The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke Series #1)

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke Series #1)

4.1 269
by Julia Quinn
     
 

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2 March 1810 . . . Today, I fell in love.

At the age of ten, Miranda Cheever showed no signs of Great Beauty. And even at ten, Miranda learned to accept the expectations society held for her—until the afternoon when Nigel Bevelstoke, the handsome and dashing Viscount Turner, solemnly kissed her hand and promised her that one day she would grow

Overview

2 March 1810 . . . Today, I fell in love.

At the age of ten, Miranda Cheever showed no signs of Great Beauty. And even at ten, Miranda learned to accept the expectations society held for her—until the afternoon when Nigel Bevelstoke, the handsome and dashing Viscount Turner, solemnly kissed her hand and promised her that one day she would grow into herself, that one day she would be as beautiful as she already was smart. And even at ten, Miranda knew she would love him forever.

But the years that followed were as cruel to Turner as they were kind to Miranda. She is as intriguing as the viscount boldly predicted on that memorable day—while he is a lonely, bitter man, crushed by a devastating loss. But Miranda has never forgotten the truth she set down on paper all those years earlier—and she will not allow the love that is her destiny to slip lightly through her fingers . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Quinn's first title since 1999 not to feature the Bridgerton clan (On the Way to the Wedding), this Regency concerns Miranda Cheever, who fell in love with the aristocratic Nigel Bevelstoke, Viscount Turner, when she was 10 and he 19. Now 20, and still in love, Miranda's designs are thwarted by the indiscretions of Nigel's late wife-heartbroken, Nigel isn't willing to risk another shot at love, even if it means hurting his close friend Miranda. Quinn's pitch-perfect humor remains intact, but her latest relies too much on romance conventions, including Miranda's scholarly but benignly neglectful father; an even more overused device involves Turner's hot-and-cold feelings toward Miranda, which reduce the heroine to tears more than once. However, the two make a lovable couple, and Miranda in particular shines, as do Turner's two siblings in strong secondary roles. Though a bit stale, this well-written, often funny and occasionally tender romance has much to enjoy. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061753763
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Bevelstoke Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
15,172
File size:
538 KB

Read an Excerpt

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever


By Julia Quinn

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Quinn
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061230837

Chapter One

Nigel Bevelstoke, better known as Turner to all who cared to court his favor, knew a great many things.

He knew how to read Latin and Greek, and he knew how to seduce a woman in French and Italian.

He knew how to shoot a moving target while atop a moving horse, and he knew exactly how much he could drink before surrendering his dignity.

He could throw a punch or fence with a master, and he could do them both while reciting Shakespeare or Donne.

In short, he knew everything a gentleman ought to know, and, by all accounts, he'd excelled in every area.

People looked at him.

People looked up to him.

But nothing—not one second of his prominent and privileged life—had prepared him for this moment. And never had he felt the weight of watchful eyes so much as now, as he stepped forward and tossed a clump of dirt on the coffin of his wife.

I'm so sorry, people kept saying. I'm so sorry. We're so sorry.

And all the while, Turner could not help but wonder if God might smite him down, because all he could think was—

I'm not.

Ah, Leticia. He had quite a lot to thank her for.

Let's see, where to start? There was the loss of his reputation, of course. The devil only knew how many people were aware that he'd beencuckolded.

Repeatedly.

Then there was the loss of his innocence. It was difficult to recall now, but he had once given mankind the benefit of the doubt. He had, on the whole, believed the best of people—that if he treated others with honor and respect, they would do the same unto him.

And then there was the loss of his soul.

Because as he stepped back, clasping his hands stiffly behind him as he listened to the priest commit Leticia's body to the ground, he could not escape the fact that he had wished for this. He had wanted to be rid of her.

And he would not—he did not mourn her.

"Such a pity," someone behind him whispered.

Turner's jaw twitched. This was not a pity. It was a farce. And now he would spend the next year wearing black for a woman who had come to him carrying another man's child. She had bewitched him, teased him until he could think of nothing but the possession of her. She had said she loved him, and she had smiled with sweet innocence and delight when he had avowed his devotion and pledged his soul.

She had been his dream.

And then she had been his nightmare.

She'd lost that baby, the one that had prompted their marriage. The father had been some Italian count, or at least that's what she'd said. He was married, or unsuitable, or maybe both. Turner had been prepared to forgive her; everyone made mistakes, and hadn't he, too, wanted to seduce her before their wedding night?

But Leticia had not wanted his love. He didn't know what the hell she had wanted—power, perhaps, the heady rush of satisfaction when yet another man fell under her spell.

Turner wondered if she'd felt that when he'd succumbed. Or maybe it had just been relief. She'd been three months along by the time they married. She hadn't much time to spare.

And now here she was. Or rather, there she was. Turner wasn't precisely sure which locational pronoun was more accurate for a lifeless body in the ground.

Whichever. He was only sorry that she would spend her eternity in his ground, resting among the Bevelstokes of days gone by. Her stone would bear his name, and in a hundred years, someone would gaze upon the etchings in the granite and think she must have been a fine lady, and what a tragedy that she'd been taken so young.

