10 April 2012

Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith #1)

Reading all those Eloisa James novels brought me to Julia Quinn, who wrote a lot of blurbs for said novels.  I found a strip of Just Like Heaven at the store, started reading it, then bought it because I enjoyed it so much.

Just Like Heaven is the first of the planned Smythe-Smith Quartet.  Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith is getting a bit desperate for a husband.  She's still living at home with her mother - who may be slightly clinically depressed due to her only son Daniel living abroad due to the lasting effects of a duel (he won, if that is any consolation which it's not) - and starting to wish for a household of her own.  The problem is that any time she thinks a gentleman might be coming up to scratch he runs away.

She can thank her brother for that.  Before he left, Daniel asked his best friend Marcus, the Earl of Chatteris, to look after Honoria and make sure any fortune-hunters/rakes-looking-to-take-advantage-of-missing-male-protection leave her alone.  Lonely, only-child Marcus grew up practically as one of the family.  He spent many holidays with the Smythe-Smiths where he and Daniel gave Honoria her unfortunate nickname: Bug (it started out as Mosquito but she thought it was pretty).

So Honoria hatches up a plan: during a house-party, to which several eligible gentlemen are invited including the very-eligible Marcus who lives nearby, she will take a walk, trip and "injure" her ankle in a pre-prepared gopher hole, and require a rescue from any aforementioned gentlemen.  Marcus sees her preparing her hole, waits until she "injures" herself, teases her about it, then gets his own foot caught in the hole which causes him a real injury.  All of this leads to Marcus catching a chill then septicaemia - his valet cut his foot when they cut his boot off, the cut becomes infected then threatens Marcus's life.  Honoria's plan is working very well, don't you think?

I found this to be a very sweet book.  Honoria's reluctance to play in the Smythe-Smith quartet - the infamous, traditional, tone-deaf string quartet comprised of eligible female Smythe-Smith cousins - provided many laughs (the only way out of the performance is marriage or death - whichever comes first).  I loved how Marcus is a quiet man not a rake (and since I've been reading Cynsters and Mackenzies and Boscastles and Desperate Duchesses, I needed the change).

One caveat: weak stomachs may want to skim over the debridement scene - it is decently accurate and icky.

No comments:

Post a Comment