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Just Like Heaven Mass Market Paperback – May 31, 2011
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't believe it's taken me this long to read a Julia Quinn book! It's been a while since I've immersed myself in a Regency Romance, and Just Like Heaven reminded me of all the... Read morePublished 11 days ago by BrainyBlonde
From reading the Bridgetons, it was fun to read about a family where the musicians were just terrible. This story is so funny.Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
The author makes me laugh out loud while reading as one character responds with a witty remark to another endearing character! Read morePublished 22 days ago by Math Teach
Predictable, light, cute, and honestly just what I was looking for. I like the girl-and-brother's-best-friend trope a lot, and it worked pretty well in this historical setting.Published 29 days ago by ALR
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. My first of the smythe-Smith series...it was truly an easy read with great characters.Published 1 month ago by Myrna
I have never read a Julia Quinn book that I did not like! Just Like Heaven is another treasure! If you are looking for serious or thought provoking or suspenseful, this is not... Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. J. Cooper
Loved the characters and the chemistry between them. I liked that there was no violin kidnapping that girl. No excessive drama with poor girl rich guy syndrome
This story doesn't have the energy of some of Julia Quinn's other works, but it is still good. The part about Marcus injury is a different twist. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Catherine. Heathcliff