Review: The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Reviewed by Jen

I am such a fan of Julia Quinn, at this point I will read anything with her name on it. Even a book with my least favorite trope: the Big Secret. And the Big Secret in this book is a pretty big one.

Cecelia jumps on a ship and sails for the colonies when she finds out her brother has been wounded in battle. Her father is dead and her odious cousin is sniffing around her, trying to force her into marriage. She really has nothing to lose. Unfortunately, when she arrives, there’s no sign of her brother at all. There is, however, the man who had become his best friend in service, Edward Rokesby.

Cecelia developed a friendship with Edward through letters she shared with her brother. Over time, she started sending special messages to Edward and he, to her. They’d never met in person, but they each developed an affection for the other, the depths of which become more obvious as the story goes on.

Anyway, Edward was badly wounded and is now unconscious. No one will let Cecelia see him, until she blurts out she’s his wife. Yep, that’s the big secret. She’s not really his wife –and you might think he’d know better when he wakes up, but the poor guy has short-term amnesia and believes her lie. The sad part about it all is that these two really do care about each other. Either would clearly be happy to married to each other in truth. BUT THERE IS NO TRUTH. It’s abundantly frustrating.

Edward is a lovely hero. He has solid morals and he is so taken with Cecelia, you can’t help but love him. Oh… but she’s lying to him the whole time. Cecelia is not a bad person, but she has so many opportunities to come clean and she just doesn’t. Yes, I understand she needs his help to search for her brother, but a blind man could see how crazy he was about her. BAH!

The sexual tension is good and I enjoyed the payoff. I think I might have liked more of it, though. It all just keeps coming back to the same problem… the secret in the way and the damage it does when it blows up.  A lot of Big Secret books reveal the secret and move forward about halfway through. This is not one of those books, which is a shame, because I would have enjoyed more time basking in these two together without the storm-cloud hanging over their heads. They had such a fantastic connection. They’re really made for each other.

The ending is satisfying and darn near perfect, though. I will definitely keep reading to see what happens next with the Rokesbys.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband
by Julia Quinn
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Avon

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