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The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband

(Rokesbys #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  17,750 ratings  ·  1,707 reviews
While you were sleeping...

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brot
Paperback, 374 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Piatkus
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Beachreader Cecelia is not a Bridgerton, nor did she marry into the family. Avon is remiss in labeling this as a Bridgerton prequel on the cover. This is purely a…moreCecelia is not a Bridgerton, nor did she marry into the family. Avon is remiss in labeling this as a Bridgerton prequel on the cover. This is purely a marketing gimmick. Billie Bridgerton has a minor cameo role in the story. This is a Rokesby series. An earlier generation of the two families were neighbors.(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  17,750 ratings  ·  1,707 reviews

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Stacey is Sassy
I wish I could say the book was as good as its ending…

Should I base my rating on my feelings at the end of the book?

I could easily tell you that I finished The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband (geez, that’s a mouthful) with a big smile on my face. There’s even a chance I could say that the ending left me satisfied and excited for more. I’d even go as far as to say that that ending was a 5-star ending. Unfortunately, I can't rate a book on the ending alone. For most of this journey, I wanted to
ARC provided by Edelweiss and publisher for an honest review.

I have enjoyed Julia Quinn's books in the past but have had problems with several of her stories having slow pacing and being on the dry/dull side. Unfortunately this one fell in the later camp. This story I found to be quite slow the first third to half of the book and not very engaging or intriguing enough of for me, sadly.

Cecilia Harcourt leaves the English colonies and heads to America in search of her brother. Her brother fought i
This came highly recommended but I wasn't quite as in love with it as I hoped. In fact, out of all the Rokesbys books, this was my least favorite.
In general, though, I've enjoyed this series of prequel Bridgerton books far more than the actual Bridgeton books.


The gist is that our heroine, Cecilia, crosses an ocean and lands on the shores of 'Merica in the middle of that war we had with the British back in the day. Why? Because her brother, a soldier in Her Majesty's Army, was injured and has gon
I have to get back to this one someday when I get a print copy. My library only had an audible and I honestly don't know how y'all stand it! Someone else reading to me? They read too slow. They put on stupid voices and accents. They read wrong. And, then when there is some smut and some English chick is reading it aloud to me? The wrongness tripled.

I got about halfway through and it was okay-ish, but I didn't like that the heroine continued lying to the hero for so long. The dude was injured, le
Jun 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband was a disappointment for me. In short, it was full of lies and short on joy.

I will be the first to admit that I love Julia Quinn novels. However, this series has been an enormous disappointment to me. I think I may need to take a break from Quinn novels for a while. I know this is an unpopular opinion since people love JQ and think her writing is light and funny. In most cases, it is. Some of her novels are on my favorites shelf forever. I even own two copi
This was a buddy read with a bunch of girls from the Historical Romance Book Club. Pretty much everyone rated this 3 to 4 stars, but honestly, this did not work for me. I disliked it about as much as The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy so if you liked that one, chances are you might enjoy this one, too. So, unpopular opinion alert: I did not like this book. It pains me to say this about something that comes from one of my all time favorite authors whose books I have re-read countless times beca ...more
nick (the infinite limits of love)

Good gosh this book. THIS BOOK. I had a really lovely experience with it, and I can’t tell you how much I ended up loving The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband. It’s poignant, emotional, and heartbreaking in its utter gorgeousness. I’m not up to date with all of Julia Quinn’s books, but for me, this is the best story that she has ever crafted.

With any romance that involves amnesia and one person lying about the nature of their relationship, there’s this fear that it will lead to unnecessary dra
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, audiobook, steamy
I was exasperated by the halfway point that the entire conflict revolved around Cecilia lying about being married to Edward. That never changed. Further, she never does come clean. And when Edward finds out, he goes all manipulative liar out of anger. In other words, there's no communication. No respect. And the only love expressed is the "I'm doing this for your own good" variety. So it's immature and selfish and they even go to extremes to get there.

It's a good thing the plot made sense to com
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
While the mystery part about the spying wwas lame for me, I liked both the hero and the heroine. A little bit more the hero, though! :)

The heroine kept her lies too long, IMHO. She berates herself about that too, but she still find a 1000 excuses to not tell the truth until the very end! But she was sweet and a little bit naive, so I could forgive her.

The hero was better! He was honorable and in a difficult situation having lost his memory. Still he was ready to accept what the heroine told him
Lover of Romance
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance

The Girl with the Make Believe Husband is a story I will admit that I was nervous about, especially since I haven't read the first book in the series. But then I heard some great things about this one, and decided that I really needed to try it out. I will say that I really stuggled with this one pretty much the first half of the book. I just couldn't get interested in the story that much, but then once I hit between the 50-60%, then I was
Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness (SLOW)
2 Dissapointed Stars

A huge Dissapointment after Book 1 of this series :/

This book was mediocre at best :/ Nothing new or different about this read at all.
This story has been done a hindered times over in many other better ways.The plot moved forward slowly with barely tolerable,boring leads and heck of LIES from the heroine (which ends up causing unnecessary my opinion the hero would have definatly helped her out if she had just told him the truth Atleast 20% into the book).
A (Is For Awkward)
I just finished, and rather unexpectedly liked it. I bought it on a complete whim today after reading several reviews. I had basically decided to give up on Julia Quinn after too many DNF and low star ratings, but it was actually the lower star reviews that convinced me to read this and in the end I am glad I did. I am too tired to write a proper review, but I felt I should writing something at least to explain why I liked this one when I usually don't.

