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Loving Julia

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,161 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews

London street urchin Jewel Combs had no future but one of whoredom and shame. Then a dying gentleman looked at her topaz eyes and still untouched innocence --- and wed her to torment his aristocratic family with a final, scandalous joke after his death.

But Sebastian, Earl of Moorland, fo
Paperback, 376 pages
Published December 1st 1986 by Grand Central Publishing
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Rating details
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Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
3.5 stars! Pretty good for a historical romance. I loved the character of Julia. What a brave woman to overcome her upbringing and turn into a confident and wonderful woman. Sebastian grew on me. He was an ass in the beginning but finding out about his backstory, I liked the character better.

There was some suspense and a few bad characters to give this more of a plot then just a love story. The steaminess was also well done.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: readers that like enemy-to-lovers scenarios
Recommended to Halima by: My non GR's friend

"It must be true what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder because I've missed you too. Damnably."
*squeals uncontrollably*

Robards, you have a done it again! I cannot even come close to justifying how well written this little number was, ah gad, the romance, it was breathtaking!

Sebastian was the devil himself! Charming, handsome to a fault and ever the controlling, proud alpha Earl. *sighs* I still can't get over how well he compliments
Lynsey A
I read this one years ago and I recall how un-pc it is and quite the bodice ripper. The hero is craptasically awful to the heroine after one scene and I wanted to hit him but it also brings in the angsty-goodness.

Honestly, I think it was early college late high school when I last read this book but I did like it. I do plan to re-read it again soon.

The ending was great and the hero is so wonderful to Julia in the end that it almost makes up for his behavior.

These 80's heroes of Robard's are quit
Bibliotecaria Recomienda
Jewel Combs es una joven huérfana de dieciséis años que hace lo que sea necesario para sobrevivir. Vive en las calles rodeada de maleantes y desde niña ha sido educada en las mejores artes del afanamiento, lo que hace de ella una magnifica ladronzuela. Sabe que no le queda mucho tiempo y que con el tiempo se verá abocada a la prostitución.

Durante uno de sus trabajos se verá actuando como señuelo para atraer hombres incautos hacía un callejón donde sus compinches procederán a robarles todo lo que
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Probably 3.5 -4 stars.

Interesting story.

Jewel Combs is a 16 year old london street urchin with no future. She works as a pick pocket with a pretty brutal group of men and is in fear that she will end up being sold as a whore. One night she and 2 other men( mick and jem) set about robbing a young man. Things get out of hand and mick needlessly stabs him.

This was not what Jewel had signed up for and she feels guilty about what happens so she tries to get help for the man and stays to try and nu
This had potential and perhaps that's why I was disappointed.

It's basically a Pygmalion/My Fair Lady story. The problem I had was that both the H/h acted like teenagers. The h WAS a teen, so I guess I can give her some slack, but the H had no such excuse.

There was potential for great angst, but it just fell short. For example, the scene where he sends for her and directs her to the house in London where he keeps his mistresses. Basically he intends to install her there and doesn't even ask her
Regan Walker
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian
A Victorian, Yes, But Not the “My Fair Lady” You Were Thinking of.

Set in 1841, this is the story of Jewel Combs, a 16-year-old street urchin who picks the pocket of an earl’s younger brother who is stabbed by one of Jewel’s companions. The earl’s brother dies from his wound, but not before he marries Jewel to repay her for taking care of him.

When Jewel goes to see the young man’s family, to inform them she is his widow, she is confronted with his handsome, yet cold older brother, Sebastian, Earl
Galena Sanz
Me gustó lo diferente de este libro por sus personajes, sobre todo por la protagonista femenina, Julia/Jewell. La verdad es que al principio su forma de hablar que imita un estilo vulgar me costó llevarlo, pero con el tiempo uno se acostumbra. Lo que no terminó de convencerme es que ella es super joven, solo 16 años y verla ya con un hombre tan maduro... Una joven de esa edad no es adulta emocionalmente para enfrentarse a todo eso, no es una igual intelectual del otro, pero en fin... Una novela ...more
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Loving Julia is the first novel by Karen Robards that I have read. I do not even know where to start with this review. To say I loved the extremely interesting characters and the outstanding story seems so trivial for wonderful story I just finished reading. I loved the heroine Jewel, her frank look at life and the compassion and tenderness in a young woman who has only seen the evils in life. Her strength of character with a chin up and a attitude of "you're no better than me".
I also loved Seba
"Julia" es una historia encantadora que está contada de un modo tan recargado en distracciones que termina perdiendo potencia.
El planteo era tan seductor que seguí leyendo hasta el final con voracidad y por momentos la historia se ponía muy interesante y entretenida pero la totalidad de la obra no acompaña ni al planteo argumental ni a los momentos más atractivos del relato.
Si quieren una historia romántica, que mantiene al lector expectante y que evoca las características propias del género rom
This is my third Karen Robards book and I loved it. The story was so unique. At least to me. I have never read from rags to riches romance. Wait- maybe The Proposition by Judith Ivory could count, but there the hero was the poor one. Great book by the way. I also liked that this book is may-december romance, one of my favorite trophes. The hero Sebastian was an ass and very un-pc, but I loved him anyway. I guess I like these old-scool books. There were many twists and turns and I was never bored ...more
Jul 02, 2010 added it
Author recommended by a friend. I like to read the early books by an author who is new to me, and the author's web site said that "everyone loves this one," so I gave it a try.

Very accomplished writing and plotting, but quite "Old Skool" in its linkage of sexuality and violence, as well as its construction of secondary female characters. I'll have to try a more recent Robards to see if her ideology has changed with the times, or if she remains Old Skool.
L.   (Your Migraines Are Podcasts Trying To Be Produced)
More like Hating Julia.
Kindle Reads
Moral of the story is - really messed up!

