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Just Like Heaven : Smythe-Smith Quartet Series : Book 1 - Julia Quinn

Just Like Heaven

Smythe-Smith Quartet Series : Book 1

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Published: 31st May 2011
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Once again, #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn transports her readers to historical romance heaven! Quinn’s Just Like Heaven is the dazzling first instalment of a delightful quartet of Regency Era-set tales featuring the romantic exploits of the well-meaning but less-than-accomplished Smythe-Smith musicians—in this case, a beautiful violinist in the pitiful group who has her sights set on marrying the last unwed Bridgerton…unless her handsome, love-struck guardian has anything to say about it. Bridgerton fans will cry, “Encore!”—as will every reader who adores England’s Regency period and great love stories that are smart, witty, and lighthearted.

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:

A) a really bad violinist
B) still miffed at being nicknamed "Bug" as a child
C) not in love with her older brother's best friend
D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:

A) the Earl of Chatteris
B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles
C) not in love with his best friend's younger sister
D) all of the above

Together they:
6448
A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake
B) survive a deadly fever and the world's worst musical performance
C) fall quite desperately in love

It's Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is . . .

D) all of the above

About The Author

Julia Quinn started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The New York Times bestselling author of sixteen novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.

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5.0

love the Bridgerton

By 

from Melbourne

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Interesting Characters
  • Sexy

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift

    Comments about Just Like Heaven:

    I love the Bridgerton, enjoyable and fun reading. One book you cannot put down

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    Chapter One

    March 1824
    Cambridge, England

    Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith was desperate.

    Desperate for a sunny day, desperate for a husband, desperate--she thought with an exhausted sigh as she looked down at her ruined blue slippers-- for a new pair of shoes.

    She sat down heavily on the stone bench outside Mr. Hilleford's Tobacco Shoppe for Discerning Gentlemen and pressed herself up against the wall behind her, desperately (there was that awful word again) trying to wedge her entire body under the awning. It was pouring. Pouring. Not drizzling, not merely raining, but pouring proverbial cats, dogs, sheep, and horses.

    At this rate, she wouldn't have been surprised if an elephant tumbled down from the sky.

    And it stank. Honoria had thought that cheroots produced her least favorite smell, but no, mold was worse, and Mr. Hilleford's Tobacco Shoppe for Gentlemen who Did Not Mind if Their Teeth Turned Yellow had a suspicious black substance creeping along its outer wall that smelled like death.

    Really, could she possibly be in a worse situation?

    Why yes. Yes, she could. Because she was (of course) quite alone, the rain having taken thirty seconds to go from drip to downpour. The rest of her shopping party was across the street, happily browsing in the warm and cozy Miss Pilaster's Fancy Emporium of Ribbons and Trinkets, which, in addition to having all sorts of fun and frilly merchandise, smelled a great deal better than Mr. Hilleford's establishment.

    Miss Pilaster sold perfume. Miss Pilaster sold dried rose petals and little candles that smelled like vanilla.

    Mr. Hilleford grew mold.

    Honoria sighed. Such was her life.

    She had lingered too long at the window of a bookshop, assuring her friends that she would meet them at Miss Pilaster's in a minute or two. Two minutes had turned to five, and then, just as she was preparing to make her way across the street, the heavens had opened and Honoria had had no choice but to take refuge under the only open awning on the south side of the Cambridge High Street.

    She stared mournfully at the rain, watching it pummel the street. The drops were pelting the cobblestones with tremendous force, splashing and spraying back into the air like tiny little explosions. The sky was darkening by the second, and if Honoria was any judge of English weather, the wind was going to pick up at any moment, rendering her pathetic spot under Mr. Hilleford's awning completely useless.

    Her mouth slipped into a dejected frown, and she squinted up at the sky.

    Her feet were wet.

    She was cold.

    And she'd never once, not in her entire life, left the boundaries of England, which meant that she was a rather good judge of English weather, and in about three minutes she was going to be even more miserable than she was right now.

