought with an
exhausted sigh as she looked down at her ruined blue
slippers—for a new pair of shoes.
She sat down heavily on the stone bench outside
Mr. Hilleford's Tobacco Shoppe for Discerning
Gentlemen and pressed herself up against the wall behind
her, desperately (there was that awful word again)
trying to wedge her entire body under the awning.
It was pouring. Pouring. Not drizzling, not merely
raining, but pouring proverbial cats, dogs, sheep, and
horses.
At this rate, she wouldn't have been surprised if an
elephant tumbled down from the sky.
And it stank. Honoria had thought that cheroots
produced her least favorite smell, but no, mold was
worse, and Mr. Hilleford's Tobacco Shoppe for
Gentlemen who Did Not Mind if Their Teeth Turned
Yellow had a suspicious black substance creeping
along its outer wall that smelled like death.
Really, could she possibly be in a worse situation?
Why, yes. Yes, she could. Because she was (of
course) quite alone, the rain having taken thirty
seconds to go from drip to downpour. The rest of her
shopping party was across the street, happily browsing
in the warm and cozy Miss Pilaster's Fancy
Emporium of Ribbons and Trinkets, which, in addition
to having all sorts of fun and frilly merchandise,
smelled a great deal better than Mr. Hilleford's
establishment.
Miss Pilaster sold perfume. Miss Pilaster sold
dried rose petals and little candles that smelled like
vanilla.
Mr. Hilleford grew mold.
Honoria sighed. Such was her life.
She had lingered too long at the window of a bookshop,
assuring her friends that she would meet them
at Miss Pilaster's in a minute or two. Two minutes
had turned to five, and then, just as she'd been
preparing to make her way across the street, the heavens
had opened and Honoria had had no choice but to
take refuge under the only open awning on the south
side of the Cambridge High Street.
She stared mournfully at the rain, watching it
pummel the street. The drops were pelting the
cobblestones with tremendous force, splashing and
spraying back into the air like tiny little explosions.
The sky was darkening by the second, and if
Honoria was any judge of English weather, the wind was
going to pick up at any moment, rendering her
pathetic spot under Mr. Hilleford's awning completely
useless.
Her mouth slipped into a dejected frown, and she
squinted up at the sky.
Her feet were wet.
She was cold.
And she'd never once, not in her entire life, left the
boundaries of England, which meant that she was a
rather good judge of English weather, and in about
three minutes she was going to be even more miserable
than she was right now.
Which she really hadn't thought possible.
"Honoria?"
She blinked, bringing her gaze down from the sky
to the carriage that had just rolled into place in front
of her.
"Honoria?"
She knew that voice. "Marcus?"
Oh, good heavens, her misery only needed this.
Marcus Holroyd, the Earl of Chatteris, happy and dry
in his plush carriage. Honoria felt her jaw go slack,
although really, she didn't know why she should be
surprised. Marcus lived in Cambridgeshire, not too
far from the city. More to the point, if anyone were to
see her while she was looking like a wet, bedraggled
creature of the rodential variety, it would be he.
"Good God, Honoria," he said, scowling down
at her in that supercilious way of his, "you must be
freezing."
She managed the barest of shrugs. "It is a bit brisk."
"What are you doing here?"
"Ruining shoes."
"What?"
"Shopping," she said, motioning across the street,
"with friends. And cousins." Not that her cousins
weren't also friends. But she had so many cousins
they almost seemed a category unto themselves.
The door opened wider. "Get in," he said. Not
Will you please get in or Please, you must dry
yourself off. Just: "Get in."
Another girl might have tossed her hair and said,
You can't order me about! Another, slightly less
prideful girl might have thought it, even if she'd
lacked the courage to say it aloud. But Honoria was
cold, and she valued her comfort more than her pride,
and more to the point, this was Marcus Holroyd, and
she'd known him since she was in pinafores.
Since the age of six, to be precise.
That was also probably the last time she'd managed
to show herself to advantage, she thought with
a grimace. At seven she'd made such a pest of herself
that he and her brother Daniel had taken to calling
her Mosquito. When she'd claimed to be complimented,
that she'd loved how exotic and dangerous it
had sounded, they'd smirked and changed it to Bug.
Bug she'd been, ever since.
He'd seen her wetter than this, too. He'd seen her
completely soaked, back when she was eight and
