This is the kind of lighthearted romance where readers can smile and chuckle at the silly
pretenses that lovers exhibit while courting each other. What Happens In London doesn’t
provide much substance in terms of story or characters, but it’s pure entertainment anticipating
what these characters will do next.
It all starts when Lady Olivia Bevelstoke hears the latest gossip floating around London: Her
new next-door neighbor to the south, the handsome Sir Harry Valentine, known for dressing in
black and keeping to himself, may have killed his fiancée. Although Olivia doesn’t fully believe
the gossip, she can’t stop herself from spying out her bedroom window, which just happens to face
Harry’s home office where he spends most of his time.
Harry is swamped with work translating foreign languages for his job with the War Office, but
can’t seem to concentrate with that beautiful blonde next door peeking at him from behind her
curtains each day. He doesn’t like the fact that this rich (and probably spoiled) young lady has
nothing better to do with her time than spy on a gentleman trying to put in a hard day’s labor.
When they finally meet at a house party, both have already formed decidedly negative opinions
of the other. After an awkward discussion, they like each other even less. However, when Harry
gets a new assignment, to spy on Olivia and the obnoxious Russian prince who fancies her, the
task becomes more enjoyable each day. Soon Olivia begins to warm to the idea, as well.
This light, fluffy romance should win readers' affections with its humor (Olivia makes mental
notes of curious situations) and style (the couple mildly flirts and teases for three-quarters
of the book). While not the most passionate or well-plotted of Julia Quinn’s novels, What
Happens in London may well be the most fun.