    Which she really hadn't thought possible.

    Honoria?

    She blinked, bringing her gaze down from the sky to the carriage that had just rolled into place in front of her.

    Honoria?

    She knew that voice. "Marcus?"

    Oh, good heavens, her misery only needed this. Marcus Holroyd, the Earl of Chatteris, happy and dry in his plush carriage. Honoria felt her jaw go slack, although really, she didn't know why she should be surprised. Marcus lived in Cambridgeshire, not too far from the city. More to the point, if anyone were to see her while she was looking like a wet, bedraggled creature of the rodential variety, it would be he.

    Good God, Honoria, he said, scowling down at her in that supercilious way of his, "you must be freezing."

    She managed the barest of shrugs. "It is a bit brisk."

    What are you doing here?

    Ruining shoes.

    What?

    Shopping, she said, motioning across the street, "with friends. And cousins." Not that her cousins weren't also friends. But she had so many cousins they almost seemed a category unto themselves.

    The door opened wider. "Get in," he said. Not Will you please get in or Please, you must dry yourself off. Just Get in.

    Another girl might have tossed her hair and said, "You can't order me about!" Another, slightly less prideful girl might have thought it, even if she lacked the courage to say it aloud. But Honoria was cold, and she valued her comfort more than her pride, and more to the point, this was Marcus Holroyd, and she'd known him since she was in pinafores.

    Since the age of six, to be precise.

    That was also probably the last time she'd managed to show herself to advantage, she thought with a grimace. At seven she'd made such a pest of herself that he and her brother Daniel had taken to calling her "Mosquito." When she'd claimed to be complimented, that she loved how exotic and dangerous it sounded, they'd smirked and changed it to "Bug."

    Bug she'd been, ever since.

    He'd seen her wetter than this, too. He'd seen her completely soaked, back when she was eight and she'd thought she'd been completely hidden in the boughs of the old oak tree at Whipple Hill. Marcus and Daniel had built a fort at its base, no girls allowed. They had pelted her with pebbles until she'd lost her grip and tumbled down.

    In retrospect, she really shouldn't have chosen the branch that hung over the lake.

    He'd fished her out of the dunk, though, which was more than she could say for her own brother.

    Marcus Holroyd, she thought ruefully. He'd been in her life almost as long as she could remember. Since before he was Lord Chatteris, since before Daniel was Lord Winstead. Since before Charlotte, her closest-in-age sister, had married and left home.

    Since before Daniel, too, had left.

    Honoria.

    She looked up. Marcus's voice was impatient, but his face held a hint of concern. "Get in," he repeated.

    She nodded and did as he said, taking his large hand in hers and accepting his help into his carriage. "Marcus," she said, trying to settle herself into her seat with all the grace and nonchalance she might exhibit in a fine drawing room, never mind the puddles at her feet. "What a lovely surprise to see you."

    He just stared at her, his dark brows coming ever-so-slightly together. He was trying to decide the most effective way to scold her, she was sure.

    I am staying here in town. With the Royles, she told him, even though he hadn't yet asked. "We are here for five days--Cecily Royle, my cousins Sarah and Iris, and I." She waited for a moment, for some sort of flash of recognition in his eyes, then said, "You don't remember who they are, do you?"

    You have a great many cousins, he pointed out.

    Sarah is the one with the thick, dark hair and eyes.

    Thick eyes? he murmured, cracking a tiny smile.

    Marcus.

    He chuckled. "Very well. Thick hair. Dark eyes."

    Iris is very pale. Strawberry blond hair? she prompted. "You still don't recall."

    She comes from that family of flowers.

    Honoria winced. It was true that her uncle William and aunt Maria had chosen to name their daughters Rose, Marigold, Lavender, Iris, and Daisy, but still.

    I know who Miss Royle is, Marcus said.

    She's your neighbor. You have to know who she is.

    He just shrugged.

