Book Review: False Colours, What Happens in London

One of the key elements I look for in a romance novel is humour, and IMO, Georgette Heyer and Julia Quinn have got this down pat, and none quite so evident as in these two books I read recently.

Book Review: False Colours, What Happens in LondonWhen I first blogged about the reissue of Georgette Heyer books, False Colours intrigued me with its story arc – that of a twin, Kit Fancot, impersonating his brother, Evelyn, who has gone mysteriously missing, and on the eve of the dinner meeting with the prospective in-laws. What was supposed to be a one-night only ‘performance’ soon evolved into playing host to his brother’s intended, Cressy, and her grandmother at the family’s country estate, and Kit soon found himself drawn to the heroine.

As is typical of Heyer, the lively humour and unexpected twists in the story make for really entertaining reading. I was vastly amused by the situation that the Fancots landed themselves in, and the twins’ mother is such a scatterbrained, unconventional parent who’s nonetheless devoted to her kids. Of course, the charade never fooled the intelligent heroine, who in the end helped Kit devise a way to untangle the web and enjoyed a happy ending with her beloved.

The book is peppered with Heyer slang, so it may be useful to read up on some of the common cants and slang. The speech may be antiquated, but the plot is universal enough to make this a good read.

IMB rating: 3.5

More New Arrivals

I did not realise that What Happens in London by Julia Quinn is a sort-of follow-up to The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheevers until Chapter 2, when the heroine started mentioning her family members and sister-in-law. So, of course, I settled in and finished reading this book in a day. It was that compelling a page turner because of the mystery, the comedic potential of the plot and JQ’s past track record in turning out likeable romances.

I mean, how could I resist when the back cover reveals this?

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 . . .

With a potboiler mix of espionage, mystery, romance and rivalry, written in JQ’s humourous, lively manner peppered with lots of witty dialogues, puns and play on words, it’s no wonder I polished it off in a day.  One thing’s for sure, I can’t get bored on Julia Quinn’s books, even if it’s too cutesy for some romance readers.

IMB rating: 4.0

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