What Happens in London (Bevelstoke Series #2)

What Happens in London (Bevelstoke Series #2)

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by Julia Quinn
     
 

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Rumors and Gossip . . . The lifeblood of London

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

Overview

Rumors and Gossip . . . The lifeblood of London

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 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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Beautiful, well-dowered, and nobly born, Lady Olivia Bevelstoke is practically on the shelf at 21, when the enigmatic Harry Valentine—rumored to have killed his fiancée—moves in next door. Curious and attracted, Olivia follows her dubious instincts and finds herself in more trouble than she'd ever imagined—and also more in love. VERDICT Funny, endearing, and full of adventure, this lively tale retains all of Quinn's characteristic witty charm but adds a dangerous dash of mystery that is sure to delight her many fans. Quinn (Mr. Cavendish, I Presume) lives in the Pacific Northwest.


—Kristin Ramsdell

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061491887
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Series:
Bevelstoke Series, #2
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
275,018
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

What Happens in London

Chapter One They say he killed his first wife."

It was enough to make Lady Olivia Bevelstoke cease stirring her tea. "Who?" she asked, since the truth was, she hadn't been listening.

"Sir Harry Valentine. Your new neighbor."

Olivia took a hard look at Anne Buxton, and then at Mary Cadogan, who was nodding her head in agreement. "You must be joking," she said, although she knew quite well that Anne would never joke about something like that. Gossip was her lifeblood.

"No, he really is your new neighbor," put in Philomena Waincliff.

Olivia took a sip of her tea, mostly so that she would have time to keep her face free of its desired expression, which was a cross between unabashed exasperation and disbelief. "I meant that she must be joking that he killed someone," she said, with more patience than she was generally given credit for.

"Oh." Philomena picked up a biscuit. "Sorry."

"I know I heard that he killed his fiancée," Anne insisted.

"If he killed someone, he'd be in gaol," Olivia pointed out.

"Not if they couldn't prove it."

Olivia glanced slightly toward her left, where, through a thick stone wall, ten feet of fresh springtime air, and another thick wall, this one of brick, Sir Harry Valentine's newly leased home sat directly to the south of hers.

The other three girls followed her direction, which made Olivia feel quite foolish, as now they were all staring at a perfectly blank spot on the drawing-room wall. "He didn't kill anyone," she said firmly.

"How do you know?" Anne responded.

Mary nodded.

"Because he didn't," Olivia said. "He wouldn't be livingone house away from me in Mayfair if he'd killed someone."

"Not if they couldn't prove it," Anne said again.

Mary nodded.

Philomena ate another biscuit.

Olivia managed an ever-so-slight turn of her lips. Upward, she hoped. It wouldn't do to frown. It was four in the afternoon. The other girls had been visiting for an hour, chatting about this and that, gossiping (of course), and discussing their wardrobe selections for the next three social events. They met like this frequently, about once per week, and Olivia enjoyed their company, even if the conversation lacked the heft she enjoyed with her closest friend, Miranda née Cheever now Bevelstoke.

Yes, Miranda had gone and married Olivia's brother. Which was a good thing. A marvelous thing. They had been friends since birth, and now they would be sisters until death. But it also meant that Miranda was no longer an unmarried lady, required to do unmarried lady sorts of things.

Unmarried Lady Sorts of Things
By Lady Olivia Bevelstoke, Unmarried Lady
Wear pastel colors
(and be quite glad if you possess the correct complexion for such hues).
Smile and keep your opinions to yourself
(with whatever success you are able).
Do what your parents tell you to do.
Accept the consequences when you don't.
Find a husband who won't bother to
tell you what to do.

It was not uncommon for Olivia to formulate such epigraphic oddities in her mind. Which might explain why she so frequently caught herself not listening when she ought.

And, perhaps, why she might have, once or twice, said things she really should have kept to herself. Although in all fairness, it had been two years since she'd called Sir Robert Kent an overgrown stoat, and frankly, that had been far more charitable than the other items on her mental accounting.

But digressions aside, Miranda now got to do married lady sorts of things, for which Olivia would like to have formed a list, except that no one (not even Miranda, and Olivia still had not forgiven her for this) would tell her what it was that married ladies did, aside from not having to wear pastel colors, not having to be accompanied by a chaperone at all times, and producing small infants at reasonable intervals.

Olivia was quite certain there was more to the last bit. That was the one that sent her mother fleeing from the room every time she asked.

But back to Miranda. She had produced a small infant—Olivia's darling niece Caroline, for whom she'd happily throw herself under hooves, equine or otherwise—and was now on her way to producing another, which meant that she was not available for regular afternoon chitchat. And as Olivia liked chitchat—and fashion and gossip—she found herself spending more and more time with Anne, Mary, and Philomena. And while they were often entertaining, and never malicious, they were, slightly more than occasionally, foolish.

Like right now.

"Who are they, anyway?" Olivia asked.

"They?" Anne echoed.

"They. The people who say my new neighbor killed his fiancée."

Anne paused. She looked at Mary. "Do you recall?"

Mary shook her head. "I don't, actually. Sarah Forsythe, perhaps?"

"No," Philomena put in, shaking her head with great certitude. "It wasn't Sarah. She only got back from Bath two days ago. Libby Lockwood?"

"Not Libby," Anne said. "I would have remembered if it were Libby."

"That's my point," Olivia interjected. "You don't know who said it. None of us does."

"Well, I didn't make it up," Anne said, a touch defensively.

"I didn't say you did. I would never think that of you." It was true. Anne repeated most anything uttered in her presence, but she never made things up. Olivia paused, collecting her thoughts. "Don't you think it's the sort of rumor one might want to verify?"

This was met with three blank stares.