    At any rate, we are here in Cambridge because Cecily's mother thought we could all use a bit of improving.

    His mouth tipped into a vaguely mocking smile. "Improving?"

    Honoria wondered why females always needed improving, while males got to go to school. "She bribed two professors into allowing us to listen to their lectures."

    Really? He sounded curious. And dubious.

    The life and times of Queen Elizabeth, Honoria recited dutifully. "And after that, something in Greek."

    Do you speak Greek?

    Not a one of us, she admitted. "But the professor was the only other one who was willing to speak to females." She rolled her eyes. "He intends to deliver the lecture twice in a row. We must wait in an office until the students leave the lecture hall, lest they see us and lose all sense of reason."

    Marcus nodded thoughtfully. "It is nearly impossible for a gentleman to keep his mind upon his studies in the presence of such overwhelming female loveliness."

    Honoria thought he was serious for about two seconds. She managed one sideways glance in his direction before she burst out with a snort of laughter. "Oh, please," she said, giving him a light punch in the arm. Such familiarities were unheard of in London, but here, with Marcus...

    He was practically her brother, after all.

    How fares your mother? he asked.

    She is well, Honoria replied, even though she wasn't. Not really. Lady Winstead had never quite recovered from the scandal of Daniel being forced to leave the country. She alternated between fussing over supposed slights and pretending her only son had never existed.

    It was... difficult.

    She hopes to retire to Bath, Honoria added. "Her sister lives there, and I think the two of them would get on well together. She doesn't really like London."

    Your mother? Marcus asked, with some surprise.

    Not as she used to, Honoria clarified. "Not since Daniel... Well. You know."

    Marcus's lips tightened at the corners. He knew.

    She thinks people are still talking about it, Honoria said.

    Are they?

    Honoria shrugged helplessly. "I have no idea. I don't think so. No one has given me the cut direct. Besides, it was nearly three years ago. Wouldn't you think everyone has something else to talk about?"

    I would have thought that everyone would have had something else to talk about when it happened, he said darkly.

    Honoria lifted a brow as she regarded his scowl. There was a reason he scared off so many debutantes. Her friends were terrified of him.

    Well, that wasn't entirely true. They were only scared while in his presence. The rest of the time they sat at their escritoires, writing their names entwined with his--all in ridiculous loopy script, adorned with hearts and cherubs.

    He was quite the matrimonial catch, Marcus Holroyd.

    It wasn't that he was handsome, because he wasn't, not exactly. His hair was a nice dark color; his eyes, too, but there was something about his face that Honoria found harsh. His brow was too heavy, too straight, his eyes set a bit too deeply.

    But still, there was something about him that caught the eye. An aloofness, a tinge of disdain, as if he simply did not have the patience for nonsense.

    It made the girls mad for him, even though most were nonsense personified.

    They whispered about him as if he were some dark storybook hero, or if not that, then the villain, all gothic and mysterious, needing only to be redeemed.

    Whereas to Honoria he was simply Marcus, which wasn't anything simple, at all. She hated the way he patronized her, watching her with that disapproving stare. He made her feel as she'd been years ago, as an annoying child, or gawky adolescent.

    And yet at the same time, there was something so comforting in having him about. Their paths did not cross as often as they used to --everything was different now that Daniel was gone-- but when she walked into a room, and he was there...

    She knew it.

    And oddly enough, that was a good thing.

    Do you plan to come down to London for the season? she asked politely.

    For some of it, he replied, his face inscrutable. "I have matters to attend to here."

    Of course.

    And you? he asked.

    She blinked.

    Do you plan to go down to London for the season?

    Her lips parted. Surely he could not be serious. Where else would she possibly go, given her unmarried state? It wasn't as if--

    Are you laughing? she asked suspiciously.

    Of course not. But he was smiling.

    It's not funny, she told him. "It's not as if I have a choice. I have to go for the season. I'm desperate."

    Desperate, he repeated, and he looked dubious. It was a frequent expression on his face.

