This was a really great book. It was a fast read but I totally enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light romance with moments that have you laughing out loud. If you are a fan of Julia Quinn, this one won't diappoint.
There is a scene in the final chapter that I recall being in one of her previous books with characters who overlap however they don't repeat any of the plot. Its written in a way that you just know you've been in the room before but are hearing a totally different conversation. I was quite pleased and even tried to go back and figure out which of her books I'd read before that had mentioned the Smith cousins. Overall a very enjoyable book!
One of my favorite authors, Julia Quinn, has done it again! Hit another one out of the park! This book is the first of what sounds like a fun series about the Smythe-Smith cousins. Fans of JQ will remember the dreaded annual musicales in the Bridgerton books...now we get to meet the ladies behind the terrible music! And it promises to be a great time indeed.
I loved meeting Honoria Smythie-Smith and her hero Marcus, the Earl of Chatteris. He was definately not what you would call an alpha hero...more like a beta..but he held his own and really came through as a true alpha at the end!
All the characters were fun, the story was light and humorous...so typical of Julia's work. If you've never read JQ, do yourself a favor and start. If you have but haven't read this book yet...do yourself a favor and do so ASAP! You won't be disappointed.
On my personal rating scale, I gave this book 4 out of 4 stars.
It's been a while since I've read a novel by Julia Quinn and I seriously forgot how much I loved her characters. The Bridgerton's are all wonderfully presented but the Smythe-Smith's were shown as these awful musicians so to read something (an entire new series no less) was rather daunting. But I must say that I totally loved Honoria, she knew they were absolutely horrible musicians but she persevered with a smile on her face because it's a family tradition. You have to admire her for that at least.
Now Marcus Holroyd is one of those guys who just wants to be left alone but you know as an unmarried Earl that just isn't going to happen. He was Honoria's brother's best friend since childhood and Honoria knows Marcus very well and loves him as a brother until he gets fatally injured and she must nurse him back to health where she realizes that she loves him. But does he love her or still think of her as a pest?
This is terribly romantic and one of the few books I've read recently dealing with London and the Season that I actually enjoyed - most are just so boring and stuffy but not Ms. Quinn. I will definitely be picking up more books in the Smythe-Smith Quartet.
I have never laughed through the entire half of a romance novel. Before this! It was endearing and so easy to picture in your mind. I am definitely going to be reading the rest of this series. It was perfect with just the right amount of fun and drama.
I love Julia Quinn and she delivers with this book. After books that included descriptions of the Smythe-Smith musicale, we now get a real front row seat. I loved the side stories that you get interested in. This author does a good job of great supporting characters.
I kept this book on my nightstand and my "currently reading" shelf for about a year before finally deciding to just mark it as DNF (did not finish). It's not that the book is SO bad that I couldn't keep reading, but rather, I kept putting it down, forgot about it, and was never really inclined to pick it up again... that went on for about a year. There are way better books I could be spending my time on.
Overall Just Like Heaven just bored me; nothing was exciting, and nothing intrigued me enough to want to continue reading. There's very little action both romance- and plot-wise; even by page 158which is how far I gothardly any of Honoraria and Marcus's relationship is built. If there is no swoon-worthy romance by the halfway mark, we've got a problem.
Honoraria isn't a dreadful heroine but she's rather desperate for a husband and childish, blushing at ever sight of skin and brush of fingers, and so on. I can understand these traits were meant to color her "cute" and "clumsy," but I just found it annoying. There's almost no chemistry between her and Marcus, which bothered me a lot considering this is a historical romance, and the dialogue and description scenes drag on forever, which made this one even more difficult to digest.
Pros: Well written // Playful, readable style
Cons: Romance moves at a snail's pace // Honoraria is annoying and Marcus is uninteresting // Boring // Not enough action!
Verdict: Containing too much backstory and not enough action, this first title in the Smythe-Smith quartet is rather boring. It isn't a terrible or intolerablein fact, stylistically, Julia Quinn is a pleasure to readbut I just didn't have the patience to finish it. I was quite annoyed by the "witty" (not witty) banter and passionless relationship that's supposed to pass as a romance. True historical fiction fans may be able to swallow Just Like Heaven, but I definitely wasn't impressed.
Rating: 2 out of 10 hearts (1 star): Not completely a lost cause, but could not finish and did not enjoy; potentially could be used as a cure for insomnia.
Source: Complimentary ARC provided by Romance Novel News in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Carolyn!).
Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith grew up with Marcus Holroyd, now the Earl of Chatteris. He was her brother's best friend. When Honoria's brother gets in trouble and leaves the country, he asks Marcus to look out for Honoria which he does from a distance. When Marcus and Honoria run into each other at a house party, their friendship turns into something more.
This is the first book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet which was a spinoff from Quinn's Bridgerton series. It is a light, amusing historical romance centered around the dreaded annual Smythe-Smith musicales. But the story suffered from no action and very little plot. Even though Honoria and Marcus were likeable characters, they had no chemistry. My rating: 3 Stars.