Thursday, February 10, 2011

What Happens in London

by Julia Quinn, 372 pages

Jenny already reviewed this, but I haven't read her review yet. So I will dive in on my own...

A Regency historical, What Happens in London brings together ex-soldier Sir Harry Valentine and his new nosy neighbor, Lady Olivia Bevelstoke. Sir Harry is a reluctant "intelligencer" (as Diana Gabaldon would say) so Olivia can't help wondering what the notorious man is up to in his study every day. What on earth is so absorbing about those piles of documents? Surely the man is up to something. And what about the bizarre hat he sometimes wears?

When Sir Harry catches Lady Olivia in the act of spying on him, he's justifiably annoyed. The two have a "cute meet" at a Regency party, and the sparks start to fly. What follows is an intricate dance of outrage, suspicion and intrigue. This is a romance, after all, so of course the couple reluctantly fall in love with each other despite their better judgment.

Malicious forces put the couple through heart-pounding danger. Can the new lovers survive brutish kidnappers, or worse: the disapproval of the ton?

While the plot was mostly predictable, Julia Quinn adds enough quirkiness and whimsy to her characters to make them likeable. Ms. Quinn also gently pokes fun at the Regency taste for outrageously bad Gothic novels. All in all, I found the story to be light, funny and entertaining. I would definitely pick up another of her historical romances when I am looking for romance, humor and a dash of adventure.

My only caveat: I don't think Ms Quinn ever explained the hat. Did anyone else figure out what that was all about?

1 comment:

  1. Sir Harry later admits that he was just messing with her, since he knew she was watching. I think he picked up the hat when he was in Russia on a military campaign. :)