The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband

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 brothe...

Title:The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband Reviews

  • Stephanie (Jump)

    I can't wait for Edward's story!!

    We have Kleypas' Devil in the Spring out in April followed by this in May. Springtime is going to be glorious!! (Sigh. But so far away.)

  • Andrea

    This was a buddy read with a bunch of girls from the Historical Romance Book Club. Pretty much everyone rated this 3 to 4 stars, but honestly, this did not work for me. I disliked it about as much as

    so if you liked that one, chances are you might enjoy this one, too. So, unpopular opinion alert: I did not like this book. It pains me to say this about something that comes from one of my all time favorite authors whose books I have re-read countless times beca

    This was a buddy read with a bunch of girls from the Historical Romance Book Club. Pretty much everyone rated this 3 to 4 stars, but honestly, this did not work for me. I disliked it about as much as

    so if you liked that one, chances are you might enjoy this one, too. So, unpopular opinion alert: I did not like this book. It pains me to say this about something that comes from one of my all time favorite authors whose books I have re-read countless times because I usually adore them, it really does.

    Ok so I kinda liked the beginning. It was cute, there was bantering, and to a point (!) I can emphasize with Cecilia. Her brother lost, presumed dead, she packs up her things and sets off to America in the middle of a war to get some answers. She soon realizes that no one will talk to a mere sister of a mere soldier, so she pretends she's her brother's best friend's wife. Once Edward wakes up from his coma, she's caught and just keeps lying because it's easier- and he can't remember anything. There was a LOT of fun bantering in the beginning, which was really adorable, and I laughed so hard at some of it. And I immediately fell in love with Edward (he's your typical Julia Quinn hero: a Good Guy, a sweet and funny guy with a mischievous streak a mile wide, and just an all-around sweetheart).

    BUT. I am not okay with lying. Not in real life. Not with fictional characters. I get the initial lie, I understand how she thought it would be easier to just pretend, and how hard it would've been to admit to her lies, but the fact that she didn't tell him until the very end made me furious. She had SO many chances to tell him, but she never did. She prefers a violent attack of FOOD POISONING to telling the truth (self-induced of course; she knows she's allergic to strawberries, but because she doesn't want to be an adult and have an honest conversation, she runs out to buy some so she doesn't have to go to a ball with him where she would have to lie to even more people). And then there was the point where she decided to take off, syphon money off her expense money from him to buy herself a ticket home without a word. In her words:

    She's that kind of person. I'm sorry, but that's not someone I want to read about. I usually LOVE JQ's heroines because I can see myself in them, but this one I can just not understand. I know a lot of people think the letter she writes to Edward at the very end (because heaven forbid she should be a mature adult and face someone she has wronged and fess up...) makes up for behavior, but to me it just didn't. I don't buy their connection, and I honestly don't see them working out in the long run. I'm sorry. I guess Edward is just more forgiving than me. And speaking of my dear and precious Edward, I didn't like how he turned out. Because she lied to him, it's somehow ok for him to lie to her to instead of telling her an uncomfortable truth? Yeah. No. Not cool.

    So to sum up. 2 stars because the first half was awesome. Well except for the lying. But the bantering, the writing, and the story deserve better than one star just because I loathed one of the main characters. And hey. I seem to be in the minority anyways, so. Who knows. This might be a classic case of "it really is just me".

  • Esther

    ARC provided by Edelweiss and publisher for an honest review.

    I have enjoyed Julia Quinn's books in the past but have had problems with several of her stories having slow pacing and being on the dry/dull side. Unfortunately this one fell in the later camp. This story I found to be quite slow the first third to half of the book and not very engaging or intriguing enough of for me, sadly.

    Cecilia Harcourt leaves the English colonies and heads to America in search of her brother. Her brother fought i

    ARC provided by Edelweiss and publisher for an honest review.

