Diary of an Accidental Wallflower: Seduction Diaries # 1 by Jennifer McQuiston with Excerpt and Giveaway

Thank you for stopping in today, where I have the opportunity to introduce you to a new book in the Seduction Diaries series from Jennifer McQuiston, you’ll most certainly want to check this book and author out. Be sure to check the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win an Exclusive Diary and Print Book Prize Pack to celebrate the release of Diary of an Accidental Wallflower!

Diary of an Accidental Wallflower

A new series from my favorite Historical romance author, Jennifer McQuiston: if you haven’t read her books, she is certainly one to watch! I’ve read them all, and they just keep getting better and better. Loaded with twists, tension and characters that grow on you as solidly as they evolve into a couple, this mid-Victorian era story is full of moments to love.

Clare is the eldest child of a viscount, and in her second season. She was a bit of a conundrum: desperate to make her mark on society, she has carefully cultivated the “right” girls as friends, and has her eyes set on the heir to a dukedom. At home, however, her life is far from the more familiar and traditional titled family: her parents are actively avoiding one another, her younger sister is a year from her debut in society and is more tomboy than polish, and her youngest brother was just expelled from Eton with a penchant for saying outrageous things. Some of the best (and funniest) moments are in the interactions between Clare, Lucy and Geoffrey: the younger siblings providing Clare with a never-ending source of worry, even as she does take some delight in their curiosity and growth.

Daniel is a physician, dedicated to his practice and patients, with a favored dowager countess as a patron. He’s not particularly interested in society beyond the acquisition of clients, and is immersed in creating an anesthesia machine.  His professional demeanor is solid, but it is the breaks in that masque, especially in his dealings with the Dowager Lady Austerley show the honest desire to be the best he can for those he cares for. I loved his wit and humor, his obvious dedication to his experiments and desire to improve the lot of all who need care, as well as the obvious enjoyment he took in tweaking Clare, seeing the hidden depths that she hides carefully when in society.

McQuiston has taken the ‘imbalance of position’ in society and turned it on its ear: usually the titled man with the working class woman, Daniel really doesn’t fit in Clare’s world, not as it is or as she dreams of it being. But he is everything she needs: kind, appreciative, accepting of her family and, most importantly, willing to consider her ideas and thoughts as valid.  While Clare starts as a bit of a snob, the quick comeuppance/betrayal by her ‘ball friend’ Sophie that relegated her to wallflower row gave her a taste of some hard truths and introduced her to Daniel: the far better prize. And this is where Clare’s carefully contrived façade as prim, proper and rather addlepated eligible female in the eyes of society start to fall apart. Clare is clever, engaged and curious about everything that makes the world work: familiar with the changing political climate in England with the chartist movement, and determined to make the best choices for a match for herself, and to ensure her sister Lucy’s prospects.

Enough questions and circles as these two overcome their own preconceptions and learn that their connection is one that is rare, and far superior to the choices that were heretofore possible if one considered just their positions in society.  With a deft hand and characters that are wonderfully complex, flaws and all,  McQuiston managed to add more twists, turns and revelations into Clare’s life, helping her to make choices that truly secure her happiness.  Inclusions of science as we follow Daniel’s progress in crafting a safer anesthetic delivery system for operating, and his dangerous if determined path as he is the only human trial, added a level of historical accuracy that I can only guess was based on Snow’s work of the time.  So much to love about this first in the series: I can’t wait for the next book!

Diary of an Accidental Wallflower: Seduction Diaries # 1 by Jennifer McQuiston with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Diary of an Accidental Wallflower
Author: Jennifer McQuiston
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon
ISBN: 0062335014
Published on: 24 February, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 12 Hours: 37 minutes
Rated: five-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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Pretty and popular, Miss Clare Westmore knows exactly what (or rather, who) she wants: the next Duke of Harrington. But when she twists her ankle on the eve of the Season’s most touted event, Clare is left standing in the wallflower line watching her best friend dance away with her duke.

Dr. Daniel Merial is tempted to deliver more than a diagnosis to London’s most unlikely wallflower, but he doesn’t have time for distractions, even one so delectable. Besides, she’s clearly got her sights on more promising prey. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

All Clare wants to do is return to the dance floor. But as her former friends try to knock her permanently out of place, she realizes with horror she is falling for her doctor instead her duke. When her ankle finally heals and she faces her old life again, will she throw herself back into the game?

Or will her time in the wallflower line have given her a glimpse of who she was really meant to be?

See the Series on Goodreads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

Tasty Excerpt

 

Chapter 1

Miss Clare Westmore wasn’t the only young woman to fall head-over-heels for Mr. Charles Alban, the newly named heir to the Duke of Harrington.

Though, she was probably the only one to fall quite so literally.

He appeared out of nowhere, broad-shouldered and perfect, trotting his horse down one of the winding paths near the Serpentine. His timing was dreadful. For one, it was three o-clock on a Friday afternoon, hardly a fashionable hour for anyone to be in Hyde Park. For another, she’d come down to the water with her siblings in tow, and the ducks and geese they’d come to feed were already rushing toward them like a great, screeching mob.

Her sister, Lucy, poked an elbow into her ribs. “Isn’t that your duke?” 

Clare’s heart galloped well into her throat as the sound of hoof beats grew closer. What was Mr. Alban doing here? Riders tended to contain themselves to Rotten Row, not this inauspicious path near the water. If he saw her now it would be an unmitigated disaster. She was wearing last Season’s walking habit—fashionable enough for the ducks, but scarcely the modish image she wished to project to the man who could well be her future husband. Worst of all, she was with Lucy, who brushed her hair approximately once a week, and Geoffrey, who ought to have been finishing his first year at Eton but who had been expelled just last week for something more than the usual youthful hijinks.

Clare froze in the center of the milling mass of birds, trying to decide if it would be wiser to lift her skirts and run, or step behind the cover of a nearby rhododendron bush. One of the geese took advantage of her indecision and its beak jabbed at her calf through layers of silk and cotton. Before she knew what was happening—or even gather her wits into something resembling a plan—her thin-soled slipper twisted out from under her and she pitched over onto the ground with an unladylike oomph. She lay there, momentarily stunned.

Well then. The rhododendron it was.

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About Jennifer McQuiston

A veterinarian and infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer McQuiston has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, their two girls, and an odd assortment of pets, including the pony she promised her children if mommy ever got a book deal.

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