One of the three biggest problems I have wi
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come! But for now, suffice it to say that this author just writes such sweet, funny, swoony dialogue and delightful, clever and subtly insightful prose that I'd happily devour nearly anything she writes :) ...more
Stephanie (Jump)
I can't wait for Edward's story!!

We have Kleypas' Devil in the Spring out in April followed by this in May. Springtime is going to be glorious!! (Sigh. But so far away.)
Sissy's Romance Book Review
'THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND' by Julia Quinn is book Two in the "Rokesbys" series. This is the story of Cecilia Harcourt and Edward Rokesby. I have not yet read the previous book in this series so for me this was a standalone book.
Cecilia just has her brother for family other than a scheming cousin who is not a good family member at all. So Cecilia decided to go look for her brother who has been injured in battle. But she was unable to locate him but found his best friend Edward. Edw
Mariana Fonseca
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(ARC provided by Edelweiss and publisher for honest review)

Unputdownable! I don't know how she keeps doing it, but JQ outdid herself one more time!

The main couple was lovely. Cecilia is such a relatable heroine. And Edward is the very definition of charming. They both had fantastic chemistry.

I loved how JQ made such a far-fetched story completely believable. There was no unnecessary drama and no forced conflict. I think Cecilia's actions were entirely justified and Edward's reactions were compl
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
I liked this a lot better than the first one. I found a lot more to happen and there was a strong chemistry between our couple.
Korrie’s Korner
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars ✨

Forced proximity. Amnesia. Fake marriage. Oh what tangled webs we weave... I liked this story okay. A bit slow paced, and then the last 1/3 or 1/4 it picked up and got interesting. I did adore Edward Rokesby though and I loved how even though the marriage was fake (on part of the heroine lying), they still truly fell in love with each other.
Cait (Caitsbooks)
Meh. It was fine. The lies went on a little too long, and by the end I felt like Edward deserved better. Overall, not my favorite Julia Quinn book, but I don't think it's my least favorite. ...more
♥ WishfulMiss ♥
This is the story of Captain Edward Rokesby & Cecelia Harcourt (Book 2 in the Rokesby series)
Captain Edward Rokesby wakes in hospital with a head injury that has left him with no memories of the last three months. He finds out his best friend, Thomas Harcourt, is missing and somehow he's married the man's sister.

Cecilia never planned to deceive Edward. When she recklessly leaves home and travels to the warring Colonies, she thought she'd be close to her brother and be there to nurse him ba
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-5-stars, gr2017
It was so easy to be happy with him, so easy to be herself. But this wasn’t her life. And she wasn’t his wife. It was a role she’s borrowed, and eventually she’d have to give it back.

I liked Cecilia for the most part, especially how dedicated she was to find her missing brother and even though I understood why she lied at first telling everyone she was Edward’s wife, there were too many opportunities afterwards where she could have told him the truth, that she wasn’t his wife, and it made m

2.5 stars

When she receives word that her brother has injured on the battlefield in the Colonies, newly orphaned Cecilia Harcourt does the only thing she can do: pack her bags, flee her oily cousin trying to coerce her into marriage, and spend her savings coming to America to take care of her brother. But when she arrives in New York, it’s not her brother she finds in the hospital, but his best friend, Edward Rokesby. Edward is injured and unconscious and Cecilia is determined to help him. To do
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this over a couple of days and it is very Julia Quinn. It is a sweet story, although I struggled with the deception the heroine maintained over a longer period of time. Honesty really is a pre-requisite for a successful relationship and the Big Lie got it off to a bad start, even though I understood her reasons.
There wasn't really much angst or passion (at least, not enough for me) to become truly invested in the characters but I enjoyed the story. It was really "nice", but undemanding.
Short and sweet review for a short and sweet book.

Actually, the book was 375 pages which isn’t really short, but it FELT short because I zoomed right through it. I’m not taking back my phrasing.

So this is a book about a lady who travels to Revolutionary America to search for her missing brother (a British soldier), and encounters his best friend instead, who is in a coma. When they won’t let her in to see him, she claims to be his wife, and then nurses him back to health. When he wakes up, he ha
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably 4 or 4.5 stars for the book, but stellar narration bumps it up to 5.

Review to follow... at some point.
Here are some of my thoughts:
• Cute, cute, cute, cute.
• This is certainly different from Quinn’s other books with the setting being in America during the war against Britain. I like the change of pace.
• I adore how each chapter begins with a letter from Cecilia to her brother, or her brother (and Edward) to Cecilia. It’s adorable and often times sweet.
• Edward is certainly one of the best male characters Quinn has written. He is just so honorable and sweet, with a great sense of humor.
• Cecilia
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still fairly new to the historical game, but I was sold at the While You Were Sleeping plot line.

I loved Cecilia and Edward. They're both such good people and their chemistry is off the charts. I loved that he over took her brother's letters and that she wrote back to him just as much.

Of course everything gets out in the open and the last few chapters are fantastic. This story has a mixture of emotions in it, but it was a mostly fluffy read. I'll definitely be checking out the other books i
Brian Johnson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 7 Apr 28, 2017 10:30AM  

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch her winning the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, an ...more

Other books in the series

Rokesbys (4 books)
  • Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1)
  • The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3)
  • First Comes Scandal (Rokesbys #4)

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