    I have to find a husband this year. She felt her head shaking back and forth, even though she wasn't sure what she might be objecting to. Her situation was not so very different from most of her friends. She wasn't the only young lady hoping for marriage. But she wasn't looking for a husband so that she could admire the ring on her finger or bask in the glory of her status as a dashing young matron. She wanted a house of her own. A family--a large, noisy one that didn't always mind their manners.

    She was just so sick of the silence that had taken over her home. She hated the sound of her footsteps clacking across the floor, hated that it was so frequently the only noise she heard all afternoon.

    She needed a husband. It was the only way.

    Oh, come now, Honoria, Marcus said, and she didn't need to see his face to know his expression precisely--patronizing and skeptical, with just a touch of ennui. "Your life cannot possibly be so dire."

    She grit her teeth together. She despised that tone. "Forget I said anything," she muttered, because really, it wasn't worth it, trying to explain it to him.

    He let out a breath, and even that managed to be condescending. "You're not likely to find a husband here," he said.

    She let out an aggrieved breath, regretting that she'd brought up the subject.

    The students here are too young, he remarked.

    They are the same age as I am, she said, falling neatly into his trap.

    But Marcus did not gloat; he wasn't the sort. "That is why you're here in Cambridge, isn't it? To visit with the students who have not yet gone down to London?"

    She looked determinedly straight ahead as she said, "I told you, we're here to listen to lectures."

    He nodded. "In Greek."

    Marcus.

    He grinned at that. Except it wasn't really a grin. Marcus was always so serious, so stiff, that a grin for him would be a dry half-smile on anyone else. Honoria wondered how often he smiled without anyone realizing it. He was lucky she knew him so well. Anyone else would think him completely without humor.

    What was that about? he asked.

    She started and looked over at him. "What was what about?"

    You rolled your eyes.

    Did I? Honestly, she had no idea if she had or not. But more to the point, why was he watching her so closely? This was Marcus, for heaven's sake. She looked out the window. "Do you think the rain has let up?"

    No, he replied, not turning his head even an inch. Honoria supposed he didn't need to. It had been a stupid question, meant for nothing but changing the subject. The rain was still beating down on the carriage mercilessly.

    Shall I convey you to the Royles'? he asked politely.

    No, thank you. Honoria craned her neck a bit, trying to see through the glass and the storm and the next bit of glass into Miss Pilaster's. She couldn't see a thing, but it was a good excuse not to look at him, so she made a good show of it. "I'll join my friends in a moment."

    Are you hungry? he inquired. "I stopped at Flindle's earlier and have a few cakes wrapped to take home."

    Her eyes lit up. "Cakes?"

    She didn't say the word as much as she sighed it. Or maybe moaned it. But she didn't care. He knew that sweets were her weakness; he was the same way. Daniel had never been particularly fond of dessert, and more than once, she and Marcus had found themselves together as children, huddled over a plate of cakes and biscuits.

    Daniel had said they looked like a pack of savages, which had made Marcus laugh uproariously. Honoria never did understand why.

    He reached down and drew something out of a box at his feet. "Are you still partial to chocolate?"

    "Always." She felt herself smile in kinship. And perhaps in anticipation, as well.

    He started to laugh. "Do you remember that torte Cook made--"

    The one the dog got into?

    I almost cried.

    She grimaced. "I think I did cry."

    I got one bite.

    I got none, she said longingly. "But it smelled divine."

    Oh, it was. He looked as if the memory of it might send him into a rapture. "It was."

    You know, I always thought Daniel might have had something to do with Buttercup getting into the house.

    I'm sure he did, Marcus agreed. "The look on his face..."

    I hope you thrashed him.

    To within an inch of his life, he assured her.

    She grinned, then asked, "But not really?"

    He smiled in return. "Not really." He chuckled at the memory and held out a small rectangle of chocolate cake, lovely and brown atop a crisp piece of white paper. It smelled just like heaven. Honoria took a deep, happy breath and smiled.

