by Jacqueline Kolosov
Sixteen-year old Miranda has no idea how much her life is going to change upon hearing the news of her father's death. Left with little dowry to offer, Miranda faces a broken engagement, and is sent to live with her father's cousin, the Count John Hardwood, and his wife whose primary goal is to take her to Court and marry her off to the insufferable Lord Seagrave for their own profit.
At Queen Elizabeth's court, Miranda soon learns that a large part of her survival will depend on her knowing who to trust. All the maidens at Court dream of being one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting. When Miranda distinguishes herself from the rest with her exquisite sewing and embroidery skills, she gets the attention of the Queen, much to the anger and jealousy of the courtiers, ladies in waiting, and even a trusted "friend."
As Miranda begins to win the Queen’s favor, she is given the ultimate test—to recreate Elizabeth’s mother’s (Ann Boleyn) coronation gown. Miranda knows this is her opportunity to escape the shackles of convention and get out of a marriage to Lord Seagrave and instead establish an independent life at Court as the Queen’s seamstress. But how will she reunite with Henry Raleigh, the man to whom she was once promised, and has always loved?I do enjoy period novels. I had forgotten how much I love them until I read "A Sweet Disorder". I really really enjoyed this book and I can't believe I had never heard of it! It was published in 2009 and I'm just reading it?! I obviously missed out. But fate would have me happen upon this book as I heading to check out my library books. Sitting on a display shelf was "A Sweet Disorder" and the cover had me hooked. It didn't take long for me to realize what a delightful choice I had made.
Miranda is a truly lovely character. No, literally she's gorgeous. But her good looks are more of a hindrance than a help in Queen Elizabeth's courts. Miranda isn't one of those characters that flaunts around how pretty she is or how talented she is, she's sincere. She just wants to avoid disaster and drama, but you know that won't happen.
What I really wanted was more Chidock Kyd time! I adored that red-headed knight! (I think I have a thing for hilarious red-heads...) I could imagine him strutting up to the palace, declaring he was the keeper's son, the guard saying something like "You too?", and Kyd just standing there with this goofy "I'm innocent" smirk. Kyd defiantly made the book just delightful...without his scenes I don't think the book would have been as lovely.
I also wanted more Miranda-Henry action. While there was a hint at a love triangle, there wasn't really a full blown "who will she pick?!" scenario. I mean it says in the synopsis that she's in love with a certain guy, so it only makes sense who she would pick. And I must say it was a breath of fresh air not to be tugged to and fro about who I wanted Miranda to end up with (even though I adore Kyd). I just wish I could have gotten to know Henry more. I wanted to understand him better, but then again we only know what Miranda knows so it has a "real" feel. In real life you don't know what a guy is thinking or if he does something wonderful for you unless he or someone else tells you. Wanted more scenes to get to Henry, but either way it's great.
Definitely one I recommend reading, especially if you enjoy period novels (or fashion and sewing) or just want a good book for a rainy day/sunny afternoon. I personally could see myself buying this book, because it's a book you can just pick up and read when you want to be whisked away (and have a smile on your face when you're finished). Truly, truly enjoyed this book- now go read it!