It's seems that it's ok to be accessory to murder as long as you're still a virgin.

Whitechapel 1840s. Julia, orphan of prostitute, takes pride that she chose picking pockets over selling her body to survive. Highly understandable.

Leader of theif ring comes up with new way to bring in revenue. Julia just has to lure men into alleys - to be beaten and robbed. The fact that she disliked the violence and only participated on several occasions doesn't lessen
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Should have listened to the reviews, although I get why the h acted the way she did in taking the H's abuse. I lost track of how many times he called her a whore, and this was even AFTER her knew she had been a virgin when he first had her, so??? Also, the time spent where he was giving her 'lady' lessons was barely written about, then, they were lovers, then, he starts hating her for almost the entire end half of the book, she puts up with it because she loves him, then, he admits she wasn't a ...more
Adara Gaston
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! I had to get to the very end. Even now writing a review at half past 1 in the morning because of how good this got me... to the very end. And what an end it was! Damn! I am really glad I decided to read it! Eager to read more books from this author!

I really enjoyed this book! Everything was a surprise! I was kept in a state of suspense at every turn! I had to get to the very end. Even now writing a review at half past 1 in the morning because of how good this got me..
Kathy Love
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I will admit, the storyline is nothing new. A Pygmalion/My Fair Lady plot. But the characters and storytelling are so engaging and entertaining, I didn't mind reading its familiar storyline at all. The hero, Sebastian, is alpha and dark and brooding. Julia, the heroine, is saucy and smart, but they both have vulnerabilities that make them real and accessible to the reader. Highly recommended.
Linda Johnson
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Karen Robards writing, and want to read all of her back issues. There are not many I have missed, but this was one. It is a spicy, darkly dramatic version of My Fair Lady with a murder. Though uncomfortable at times (alpha male lead) the storyline rings true to its genre--- and this author is a master at twisty turns that enthrall the reader. I enjoyed the ride.
April Moran
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It's been on my shelf since the day I bought it back in the 80's. There is one part I did not care for but I just overlook it and keep going when I read it.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5. Great “my fair lady” premise. Could have been better, though.
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Pygmalion/My Fair Lady with sex & violence.
Katerina Ribitsa
i lost interest before i reached the half of this book.
I wouldn't finish it but i realized that ,even if i skipped all the useless details that went on and on and on before and after every piece of dialogue, i didn't miss anything important about the story.
And so i did.

The female in this story is 16 years old (virgin) and the earl that (at some point in the story) decides to force himself to her to see if she's a liar (srsly.. this is what happened!) is 31 !

There's also a ghost involved, a girl
Oct 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Saw this Golden Oldie at the library, and just couldn't resist it.'s interesting to see how times have changed in the romance genre since this was published in 1986.

Jewel (aka Julia), is seventeen and lives her life as a petty criminal life among the London slums. She becomes unwillingly involved in a robbery that goes horribly wrong, but the dying victim insists that she marry him -- he wants to repay her kindness and antagonize his aristocratic relatives. And when Jewel shows up at the
3.5 to 4 Stars

This was a five-star till I got to about 70% through. I don't want to spoil the book so I can't really say why other than the Hero's about face with regard to certain issues he had just seemed too easy. I also started to find the heroine's (Julia/Jewel) relationship with the hero (Sebastian) a little too hot and cold... The words bi-polar and door mat came to mind a few times in the last 30% of the book. That said I can honestly say this was a very captivating read from start to fi
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic-romances
Loving Julia is a wonderful example of a classic historical romance. There’s no rush to hit the bedroom, the bad guys aren’t ‘misunderstood boys who weren’t hugged enough as a child’ and Robards took her time in building the characters ensuring they were fully realized BEFORE they met. Wow, what a concept – a hero and heroine who have time to get to know each other before ripping off their clothing.

Keeping in mind that this book was written in the mid-eighties, the main characters go through the

My rating for this book kept tanking as I turned the pages. The plot seemed nice enough: a Pygmalion story about a young girl from the streets who gets transformed into a lady by an earl. My biggest problem was, I didn't find either of these characters especially likable. Most of the time, Sebastian was just mean. At one point he mortally offends the heroine, Julia, and her response is to chase after him to make amends. Huh?

I never bought the evolution of the relationship from antagonists t
Kris - My Novelesque Life

Jewel Comb has been raised in slums of White Chapel stealing from the rich to avoid starvation and being forced into prostitution. After a robbery gone wrong Jewel feels guilty for her victim and nurses him till his death. In exchange the rich man marries her before his death so that she may inherit his wealth.

Upon collecting her new found fortune she meets her late husband's cousin, Sebastian, Earl of Moorland who allows her to stay in order to anger his mother and her stuffy morals. Se
Carrie Olguin
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Adventure romance with shades of Pygmalion.

The heroine grew up on the streets as a thief and sees a chance to change her life for the better so she grabs it. Ins many ways she's the typical romantic heroine, independent, full of spirit and prepared for physical battle if needed. The difference is, since she's grown up on the street, she has years of training to back up her behavior and thought processes.

The hero is the typical brooding, icy, angry, handsome fallen angel. He wasn't neary as inter
May 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
The opening of this book was promising. It is very clearly modeled on Pygmalion. The girl is even called a guttersnipe just like Eliza Dolittle. However, the book alters in tone from being a romantic comedy to a bad drama. It's one of those aweful books where the man, Sebastian, treats the heroine horribly. She is beaten senseless and almost raped twice before Sebastian realizes that he loves her and saves the day. However, she would not have been in any danger, if Sebastian had treated her dece ...more
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Karen Robards is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than fifty books and one novella. She has won multiple awards including six Affaire de Coeur Silver Pen Awards for favorite author.
Karen has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader's Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, wh
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