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Just Like Heaven Mass Market Paperback – May 31, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 345 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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

About the Author

Julia Quinn is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; First Edition edition (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006149190X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061491900
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. P. VINE VOICE on May 2, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I first started reading romances, Julia Quinn was one of my favorite authors and I fell absolutely in love with her Bridgerton series, as I know many other romance readers did as well. The past few years, her books have been uneven for me, so I was a little nervous about picking this one up. The Smythe-Smiths were famous (or infamous is probably more accurate) but would it be what you expect from a Quinn book - a fun and light romance - or would it be like the past few duds?

I was pleasantly surprised and somewhat relieved that I ended up enjoying it. I liked the simplicity of the book and the hero and heroine are very likable; one thing I love about Julia Quinn books is that her heroines are always women whom I think would be nice to have as friends. However the lack of any real spark made it not much of a keeper for me. When I really love a romance, I end the book with a ridiculously stupid grin on my face that doesn't go away for hours; here, that didn't happen.

PROS:
It did have some strong aspects, while also missing those that we - or at least I - often bemoan in romance book:
- There was no contrived subplot - mystery, mass-murdering or otherwise
- There is not instant lust; they've known each other since childhood and have considered one another practical brother and sister
- There are no love interests thrown in for the sole purpose of dragging the plot out and making you squirm in your seat - or couch or bed - and there were no hated Big Misunderstandings
- The book was really focused on the two main characters, Honoria and Marcus
- One really gets the sense that they *would* make a lovely couple and have a lot of what the other needs

So why the 3 stars? I was actually torn between 3 and 3.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Traditional historical romance isn't my usual cup of tea and having never read a Julia Quinn book, I had no idea what to expect; Just Like Heaven is delightful!

The book's blurb reveals who falls for whom, the fun is in how they get there. Set in early 1800's England, we're immediately introduced to Marcus, a lonely, motherless, only child. As is tradition, his father sends him off to an elite boarding school where he is befriended by Daniel, an outgoing classmate. Marcus gains not only a best friend, but the family he never had, including Daniel's pesky little sister, Honoria.

Pan forward 15 years. Marcus promised Daniel before he left London, that he'd watch over Honoria and ensure her male suitors were worthy. Unfortunately for Honoria, no one was good enough; Marcus, the powerful Earl with brooding eyes, effectively secured her single status.

Twenty-one and desperate, Honoria concocts a "hairbrained" plan to gain the attention of a particular young man and sets in motion a series of events that cause her and Marcus to really see each other for the first time. Unsure of the other's feelings, they dance around each other until the interference of a crafty old broad (Marcus's great-great Aunt) brings the situation to a head.

I loved the individuality of the characters voices. I appreciated Honoria's strength; she is no shrinking violet! The best part? Some of the dialog and individual points of view had me laughing out loud.

Just Like Heaven is romantic, witty and charming - the perfect vehicle to escape life for a few hours.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Because of her wonderful earlier books, I continue to give Ms. Quinn the benefit of the doubt each time she releases a new novel. And, like other reviewers, I had heard that this book brought back the Julia Quinn of Bridgerton fame. It was not to be.

While Ms. Quinn's early books were unique because they were funny, light and delightful, I think she has taken this attempt at style too far. In the past several books (this one no exception), she immerses her characters in a babble of inner monologue, rather than incorporating true, character-building dialogue. Here is an example:

"He liked carrots. Although orange had never really
been one of his favorite colors. He'd always found
it a little jarring. It seemed to pop up when he
didn't expect it, and he preferred his life without
surprises."

This book is filled with non-sequiturs like that. Perhaps ONE would have been mildly amusing, but instead they are used as filler. Take them out and this book would have far, far shorter. Here's another example:

"He nodded and ate some more. Or rather, drank some
more. Did one eat soup or drink it? And more to the
point, could he get some cheese to melt on top?"

Again, by itself it might be cute. Unfortunately, all of this fluff leads to a book that is devoid of character- and relationship-building. The hero and heroine have very little chemistry. Most of the book takes place within the context of a convalescence, so there is precious little physical passion, and the one scene at the end of the book feels forced and awkward, like Ms. Quinn was contractually obligated to put a sex scene in. It does not feel like the consummation of a great love or even great passion.
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