The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever is a historical romance novel written by Julia Quinn. It’s the first book in her Regency-era Bevelstoke trilogy. I did not have a chance to read this book when it was originally published in 2009, so I was very excited when it was available as part of an Audible sale.
Miranda Cheever is an only child, and she has formed a friendship with Olivia and Winston, the Bevelstoke twins who live nearby. Once day, her friends’ older brother Turner escorts her home. He is kind to her, and encourages her by suggesting that she keep a diary to look back on when she is grown up.
The main story takes place about nine years after the prologue. Miranda is now around twenty years old, and she reconnects with Turner. She is preparing for a Season in London, and to put things mildly, he is not in a good place emotionally. He realizes quite suddenly that Miranda is no longer the gawky girl she used to be. Turner has no interest in marrying again, but he can’t stop thinking about Miranda. Oh, and Olivia is intent on arranging a match between Miranda and Winston.
This book is much heavier than Quinn’s usual lighthearted fare. A good deal of the conflict stems from Turner’s inability to acknowledge his own feelings, and while there is a basis for this emotionally stunted behavior, it’s still frustrating to read. There is definitely a connection between Miranda and Turner, but it doesn’t feel wholly natural.
This is a petty complaint, but Turner’s first name is Nigel, and he absolutely hates it and insists on being called by his courtesy title (Viscount Turner). This is a shame, as Nigel is a perfectly lovely name.
I would recommend The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever with the caveat that this book is a tad on the serious side. There are several funny scenes to lighten the mood. This is the first book in a series, but I would suggest that new readers start with one of her other series before reading this one. That said, despite my slight qualms, I still enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading more from Julia Quinn in the future.