she'd thought she'd been completely hidden in the
boughs of the old oak tree at Whipple Hill. Marcus
and Daniel had built a fort at its base, no girls
allowed. They had pelted her with pebbles until she'd
lost her grip and tumbled down.
In retrospect, she really shouldn't have chosen the
branch that hung over the lake.
Marcus had fished her out of the dunk, though,
which was more than she could say for her own
brother.
Marcus Holroyd, she thought ruefully. He'd been
in her life almost as long as she could remember.
Since before he was Lord Chatteris, since before
Daniel was Lord Winstead. Since before Charlotte,
her closest-in-age sister, had married and left home.
Since before Daniel, too, had left.
"Honoria."
She looked up. Marcus's voice was impatient, but
his face held a hint of concern. "Get in," he repeated.
She nodded and did as he said, taking his large
hand in hers and accepting his help into his
carriage. "Marcus," she said, trying to settle herself
into her seat with all the grace and nonchalance she
might exhibit in a fine drawing room, never mind
the puddles at her feet. "What a lovely surprise to
see you."
He just stared at her, his dark brows coming ever
so slightly together. He was trying to decide the most
effective way to scold her, she was sure.
"I am staying here in town. With the Royles," she
told him, even though he hadn't yet asked. "We are
here for five days—Cecily Royle, my cousins Sarah
and Iris, and I." She waited for a moment, for some
sort of flash of recognition in his eyes, then said,
"You don't remember who they are, do you?"
"You have a great many cousins," he pointed out.
"Sarah is the one with the thick, dark hair and
eyes."
"Thick eyes?" he murmured, cracking a tiny smile.
"Marcus."
He chuckled. "Very well. Thick hair. Dark eyes."
"Iris is very pale. Strawberry blond hair?" she
prompted. "You still don't recall."
"She comes from that family of flowers."
Honoria winced. It was true that her uncle William
and aunt Maria had chosen to name their daughters
Rose, Marigold, Lavender, Iris, and Daisy, but still.
"I know who Miss Royle is," Marcus said.
"She's your neighbor. You have to know who she is."
He just shrugged.
"At any rate, we are here in Cambridge because
Cecily's mother thought we could all use a bit of
improving."
His mouth tipped into a vaguely mocking smile.
"Improving?"
Honoria wondered why females always needed
improving, while males got to go to school. "She bribed
two professors into allowing us to listen to their
lectures."
"Really?" He sounded curious. And dubious.
"The life and times of Queen Elizabeth,"
Honoria recited dutifully. "And after that, something in
Greek."
"Do you speak Greek?"
"Not a one of us," she admitted. "But the professor
was the only other one who was willing to speak
to females." She rolled her eyes. "He intends to
deliver the lecture twice in a row. We must wait in an
office until the students leave the lecture hall, lest
they see us and lose all sense of reason."
Marcus nodded thoughtfully. "It is nearly impossible
for a gentleman to keep his mind upon his studies
in the presence of such overwhelming female loveliness."
Honoria thought he was serious for about two
seconds. She managed one sideways glance in his
direction before she burst out with a snort of laughter.
"Oh, please," she said, giving him a light punch
in the arm. Such familiarities were unheard of in
London, but here, with Marcus . . .
He was practically her brother, after all.
"How fares your mother?" he asked.
"She is well," Honoria replied, even though she
wasn't. Not really. Lady Winstead had never quite
recovered from the scandal of Daniel being forced
to leave the country. She alternated between fussing
over supposed slights and pretending her only son
had never existed.
It was . . . difficult.
"She hopes to retire to Bath," Honoria added. "Her
sister lives there, and I think the two of them would
get on well together. She doesn't really like London."
"Your mother?" Marcus asked, with some
surprise.
"Not as she used to," Honoria clarified. "Not
since Daniel . . . Well. You know."
Marcus's lips tightened at the corners. He knew.
"She thinks people are still talking about it,"
Honoria said.
"Are they?"
Honoria shrugged helplessly. "I have no idea. I
don't think so. No one has given me the cut direct.
Besides, it was nearly three years ago. Wouldn't you
think everyone has something else to talk about?"
"I would have thought that everyone would have
had something else to talk about when it happened,"
he said darkly.
Honoria lifted a brow as she regarded his scowl.
There was a reason he scared off so many debutantes.
Her friends were terrified of him.