    I have enjoyed Julia Quinn's books in the past but have had problems with several of her stories having slow pacing and being on the dry/dull side. Unfortunately this one fell in the later camp. This story I found to be quite slow the first third to half of the book and not very engaging or intriguing enough of for me, sadly.

    Cecilia Harcourt leaves the English colonies and heads to America in search of her brother. Her brother fought in the war and has gone missing. Cecilia has no luck finding her brother but does encounter his friend, Edward at a hospital lying in a bed, injured. She takes over his recovery but the only way to do that was to claim that she was his wife (her hope is he will have information about her brother). When Edward awakens we find that he has amnesia and cannot remember the last several months.

    Throughout about one third to half of the book we read about how they live as man and wife. The inter dialogue of Cecilia's guilt and Edward's frustration of not remembering their relationship or why no strong feeling/emotions aren't present or prominent in his psyche. This was a very boring, dry and difficult beginning and had to force myself not to throw in the towel. I came very close to DNF. I liked the characters and found they both had depth, but the pacing and storyline needed more.

    And about half way point things begin to pick up in pacing and plot. Edward regains his memory, he and Cecilia need to work through the lying and deception, and the mystery of her missing brother.

    This was a sweet romance with a slow build. But I felt the beginning was too slow and needed more intrigue and better pacing. Sadly not one of my favorite reads of JQ.

  • Becca

    The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband was a disappointment for me. In short, it was full of lies and short on joy.

    I will be the first to admit that I love Julia Quinn novels. However, this series has been an enormous disappointment to me. I think I may need to take a break from Quinn novels for a while. I know this is an unpopular opinion since people love JQ and think her writing is light and funny. In most cases, it is. Some of her novels are on my favorites shelf forever. I even own two copi

    The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband was a disappointment for me. In short, it was full of lies and short on joy.

    I will be the first to admit that I love Julia Quinn novels. However, this series has been an enormous disappointment to me. I think I may need to take a break from Quinn novels for a while. I know this is an unpopular opinion since people love JQ and think her writing is light and funny. In most cases, it is. Some of her novels are on my favorites shelf forever. I even own two copies of It's In His Kiss! I feel a bit disloyal for saying this, but if I hadn't won this book in a giveaway and felt obligated to finish and write a review, I never would've gotten through it.

    While the book is well-written (JQ has a knack for snappy dialogue), clean of typos, richer in details that typical JQ novels, and doesn't have anything offensive, I am still angry about this book and strongly disliked it. I cannot recommend this book. It goes against what I believe constitutes a romance novel, which is a story of how two people build a relationship based on trust, respect, and joy in each other.

    So why the low rating? Some of these may be spoilerish so I am going to tag them as such:

    With the lack of joy, numerous lies, and childish behavior on the part of Cecilia, I could not enjoy this, even though I love JQ. Unless there is one heck of a good story blurb for Andrew's book, I will not be reading it :(

    Not recommended.

  • Mei

    While the mystery part about the spying wwas lame for me, I liked both the hero and the heroine. A little bit more the hero, though! :)

    The heroine kept her lies too long, IMHO. She berates herself about that too, but she still find a 1000 excuses to not tell the truth until the very end! But she was sweet and a little bit naive, so I could forgive her.

    The hero was better! He was honorable and in a difficult situation having lost his memory. Still he was ready to accept what the heroine told him

    While the mystery part about the spying wwas lame for me, I liked both the hero and the heroine. A little bit more the hero, though! :)

    The heroine kept her lies too long, IMHO. She berates herself about that too, but she still find a 1000 excuses to not tell the truth until the very end! But she was sweet and a little bit naive, so I could forgive her.

    The hero was better! He was honorable and in a difficult situation having lost his memory. Still he was ready to accept what the heroine told him and trust her (wrongly!). He didn't resist his love, but was really sweet with her.

    All in all a nice romance! Not a 5 stars, but still good!

