I have always loved Julia Quinn’s books. She is, without a doubt, my favorite historical romance author. I used to eagerly await her newest book every year, starting when I was in college. My family grew quicker than I anticipated (twins will do that to you), and there was a period of time when I didn’t have as much time for personal reading. As a result, I missed out on some of Julia Quinn’s books. I have been enjoying rediscovering old favorites, as well as introducing myself to some of the books I have missed out on.
I honestly can’t remember if I read Just Like Heaven when it originally came out in 2011. At that point, I had two 1 year olds and a 3 year old- I don’t remember much of anything! I have a paperback copy, but I purchased the Audible edition when it was on sale. I’ve been listening to it when I go on walks around the neighborhood. It took me a month to get through; we’ve had some unseasonably warm days, but we’ve also had a couple of snowstorms.
Just Like Heaven is the first book in the Smythe-Smith quartet. Fans of Julia Quinn might recognize the Smythe-Smiths as the family who hosts annual musicales featuring infamously dreadful girls doing great injustice to classical music. The makeup of the performers has changed over the last twenty years, as members get married and resign their place on stage in favor of a younger sister or cousin.
Honoria Smythe-Smith is one of the girls currently in the group. She hates it because she knows they’re dreadful, but she is loyal to her family and its traditions. She is enjoying her time with her friends and family before the Season starts, and keeps running to her brother’s friend Marcus Holroyd.
Marcus always thought of Honoria as his best friend Daniel’s pesky little sister, but that was many years ago. She has grown up, and Daniel has asked Marcus to keep an eye on her and frighten away any unsuitable suitors.
When Marcus injures himself due to something that Honoria did, she feels an obligation to help him recover. As she helps him recuperate, they both realize that there is something more than friendship between them.
I love nineteenth century England- from the Regency period to the Victorian era, I love it all. There’s something about the rules of courtship, the glamour of the aristocracy, and the obsession with making a good match. Honoria and Marcus are a delightful pair, and I really enjoyed how their feelings for each other developed over the course of the story. While Marcus was happy to scare away suitors, it never occurred to him that he was in love with Honoria.
I would absolutely recommend Just Like Heaven. This is the first book in a series, so it is a good place to start if you aren’t familiar with Julia Quinn’s books. I would also point out that there are some romantic scenes in the book. There’s nothing particularly graphic or explicit, but the book is definitely intended for a mature audience. I am certainly looking forward to becoming reacquainted with Julia Quinn’s books before her newest book comes out next month!