Book Review

Book Review : Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn.

Honoria Smythe-Smith, the youngest daughter of the eldest son of the Earl of Winstead, plays the violin in the annual musicale performed by the Smythe-Smith quartet. She’s well aware that they are dreadful. In fact, she freely admits (to her cousins) that she is probably the worst of the bunch. But she’s the sort who figures that nothing good will come of being mortified, so she puts on a good show and laughs about it.

Marcus Holroyd is the best friend of Honoria’s brother Daniel, who lives in exile out of the country. He’s promised to watch out for Honoria and takes his responsibility very seriously. But he has his work cut out for him when Honoria sets off for Cambridge determined to marry by the end of the season. She’s got her eye on the only unmarried Bridgerton, who’s a bit wet behind the ears. When her advances are spurned, can Marcus swoop in and steal her heart in time for the musicale?

Having only ventured into the world of historical fiction recently I was really interested to read this book and see whether I got on as well with it.

The book is a light and frothy read, I read it with a huge smile on my face. The plot follows Honoria Smythe-Smith (even the name made me smile) as she is preparing to play in the annual musicale put on by members of her family and at the same time looking for a husband. Her disgraced and exiled brother has left his best friend Marcus to keep an eye on her, he’s trying his hardest to make sure she doesn’t fall for a wrong ‘un.

It’s clear to the reader from a very early stage that they should be together, it’s great fun reading to see whether they realise it too or not. Along the way there are plenty of funny moments, I read the book in public and got a few odd looks when I kept laughing out loud! In a break from the laughs there is one medical scene that didn’t bother me, but I can think of a few friends who are more squeamish than I am and would probably have to flick through the pages quickly.

I found Honoria easy to like, she is sweet and has a very endearing sensibility to her. Within a few pages of meeting the adult Marcus (we first meet him as a child) I’d fallen for him completely, my liking of him only grew throughout the book. Honoria’s cousins who also play in the Smythe-Smith quartet are fabulous characters, I loved the scenes between them – they provided a lot of the laughs. I also loved Lady Danbury who doesn’t appear until later in the book but is a character I could read a lot more of.

I must mention one slight issue that I had with the book, there is a romantic scene towards the end that I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with. It is written very well but for the time period it jarred a little for me.

I loved this book, it was such a fun and enjoyable read. I was thrilled to discover it is the first in a series about the Smythe-Smith Quartert, I can’t wait for the next book!

Just Like Heaven is published in paperback by Piatkus in the UK priced £7.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.

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