Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What Happens in London

What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2) What Happens in London by Julia Quinn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is now one of my all-time favorite romance novels, primarily because it made me laugh out loud numerous times. Quinn's books are usually humorous, and this one now rivals Romancing Mr. Bridgerton for the title of My Favorite Romance Novel (Pride and Prejudice is just in its own category/league altogether). The scene in which Sebastian performs his reading of Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron while standing on a table had me laughing so hard, tears were pouring down my cheeks.

The premise of the book is that Olivia Bevelstoke's gossipy friends tell her Sir Harry Valentine--her new next door neighbor--is rumored to have murdered his fiancee. She doesn't believe them...really...but it makes her curious, so she spies on him from her bedroom window, thinking he doesn't see her. He does, which distracts him from his translation work for the War Office, and that irritates him. However, Olivia has caught the attention of a visiting Russian prince, so Harry is ordered to spy on her. He ends up paying court to her in public as a way to spend the requisite amount of time in her presence, and since this is a romance novel, they discover they actually might be able to stand each other after all.

The characters feel like real people. The writing is funny and quick-witted. And the story moved right along so that I was frustrated by any and all interruptions that forced me to stop reading.

My only quibble with it is that it ends a little too quickly. I wanted to find out more about Vladimir--like maybe he needs his own book to clear up the mystery that is his back-story.

Incidentally, this is the second in the new Bevelstoke series, which began with The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever.

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