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What Happens in London (Bevelstoke Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Rumors and Gossip . . . The lifeblood of London
When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancée, she doesn't believe it for a second, but, still, how can she help spying on him, just to be sure? So she stakes out a spot near her bedroom window, cleverly concealed by curtains, watches, and waits . . . and discovers a most intriguing man, who is definitely up to something.
Sir Harry Valentine works for the boring branch of the War Office, translating documents vital to national security. He's not a spy, but he's had all the training, and when a gorgeous blonde begins to watch him from her window, he is instantly suspicious. But just when he decides that she's nothing more than an annoyingly nosy debutante, he discovers that she might be engaged to a foreign prince, who might be plotting against England. And when Harry is roped into spying on Olivia, he discovers that he might be falling for her himself . . .
About the Author
With tens of millions of copies in print, #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn has been called “Smart, funny,” by TIME Magazine. Her novels have been translated into 35 languages and are beloved the world over. A graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, she lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
Look for Bridgerton, based on her popular series of novels about the Bridgerton family, on Netflix.
--This text refers to the mass_market edition.
- ASIN : B001NLKS8O
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; Original edition (June 22, 2009)
- Publication date : June 22, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 602 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 385 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,049 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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There were a few things that stopped me from enjoying this title as much as most of Julia Quinn's other books. This is petty, but I am getting tired of the over use of the phrase "I will kill you!" No, I am not taking an anti-violence stance, but having recently re-read some of Quinn's titles, I have noticed that several times (in each novel) a character says this phrase (or a very similar variation). There has got to be another phrase that can exhibit frustration and anger. I am tempted to pull out all of Quinn's novels and turn it into a drinking game (Anthony is saying "I will kill you" to Kate - take a drink...Anthony is saying "I will kill you" to Colin - take a drink...Olivia is saying "I will kill you" to Winston - take a drink...Harry is saying "I will kill you" to Sebastian - take a drink...you get the idea).
Then there is Sebastian. His character is funny and entertaining, but he seemed to have a flashing neon sign that said "I am the hero of the next novel!" There was a great deal of attention paid to him, considering he was a secondary character. At the beginning of the story, it almost felt like we were getting more background on Sebastian than we were for Olivia. We already know he acts like a dandy, but is actually quite shrewd (doing a little work for the War Office, perhaps?) He is a would-be heir who has vast knowledge of gothic novels (does he write them under a pseudonym in order to offset his lack of income?). The character is wonderful, but every once in a while, it seemed like the title of the book should have been "What Happens in London With Sebastian". At times, his presence eclipsed the main characters.
As others have mentioned, there are a few parts of the story that just seem to get left hanging. The Prince seems to turn into a different person from one moment to the next. What about Edward? He is angry and following in the footsteps of their father, but after one angry, drunken outburst, he is suddenly at ease and the relationship between he and Harry is "fixed"? What about Anne? Does Harry get to know her and her family again now that he's happy with Olivia? I missed it. Is Harry's mother dead? Is she still sitting in the family home, devoid of any emotion (staring at a wall, presumably) And if she isn't dead, did Harry (or his siblings) reconcile with her? If there isn't going to be a wrap up of these relationships, why bother to mention them in the first place? After all, Anne, Edward, and their mother helped make Harry's character what it is at the beginning of the novel. Does Harry cut them off because he has a happy life with Olivia? Is there contact....what? Most of the "hanging" storylines could be wrapped up in a few sentences. Is it possible there was an epilogue that was accidentally left out when the book went to print?
Am I sorry I read this title? No. If fractions of stars could be given as ratings, I would have given "What Happens in London" three and half to three and three quarters stars, but it isn't possible, so I rounded up to four. Would I recommend this book to others? Sure. It isn't stellar, but there were enough fun moments to make it worth the read.
P.S. Although I was told that publishers insist on trailers for a lot of books, I still maintain that the trailer for this book posted on Amazon is lame. That poor young woman (who I'm sure is talented - no insult is intended to her) looks nothing like the character Olivia is described to be (IMO).