Olivia tried a different tactic. "If only for your own personal safety. If such a thing were true—"

"Then you think it is?" Anne asked, in a rather pinning—you-down sort of voice."No." Good heavens. "I don't. But if it were, then surely he would not be someone with whom we would wish to associate."

This was met with a long beat of silence, finally broken by Philomena: "My mother has already told me to avoid him."

"Which is why," Olivia continued, feeling a bit as if she were slogging through mud, "we should ascertain its accuracy. Because if it's not true—"

"He's very handsome," Mary cut in. Followed by, "Well, he is."

Olivia blinked, trying to follow.

"I've never seen him," Philomena said.

"He wears only black," Mary said, rather confidentially.

"I saw him in dark blue," Anne contradicted.

What Happens in London. Copyright © by Julia Quinn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

Julia Quinn is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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What Happens in London 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 181 reviews.
RegencyReader More than 1 year ago
What I love about this book by Mary Gramlich - everything! When you are a perpetual gossip like Lady Olivia Bevelstoke and you hear that your new neighbor Sir Harry Valentine is a potential fiancée killer you have to kick it up a notch and turn into a spy of some sort even though Olivia is not a very good sneak and an even worse spy. So Olivia decides keeping track of him through her bedroom window is a brilliant idea since she can see into Harry's bedroom with a nice, clear view even if this is not the proper thing to do. The problem for Olivia is Harry is working for a spy office and while he is not in the covert side of it he is still involved enough to have a few tricks up his sleeve and when from day one he sees her he is able to out-maneuver her tactics and figures two can play at this game and play they do. They court, argue, dance and burn up the night with long talks and book discussions through their open windows - or at least that is what they are leading everyone to believe. This matchup is great since Olivia is outgoing and Harry reserved but both are competitive individuals and when a Russian prince comes to town to court Olivia and invades Harry's space well the game just went into overtime. A normally laid back Harry becomes ferocious in his pursuit of Olivia and while he is still recovering from the effects of his service in her Majesty's Army as well as the drama of growing up the child of an alcoholic Harry is more than prepared to take this contender on especially with his first class knowledge of Russian thanks to his grandmother. What Harry also discovers is something new never thought to obtain - unconditional love. Olivia turns out to be not only a beautiful and somewhat chaotic surprise for Harry but a wonderful breath of fresh air in his stale life. I have yet to encounter a Julia Quinn book that is not first class, well written and just to perfect for words. I question with each new book if she can produce another hit and she does time and time again. Not with a loud roar but with a soft word and gentle manner that has just the right combination of romance and love on every single page. Always pick up a Julia Quinn book, sit back in your chair, sip your tea and realize you will not stop reading until the book is concluded.
Maitrakh More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love Julia Quinn! I will admit I was a little dissappointed in her last two books, but this one makes up for it. I loved it!
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
When you are a perpetual gossip like Lady Olivia Bevelstoke and you hear that your new neighbor Sir Harry Valentine is a potential fiancée killer you have to kick it up a notch and turn into a spy of some sort even though Olivia is not a very good sneak and an even worse spy. So Olivia decides keeping track of him through her bedroom window is a brilliant idea since she can see into Harry's bedroom with a nice, clear view even if this is not the proper thing to do. The problem for Olivia is Harry is working for a spy office and while he is not in the covert side of it he is still involved enough to have a few tricks up his sleeve and when from day one he sees her he is able to out-maneuver her tactics and figures two can play at this game and play they do. They court, argue, dance and burn up the night with long talks and book discussions through their open windows - or at least that is what they are leading everyone to believe. This matchup is great since Olivia is outgoing and Harry reserved but both are competitive individuals and when a Russian prince comes to town to court Olivia and invades Harry's space well the game just went into overtime. A normally laid back Harry becomes ferocious in his pursuit of Olivia and while he is still recovering from the effects of his service in her Majesty's Army as well as the drama of growing up the child of an alcoholic Harry is more than prepared to take this contender on especially with his first class knowledge of Russian thanks to his grandmother. What Harry also discovers is something new never thought to obtain - unconditional love. Olivia turns out to be not only a beautiful and somewhat chaotic surprise for Harry but a wonderful breath of fresh air in his stale life. I have yet to encounter a Julia Quinn book that is not first class, well written and just to perfect for words. I question with each new book if she can produce another hit and she does time and time again. Not with a loud roar but with a soft word and gentle manner that has just the right combination of romance and love on every single page. Always pick up a Julia Quinn book, sit back in your chair, sip your tea and realize you will not stop reading until the book is concluded. Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer located at www.marygramlich.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is very funny and easy to read with steamy interludes to indulge the senses! Loved It!
winnie4reading More than 1 year ago
Julia Quinn's funny, engaging style is back! After the lackluster "Lost Duke of Wyndham/Mr. Cavenish" books,I was not sure how I would receive "What Happens in London". With "What Happens in London", Julia has again produced a book equal to the standard set by the delightful , funny and re-readable "Romancing Mr. Bridgerton".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy read with the normal happy ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great
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grannyreader More than 1 year ago
All of the books in this series are good. Great Romance novels, funny, serious, emotional roll-a-coaster ride and interesting characters.
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gramcher More than 1 year ago
This was a laugh-out-loud book. All the characters in the book were likeable at one point or another. The story flowed and the funny parts did not seem forced, it just flowed so easy and was unexpected that it made the situations so ridiculous that they were that much more funny. I will be reading more Julia Quinn.
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This waswonderful novel; great plot, wondrrful characters and heart-warmingly witty. I would count it aming Quinn's best.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not the first (and probably not the last) time i've read this book. This is what romance novels should be. Great characters, humor, story and yes romance. As previous reviewer, some individual scenes stand out. (The "blue dress" is one of them!) Sigh....
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