  • Lover of Romance

    This review was originally posted on

    The Girl with the Make Believe Husband is a story I will admit that I was nervous about, especially since I haven't read the first book in the series. But then I heard some great things about this one, and decided that I really needed to try it out. I will say that I really stuggled with this one pretty much the first half of the book. I just couldn't get interested in the story that much, but then once I hit between the 50-60%, then I was

    This review was originally posted on

    The Girl with the Make Believe Husband is a story I will admit that I was nervous about, especially since I haven't read the first book in the series. But then I heard some great things about this one, and decided that I really needed to try it out. I will say that I really stuggled with this one pretty much the first half of the book. I just couldn't get interested in the story that much, but then once I hit between the 50-60%, then I was golden. So this rating that I have is really based on the latter half of the book for the most part or it would be a lower rating.

    The story sets off when our heroine has come to the Colonies to find her injured brother, but when she learns her brothers closest friend, has been injured, she makes sure that he is alright, but she is forced to lie about who she really is. So she claims him as her husband. And before she realizes it, she keeps telling more lies and she is in too deep and falling in love with her not so real husband. But secrets have a way of catching up to us and burning us, but will Edward fight for her or let her go in the end...

    The story begins very slowly in the first half, it isn't until Edward regains his memories from his amnesia, where he starts to figure things out, and realize the real truth. Our Heroine, Cecilia, is not what I wanted for this book but in some ways she did make it work. I will say I wasn't fully satisfied with the ending, not in the ways that I wanted to be. I feel like there is more about her brother that we don't know yet, I just felt a bit off about what happens in this book. The hero though, he was simply wonderful, I love how devoted he is to Cecilia. And he makes some of the most swoon worthy scenes happen, especially toward the end. I do think that this was not what I expected from this author, was the setting. I was completely blown away that she even went out for a Early American Era and was fantastic. It was so refreshing to see this author do something different from the typical regency setting. I will admit that the "secret" wasn't my favorite part of the story. Normally it doesn't bother me so much, but for some reason it kinda grated at me more than I expected it would. I think probably because Cecilia had many opportunities to come clean and didn't.

    But Overall this was still a wonderful story here!!! I did have a blast with this setting, a amnesia hero, a reserved but determined heroine, a mystery and spy intrigue, a military dilemma and a love story that will bring tears to your eyes!!

    [foogallery id="38649"]

  • nick

    Good gosh this book. THIS BOOK. I had a really lovely experience with it, and I can’t tell you how much I ended up loving The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband. It’s poignant, emotional, and heartbreaking in its utter gorgeousness. I’m not up to date with all of Julia Quinn’s books, but for me, this is the best story that she has ever crafted.

    With any romance that involves amnesia and one person lying about the nature of their relationship, there’s this fear that it will lead to unnecessary dra

    Good gosh this book. THIS BOOK. I had a really lovely experience with it, and I can’t tell you how much I ended up loving The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband. It’s poignant, emotional, and heartbreaking in its utter gorgeousness. I’m not up to date with all of Julia Quinn’s books, but for me, this is the best story that she has ever crafted.

    With any romance that involves amnesia and one person lying about the nature of their relationship, there’s this fear that it will lead to unnecessary drama and deceit. So of course, I was a little bit nervous going in, but I shouldn’t have doubted that Julia Quinn is a pro at what she does. She handled the plot so beautifully and tactfully, that despite the deceit, I only wished for the best for both these characters. Cecilia was a lovely character. She’s bold, brave, and truly sweet girl who wants nothing but the best for the people that she loves. She doesn’t set out with the intentions of lying to Edward, but her circumstances forced her to. It would have been very easy for her character to have to be seen as manipulative and reckless, but Julia Quinn wrote Cecilia’s character with multiple strokes. She was complex, layered, and most importantly, the author makes you understand her deceit. Throughout The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband, she battles with the guilt that she experiences over her lying, but she also slowly finds herself falling for Edward, and wanting just a few extra moments with him. My heart broke for her, and I wanted nothing more than for her to find the happily ever after she deserved.