The prologue is unusually long (22 pages) and gives the reader a wonderful knowledge of Harry's life between the ages of 12 and 19. After I read that I just wanted to put my arms around him and pat him on the back. If you don't find yourself feeling the same, I will be shocked. Sir Harry Valentine has just completed a ten year stint in the Army with his cousin Sebastian Grey. Harry is unofficially attached to the War Office because of his fluency in the Russian language. He does translations for them. He doesn't want to be a spy, in fact he isn't a spy, but he is still assigned to watch the Russian Prince Alexei Gomarovsky since not only is Harry fluent in Russian, he also has access to all of the society events Prince Alexei is sure to attend. Now if Harry could just figure out why his neighbor's daughter, Lady Olivia Bevelstoke, has been spying on him from her window for the past five days.
Lady Olivia just does not believe the gossip which is making its way around the elite of the ton. Sir Harry could not have murdered his fiancee, could he? She has seen him do some odd things while she's been watching his study from her bedroom window, but murder? Impossible.
One of the things I enjoyed so much about this book is that both Harry and Olivia are such warm, funny, down to earth people. Ms. Quinn has made Olivia that darling of romance writers, the breath taking beauty, but she has added much more to this character. Olivia is quirky, funny, stubborn, opinionated, and doesn't always think before she makes comments. She isn't a feisty modern type heroine, just a young woman who gets into mischief because she doesn't have enough to occupy her time. Harry is loving and kind but he is also the type of hero who doesn't take center stage in most gatherings. He is the one who works in the background and gets things done. The only items in this book which I really did not enjoy were the lists Olivia made. Very often they seemed to lead absolutely nowhere and, in my opinion, did not accomplish anything. She was making these lists mentally and usually not paying attention to the conversations around her. When recalled to the present she appeared scatterbrained and not very intelligent. I'm still puzzling over the necessity of having the lists in the novel.
This is a sweet, funny, interesting book and I do recommend it to both old and new fans of Julia Quinn. It is definitely the perfect book for light summer reading. According to the notice in the back of this book we are going to have to wait until the summer of 2010 to read Sebastian Grey's story. That's a long time to wait.
Top reviews from other countries
I also love that this book actually had more of a plot as well, not just the romance and it was full of laugh out loud humour. I couldn't wait to find out what happens next.
Finally I loved the gothic novel "Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron" got a mention again. I think I would actually like to read this crazy book, killer pigeons and all!
Also has my favourite JQ lines when Harry says to Sebastian:
'You scream like a leettle girl.' to which Sebastian asks
'Is there any reason you're saying that with a German accent?'
Fluent in both French and Russian, Sir Harry works for the boring part of the War Office, because despite spending years in the Hussars fighting Napoleon he'd rather translate documents than become a spy. But fluent Russian speakers are hard to come by in London, so when a Russian prince arrives - under suspicion regarding his motives and loyalty - Harry is the obvious choice to keep an eye on him.
It just so happens that Olivia is Harry's neighbour - but that doesn't explain why she's spent the best part of a week spying on him. When the prince starts showing marked interest in Olivia, Harry soon gets every chance to find out. Whether he wants to or not.
JQ is back on form with this delightful tale of rumours, suspicion and the amusing consequences of jumping to conclusions. Olivia is a true JQ heroine, with wonderful quirks - like her mental list making - and Harry is an intelligent hero, who is refreshingly comfortable with himself and his emotions. There's no self-delusion for him.
As lovely as their burgeoning relationship is, however, what makes this special is the wit, the ludicrous situations and fabulous supporting characters. Only JQ could have two characters court convincingly out of the windows of two separate houses, with ten feet between them. Or write more than one brilliant drawing room scene - though Sebastian definitely steals the show in the second.
A glorious return to form, complete with princes, badly written gothic novels and one of the best proposal scenes I've ever come across. This follow up to The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever is an absolute winner. Can't wait for Seb's tale.
She spies on him from her bedroom window whilst he is in his drawing room office & he pretends that he does not know that she is there.
What these 2 go through, their thoughts, their initial hatred of each other, their growing attraction & the characters (especially Sebastian that add credence to the storyline) that round off this novel is brilliantly executed.
What is so sweet about this modern day Jane Austen type novel ( there is no resemblance to the story so do not please be discouraged to buy this book) in style of writing is the feelings that slowly develope & bud into strong emotion. Julia Quinn has her own unique style but she has a lot of passion in developing the characters & the subtle story line that then leaves the reader with a spring to their step.
Loved the highs & lows to their growing feelings for each other to the climax when Olivia realises that she has not known Harry at all well & is shocked to realise that she had placed all her trust in this one person & feels that she has been misguided. This particular scene was really well written without going overboard.
Rounded off again with a nice romantic humourous touch. Loved it immensely.