I received this book for free from Edelweiss/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys #2
Published by Avon on May 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
While you were sleeping...
With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He's unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier's life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie...
I told everyone I was your wife
When Edward comes to, he's more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he'd always assumed he'd marry his neighbor back in England.
If only it were true...
Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.
I have a special fondness for Julia Quinn. It was one of her books that got me totally hooked on the historical romance genre. And while I haven’t loved every single one of novels, most of them I have at least enjoyed. But that also means that I have pretty high expectations for her books. Which really isn’t fair, but I can’t seem to help it. What I’m trying to say is that I’m always so excited for a new JQ book, but at the same time I’m also nervous of being let down. I was even more nervous to read The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband because it deals with one character lying to the love interest. And in general, that trope doesn’t work for me.
But you guys! You guys, you guys, you guys!!!! I LOVED The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn. Seriously, I had nothing to worry about.
This one starts right away when Edward Rokesby, who has been fighting in the Revolutionary War (on the British side – he is English and from the Aristocracy), wakes up in the hospital in New York Town, and a woman is tending to him. That woman turns out to be Cecelia Harcourt, who is the sister of Edward’s comrade in arms, Thomas. Edward has been unconscious for days, and not only has no memory of meeting Cecelia, but has no memory of the last few months. And he finds out that Cecelia is his wife. But of course that isn’t true. That is the lie, and that is what most of the conflict is about in this one.
I was so nervous about not liking Cecelia because she lies to Edward and pretends to be his wife. However, I totally loved her. She didn’t actually mean to lie to Edward, and then, once that lie happened, she didn’t know how to get herself out of it. It was sort of like a While You Were Sleeping situation. But Cecelia is kind and sweet, and really does everything she can for Edward while he recuperates. I also love how resourceful she was, and how she took the initiative to come to New York to look for her missing brother.
And, boy, did I fall in love with Edward. He is such a kind, responsible, caring man, that I couldn’t help but love him. I loved how he was with Cecelia from the moment he wakes up, even though he’s weak and still recuperating. One of the most powerful scenes in the book was when Edward and Cecelia were having sex. View Spoiler »And Cecelia realizes that she doesn’t want to get pregnant, and tells Edward this and immediately he stops. He doesn’t question her or anything. That is a hero! « Hide Spoiler
Edward and Cecelia were amazing together. At the beginning of each chapter, we get a letter written between Thomas (Cecelia’s brother) and Cecelia with bits of how Cecelia and Edward interact through these letters, and it just made my heart swoon. They were just so perfect together.
The setting was amazing, too. I’ve never read a romance set during the Revolutionary War, told from the British’s perspective and it was great. JQ did such a wonderful job with the setting. I loved the bits about how it had formally been a Dutch Colony, and how that affected the culture there.
I loved nearly everything about this book. If I had to find a fault, I would say that there wasn’t a lot of resolution regarding how Edward was hurt and ended up with no memory. I wish there was a little more closure there, even though it really didn’t matter much in terms of the romance. But seriously, I cannot recommend The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn enough. She’s at her best here.