Refining the Debutante

Written by Anneka R. Walker

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.