I love reading historical romance novels, especially those set in 19th century England. I have been following Jennifer McQuiston on Facebook, but I have not had the opportunity to read very many of her books. I did enjoy reading The Spinster’s Guide to Scandalous Behavior, so I was excited about reading the first book in the series: Diary of an Accidental Wallflower.
Clare Westmore is poised to take her position as one of the “it girls” (my words, not McQuiston’s) of the London Season, when disaster strikes. Clare twists her ankle, but she insists upon hiding her injury and attending a party and finds herself sitting on the sidelines- with the wallflowers. She attempts to hide her twisted ankle, but her awkward gait attracts the attention of Dr. Daniel Meriel, the personal physician of the party’s hostess.
Daniel comes from a completely different world than Clare. He lives in a crime-ridden neighborhood and he spends most of his time working in a charity hospital. Daniel also conducts experiments; he is trying to perfect an anesthesia regulator. When he first encounters Clare, he thinks that she is vain and foolish for putting a party above recuperation. But as he gets to know her, he finds that she is intelligent and insightful, and he doesn’t understand why she pretends to vapid.
Their relationship develops slowly, and Clare feels confused as she begins to question her goals and expectations. There is also some turmoil in the Westmore home, so Daniel’s visits are a welcome reprieve from the tension. However, as Clare begins to wonder if the man she hoped would propose is right for her, the decision is inadvertently made for her. It’s mostly a moot point because she has already decided that she loves Daniel, but it would have been nice for Clare to actively choose Daniel over the heir to a dukedom.
I would recommend Diary of an Accidental Wallflower. I especially enjoyed Clare’s younger siblings, both of whom are featured in subsequent books. I appreciated the glimpse at the lifestyle of more average citizens, and not just the upper echelons of Society. I am looking forward to reading more of McQuiston’s books.