Friday, 2 June 2017

Review: The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (The Rokesbys Book 2) by Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn is one of my all-time favourite authors. I've read every one of her books. I love her big-hearted characters, who are usually part of lovable eccentric families, and the fabulous witty dialogue between heroes and heroines. But unfortunately I'm not really feeling her new Rokesby series.

It is 1779. Cecilia Harcourt has been living an isolated life in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, with her widowed father. She lives for the letters she receives from her brother Thomas, who is a soldier fighting for the British in the American War of Independence (I think! My American history is a little hazy and the book didn't make it clear). When she receives a letter saying Thomas has been wounded, in the same week her father dies, she decides to head to America to be with him - only to arrive and discover he is nowhere to be found.

In the meantime, Thomas's friend, Edward Rokesby, has woken up in a hospital in New York, to find three months of his life missing and Cecilia claiming to be his wife. Surely he'd remember if he was married?

I have read very few historical romances set in this period in America, so I was really looking forward to learning more about that time. There was also Edward's missing three months and the mysterious disappearance of Thomas - was or wasn't he a spy, etc. Instead, all of this fizzled out and the main part of the story is about Cecilia and Edward's relationship. Which was fine; this is a romance after all. But I had been expecting a little bit more ...

Julia Quinn's style of writing, her characters, her witty dialogue; they are all here and as brilliant as usual - five stars. But the lack of historical detail and plot was more of a three. Averaging out at 4 stars.

Recommended for anyone who loves romantic comedies set in the past, and for fans of Eloisa James. If you've never read Julia Quinn before, I'd suggest you start with her famous Bridgerton Series - The Viscount Who Loved Me and An Offer from a Gentleman are my favourites. Although my all-time favourite is one of her stand-alones: The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever.

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