What Happens in London (Bevelstoke Series #2)

What Happens in London (Bevelstoke Series #2)

by Julia Quinn

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061491887
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/30/2009
Series: Bevelstoke Series , #2
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 180,836
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Julia Quinn started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than two dozen novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is 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. Please visit her on the web at www.juliaquinn.com.

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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What Happens in London 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 194 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".
dasuzuki on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I am a huge fan of Quinn's Bridgerton family series but I was a little disappointed with her Wyndham books so I was a little leery about this book. I am glad to say this was a thoroughly enjoyable book and more along what I had come to expect from Julia Quinn. I loved both Olivia and Harry as well as the other characters such as Olivia's twin brother, Winston, and Harry's cousin, Sebastian. I am happy to see Sebastian's story is due out next year and hopefully Winston's story will follow shortly. The whole fiasco of Olivia spying on Harry was hilarious and I seriously laughed out loud at another spot that involves a man who man one day become an earl enacting out a scene from a "lurid gothic novel" for a group including a foreign prince. Now if that doesn't peak your curiosity I don't know what would. This was a delightful read full of the wonderful humor you come to expect from Quinn.
bitemeeric on LibraryThing 5 days ago
This book sets the bar very high for hystorical romance novels. The story captivates you stright from the beginning...I usually takes me after two chapters to emotionally involve me. It begins with a dark and sad description of Harry's background, then suddenly the language instantly changes to one that is cheerful. The book then focuses on Olivia, who is London's highly admirered debutante as she is beautiful and can demonstrate a polite and graceful demure. She, however, is anything but given the fact that her mission is to find out about Harry, who happens to be her neighbor, by spying on him. Him being trained in the Military and in espionage, is aware of this fact. He is now curious about her and atempts to giver her remarks that suggest his awareness, though the comments are ambiguous to those around them. Of course, they are not the only ones who know what she is upto:: her brother, who caught her in the act and Harry's cousin, Sebastian Grey. So, now she is being taunted and teased byy all of them. Just as Harry decded not to continue, he recieves an order that he must keep an eye on the prince of Russia, Alexei, who happens to be attracted to Olivia. Now she becomes his assignment, only the job becaomes harder for Hary as he is begenning to see thier relationship in a different light. This book is an entertainly and easy read, but can also be analyzed deeper. I will definatelly be reading this book again. It is my first time reading Julia Quinn and it definately will not be the last.
marikolee on LibraryThing 5 days ago
This book was OK. It was very clever. I liked how they spoke to each other outside the window. It was a good use of setting. Julia has gotten better at plotting and planning out her books since writing the first of the Bridgerton series. The back cover summarizes the story quite well. The kidnapping at the end seemed uncessary, but whatever. It was a fun read.
DNWilliams on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I rarely read romance novels anymore, but Julia Quinn is my 'go to' author for girly romance and she never lets me down. Hers are the only true romance novels that I always get.The story begins as your typical 'girl meets boy, girl hates boy and the feeling is mutual' story. But Harry Valentine isn't your typical boy and his job requires him to get closer to Olivia Bevelstoke whether he wants to or not. So of course, over the course of the novel they get to know each other and fall in love.It may sound like your typical romance, and in several ways it is, but Quinn is such a talented writer you barely notice the cliche story. She creates smart, witty characters that you want to see happy. Through the course of the novel, her characters undergo a voyage of discovery and learn about themselves as they learn about each other. After the requisite 'rescue the female from a dire situation', the novel comes to a satisfying conclusion and I can happily recommend this to anyone looking for a happy ending to read.
Anniik on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I liked this book! I love Julia Quinn's style, and the characters in this book are charming. While I don't think they're as well developed as the Bridgertons, and this story has a few plot holes and not a lot of sex, it's definitely worth reading.
Nickles on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I enjoyed this book, however, it is not Quinn's best. It took me a while to get into the story but once I did, it was entertaining even if it was bordering on ridiculous (such as the scene where Sebastian reads out-loud). Once the story really got going, I thought it ended to quickly. I was slightly disappointed with it so I couldn't give it a full five stars but it was a entertaining read despite it's flaws.
lrobe190 on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Olivia Bevelstoke is intrigued with the man who has moved in next door. She has been surreptitiously been watching him through her bedroom window trying to find out what he does all day in that room. Rumor has it that he killed his fiance. Harry Valentine is trying to figure out why the lovely young lady next door has been watching him for the past five days through her bedroom window. One day, their eyes meet making it awkward when they meet face-to face later at a society event.This is one of the funniest books I've read by Julia Quinn. I laughed out loud in some places. This is a highly enjoyable Regency romance. Very entertaining.