    Just as heartbreaking was Edward’s character. He wakes up with amnesia, but he doesn’t let that taint his whole life. He tries his best to find a way to recollect what exactly happened to him in Cecilia’s brother, but he also continues to live his life. I fell so hard for this man, and his kindness and his utter blinded devotion to Cecilia, despite the fact that he has no proof they were married. I was hopelessly in love with Edward’s character throughout most of this book, but his reaction to finding out about Cecilia’s deceit, was what had me melting into a puddle in happiness. His reaction was just so unexpected, but absolutely perfect.

    Going in, I thought for sure that Cecilia’s lies would loom over the romance throughout the whole book, but Julia Quinn actually made me momentarily forget about it. It’s a truly beautiful romance that develops between the two, emotional, angsty, and totally packs a punch. I was honestly breathless at every romantic scene in The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband, and believe me there are lots and lots of those. The romance had so much soul to it, it was alive. We also get to see the nature of their relationship before Edward’s amnesia, that developed through Cecilia’s letters to her brother. The letters were funny and heart-warming and added an extra something to the story. There’s also a minor mystery plot-line pertaining to what happened to Edward and Cecilia’s brother. I honestly saw the resolution coming, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.

    The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband is one of the best books I’ve read in 2017. You can probably tell how enamored I was with this swoony and achy story. This is a book that I highly recommend to fans of historical romances. Trust me, you’ll be wowed!

  • Maddie

    Edward Rokesby

    Cecilia Harcourt known as Cecilia Rokesby

    After the news that Cecilia brother Thomas was injured she went looking for him, traveled from Derbyshire to find him, but upon arrival she learned that he was missing, at the hospital she found his best friend in a hospital unconscious, and made up a story that she was Edward Rokesby wife, Edward suffering from memory loss when he wakes up, he was shocked to learn

    Edward Rokesby

    Cecilia Harcourt known as Cecilia Rokesby

    After the news that Cecilia brother Thomas was injured she went looking for him, traveled from Derbyshire to find him, but upon arrival she learned that he was missing, at the hospital she found his best friend in a hospital unconscious, and made up a story that she was Edward Rokesby wife, Edward suffering from memory loss when he wakes up, he was shocked to learn that he was married.

    But how could he be married and not remember it?

    She then told another lie to Edward that they were married by proxy.

    It was quite funny how Cecilia tried to not let her “husband” touch or kiss her.

    As her brother was missing Edward and Cecilia started looking for her brother, still “married”. And Edward would not rest until he found his friend. The whole story was based how they started looking for the brother and could not find him.

    What will happen if Edward find out that Cecilia was a liar the whole time? Will they find Thomas?

    Read the novel to find out!!!

    Although this was an easy read, I found it boring at times reason for the 3 stars today and not 4 stars as indicated initially

    A song while reading this popped into my mind:

    Simon y Garfunkel, Cecilia

  • Stacey is Sassy

    Should I base my rating on my feelings at the end of the book?

    I could easily tell you that I finished

    (geez, that’s a mouthful) with a big smile on my face. There’s even a chance I could say that the ending left me satisfied and excited for more. I’d even go as far as to say that that ending was a 5-star ending. Unfortunately, I can't rate a book on the ending alone. For most of this journey, I wanted to

    Should I base my rating on my feelings at the end of the book?

    I could easily tell you that I finished

    (geez, that’s a mouthful) with a big smile on my face. There’s even a chance I could say that the ending left me satisfied and excited for more. I’d even go as far as to say that that ending was a 5-star ending. Unfortunately, I can't rate a book on the ending alone. For most of this journey, I wanted to throttle the heroine. I could have easily reached into the book, dragged Miss Harcourt out by her hair and lectured her about honesty and growing a backbone. If only the hero hadn't taken a blow to the head. Seriously, I wanted better for him.

