Eastofoz's Reviews > What Happens in London

What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
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's review
Jul 19, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-regency, 2010
Recommended to Eastofoz by: Julie (jjmachshev) Anderson
Recommended for: Readers looking for a light romance with great banter & dialog

This was a fun read and much better than what I was expecting. I’m not too keen on the spy theme so I was a bit leery but it turned out to be one of those good Julia Quinn books similar to her Bridgerton series minus the underlying seriousness.

The story starts out with Olivia Bevelstoke who heard from her friends that her new neighbor murdered his fiancée so she starts spying on him from her bedroom window where she can see into his office. He realizes what she’s doing and does all sorts of weird things leaving her even more suspicious of him. They don’t like each other much when they meet because he knows she’s been spying on him and she thinks there’s something nefarious about him. He goes as far as to tell her that he doesn’t like her and she replies the same all very politely. As the story unfolds they become friends that they can confide in and eventually….well I’m sure you can figure it out ;)

What’s good about this love story is that yes there’s the love hate theme but it’s done differently. He really doesn’t like her and she doesn’t like him and the reader wonders how they’re going to end up liking each other because there’s no chemistry. Well Quinn turns them into friends first and that develops into something more. There’s a genuine camaraderie between them which was very well-done because it was a slow tension building disguised as friendship with nothing sexual. Olivia is one of those “beautiful girls” but with Harry she’s just another girl and she likes that. Harry is just a regular guy and that’s refreshing to see.

The secondary characters in the story are as good as the h/h adding spice to some of the hilarious situations. There’s Mary and another of Olivia’s friends who sits twittering and gossiping over tea and it’s a riot. Quinn is brilliant with dialog. The jabbing banter between the h/h isn’t exactly cutting but it’s enough to remind me of Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. Not many authors can do that and keep it consistent throughout the novel. The exchanges between Olivia and her twin brother are way too much fun and seem exactly how a brother and sister would talk about each other while the other is in the room—basically mocking the other with "hidden" jabs to no end (lol!)

The book could’ve been a solid 5 star read if it hadn’t been for the stereotypical “woman tied to the train tracks” caper that just seemed like dumb filler. It could’ve been completely deleted and it wouldn’t have changed a thing. Thankfully it didn’t lead to a “big misunderstanding” like I thought it would. Unfortunately there are only one or two steam scenes and they’re somewhat disappointing after some really great tension building. Quinn managed to make up for it all though with her really cute ending that tied things up very well leaving me with the big ol’ smile on the face typical of Julia Quinn stories.

Though this is officially book two in the Bevelstoke series, you won’t be missing anything if you haven’t read book one, The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, which wasn’t that great anyway. So if you’re looking for a light, happy read that’s good overall I’d say give this one a go.
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Reading Progress

06/21/2010 page 50
13.0% "Ah the Smythe-Smith musicale :D Quinn should write a book on those girls alone (lol!) Nice to see them back :)" 3 comments
06/23/2010 page 225
60.0% "Too bad she had to ruin a good story with a stupid end of book caper :-/"
06/25/2010 page 372
100.0% "Better than I expected :)"
08/06/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Dina Nice review, East. I also enjoyed this book and was equally annoyed with the silly caper near the end of the story. Now I'm curious to see what you'll think of Ten Things I Love About You... :D

Eastofoz Dina you changed your pic :) Cute :)

Yeah that caper really bugged me :-/ I haven't heard anything good really about 10 Things so I'm leery....

Ally72 Great review, East!

message 4: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin Nice review :)

Eastofoz Thanks Lady Ally and Jasmin :)

Rane Wonderful Review East! Yeah, the caper was kinda odd and off, but nothing was better then Seb's reinactment of Miss.Buttrworth and how sweet Harry and Olivia were talking at their windows to one another.

Dina Eastofoz wrote: "Dina you changed your pic :) Cute :)"

Thanks! That's the closest y'all going to get to the real me, LOL.

Eastofoz Rane wrote: "Wonderful Review East! Yeah, the caper was kinda odd and off, but nothing was better then Seb's reinactment of Miss.Buttrworth and how sweet Harry and Olivia were talking at their windows to one an..."

Rane I loved that Miss Butterworth bit --it was too cute and too funny :) Remember that pigeons! (lol!)


The windows, especially at the end, were very well done. I love how he proposed to her at the window and her parents were at other windows (lol!)

Angelc the miss butterworth scene stands out as my favorite too :)

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