We don't grade books here or give a number of hearts or anything like that. But I was thinking about it in regards to this book and would give it a solid B grade. The first two thirds of this book was wonderful. Maybe even the first three fourths. Then the last part went straight to bad trope-ville and ruined a great book.
Miranda is a great heroine. She's pretty without being beautiful, smart as heck and her repartee is brilliant. The hero Turner is pretty good for a hero, also a smart ass and funny and tortured. He has the great hero-angst of a previously unfaithful wife who died on the way to meet her lover.
Seriously, this book started and went going great guns. I loved all the characters and was reading this in huge gulps. I was turning into a Julia Quinn fan girl as I read. And then.... I don't know what happened.
Miranda is in love with Turner (has been since she was a child) and now he's a bitter widower who spars with Miranda and fights his feelings and it was just done so well but then ...
ALL SPOILER FROM HERE ON OUT....
Miranda and Turner do it. She gets pregnant. She runs to her grandparents in Scotland and he doesn't follow immediately but when he does she's lost the baby but he demands they get married and then they do and they're blissfully happy except he can't say "I love you" and she gets pregnant again and because he won't say the words she has issues and then gives birth and almost dies and he says the words and all is good in HappyVille.
I mean, here was this great story with smart characters and what the fuck happened? I swear it was like Julia Quinn was writing this book and suddenly ran out of plot so she borrowed from another book. It didn't fit, it brought this wonderful story to a grinding halt and destroyed an almost perfect read.
I would recommend this book because so much of it is wonderful. Just be prepared for an ending that seems like it came from another book.
By the way: I hate the trope of the hero who can't say he loves the heroine. First of all, they're happy. They're fucking delirious with happiness. Actions speak louder than words after all and if the hero is acting like he's in love then suck it up woman and realize that words are words and the man is yours.
And a heroine on her deathbed forcing the hero to face his feelings and then say the words which rescues her from the Grim Reaper... omg, RETIRE THIS TROPE IMMEDIATELY!
Okay, I'm calm now.
Anyway, so that's my non-review of The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn.