I've just discovered Courtney Milan, and I think she's one of the best. This story has everything, wallflower and handsome Duke, mysteries discovered..Show More » and revealed, a social conscience exposed, hilarious dialogues, and 2 amazing admirable and lovable and unusual heroes. Why the handsome Duke even struggles with his wedding night, and the way they solve it is so real-human-like. It's about 2 people finding love, and even surprising who is in need of it the most. I admire writers who don't copy the Romance genre's lists of behaviors but ones who create unique stories and characters and write well, without that sense of needing the cuts of a good editor to make the story tight. If you miss part of this story you need to go back and rewind, and the writing is so fluid and intelligent you forget about the writer and just get engrossed in the story. A definite credit-worthy selection. I'll be looking for more in the Brothers Sinister series.
This story is about two rather unusual lovers, and some readers have been put-off slightly by the fact that the female heroine does not conform to the..Show More » stylish image of ladies commonly found in romances. She seems to be rude and loud and completely unfashionable. But she has a reason for her behavior, which we come to understand, and her pairing with the conservative Oliver, who feels he has to be on good behavior because he is the bastard son of a Duke, actually makes for a totally inspiring as well as endearing love story. Oliver has lessons to learn about himself, as well as healing that needs to take place - a healing that only someone like Jane can provide. In fact the theme of the story is about having the courage to be true to the self, as Oliver eventually learns from his mother, his sister, and his aunt. The heroine Jane, a peacock not the wren that Oliver says he needs for his career, may never be fashionable in the mode of others, but she learns to use her pain and rejection as a springboard for growth, never showing any malice towards those who have hurt her. The love between the two is endearing because it is so unexpected, so difficult and their coming together shows how opposites can, indeed, attract. It is also a source of a great deal of humor. Like so many of Milan's stories, the heroines of these adventures are strong influences on their mates in a positive way. The prequel to this series, The Governess Affair, is definitely worth a read to enrich the understanding of Oliver, though the book stands entirely on its own.