Thursday, 23 June 2011

Review: Just Like Heaven - Julia Quinn

Honoria Smythe-Smith, the youngest daughter of the eldest son of the Earl of Winstead, plays the violin in the annual musicale performed by the Smythe-Smith quartet. She’s well aware that they are dreadful. In fact, she freely admits (to her cousins) that she is probably the worst of the bunch. But she’s the sort who figures that nothing good will come of being mortified, so she puts on a good show and laughs about it.

Marcus Holroyd is the best friend of Honoria’s brother Daniel, who lives in exile out of the country. He’s promised to watch out for Honoria and takes his responsibility very seriously. But he has his work cut out for him when Honoria sets off for Cambridge determined to marry by the end of the season. She’s got her eye on the only unmarried Bridgerton, who’s a bit wet behind the ears. When her advances are spurned, can Marcus swoop in and steal her heart in time for the musicale?

Smythe-Smith Quartet:
Just Like Heaven
This will be a series of 4 books but I was unable to find names for future releases at the time of writing this review.

Visit Julia Quinn's website for more information

Honoria has known Marcus since she was 6 years old when he became best friends with her brother Daniel and she thinks of him as part of the family.  When Daniel is forced to leave the country he asks Marcus to watch out for his little sister and Marcus takes his responsibility seriously, determined not to let Honoria marry the wrong man.  When an accident caused by Honoria leaves Marcus on his death bed she is determined to do whatever it takes to make him well again.  But as their feelings towards each other start to change will either of them be brave enough to tell the other how they feel?

I have always loved historical romance but for some reason I've hardly read any books in this genre over the last couple of years.  Just Like Heaven has reminded me why I love these books and I'm definitely planning on reading more of them from now onwards.  Julia Quinn is an incredibly popular author but this is the first of her books I have read, it definitely won't be the last though and I'm looking forward to working my way through her back list.

Honoria is a sweet character who loves being part of a big family and holding up their traditions by taking part in the Smythe-Smith musicale.  Even though she knows how dreadful the quartet really is she puts on a brave face and is happy to go along with it just because her family love it so much.  I loved the bantering between her, Sarah, Iris and Daisy as they were practising for the musicale and am looking forward to seeing more of their bickering in future books in the series.  Honoria is 21 and what she wants most is to find a husband and start a family of her own, she is determined to find her man and the antics she gets up to trying to catch him had me laughing out loud on several occasions.  It was nice to have a hero who was a nice man, Marcus isn't a rogue and in fact comes across as quite serious to those who don't know him well.  Deep down though he is just shy and to the few that he is close to he is sweet and funny.  I'll admit he made my heart melt and I loved the way he expressed his feelings about Honoria.

Just Like Heaven is a great light hearted, fun read that I couldn't put down.  I'd heard the story described as Jane Austin meets Bridget Jones and would completely agree with that assessment.  It's a great summer romance and I can't wait to spend more time in the world Julia Quinn has created.  A highly recommended read for fans of historical romance.

Source: Received from Piatkus in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. Oh I can't wait to read this!

  2. I hope you love it as much as I did Viv! I'm sure you will :o)



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