I have loved Julia Quinn since I picked up Everything and the Moon from a grocery store as a break from reading medical/science based true story novels back in the late 90’s. At the time I was super fascinated by parasites and epidemics and I had been reading about plagues through various civilizations when I deviated into Julia Quinn world. The eclectic charm of her characters hooked me and I’ve remained a faithful fan since (although my interest in the decline of man via pestilence ran it’s course).
I personally think all of Julia Quinn’s series are great but The Smythe-Smith Quartet has been one of my favorites, the Bevelstoke Trilogy would be the other. A good amount of the novels are written within the same era and circle of friends and acquaintances so at balls, weddings and house parties you may meet characters from other series and titles. The Smythe-Smith Quartet were introduced in the Bridgerton Series and the eccentricity of the music assembly has long been held as a running humor through Julia Quinn’s books. The young unmarried Smythe-Smith females who learn (no matter how poorly) to play instrument are often recruited to be part of the quartet until the time the graduate via marriage. The series has been centering around the members of the current years victims.
Hugh Prentice and the Smythe-Smith family have been in conflict since a drunken duel between he and his close friend Daniel Smythe-Smith three and half years ago left him desperately injured. His bloodthirsty father never really cared who was to blame about the unfortunate and absurd show of pride that should have ended in Hugh and Daniel admitting their folly and sends assassins and spies after him making him flee to the continent. Meanwhile Hugh is left in bed to face the fact that his bid for satisfaction has left him crippled and with the loss of a good friend.
On Daniel’s side of the family is his cousin, Sarah Pleinsworth, who over the years has been venting her spleen and stewing in a vat of her own venom. In her mind Hugh Prentice is an unspeakable monster and even when Daniel returns home through the means of Hugh’s actions it doesn’t change the level of evilness that the man represents in Sarah’s mind. When her cousin Honoria asks her to be Hugh’s companion during his stay for her wedding Sarah feels put upon but she will do anything for family–even entertain the devil. Unsurprisingly Hugh thinks she is a shrew. Together they are great frenemies.
Julia Quinn writes the best banter and has the most delightful witty repartee. She is a master of wry humor and I don’t think she has ever written a dull or flat character. The pacing of her books is always on the mark and the rhythm of conversations between characters is spot on. Of all the things I love I think it’s the way she jigsaws all the characters together into one cohesive world and continuous story. Never have I seen her reintroduce a character from one book to another and not have the two characters not fit one another seamlessly.
I strongly recommend this series! Marcus and Hugh both swept me away (Sorry Daniel). I think Just Like Heaven really has a great deal more sweet sentiments and the humor is more, “Oh, no!” than The Sum of All Kisses which is chalk full of rather clever wit. On a completely far spectrum, I loved The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke), but it lacks all levity and it is shows the diversity that Julia Quinn is capable of. The next two books in that series, which is the Bevelstoke series I mentioned earlier, are both much lighter. The last book, Ten Things I Love About You was a really great read and I adored Sebastian Grey and couldn’t help but find him to be quite the romantic hero. I mean more so than most.
Julia Quinn basically is a literary mythological goddess. I’m pretty sure there is a temple to her at Avon Books. She can be found here and there. As well as Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon Author’s Page, and Pinterest.
(Follow all the updates for this blog by visiting and liking the All The Things Inbetween Facebook fanpage. You can also add Google+ All The Things Inbetween page. You can follow me personally on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Goodreads.)