This book was AWESOME. Funny and good-hearted and sexy and did I mention funny? Julia is one of those awkward, quirky, enthusiastic heroines who says whatever comes into her head, which is a type I love, but I'm not sure I've EVER seen it done so convincingly, organically, and charmingly as it is in this book. I wanted her to be my friend within five seconds of her walking onto the page. And the author managed something very delicate--a hero who's engaged to the heroine's sister--while still keeping the hero and heroine nice, upstanding people. James was so adorable! Look at this:
"The night ended late, with much dancing followed by a spirited and not precisely proper game of charades. Lord Xavier had apparently determined all the clues with the help of several other eager young gentlemen, because the company found itself acting out 'Madame de Pompadour,' 'Mrs. Fitzherbert,' 'Nell Gwyn,' and a series of other royal mistresses. Lord Xavier's eyes glittered with amusement at the young ladies, especially, as they attempted to create a tableau that would reveal the answer without compromising propriety.
"James thought this not quite well done of the man, but had to admit that he himself seemed to be the only gentleman[...]not laughing uproariously and having an excellent time."
It takes a really decent guy to have the social courage to be flatly unamused by douchy BS like this (and yet it really is funny! I'm excited to see more of Lord Xavier too).
I can't recommend this book enough--each satisfyingly familiar romance trope and character type felt totally fresh, like taking a favorite dress, turning the fabric, and resewing it in a flattering new style. (Not that that's something I've ever done, but I've read it in plenty of romances!)