    Then she looked over at Marcus and smiled anew. Because for a moment she'd felt like herself again, like the girl she'd been just a few years ago, when the world lay before her, a bright shiny ball that glittered with promise. It had been a feeling she hadn't even realized she'd been missing--of belonging, of place, of being with someone who knew you utterly and completely and still thought you were worth laughing with.

    Strange that it should be Marcus who should make her feel that way.

    And in so many ways, not strange at all.

    She took the cake from his hand and looked down at it questioningly.

    I'm afraid I haven't any sort of utensil, he said apologetically.

    It might make a terrible mess, she said, hoping that he realized that what she was really saying was, "Please tell me that you don't mind if I spread crumbs all over your carriage."

    I shall have one, too, he told her. "So that you don't feel alone."

    She tried not to smile. "That is most generous of you."

    I am quite certain it is my gentlemanly duty.

    To eat cake?

    It is one of the more appealing of my gentlemanly duties, he allowed.

    Honoria giggled, then took a bite. "Oh, my."

    Good?

    Heavenly. She took another bite. "And by that I mean beyond heavenly."

    He grinned and ate some of his own, devouring half in one bite. Then, while Honoria watched with some surprise, he popped the other half into his mouth and finished it.

    The piece hadn't been very large, but still. She took a nibble of her own, trying to make it last longer.

    You always did that, he said.

    She looked up. "What?"

    Ate your dessert slowly, just to torture the rest of us.

    I like to make it last. She gave him an arch look, accompanied by a one-shouldered shrug. "If you feel tortured by that, that must be your own problem."

    Heartless, he murmured.

    With you, always.

    He chuckled again, and Honoria was struck by how different he was in private. It was almost as if she had the old Marcus back, the one who had practically lived at Whipple Hill. He had truly become a member of the family, even joining their dreadful pantomimes. He had played a tree every time; for some reason that had always amused her.

    She liked that Marcus. She had adored that Marcus.

    But he'd been gone these past few years, replaced by the silent, scowling man known to the rest of the world as Lord Chatteris. It was sad, really. For her, but probably most of all, for him.

    She finished her cake, trying to ignore his amused expression, then accepted his handkerchief to wipe the crumbs from her hands. "Thank you," she said, handing it back.

    He nodded his welcome, then said, "When are you--"

    But he was cut off by a sharp rap at the window.

    Honoria peered past him to see who was knocking.

    Beg your pardon, sir, said a footman in familiar livery. "Is that Lady Honoria?"

    It is.

    Honoria leaned forward. "That's... er..." Very well, she had no idea of his name, but he had accompanied the group of girls on their shopping expedition. "He's from the Royles." She gave Marcus a quick, awkward smile before standing, then crouching so that she might exit the carriage. "I must go. My friends will be waiting for me."

    I shall call upon you tomorrow.

    What? She froze, bent over like a crone.

    One of his brows rose in mocking salute. "Surely your hostess won't mind."

    Mrs. Royle, mind that an unmarried earl not yet thirty planned to pay a call upon her home? It would be all Honoria could do to stop her from organizing a parade.

    I'm sure that would be lovely, she managed to say.

    Good. He cleared his throat. "It has been too long."

    She looked at him in surprise. Surely he didn't give her a thought when they were not both in London, swanning about for the season.

    I am glad you are well, he said abruptly.

    Why such a statement was so startling, Honoria couldn't have begun to say. But it was.

    It really was.

    Marcus watched as the Royles' footman escorted Honoria into the shop across the street and then, once he was assured of her safety, rapped three times on the wall, signaling to the coachman to continue.

    He had been surprised to see her in Cambridge. He did not keep close tabs on Honoria when he was not in London, but still, he somehow thought he'd have known if she was going to be spending time so close to his home.

