The book's overview reads:
"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
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"
Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn reminds me of two things: big brother's best friend falls for friend's little sister, and best friends fall head over heels for each other.
Marcus is Daniel's (Honoria's brother) best friend. He basically grows up with the Smythe-Smiths just as if he were one of them. He spends most of his time there than he does as his own place. Through the years he develops a friendship with Honoria, and somehow they become best friends. She sees him as a brother, or so she thinks; he sees her as a sister, or so he thinks. There is a turn of events and Daniel is forced to leave the country, before he leaves, he asks Marcus to look after his sister, and ensure she doesn't marry an "idiot".
Marcus scares away a few suitors seeing it that is his duty as the best friend he is. Never mind that Honoria would probably not think of marrying any one of them, anyway. Honoria is now on her second season, and is sorta desperate to find a husband. For one, she misses all the hustle and bustle from a full household, she wants to have her own. Then, she most definitely does not want to be in the Smythe-Smiths quartet another year. Oh God no... she's not alone. Her cousins Sarah and Iris share the same sentiment, and so want to wring Daisy's neck (if they could) as she seems the only one who truly enjoys it-- Daisy is the only one who thinks they all play beautifully, which they totally do not. She must be deaf or have really high confidence in herself. It is short of hilarious to say the least.
Tragedy strikes, when Honoria in her desperation to catch a suitor, digs a mole hole. Little does she know the one to suffer the consequences would be Marcus. He almost dies of an infection... (as a side note, I told my husband about the scene, he said "what movie is that?" -- when I explained, for the second time-- mind you, it was the book I was reading, all he said was: "really? the way you explained it is as if you'd just watched a movie!".... I got a kick out of that.) It takes an infection, excruciating pain, a really bad fever, treacle cake, and lots of care for them both to realize they're meant for each other. The funny thing is, they both think that the other may not reciprocate the feeling, really?
The Smythe-Smiths musicale is just as everyone expects, it is no less than horrific and more than just hilarious. The very tenacious Lady D is the culprit for making Marcus finally express his feelings for Honoria as a result of a jealousy rampage Lady D causes. This is an excellent turn.
There are way too many favorite scenes for me in this book. I could hear the noises the quartet made trying to play what should've been music, I just couldn't stop chuckling. Then, Marcus' response to Daniel as to whether or not he'd seduced her, "Don't....don't ask that", that was great.
This is a story that's going on my favorite shelf, just like other Julia Quinn's novels. She never fails.