Book Review: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn

What Happens in London

Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bevelstoke, book 2
Publisher: Avon
Publishing Date: June 30, 2009
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
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When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancee, 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…

Rating: 4.5 stars
List of things I’d rather by doing
By Elley the Book Otter

Reading a book
Reading a book by Julia Quinn
What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
Really just reading in general

The real question is, how on earth did I miss reading this book when I first discovered Julia Quinn several years ago and went on a major book binge, reading all of her Bridgertons series as all as the Smythe-Smith Quartet?! Luckily it means the series was waiting for me, a lovely little pearl just waiting to be discovered inside the giant oyster-library. Special shout out to The Ripped Bodice and their #rippedbodicebingo for sending me looking for a book with a Hero Named Harry, or I might never have read this gem of a book.

I really loved Olivia and Harry both, but the real star of this book is Sebastian. (Sorry, not gonna lie.) The back-and-forth banter between Olivia and Harry is so fun, and I love their little flirtation through the window. Olivia is kind of a spaz, and I love that she’s so beautiful and that it causes some problems for her. People just assume she’s graceful because she’s pretty, and that’s just not true, and I’m glad she’s not perfect. Harry also has some issues he’s working through, largely related to his absolute shite parents. I really think that’s part of the reason he hates Olivia so much when he first meets her – her mask of cool perfection reminds him of his own mother’s blankness.

I love how many little snippets from her other series Quinn includes in this book, like the Smythe-Smith musicale where Oliva and Harry officially meet. I want to live in Julia Quinn’s Regency England and never leave. (OK maybe not FOREVER, but can I visit for a bit and go to a ball and maybe a house party?) I didn’t want to put this book down, especially once Harry and that Russian prince start getting into it… Rawr.

This is the second book in the Bevelstoke series, but can absolutely be read as a stand alone. There are a few mentions of the characters from the first book in the series, and some set-up for Sebastian who is the star of book 3. I can NOT wait to read the next book, Ten Things I Love About You and hopped on my library’s website to request it immediately upon finishing this book.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn

  1. So… I admit that I haven't been a fan of JQs books. I enjoyed reading her Bridgertons series but I haven't finished that one.. LOL baby steps! I met her in person and she is the sweetest ever! I love banter and I may try looking for an audio for this one!


  2. I didn't love some of her series, but I did like most of the Bridgertons series. This might be my new favorite of her series! The Smythe-Smith Quartet was pretty equally divided between books I loved and books I didn't care about at all. She's still one of my fave hist rom authors, but at this point I think it's partially because she was one of my first, haha. 🙂 Also, I'm way jealous you got to meet her!!


  3. Thanks Kate! If you like historical/Regency romance, you've GOT to read Julia Quinn! Her Bridgertons series is probably what she's most famous for, but I am loving this series too!


  4. Thanks for the comment, Abby. If you like historical/Regency romance, Julia Quinn is one of my faves. I lump her in the same sort of book-feel as Sarah MacLean, Lisa Kleypas, and Lenora Bell.


  5. It had been a long time for me too, and then I found out I missed this whole little series/trilogy! I've read book three as well since writing this review, haha. Now I need to go back and read the first in the series… 😉


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