    He supposed he ought to start making plans to go down to town for the season. He had not been lying when he told her he had business to attend to here, although it probably would have been more accurate to say that he simply preferred to remain in the country. There was nothing that required his presence in Cambridgeshire, just quite a lot that would be made easier by it.

    Not to mention that he hated the season. Hated it. But if Honoria was hell-bent on acquiring herself a husband, then he would go to London to make sure she made no disastrous mistakes.

    He had made a vow, after all.

    Daniel Smythe-Smith had been his closest friend. No, his only friend, his only true friend.

    A thousand acquaintances and one true friend.

    Such was his life.

    But Daniel was gone, somewhere in Italy if the latest missive was still current. And he wasn't likely to return, not while the Marquess of Ramsgate still lived, hell-bent on revenge.

    What a bloody cock-up the whole thing had been. Marcus had told Daniel not to play cards with Hugh Prentice. But no, Daniel had just laughed, determined to try his hand. Prentice always won. Always. He was bloody brilliant, everyone knew it. Maths, physics, history--he'd ended up teaching the dons at university. Hugh Prentice didn't cheat at cards, he simply won all the time because he had a freakishly sharp memory and a mind that saw the world in patterns and equations.

    Or so he'd told Marcus when they'd been students together at Eton. Truth was, Marcus still didn't quite understand what he'd been talking about. And he'd been the second best student at maths. But next to Hugh... Well, there could be no comparison.

    No one in their right mind played cards with Hugh Prentice, but Daniel hadn't been in his right mind. He'd been a little bit drunk, and a little bit giddy over some girl he'd just bedded, and so he sat down across from Hugh and played.

    And won.

    Even Marcus hadn't been able to believe it.

    Not that he thought Daniel was a cheat. No one thought Daniel was a cheat. Everyone liked him. Everyone trusted him. But then again, no one ever beat Hugh Prentice.

    But Hugh had been drinking. And Daniel had been drinking. And they'd all been drinking, and when Hugh knocked over the table and accused Daniel of cheating, the room went to hell.

    To this day Marcus wasn't sure exactly what was said, but within minutes it had been settled--Daniel Smythe-Smith would be meeting Hugh Prentice at dawn. With pistols.

    And with any luck, they'd be sober enough by then to realize their own idiocy.

    Hugh had shot first, his bullet grazing Daniel's left shoulder. And while everyone was gasping about that --the polite thing would have been to shoot in the air-- Daniel raised his arm and fired back.

    And Daniel --bloody hell but Daniel had always had bad aim-- Daniel had caught Hugh at the top of his thigh. There had been so much blood Marcus still felt queasy just thinking about it. The surgeon had screamed. The bullet had hit an artery; nothing else could have produced such a torrent of blood. For three days all the worry had been whether Hugh would live or die; no one gave much thought to the leg, with its shattered femur.

    Hugh lived, but he didn't walk, not without a cane. And his father --the extremely powerful and extremely angry Marquess of Ramsgate-- vowed that Daniel would be brought to justice.

    Hence Daniel's flight to Italy.

    Hence Daniel's breathless, last-minute, promise-me-now-because-we're-standing-at-the-docks-and-the-ship-is-about-to-leave request:



    "Watch over Honoria, will you? See that she doesn't marry an idiot."

    Of course Marcus had said yes. What else could he say? But he'd never told Honoria of his promise to her brother. Good God, that would be disaster. It was difficult enough keeping up with her without her knowledge. If she'd known he was acting in loco parentis, she'd have been furious. The last thing he needed was her trying to thwart him.

    Which she would do. He was sure of it.

    It wasn't that she was deliberately willful. She was, for the most part, a perfectly reasonable girl. But even the most reasonable of females took umbrage when they thought they were being bossed about.

    So he watched from afar, and he quietly scared off a suitor or two.

    Or three.

    Or maybe four.

    He'd promised Daniel.