Turner looked up at the priest. He was a youngish fellow, new to the parish and by all accounts, still convinced that he could make the world a better place.

"Ashes to ashes," the priest said, and he looked up at the man who was meant to be the bereaved widower.

Ah yes, Turner thought acerbically, that would be me.

"Dust to dust."

Behind him, someone actually sniffled.

And the priest, his blue eyes bright with that appallingly misplaced glimmer of sympathy, kept on talking—

"In the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection—"

Good God.

"—to eternal life."

The priest looked at Turner and actually flinched. Turner wondered what, exactly, he'd seen in his face. Nothing good, that much was clear.

There was a chorus of amens, and then the service was over. Everyone looked at the priest, and then everyone looked at Turner, and then everyone looked at the priest clasping Turner's hands in his own as he said, "She will be missed."

"Not," Turner bit off, "by me."

I can't believe he said that.

Miranda looked down at the words she'd just written. She was currently on page forty-two of her thirteenth journal, but this was the first time—the first time since that fateful day nine years earlier—that she had not a clue what to write. Even when her days were dull (and they frequently were), she managed to cobble together an entry.

In May of her fourteenth year—

Woke.
Dressed.
Ate breakfast: toast, eggs, bacon.
Read
Sense and Sensibility, authored by unknown lady.
Hid Sense and Sensibility from Father.
Ate dinner: chicken, bread, cheese.
Conjugated French verbs.
Composed letter to Grandmother.
Ate supper: beefsteak, soup, pudding.
Read more
Sense and Sensibility, author's identity still unknown.
Retired.
Slept.
Dreamed of him.

This was not to be confused with her entry of 12 November of the same year—

Woke.
Ate breakfast: Eggs, toast, ham.
Made great show of reading Greek tragedy.
To no avail.
Spent much of the time staring out the window.
Ate lunch: fish, bread, peas.
Conjugated Latin verbs.
Composed letter to Grandmother.
Ate supper: roast, potatoes, pudding.
Brought tragedy to the table (book, not event). Father did not notice. Retired.
Slept.
Dreamed of him.



Continues...

Excerpted from The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn Copyright © 2007 by Julia Quinn. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Julia Quinn is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 269 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid JQ fan, I'll read anything she writes. But as several other reviewers noted, 'The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever' falls somewhat short of the first-rate romance fans have come to expect from Ms. Quinn. Like her earlier works, 'Diaries' sparkles with well-crafted wit and laugh-out-loud humour. It is an easy and enjoyable read, but one cannot help feeling (unfortunately) distanced from Quinn's characters and instead endeared to the author herself. All in all, 'The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever' is another showcase for Quinn's inherent humour and style, but if your looking for a hero you can fall in love with and a heroine you can truly root for - try her other titles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was not happy with this book. It started off as a good read but as you got into the book the characters were weak. I was disappointed because I have read all of her books and ran to the store to buy this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it. Only took about two weeks to read.
TashaDY More than 1 year ago
I have to agree that this isn't quite the earth-shattering, universe colliding romance that most Regency readers crave and it does suffer slightly in comparison to Julia Quinn's other works, but this book is quite excellent. It's not a swept off her feet romance but rather the tale of a girl who falls in love at age 10 and the path her life takes as she actually gets her fairy tale HEA. It's one of the few books I pick up to read again and again (particularly the ending which is very, very good). I'm not going to say you're going to root for the hero to win her heart (even if he already owns it, if he but knew) but you'll wind up rooting for the heroine you catch glimpses of in the short journal excerpts scattered throughout the book. Minerva herself comes off as fairly self-contained and self-sufficient. Still...I love this book! Would definitely recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've always thought reviewers should add something about their literary experiences to give their reviews context. To that end I'll say that I enjoyed the Bridgerton series for the most part, have read (many times) all of Jane Austen and most of Heyer, and I'm a fan of Loretta Chase. I chose this book because of Quinn and because she won a RITA for it. I don't understand why. Throughout the whole book I waited for the heroine to realize her love was based on youthful folly. For a character who was supposed to be intelligent, she lacked any insight into her own desire to be emotionally abused by a man who had no redeeming character traits. He was entirely one dimensional. There was no chemistry between them. The 'banter' of.their conversation pushed teasing to a level of frustration that made me want to slap him and scream at her to run. This is the first review I've written. I feel that strongly about giving my opinion to readers who expect strong, intelligent heroines and big, bold heroes. You'll be disappointed here. It was torture to finish and I wish I didn't possess the trait that won't let me leave a book until I plod through to the end.
bookholiday More than 1 year ago
An exceptional book that I enjoyed reading. Would recommend
Ferl More than 1 year ago
Love this book this one turned me into a fan of the writer. After it I had to read the whole Brigerton Family Series. But this is my favorite one that I reread often.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great read! I cried I laughed, there was just so much emotion. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Quinn but I hate this book. Both the characters are annoying.
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This was a very good book to read!
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