    I won’t need to go on too much in this review because it’s pretty straight forward. This chickie’s father dies, and a slimy cousin wants to marry her. She decides to travel across the Atlantic to visit her injured brother who is stationed in New York with the Army. On arrival, turns out her brother is missing and his best friend is in the hospital. Now, this best friend is sort of her penpal. They won’t let her see him because she’s not family. Well, her answer to that was to make herself “family”. He wakes up, finds out he has a wee problem with his memory

    is gobsmacked to find out he has a wife. What follows is a tale full of…

    Ok, I admit, there’s a wee bit more to it than that but I seriously struggled to get past the

    and it went on for most of the bloody story.

    Miss Cecilia Harcourt -

    Captain Edward Rokesby – Son of an Earl, handsome, strong, loyal and a devoted friend.

    There are plenty of other things that I grew to admire about Edward but I can honestly say that I struggled to like Cecilia. She came across as weak, conniving and self-serving. Yes, she had her reasons and they weren’t all bad but, to me, her bad outweighed her good.

    If this story, and my rating, could be based solely on Captain Rokeby, I would easily rate it 4 or 5 stars. With Miss Harcourt in the mix, I struggled...lordy how I struggled. As I mentioned, I really enjoyed the ending. I just wished that the truth had come out a lot earlier. I wanted to see them together together, not just with secrets and lies marring their happiness.

    I am a huge fan of

    and will always love her writing. Unfortunately,

    just missed it by that much (think Maxwell Smart). Of course, this will not make me hesitate to read more of her books in the future.

  • A (Is For Awkward)

    I just finished, and rather unexpectedly liked it. I bought it on a complete whim today after reading several reviews. I had basically decided to give up on Julia Quinn after too many DNF and low star ratings, but it was actually the lower star reviews that convinced me to read this and in the end I am glad I did. I am too tired to write a proper review, but I felt I should writing something at least to explain why I liked this one when I usually don't.

    One of the three biggest problems I have wi

    I just finished, and rather unexpectedly liked it. I bought it on a complete whim today after reading several reviews. I had basically decided to give up on Julia Quinn after too many DNF and low star ratings, but it was actually the lower star reviews that convinced me to read this and in the end I am glad I did. I am too tired to write a proper review, but I felt I should writing something at least to explain why I liked this one when I usually don't.

    One of the three biggest problems I have with Quinn is the need she has to put a big rage moment on the part of the hero in every single book. Usually it is the pivotal moment in the relationship, and more often than not it is jealousy related. As in "she is talking to some other guy!" RAGE. "Oh clearly I must be in love!" It is the worst sort of approach to this moment and frankly more often than not moves any otherwise appealing hero into the category of potential controlling or abusive husband in the future beyond the end of the book. Making what should be a sweet self-revelation of love, into a demonstration of unhealthy possessiveness instead.

    This book avoided that particular trap really well - even though she still felt the need to make the pivotal moment anger driven - by making this part of the plot unrelated to jealousy and possessiveness. In fact it was well deserved anger at the lie she told of his being her husband and just as importantly, he didn't actively take it out on her.

    The romance itself worked almost entirely because of the backstory. Had the backstory not been what it was the book would have been much less believable, as almost all of the real romance building took place in the past in letters of which we only snippets throughout. Personally I enjoy the letter writing romance a great deal and so this worked well for me.

    From a historical standpoint I liked the tiny details she scattered about the state of the war in New York City, as well as the dutch immigration. Overall there was little substantial historical detail, but this didn't detract from the book much at all as there wasn't a great deal of blatant historical inaccuracy either.

    In any event it was a low key romance. No real drama apart from that of the title of the book. This is not an action book, and that may be a part of why it worked so well for me. This is one of the things that caught me while reading the reviews in fact, where people rated it lower because "nothing happened". And if you read for adventure or crazy shenanigans or lots of high drama that is true. But if you read more for the romance and the relationship like I do, I feel almost everything happened that needed too.

    Nothing amazing here, but a nice romance nevertheless. Read if you enjoy amnesia, letter romance, and fake wife tropes.


Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.