littlebookworm on LibraryThing 5 days ago
When Sir Harry Valentine moves in next door to Lady Olivia Bevelstoke and her family in London, rumors start to fly. Olivia hears that he killed his fiancee and she starts watching him through her bedroom window, convinced he can¿t see her but perplexed when he wears strange hats and throws papers into the fire. She decides that he is a very peculiar man. Harry, trained by the War Office, knows Olivia is spying on him, but it¿s not until they meet that he hears the rumor that a Russian prince is after her, a Russian prince who may be a danger to the state, and that he must stay near her. Forced to stay close together, Harry and Olivia learn that rumors aren¿t the only thing that happens in London; love does too.This lacks the intensity of a truly great romance novel but is a funny, heartwarming read anyway. Olivia and Harry make so cute a couple that in real life, half of us would be a little sick watching them. Julia Quinn is great at building a friendship bond between the characters, making a relationship that is way beyond passion, and that¿s certainly true here, since there is only one love scene and if I recall correctly, it isn¿t even very long. Possibly it¿s that lack of intense chemistry which is missing, but we¿re still left with the feeling that this couple will be very happy together. There are some adorably romantic scenes, like the many window conversations the couple has, particularly when they read to each other across the short distance. Quinn includes another hilariously bad pulp novel which results in some very entertaining scenes.I also felt that the suspense plot fizzled a little. There is an event towards the end which didn¿t fit quite as well with the quirky, cute tone of the book, trying to add in more suspense. I just felt it was somewhat annoying, even if it served a purpose in the plot. The ending, however, made up for that with some of the sweetest scenes I¿ve ever read. After the cringefest that was The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, I am relieved, and look forward to her future work. What Happens in London is not as great as the Bridgerton books, but worth a read for romantics.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Light-hearted fun with a bare wisp of a sideplot; "What Happens in London" concentrates almost 100% on the humorous story of a hero and heroine who dislike each other at first sight, very much so. But of course, once they spend time together they quickly realize they are perfect for each other.Olivia is many things: titled, beautiful, intelligent, and curious. And it's her curiosity that first has her spying on her neighbor. She's sure the rumor that he killed his fiance isn't true, but still. She just can't figure out what it is he does all day at his desk...and what's up with the hat?Sir Harry spotted his spying neighbor right away, but didn't bother to let on. Of course he did try to entertain her with the hat and a few other ludicrous actions. Upon meeting, she seems rather icy and snobby; truly not Harry's type. But the War Dept has asked Harry to keep an eye on a visiting Russian noble and that noble seems to have his eye on Olivia. Harry soon comes to consider Olivia HIS, and once Harry makes up his mind...well, you'll never look at a window quite the same way again.It seems whenever I paused while reading this book, I had a silly grin on my face. Julia Quinn's stories are so very likeable not just because her characters are human with assets and foibles exactly like us, but also because she knows just how and where to add humor to her stories--from grins to giggles to outright laughter. And I must say the proposal scene in this book is one I've never encountered before!Quinn's story rolls out with perfect pace and pitch and the light drama added by the Russians is spot on with little danger. I've known quite a few linguists in my time and I must say I never thought an author could make that character-type seem romantic, but Harry is just that. So for fun and a bit of steamy romance, pick up "What Happens in London"--you'll even learn a new word or two!
jfedolak on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I really liked this book. I loved the information about Harry in the beginning and Olivia's lists. But I felt the characters do not have much depth. The moments between Olivia and Harry were the very best! The love seen was unnecessary. It is a cute quick read.
reesa00 on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Disappointing for a Julia Quinn book. This reminded me of her early pre-Bridgerton books which had interesting characters but lacked a lot of character development and had convoluted plots. I really liked Harry and he was given an interesting background but, except for the Russian element, the rest of it didn't come up much. Olivia was a pretty boring heroine and I think there was more development of her character in the Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheevers. Overall a quick, mildly entertaining book but not a keeper.
Kathy89 on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Silly, stuffy Victorian romance with Lady Olivia and Sir Harry hating each other and spying on each other and slowly getting to know one other and falling in love. There's a Russian Prince thrown in for intrigue, possible espionage and of course jealousy. Lady Olivia is kidnapped with a predictable rescue and marriage proposal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Words can hardly describe what a delightful book this is
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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