    And Marcus Holroyd did not break his promises.
    Julia Quinn

    During her senior year at Harvard College, Julia Quinn (often known in cyberspace as JQ) realized that she didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. This depressed her. In fact, the only thing that saved her sanity during this dark, dreary time was the fact that none of her friends knew, either. So she sat down with a big tub of Ben & Jerry's and a good book and decided to figure out what to do.

    Getting a job seemed too difficult. She wouldn't mind HAVING a job, but she certainly didn't know how to get one.

    Law school seemed too annoying. Everyone hated lawyers, and Julia liked to be liked.

    Business school was not an option. They only took people who had been in the work force for at least two years, and, as noted above, Julia didn't know how to get a job.

    The only option left (this shows you how narrow her world-view was) was medical school. "Aha!" she thought. "I could be a good doctor." She quickly picked up the phone and ran this idea past her parents, who were understandably baffled, since her degree was in Art History, but being the cool people they are, they said, "Great!"

    Julia hung up the phone, blinked a couple of times, and said aloud, "Okay, so I'm going to be a doctor. Cool." Then she pulled out a pad of paper and proceeded to figure out how long this would take. (Note: careers in medicine are not for those who crave instant gratification.) It turned out that it would be over two years before she could even ENTER medical school since she had to take all those pesky science classes in order to apply. Clearly, she needed to find something to do during that time, since she knew from experience that she probably wouldn't be studying as much as she ought.

    That's when she looked at the book next to the tub of now-empty Ben & Jerry's. It was a romance. "I could write one of those," she thought.

    And so she did.

    Two years later, just as Julia was deciding between Yale School of Medicine and Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, her agent called to tell her that her first two books, Splendid and Dancing at Midnight, were the subject of a fierce bidding war between two publishing houses.

    So she put off medical school for a year and wrote Minx. Then she put off medical school for another year and wrote Everything And The Moon. Then she got a little nervous and thought that maybe she ought to give med school a try and so she picked up a scalpel, started dissecting cadavers, and learned more about the citric acid cycle than anyone (including most med students) wants to know.

    A few months later, however, she realized that she must have experienced a bout of temporary insanity and she withdrew from medical school and wrote Brighter Than The Sun. This was followed by To Catch An Heiress and the critically acclaimed How To Marry a Marquis.

    Julia's writing has quickly earned a reputation for warmth and humor, and her dialogue is considered among the best in the industry. She has been profiled in TIME Magazine (a rarity among romance writers) and has even competed on the game show The Weakest Link.

    Each year brings more accolades; in 2001 she was a double finalist in the Romance Writers of America (RWA)'s prestigious RITA Awards (for The Duke And I and The Viscount Who Loved Me), and later that year she made her debut on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list with An Offer From a Gentleman. 2002 saw the release of the much-anticipated Romancing Mister Bridgerton, which was voted one of the Top Ten books of the year by the membership of RWA and was a finalist for the RITA Awards in the category of long historical. To Sir Phillip, With Love received a rare starred review in Publishers Weekly, the trade magazine of the publishing industry, and was later named by that publication as one of the six best mass market original novels of the year. The popularity of the Bridgerton series continued to rise with 2004's When He Was Wicked, and 2005's It's in His Kiss, both of which debuted near the top of the New York Times list.

    In 2006, Julia Quinn released the eighth and final installment in the Bridgerton series: the much awaited On the Way to the Wedding. The following year, she won her first RITA Award for this novel.

    In 2008, she again won the RITA, this time for The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever. A few months after that, she achieved every writer's dream, and hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for the second book in her groundbreaking "Two Dukes of Wyndham" series: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume.

    Julia Quinn won her third RITA award in 2010, for What Happens in London, and was inducted into Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.

    Visit Julia Quinn's Booktopia Author Page


    ISBN: 9780061491900
    ISBN-10: 006149190X
    Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 384
    Published: 31st May 2011
    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
    Country of Publication: US
    Dimensions (cm): 17.1 x 10.6  x 2.54
    Weight (kg): 0.18
    Edition Number: 1