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What Happens in London Book Cover What Happens in London
Bevelstoke #2
Julia Quinn
Historical Romance
20th June 2009

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 am on a roll baby!

Second book finished within a week… What is happening??

*COVID-19 & Quarantine more like it but that’s not the point*

Initially, I did not like this book because I did not like the female protagonist. My first impression of her was that she seemed to be a dimwit or at least a dimwit that thinks she is intelligent and quite honestly I wanted to stop listening to the audiobook once I reached chapter 3.

But, after finishing chapter 3, I realized the book minus the female lead who is Olivia Bevelstoke, wasn’t half bad actually at least until the end of the book.

I am being nitpicky whereby the reason I dislike Olivia is that it seems like aside from reading the newspaper, she doesn’t do much. She doesn’t speak other languages or try to learn them, she is horrid with musical instruments as well as embroidering or sewing, she also dislikes to read fiction but it isn’t shown if she reads non-fiction. So, I am inclined to think that she does nothing with her intelligence. Yes, I do realize I thought her to be a dimwit but what other conclusions can I conjure when after listening to the gossips brought to her by her friends regarding Harry that she, in turn, decides to spy on him through her window like an idiot.

It annoys me that she does nothing with her wit because from the banter and retort she gives Harry, she is not without a brain. I am befuddled that she doesn’t use it for something, anything. What does she do with her day then aside from reading a newspaper and attend parties and soirees? It seemed like all she was, was just a pretty face and yeah she was more than that but it was not shown in the book.

Basically, Olivia lacked characterization. Aside from her being beautiful, she is quite forgettable. There was nothing to denote her being different and unique aside from her physical attributes.

Other than that, I also have a problem with Harry towards the end of the book. I quite enjoyed his character throughout the book but towards the end, he seemed so out of character attacking Prince Alexei and what not just because the man was drinking vodka at an intense moment. Like dude, chill man.

If it was shown CONSISTENTLY that Harry truly detested whoever that drank in near proximity towards him then fine by all means that minor thing in the plot would work but it wasn’t so you are just left utterly confused because Harry had always been a controlled and calm man and a supposed officer that was able to control his emotions.

The romance between Harry and Olivia was okay I suppose, Harry and Olivia seemed like a good match. It wasn’t as if I was swept away by it. It was meh.

Another aspect, I would like to talk about was the writing. Overall, it was good, I had a good laugh whenever Sebastian was in the picture but I have to admit there was too much fluff for me in this book. Far too much unnecessary banter or retort or dialogue that went absolutely nowhere and just made me bored out of my mind.

Also, what was the point of giving a prologue for Harry showing his broken family dynamic and familial issues if it wasn’t going to be resolved at the end of the book? That was half an hour of my life listening to the prologue that I can never take back. Why write it if it wasn’t going to be solved or at least dealt with even a bit.

You could have just written up Harry’s disgust for all sorts of alcohol on another reason that didn’t need a whole prologue for.

The positive point from this book that I could gather was that I adored scenes that had Sebastian in it. He was so much fun to read.

In conclusion, I would not recommend this book not when there are so many other Julia Quinn books that are far more entertaining.

Okay, this was an afterthought but let us all be real Harry only thought the spying thing was charming because Olivia is pretty. I am quite confident had she looked like a troll he would not find such activities endearing or cute. He would probably call the cops on her.