Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book review: Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1) by Julia Quinn

Book: Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1)
Author: Julia Quinn
Release Date: May 31st, 2011


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


I would like to start off with that congratulations to the author for getting her groove back. Reading this book felt like reading the Bridgerton books of yester years. It was brilliantly witty and the romance was actually very believable.

Honoria Smythe-Smith and Marcus Holyroyd had known each other for years. Literally. Since Honoria was six to be exact. Therefore the last thing either of them expected was to fall in love with each other. Honoria was simply Marcus's best friend Daniel's little sister and Marcus was Daniel's best friend to Honoria. Then again the last thing either of them expected was for Daniel to have to leave the county, turn things on their ends, and for a home made "mole hole" to turn everything topy turvy. That is what happened though. So forth the lives to these two unlikely lovers got turned on their end and found that the other was more than a friend.

The relationship between Honoria and Marcus was very sweet and one that is entirely realistic. Something i found very refreshing. In a world where love (or lust) at first can be somewhat the norm having two characters with a long history was a nice change. It was something that was building up for a while and it took a twisted ankle and a near death experience for them both to realize their true feelings for each other.

Individually both of them were great as well. Marcus is not your typical hero. He is not described as particularly handsome, is shy and reserved, and doesn't seem to have a line of past lovers that reach the length of my arm. In fact there were no past lovers or mistresses even mentioned. It was merely implied that he wasn't a virgin. I felt myself connecting with him on so many accounts because of his shyness, lack of ability for small talk, and his dislike of being center stage. If there is one thing Julia does well is write heroes who don't always fit the bill. In this case she brought on a new favorite of mine. Long live the shy hero!!

Honoria was beautifully written as well. She wasn't described as drop dead gorgeous or have an amazing body to boot. She was perfectly average and normal whose favorite feature is her eyes. She is loyal to her family and friends. She isn't a shrinking violet, but neither is she the life of the party. She was refreshing normal. Another character that i found myself connecting with.

It's quite the rare instance when i find myself connecting with both hero and heroine in a book and thus this has to be one of my favorite romances in a long time. In fact it's what i would use as a reference for the type of romance i would like in my life (25 and hopelessly single here). The book is neither ground breaking, nor filled with action and adventure. It is one i would highly recommend nonetheless.

Final rating: 5 Bunnies. We have another absolute favorite to add to the list.