Ethan Roderick and Miranda Bartley are about to cement their courtship when he suddenly calls it off, on grounds that Miranda is frivolous and vain. A genuine philanthropist, Ethan dedicates his time to society’s unseen and unheard. He needs a like-minded wife who will support him in his endeavours. Everyone agrees! Meanwhile, Miranda finds herself on the bottom rung when she is forced to work as a servant in her estranged uncle’s house and is only saved from despair by her maid, Sarah, who teaches her humility and how to say ‘please.’ After a chance encounter, Ethan intervenes in Miranda’s fate, putting her forward as a companion to the elderly Lady Callister.
The scene is well set for a quick-paced riches-to-rags-to-riches story, and it shows in the growth and maturity of the characters. It’s easy to picture Darcy in Ethan’s conundrum—his need to marry equal to his station; his inability to deny his heart. Miranda’s vanity morphs into a new understanding of those less privileged, who she has previously ignored. Lady Callister’s shrewd mentorship proves exceedingly useful, and she’s a delightful addition to the story. Motivations both good and bad are slowly uncovered. A pleasant afternoon’s read.
See review here: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/refining-the-debutante/