Well, that wasn't entirely true. They were only
scared while in his presence. The rest of the time they
sat at their escritoires, writing their names entwined
with his—all in ridiculous loopy script, adorned with
hearts and cherubs.
He was quite the matrimonial catch, Marcus Holroyd.
It wasn't that he was handsome, because he
wasn't, not exactly. His hair was a nice dark color;
his eyes, too, but there was something about his face
that Honoria found harsh. His brow was too heavy,
too straight, his eyes set a bit too deeply.
But still, there was something about him that
caught the eye. An aloofness, a tinge of disdain, as
if he simply did not have the patience for nonsense.
It made the girls mad for him, even though most
were nonsense personified.
They whispered about him as if he were some dark
storybook hero, or if not that, then the villain, all
Gothic and mysterious, needing only to be redeemed.
Whereas to Honoria he was simply Marcus, which
wasn't anything simple at all. She hated the way he
patronized her, watching her with that disapproving
stare. He made her feel as she'd been years ago, as an
annoying child, or gawky adolescent.
And yet at the same time, there was something so
comforting in having him about. Their paths did not
cross as often as they used to—everything was different
now that Daniel was gone—but when she walked
into a room, and he was there . . .
She knew it.
And oddly enough, that was a good thing.
"Do you plan to come down to London for the
season?" she asked politely.
"For some of it," he replied, his face inscrutable. "I
have matters to attend to here."
"Of course."
"And you?" he asked.
She blinked.
"Do you plan to go down to London for the
season?"
Her lips parted. Surely he could not be serious.
Where else would she possibly go, given her unmarried
state? It wasn't as if—
"Are you laughing?" she asked suspiciously.
"Of course not." But he was smiling.
"It's not funny," she told him. "It's not as if I have
a choice. I have to go for the season. I'm desperate."
"Desperate," he repeated, and he looked dubious.
It was a frequent expression on his face.
"I have to find a husband this year." She felt her
head shaking back and forth, even though she wasn't
sure what she might be objecting to. Her situation
was not so very different from most of her friends'.
She wasn't the only young lady hoping for marriage.
But she wasn't looking for a husband so that she could
admire the ring on her finger or bask in the glory of
her status as a dashing young matron. She wanted a
house of her own. A family—a large, noisy one that
didn't always mind their manners.
She was just so sick of the silence that had taken
over her home. She hated the sound of her footsteps
clacking across the floor, hated that it was so
frequently the only noise she heard all afternoon.
She needed a husband. It was the only way.
"Oh, come now, Honoria," Marcus said, and she
didn't need to see his face to know his expression
precisely—patronizing and skeptical, with just a touch
of ennui. "Your life cannot possibly be so dire."
She grit her teeth together. She despised that tone.
"Forget I said anything," she muttered, because
really, it wasn't worth it, trying to explain it to him.
He let out a breath, and even that managed to be
condescending. "You're not likely to find a husband
here," he said.
She pressed her lips together, regretting that she'd
brought up the subject.
"The students here are too young," he remarked.
"They are the same age as I am," she said, falling
neatly into his trap.
But Marcus did not gloat; he wasn't the sort.
"That is why you're here in Cambridge, isn't it? To
visit with the students who have not yet gone down
to London?"
She looked determinedly straight ahead as she
said, "I told you, we're here to listen to lectures."
He nodded. "In Greek."
"Marcus."
He grinned at that. Except it wasn't really a grin.
Marcus was always so serious, so stiff, that a grin
for him would be a dry half-smile on anyone else.
Honoria wondered how often he smiled without
anyone realizing it. He was lucky she knew him so
well. Anyone else would think him completely
without humor.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Just Like Heaven by Julia Quick Copyright © 2011 by Julia Quick. Excerpted by permission of Avon. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 523 )
Rating Distribution

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(243)

4 Star

(159)

3 Star

(70)

2 Star

(32)

1 Star

(19)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 524 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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