Book Review: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 3.31.14 PM.pngI read this book on the plane and laughed so hard that I started crying. The woman next to me had to ask if I was okay.

Needless to say, I loved this book: I would give it six stars if I could and it definitely earns a spot on my list of all-time favorites.

Honestly, typically,  Julia Quinn isn’t my favorite author. I don’t dislike her books, but I don’t seek them out either. While she is an excellent writer, I tend to find her plots a little bit dull. Yet this book was anything but! It was just one big glorious mess of “what the heck is going on?”

This book follows the love story of Olivia Bevelstoke and Sir Harry Valentine. The two characters could not be more different: Olivia is the bell of the ball, loves gossip, and shopping for fancy clothes. Meanwhile, Sir Harry Valentine diligently works for the War Office translating Russian documents. He has no interest in balls or flirting and spends most of the day in his office working.

After spying Harry through her window, Olivia becomes convinced he is hiding something (because, really, can someone actually work that much?). Thus, she decides to hide behind the curtains and watch him all day long.

Harry finds the entire situation amusing, but when Olivia gets involved with a Russian prince suddenly her spying doesn’t feel so harmless. When his superiors demand Harry spies on Olivia back sparks fly.

I loved both Harry and Olivia—particularly Henry. We all know how difficult it is to create a regency hero who isn’t a complete tool. And Henry? Definitely not a tool. 10/10 would date. He is dedicated, intelligent, loyal to his family, and completely crazy about Olivia. Furthermore, despite his love of routine and normalcy, he has a surprisingly good sense of humor. The interactions between the two of them always made me smile; the chemistry was definitely there.

However, what catapults this book from just really good to absolutely amazing it is the supporting characters and Russian spy sub-plot. Prince Alexei is amazing and wonderful and don’t even get me started on Harry’s cousin Sebastian and his antics. Not to mention that every time there was an exert from a Miss Butterworth book I snort laughed. Oh to the poor woman next to me on the plane: I’m so very sorry.

But to everyone else: Read this book.

Rating: 5/5

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