Summer Reading Program (3): The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

It’s the 15th and I said I’d get 15 books recorded by now. That’s not going to happen, unfortunately, but I should at least go through a few of the things I’ve been reading.

In the last couple of days I’ve been flying through a second reading of

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

I have to note that it’s the only one of Miss Quinn’s texts that I do not yet own. I’ve restrained myself admirably I think.

Julia’s most popular series is about a family with the surname of Bridgerton and is often referred to as the Whistledown series. While this particular book does not feature any of the Bridgerton clan, it’s in a similarly engaging style.

The heroine, having fallen for her ultimate hero at the age of 10, starts a journal about life at his behest and these journal entries are littered throughout the book. It’s somewhat like the collection of interesting words kept by Caroline from To Catch an Heiress. It creates a familiar style that allows more insight into the characters and more of the witty humor that I’ve come to expect from Julia.

The plot follows a calm path: Miranda meets her best friend’s older brother when she is ten and promptly falls in love with him. Jump forward to when he is a widower from an unhappy marriage and she’s just coming onto the marriage market and they have their adventure of falling in love.

Miranda is a likable and appealing heroine. She’s easily imagined to be pretty without being the “diamond” –as follows par for the course for Quinn. The role of being in the center of society’s eye is left for her best friend Olivia–who comes across a little too 16 for her 20 years. Olivia is loud and making mistakes while Miranda is a little more sly in her sarcasm. Miranda has a fall from grace (of course, with the hero) and ends up pregnant. This terminates in a miscarriage but ends up leading to a wedding which greatly surprises his family.

The story rolls along at a smooth and comfortable pace. Quinn is not trying to reinvent the wheel but is providing an enjoyable story that pulls on many of her strengths. Miranda and Turner are believable as people, close enough in age to not be weird (I have issues with 35 year olds who are “young men” falling for just-out-of-the-schoolroom 18 year olds….*shudder*). It’s a girl next door story for a man who has been trapped and disappointed in an early marriage.

The pair marries on the sly and I enjoyed the idea of not everyone being prepared for the wedding or even immediately notified of it. They’re married for two months before the maternal figure (Olivia’s mother) is called down upon their heads to bless the marriage. The final problem is his admission of love for his wife, which only comes with the birth of their first child. It’s a little bit forced but understandable that a man severely disappointed is cautious with his heart the second time. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to smack him upside the head with the “Duh” stick but that’s what these stories are good for.

A very enjoyable addition that will hopefully find a home on my bookshelf soon–much to Roomie’s regret.