Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly - so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past.
Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don't get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.
But that is precisely what she gets.
Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he's up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he's determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy Miss may prove to be more than his match...
The Duchess War is the first full-length book in the Brothers Sinister series. It is preceded by The Governess Affair, a prequel novella.
©2012 Courtney Milan (P)2013 Courtney Milan
The Duchess War was an absolute delight! The writing was superb, the characterizations real and the plot filled with twists and turns but never frustrating devices. The historical backdrop was enriching and helped set the scene without being trivial wallpaper or a history tome / you felt like you were part of the story and part of the time period! The audible narration added much to the enjoyment as well! I can't wait to read more from Courtney Milan.
This is Chelsea, not Brandon. I'm not sure how to change that. Voracious romance reader, addicted audio listener.
What a sweet story! It reminded me a lot of the books by Eloisa James but without the major character flaws consistent with that author. These characters were always honorable and true, easy to love. The steamy scenes were light, so if you are looking for a passionate read, this isn't it, but it does have a smattering and those too are sweet.
I was feeling a bit guilty for all the aristocratic romances I've been reading and this series was the antidote! Milan's characters are very aware of their privileges and work hard to make whatever difference they can (while having delicious love affairs). They encourage each other to do more and BE more.
Also, it's refreshing to read books with really smart heroines who have other smart women in their lives. Too often, romance novels have one great lady surrounded by a bunch of silly ones. Milan provides depth and motivation to ALL her ladies.
:: Runs off to download the next one::
I did not feel this was predictable but it was your classic happy ending historical romance story. It kept with all of the general unofficial rules of these types of stories. I liked the story, it was traditional in a sense but I love this narrator she made it come alive.
I'm a fan of Courtney Milan's books. This is the first in the Brothers Sinister series (wait, there's a prequel) and I look forward to reading the next book. Her characters have depth and I like that the heroines are intelligent and passionate.
Minerva has a secret past that might become quite public which would ruin the quiet life she's resigned to live. Robert (a Duke) is secretly trying to right the wrongs of his father but Minnie finds him out. Milan fleshes their lives out as she slowly brings them together. I thought she did it perfectly. They ultimately see the goodness in each and find their HEA. I really liked it.
As usual, I loved Rosalyn Landor's narration.
Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
This is my second book by Courtney Milan and I have enjoyed it very much that after this review I will be downloading Book 2.
But I have to admit that the only reason why I bought Book 1 was due to Rosalyn Landor.
Her performance is so great!!! Saying that, I enjoyed Courtney Milan's book and if I come across a narrator I don't like, I will just have to read the book instead.
I was expecting a possibly interesting tale but was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. My reading/listening to of romances are generally limited to Georgette Heyer if I bother at all but I now intend to listen through all of these - especially if this level of quality continues.
I love the way the author broke through several generic trophes of this genre. Including the usual miscommunication between the main characters. The author's evident research into the actual historical conditions and content of Leichester (and how she conveyed it, weaving it into the story seamlessly. Having just listened to, and been somewhat disappointed by, Laura Kinsales' work I was struck by how tightly written this book is. There are no loose ends or bits wedged in order to explain something unlikely, the characters remained in character and the intimacy's weren't an appendage to the text in order to tick some sort of romantic/raunchy-content for the sake of it box. The description of the first night in Paris struck me as being more realistic than I had read before and my respect for Milan has been increased by it.
The fact that, like Dorothy Sayers - Milan presents us with a hero who wants an intelligent, self confident partner who is her own person and not just a doll to be protected. The psychological scarring of both of the main characters (and to some extent the subcharacters), their ways of recognising and working through their own terrors were well done. I'm downloading the next volume as I type this and am looking forward to seeing how the individual tales of the Brothers Sinister (fabulous title and she's had fun playing with the many entendre that these words contain) mesh together.
I enjoyed ALL of it greatly.Though the matter of fact line "I have a strong left hand" had me laughing silent to a stitch and I still grin to think of it.
She has a beautiful voice to listen to, enough variation between characters to create a distinct idea of their personalities and I look forward to seeing if, in the following books, she can hold true to the characters she describes here.
I was engrossed. I stayed up till 4am working at my desk listening. I woke up at midday and continued to listen, carrying my music device around me as I did all manner of little jobs I could do with only half concentration because I didn't want to stop listening. I wanted to know what happened next, I wanted to know how each challenge would be confronted and overcome. I spent my entire day listening, and I'm about to do it again with volume 2.
Brava Milan! Brava!
I wish the covers weren't so very generically romance-novel/fairytale-princess. I wish the cover wasn't something I would feel embarrassed reading on a book or a train. I know covers sell the books to some degree but I don't consider myself a romance reader. A cover that worked in the industrial city setting of Leichester or the scar on her face, the meeting of the workers hygeine committee, the chess pieces and her being active rather than just decorative - a cover that depicted her as something other than just a woman in a beautiful scarlet dress would be a step towards the striving towards female equality that is sprinkled through the text.
Marvelous book, and Rosalyn Landor is her usual magnificent self. There is a very funny scene on a train involving the hero, the heroine, and the hero's two good friends, who are meeting the heroine for the first time. Landor does the repartee among these two men and two women faultlessly. You really think that you're listening to four different people. I dunno, maybe it required a lot of takes, but she's so darn good that I doubt it.
As a psychiatrist addiction is important to me. I am addicted to audible books, kindle books, my husband, and my thirteen cats.
Its good, the duke is amazing and the future Duchess has a past that is so different and interesting. You will really want them to succeed. The sex was sweet and hot and it was the first time I have read one of these romances where the man was a virgin too.
Who Dat AK
This book kept my attention from beginning to end. I like the progression the story made the characters were fun and likable.The writer builds characters with real flaws and believable situations. I am ready to move to the next one.
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