Thursday, 20 December 2012

10 Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

About the book
10 Things I Love About You is the third book in the Bevelstoke series by Julia Quinn. The book was published on 3rd June 2010 by Piatkus and it is 384 pages long. 

Annabelle Winslow has just moved from the country to London for his first season. Her family isn't in the best position and are desperate need of money, meaning that Annabelle must marry. She doesn't mind that she must marry but the man interested is vile and old. The Earl of Newbury only wants a bride that will be able to give him a son as he is in desperate need of an heir, since he doesn't want his nephew to inherit the title and Annabelle fits his requirements perfectly. 

Sebastian Grey is that nephew. He isn't bothered at all if he inherits the title or not although no one really seems to believe him. While at a house party in Hampstead, waiting on the heath for a married woman, Annabelle trips over him lying on the grass. Annabelle finds Sebastian utterly charming and even though she knows she shouldn't, stays there to talk to him. Knowing that she is probably going to have to marry the Earl and not wanting to miss out on the finer things in life, she asks Sebastian to kiss her. After sharing a moment of immense passion, both leave without knowing each other’s name but it soon becomes clear that Sebastian was probably the one person that she shouldn't have kissed and now the only person that she truly wants to be with.

What I thought
This is by far my favourite Quinn book. As soon as I started to read it at work the day it arrived, I couldn't put it down. I read it at work, on the bus home, then carried on as soon as I got in and was up until 2am just so I could finish it. I have only just realised that part of the plot is extremely similar to my previous favourite Quinn book which was Romancing Mr Bridgerton. It seemed like I was waiting forever for her to release a new book as the What Happens in London was released in July 2009. After nearly a year of waiting, I was extremely happy and it was well worth the wait in the end.

It hardly took any time at all for the plot to get going and there always seemed to be something exciting going on. There was never a point where I felt like it dragged at all or that there were any boring parts, not even tiny ones. The story moved along at a nice pace where nothing seemed rushed. Although Quinn kept to a somewhat typical timescale which has been done in many of her books, I didn't find this to be a bad thing. There was plenty to keep my occupied while things happened as I expected them too.

Annabelle was such a welcome change of character. Although having lead a quite sheltered life away from the Ton and Seasons in London, she is far from a prudish miss from the country. One of the things that I loved most about her was the fact that she got annoyed with people not saying exactly what they meant and speaking in riddles when it was something she didn't understand. It seemed like she brought a breath of fresh air into the ballrooms as she wasn't afraid to say exactly what she meant herself. Annabelle did make mistakes though not having a Season before but this made for some really funny moments. She didn't really know how she was supposed to act and didn't know all of the right things to do which amused Sebastian greatly.

I thought that Sebastian was an interesting character in What Happens In London and was hoping that he would eventually get his own story. After giving a reading of Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron, he left me wondering about him and his life and this book doesn't waste any time in letting the reader in on his big secret. This was something I wasn't expecting at all but I thought it was thoroughly shocking and amusing at the same time. It's quite funny that it was actually him who brought Olivia and Harry together in the first place even though they don't know that. Sebastian is supposed to have quite a reputation and have many, if not all of the young ladies falling at his feet but he never comes across as anything other than a complete gentleman and a true hero in this kind of story.

It was nice to see that the author had kept Olivia and Harry Valentine in this story as they were such a big part of Sebastian's life in What Happens In London. Both are very interesting characters, and Olivia was very humourous throughout when it came to both Sebastian and Annabelle.

As well as Olivia and Harry being supporting characters, I also really enjoyed Edward and Louisa. While they weren't in it an awful lot, I can see them having their own stories eventually, or maybe together (I would love it if that happened) as their characters and personalities show a lot of promise for another exciting story by this author.

If you haven't read a Julia Quinn book yet then, as much as I love this one, I wouldn't recommend it to start with. The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever and What Happens in London both come before this book.

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