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


It is quite a while since I reviewed a book. I was sent this one by Little brown Book Group who are part of the Hachette Group, thank you for that. My honest opinion follows.

I have always enjoyed historical fiction, beginning my forays by reading Georgette Hayer, Jean Plaidy and the like. I have not read any of Julia Quinn’s novels before this one, and I will look out some of her other novels to see if I like them.

I read this book in one sitting, and apart from two small errors which jarred my read I did enjoy it as a bit of light entertainment. It  follows our feisty heroine over from Derbyshire to America in search of her brother, following her father’s death and the unwanted attentions of a male cousin who seeks her hand in marriage in order to take over the house rather than wait to see if he inherits it outright. I do like a heroine who has the gumption to try and sort a problem out rather than wait for someone to rescue her.

The year is 1779 and Britain is at war in the America’s, her brother is injured and she buries her mothers silver in the garden and buys a passage on a cargo ship to go to New York where she believes he is hospitalized. On arrival, she discovers her brother is missing but his friend is in hospital injured and unconscious. Seeking information, she tells a small white lie (I am his wife!) and gains access to Edward. I had hoped to learn a little more about the War of Independence but I won’t be getting it from this novel.

Edward has memory loss and cannot recall getting married, but the story of Edward and Cecilia’s romance is told through snapshots of their letters via her brother Thomas, and as they get to know each other even better in New York Cecilia’s lie begins to tangle them ever closer.

Scenes telling of their desires and the consummation of their marriage are well written and not outrageous and once the truth is known, the ramifications of Cecilia’s deceit cause havoc to both parties.

Cecilia is a character I have enjoyed getting to know, and I would welcome the opportunity to see how her story progresses. However, the plotline relating to the brother and Edward’s memory loss was thin, and soon ran out. More could have been made of this.  The familial links between Edward and the Royal Governor also seemed a little far fetched.

An interesting read which left me wanting to know more, but I am not certain I would have paid the full price for this one. It is cheaper on Amazon.


ISBN: 978-0-349-41054-8   £8.99



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