Monday, November 9, 2009

Julia Quinn: What Happens in London

What Happens in London: C
Olivia Bevelstoke & Hero (Harry Valentine)
sequel to The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

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 . . .

I happen to think What Happens in London is a very average book. It has average characters with average writing, with an average... well, average everything. The characters are so forgettable, I've actually forgotten the hero's name. This almost never happens... well, unless the characters are forgettable.

I do remember Olivia Bevelstoke as the heroine. She's pretty and as as a pretty girl in London during the regency times, she has to hide the fact that she has a brain. But she meets the unnamed hero (all right, I'll look up his name for you..!) in a very unsmart, albeit funny, manner: hearing rumors that hero might be a psychopathic killer prompts her to spy on him when he moves in next to her.

He catches her spying on him, they are acquainted, and then somehow, he ends up being her bodyguard. The details are failing me, but something about one of Olivia's suitors (a Russian prince!) being suspicious... in any case, they're around each other all the time and the flames of passion ignite!

Other than the entertaining way in which she spies on hero, I can't remember any significant things about the story... other than the fact that Olivia and hero's sex scene (you know, that ultimate, cataclysmic scene in which both realize they've found the love of each others' lives because of the amazing sex and etc) is the worst sex scene I've ever read. It's worse than an unwritten sex scene (in which you imagine hero and heroine has a soul-shattering moment) and this scene, readers, was so laughable and uncool, I promptly forgot why I found it so horrible; I'm only left with the thought of, 'Worst sex scene ever!!'

I think this is a good place to say that I'm not a huge fan of Ms. Quinn's writing style.
She aims for the cutesy, witty, intelligent style that is lacking in details (of all kinds, including characters, plot, setting...) and fails to be humorous. It just... tries too hard? is unfunny? witty but not really witty? If paired with a decent plot (I did enjoy her The Lost Duke of Wyndham and Mr. Cavendish, I Presume though it had the same unfunny writing style) I think the book is enjoyable enough, but without it, the book is just an average read.

With that, I'll end this very average book review.

Oh! While searching for the book's synopsis, Amazon tells me hero's name is Mr. Harry Valentine. Ah yes... Harry Valentine...

1 comment:

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I pretty much agree with you about this book, not her best. Have you read her Bridgerton series? Believe me, many of the books in that series are above average, and the sex scenes are too! Give her another try with the Bridgertons (in order), it's one of my all time favorite romance series!