Sunday, 26 June 2011

HISTORICAL FICTION ROMANCE REVIEW: The Smythe-Smith Quartet 1: Just Like Heaven - Julia Quinn

Release Date: 02/06/11


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?


OK, this title was a complete surprise for me when it landed. I don’t usually read this type of book and when it was sent as part of a book gift bag from the publisher I thought, what the hell give it a go.

All in I wasn’t impressed, whilst the concept seemed pretty decent the execution felt a little flat, almost half-hearted with the comedic moments overly staged just to fit them in. Add to this a lead character that didn’t really step beyond the pages, dialogue that felt forced and overall a story arc that felt padded from the outset.

Whilst this title wasn’t for me, I have heard from friends who are fans of Julia’s titles that this isn’t her finest and whilst this was an ordinary release I’d have been better had I started with something like An Offer from a Gentleman. To sum up, this title was distinctly uninspiring and a disappointing let down all round, almost like a soufflé that didn’t rise, you know it had the right ingredients but sadly something went wrong in the baking.

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