My week-end was rather relaxing... Went for breakfast with a friend and then, went to a restaurant opening... didn't stay long though. I only read one book and a harlequin at that, so quite short... On the plus side though, I did start working on my excel spreadsheet for books. When I went to Kristie's last month (1 month already!!!), I stole her excel spreadsheet where she keeps track of all her books :) I figured it'd be easier to delete the ones I didn't have and add the surplus then starting from scratch... which it is! :) However, so far, I've only deleted... Yesterday, I actually sat for a couple of hours and added some... I still have a long way to go though ^_^; Actually, I find it scary, LOL :) To know exactly how many books I own...
What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
published by Avon in June 2009
When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancée, 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 a 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...
Series: connected to The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever
The Story: The blurb does a very good job at summing up the storyline, so I won't try it :P
My Opinion: What Happens in London was a very cute, enjoyable and quick read. I think what I appreciate the most was the simplicity of the plot. I liked it that Olivia and Harry had time to get acquainted with each other - actually, they didn't even like each other at the beginning. The banter was quite amusing between the two.
I have not read The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, so I don't know how Olivia was in that previous book, but in this one, she's a pleasant lady. She's firm in her opinion and doesn't seem to like frivolities too much. I like the fact that she's aware of how Society perceives her and how it affects her. She's clever, level-headed and curious LOL :) Harry was a nice man... LOL, a nerdy historical hero :) I liked the fact that he lived an ordered life and wasn't a rake at all, didn't engage in debauchery. It's unfortunate that he doesn't have a close relationship with his siblings, but you can see that Harry cares and is trying, especially towards his younger brother, Edward. All in all, I enjoyed the H/H. They were pleasant and well developed enough, although they perhaps lacked some depth. The secondary characters were interesting, but perhaps too uni-dimensional. It's clear that they were there to serve a purpose and that's what they did. Sebastian was my favorite, LOL :)
Overall, the plot is quite simple, but in a good way. Harry is asked to spy on the Russian prince to figure out whether or not he is a Napoleon supporter. At the same time, he is asked to keep an eye on Olivia, because if she was to fall for a Napoleon supporter, it would be embarrassing to the English aristocracy. Harry and Olivia had lots of scenes together and it was fun and cute. Their interactions with the other characters were funny as well. The best scene was probably when Sebastian was reading a passage of Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron LOL :) then, when he dislocated his shoulder and it was re-set and he screamed like a girl LOL :P One of the thing I liked as well is that there was no big misunderstanding... I was glad that at the end, when it is revealed that the reason Harry first called on her was because of duty, she didn't get angry. She understood and didn't hold it against him.
My only complaint about this book is while it was fun and enjoyable, it was also a little bit bland ^_^; I don't know, but the storyline was quite passive with little action. Oh, it was cute... but I don't know, I felt something was missing... that it could have been more interesting (without putting a murder or mystery to solve). Also, I felt like there were a few loose ends: what about Harry and Edward's relationship? What about Harry's parents - I'm assuming they're dead...
My Grade: I'm really hesitating between a B and a B+, but I think I'm going to go with a B. What Happens in London was definitively fun and enjoyable... but it was also a bit too light and fluffy. It's good, but I personally don't think it's Ms Quinn's best book.