What Happens in London was a hilarious book! Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. And this book had me cracking up with belly clutching guffaws. For real. Funny. My sides hurt.
At first I didn't want to read this because I don't like heroines who take it upon themselves to spy on others. But I should have trusted Julia Quinn. Olivia was a cute heroine and smart too! I can see though how Harry thought her kind of snobbish at first. So yeah, Harry moves into the house behind Olivia's and her friends are scandalized, having heard that he killed his fiancée. Olivia doesn't believe such nonsense, but she finds herself watching him from her bedroom window, not realizing that Harry can see her!
Harry is working on some translations for the War Department. He's an extremely intelligent man who has a knack for languages. Also his grandmother was Russian. He's working on some pretty sensitive papers when Olivia catches his eye. At first he thinks maybe she's spying on him for nefarious purposes, but then he realizes if she was, she'd be doing a better job at it. He puts her down to a nosy neighbor and continues on with work, but still keeps an eye on her.
When they finally meet, they do not like each other. Here's a good snippet that shows how they feel at first. They're at a ball and Olivia did not want to dance with Harry.
"Is this an exceptionally long waltz?"
"I don't think so. It only seems long. Because you don't like me."
She gasped. It was true, of course, but he wasn't supposed to say it.
"I have a secret, Lady Olivia," he whispered, leaning down just as far as he could without breaking the bounds of propriety. "I don't like you either."
Olivia was still not liking Sir Harry several days later. It didn't matter that she hadn't spoken to him, hadn't even seen him. She knew he existed, and that seemed to be enough.
But due to proximity, these two cannot get away from each other. And that's my favorite kind of story, when the h/h cannot stand each other at first and then they come around. With so many funny scenes that show how these two eventually warm up to one another.
So we go from Olivia hating Harry's mere existence to this:
"You were there," he said, one of his hands moving down her side, around her back. "You were there, and I had to kiss you, and that's all there was to it."
Forget the flowery words of Miss Butterworth's mad baron. That was the most romantic thing Olivia had ever heard.
"You exist," he said, his voice deepening with desire. "Ergo, I need you."
No, that was the most romantic thing.
Seriously, I love Harry. And I loved What Happens in London. I can see this one becoming a favorite comfort and re-read in the future. Really a feel good novel. Another winner from Julia Quinn!!