Diary of an Accidental Wallflower is the first book by Jennifer McQuiston that I read and I really, really enjoyed it! I also love that this book is the start of a new series so I don’t have to go and read the backlist (I may be reading her other series backlist, though!).
Diary of an Accidental Wallflower has a unique plot. I love that the hero, Daniel Merial, is an up and coming doctor, and not someone who was well established. I love that he was shown as someone of humble means who had a very rich Duchess for a client who not only became his friend but also introduced him as a doctor in society.
Clare Westmore is a typical lady, a daughter of a viscount and is on the marriage mart trying to snag a Duke! She sprains her ankle at a ball and Dr. Merial comes to her rescue. Of course, his interest is strictly business BUT he cannot stop his attraction to this seemingly shallow lady. Clare seems like she is a typical spoiled miss at first and it took me a while to warm up to her. However, I really loved reading about Dr. Merial so I read on! I am so glad that I did!
Initially, there wasn’t much of a chemistry between Daniel and Clare but I love the gradual change in their relationship.
Definitely one of the best books I have read this year!
Tonight, she thought fiercely. Tonight would be the night when he asked for more than just a dance. And that was why it was very important for her to tread carefully, until he was so irrevocably smitten she could risk the introduction of her family.
“I do admire him,” she admitted, her mind returning reluctantly to the present. “I just do not want him to see me looking like…” Clare glanced down at her grass-stained skirts, and picked at a twig that had become lodged in the fabric. “Well, like this.”
Lucy frowned. “I scarcely think his admiration should be swayed by a little dirt.”
“And you didn’t look like that before you dove behind that bush,” Geoffrey pointed out. “Stunning bit of acrobatics, though. You ought to apply to the circus, sis.”
“I didn’t dive behind the bush.” Clare battled an exasperated sigh. She couldn’t expect either of them to understand. Lucy still flitted through life not caring if her hair was falling down. Such obliviousness was sure to give her trouble when she came out next year. Clare herself couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been acutely aware of every hair in its place, every laugh carefully cultivated.
And Geoffrey was… well… Geoffrey.
Loud, male, and far too crude for polite company.
As a child, the pronounced differences between herself and her siblings had often made her wonder if perhaps she had been a foundling, discovered in a basket on the front steps of her parents’ Mayfair home. She loved her siblings, but who wouldn’t sometimes squirm in embarrassment over such a family?
And what young woman wouldn’t dream of a dashing duke, destined to take her away from it all and install her within the walls of his country estate?
Clare took a step, but as her toe connected with the ground, the pain in her right ankle punched through the annoyance of her brother’s banter. “Oh,” she breathed. And then, as she tried another step, “Ow! I…I must have twisted my ankle when I fell.”
“I still say you dove,” Geoffrey smirked.
Lucy looked down with a frown. “Why didn’t you say something?” she scolded. “Can you put any weight on it at all?”
“I didn’t realize at first.” Indeed, Clare’s mind had been too much on the threat of her looming social ruin to consider what damage had been done to her person. “And I am sure I can walk on it. Just give me a moment to catch my breath.”
She somehow made her way to a nearby bench, ducks and geese scattering like nine-pins. By the time she sat down, she was gasping in pain and battling tears. As she slid off her dainty silk slipper, all three of them peered down at her stocking-encased foot with collective indrawn breaths. Geoffrey loosened an impressed whistle. “Good God, sis. That thing is swelling faster than a prick at a bawdy show.”
“Geoffrey!” Clare’s ears stung in embarrassment, though she had to imagine it was an apt description for the swollen contours of her foot. “This is not Eton, we are not your friends, and that will be quite enough.”
“Don’t you have Lady Austerley’s ball tonight?” Lucy asked, her blue eyes sympathetic. “I can’t imagine you can attend like this. In fact, I feel quite sure we ought to carry you home and call for the doctor, straight away.”
But Clare’s mind was already tilting in a far different direction. This evening’s ball hadn’t even crossed her mind when she had been thinking of the pain, but now she glared down at her disloyal ankle. No, no, no. This could not be happening. Not when she was convinced Mr. Alban would seek her out for more than just a single dance tonight.
It didn’t hurt so much when she was sitting.
Surely it would be better in an hour or so.
“Of course I can go.” Clare struggled to slip her shoe back on, determined to let neither doubts nor bodily deficiency dissuade her. “Just help me home, and don’t tell Mother,” she added, “and everything will be fine.”