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Steadfast Miranda Cheever has been in love with the same person for half her life, and it's become a hard habit to break. But the Turner who soothed the wounded pride of a child and sweetly complimented her no longer exists. An unwise infatuation and a painful marriage have turned Turner into a cynical, bitter man. Now a widower, he's happy to celebrate his freedom in any way he can.
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.
This is a very enjoyable Julia Quinn novel. Her writing is clear and underpinned with humour. I loved both Miranda and Turner, and felt that I knew them. As usual, with Ms Quinn's books, I had difficulty putting it down as it was such an easy read and I kept thinking 'Just one more chapter'!
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'.
Nigel Beverstoke allows his first wife to kill his belief in love. Miranda has loved him since she was a child, but it proves almost impossible to make him admit his love for her, until disaster very nearly separates them permanently.