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The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the mass_market edition.
About the Author
Julia Quinn started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since.
The New York Times bestselling author of twenty-two novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- Publication Date : October 13, 2009
- File Size : 709 KB
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
- ASIN : B000SCHBUW
- Print Length : 284 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #36,484 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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1) the two main characters are really unlikeable, and
2) the whole "secret diaries" idea goes absolutely nowhere.
Stop reading here if you want to avoid spoilers. *SPOILER ALERT*
OK, now about those characters. The "hero" of the story--Turner--is mean, angry, self-absorbed, and patronizing. Nice combo, right? He was once kind to the heroine, Miranda, when she was a little girl, which apparently impressed her so much that she is happy to look past positively nasty, disrespectful, and abusive behavior when they are older. He spends most of the book acting like a jackass and belittling the heroine. I kept waiting...and waiting...and waiting for him to change, but by the time he does (sort of, I guess) in the very end, I actively hated the guy. The scene that really captures his character is when he goes to Scotland after Miranda. He had slept with her (a virginal, upper-class very young woman who clearly idol-worships him, is the best friend of his little sister, beloved by his family, and possibly even a love interest of his brother--nice) 6 weeks earlier and got her pregnant. Then he immediately dropped her like a hot potato and left town. When he finally comes back to grudgingly marry her weeks and weeks later, he is angry with HER and treats her like crap. Miranda turns him away at first, which infuriates him (why?). Here's a sampling:
"Tell Miss Cheever," he said scathingly, "that I will be back, and she bloody well better receive me." He strode furiously out of the house and down the front steps.
Utterly enraged that the chit would completely refuse to see him, he turned back to look at the house. She was standing at an open upstairs window, her fingers nervously covering her mouth. Turner scowled at her and then realized that he was still holding his half-eaten scone.
He lobbed it hard through the window, where it caught her square on the chest.
There was some satisfaction in that.
Isn't he charming and delightful? I mean, how could she resist him?
He spends the entire book acting like a paternalistic abusive jerk, which brings me to Miranda. She is more likeable than Turner (I mean, who wouldn't be?), but after a while you just want to tell her to stop acting like an idiot and have some damned self-respect. Any time she would behave with any smidgen of self-esteem and try to push back against Turner, it would take him like one grudging smile or word and she would just forgive him. It was gross.
There are a lot of other problems, but the other main thing that drove me crazy was the diary idea that I had assumed from the title would be a major element in the book. . . yeah, no. Basically, when Miranda was ten, Turner told her to keep a diary so of course she did--and then the diaries she keeps play no part in the entire plot of the book. From time to time she writes in her diary; it certainly doesn't seem secret; and no one ever discovers her diaries. She eventually shows them to Turner in literally the last few paragraphs of the book and he's all: "isn't that sweet?" So disappointing.
If you like Quinn, do yourself a favor and skip this one--it just may make you question her talent.
PS This book reminded me a little of the only book in the Bridgerton series I didn't like: "When He Was Wicked" (but that one was still much better than this one.
A couple of years ago when I first joined Goodreads, one of my favorite things to do was stalk my favorite authors' bookshelves.
It probably still would be, but when I say "stalk" I mean it, so I've already added anything of interest, and to keep doing it would crossover into creepy territory.
Can't have that.
At the time, I still hadn't ever read a straight-up historical romance, but after my success with KMM's Highlander series, I was more open to the possibility, so when Ilona Andrews (my FAVORITE) recommended When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James (again, HR with a twist--this time of the fairy tale retelling persuasion), I. Was. So. There.
And thus began my pursuit of my new favorite guilty pleasure.
So now you know two important things:
1. I've only read MAYBE a couple dozen historical romances, and am by no means an expert.
2. Only two of those were written prior to 2000, so I have a very skewed and admittedly biased perception of what I refer to as, "my grandmother's historical romances."
Well, you didn't know that second one, but you do now.
SO. I'm my limited HR experience, I've discovered several authors whom are almost guaranteed to send me into raptures of pure delight and happiness. Those authors are: Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean, and Julia Quinn.
This is (so far) my favorite Julia Quinn.
Miranda Cheever meets her best friend's elder brother Turner for the first time when she is only ten years old, and she loves him instantly. Nearly ten years later, she still loves him, but Turner is no longer the bright and optimistic young man she first gave her heart to.
I've already said that HR is my new favorite guilty pleasure, so I have no problem admitting that I LOVE this premise--girlish crush becomes unrequited love becomes not-so-unrequited love. LOVE it. And of course there are many (MANY) obstacles along the way.
Said obstacles are why I lowered my original rating, incidentally. On the second pass, the book was still as funny and clever as I remembered. The characters, both main and secondary, were still as endearing . . . BUT Turner was just a bit too thick-headed for me this time. He could have saved both himself and Miranda a ridiculous amount of heartache if he had just stopped being so damn stubborn.
For me, there's a fine line between, "Nothing worth having comes easily," and, "I'm over it already." Turner didn't quite cross that line, but it was a near thing.
Still, it was an absolutely divine historical romances, and I recommend it to all lovers of the genre as well as anyone contemplating giving HR a chance for the first time.
Top reviews from other countries
There is no signature humour in this book, nor there is and background mistery, that keeps us on the edge of our seats.
This is my second read through this enchanting story and I know I will revisit it again in the future.
Unfortunately for his plans, his only sister Olivia is making her come-out and his mother insists he do his duty and help bring her out. Not just Olivia, but her best friend Miranda, the only one who can moderate Olivia's outrageous behaviour. It's a chore Turner would rather do without, but as Olivia takes the ton by storm, he sticks around, enjoying the easy company and wicked wit of her little friend.
Until enjoyment turns to desire, and Turner realises he's in trouble. But Miranda has wanted him for years, and she doesn't give up easily. Then, in a fit of temper, she tells him that she loves him, and it seems things will never be the same between them again.
No one does Regency/Historical Romance quite like Julia Quinn. Her stories are a gorgeous blend of wit, sophistication and utter sweetness, and this story is no different. Miranda is a lovely heroine - sly, funny and loyal - who deserves someone so much better than Turner, but she's adamant he can be that person. After all, he used to be. All she needs to do is heal him. And this mixed in with her diary entries (my personal favourite - `brought tragedy to the table (book, not event)') makes reading about her a complete delight.
Turner, of course, is an idiot. But he does have an excuse... sort of. His marriage clearly damaged him, but at times I do want to hit him, tell him to stop thinking and just admit how he feels. But in true JQ style, she does redeem him before the end, and he becomes just about worthy of his heroine.
Sprinkled with laugh out loud moments, glorious characters (particularly Olivia - really looking forward to her own tale What Happens in London ), and sparkling dialogue, JQ delivers another thoroughly enjoyable tale. She really is in a class of her own.
The story-line is a little thin (hence the 4 rather than 5 star), but I would certainly recommend this as a good book to cheer up a few hours. Readers who are more used to a Georgette Heyer type relationship between the hero and heroine should be aware that there is a fairly high 'blush factor'.