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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Good story with a great narrator.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Duchess War

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Natasha
  • Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
  • 12-12-14

Enjoyable Listen with a Great Narrator

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Splendid - Absolutely splendid!

What did you love best about The Duchess War?

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.<br/><br/>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.<br/>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. <br/>

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What about Rosalyn Landor’s performance did you like?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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. <br/>Brava Milan! Brava!

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perfect author; perfect narrator

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pick me! I am the one you want to read next oooh!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Duchess War to be better than the print version?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Book!!!

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Historical romance - not to be missed!

Courtney Milan has become one of my favorite, auto-buy historical romance authors. I think this book is a good example of why. Her characters exemplify so much that is good, bad, and funny about people as well as how they function within the social rules of the time.

In the Duchess War, two socially mismatched people find love, but not without some trials and tribulations. I thought the characters of Robert and Minnie were well drawn.

The narrator, Rosalyn Landor is a familiar and appealing voice to me. I've listened to her read many stories based in Great Britain and her voices interpretation is always well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 10-26-13

Very Clever Story!

Although this book is fascinating, it's not perfect. The beginning is a little slow and Milan holds you distant from the hero and heroine. I didn't quite like the heroine for a while, but then, I came to love her; I loved the hero almost instantly. Even though you can put the book down in the beginning, it is so thought provoking, so interesting, that is one of a handful of "best romances" that I've read in forty years.

THE DUCHESS WAR is different because of the intelligence and awareness of Courtney Milan. The central theme is the lasting damage that distorted, desperate, or narcissistic parents do to their offspring. Whether it is Robert's friend who is studying the controversial theory of genetic inheritance or the fanatical mother who mistreats her son to show the superiority of Christianity, Milan slyly unites this theme in its variations. Many writer have explored the theme of parental abuse, usually by the character's pain and her (it usually is a "she") eventual triumph of shedding her inhibitions to marry the hero. Instead, Courtney Milan shows a man who holds himself to an almost impossible standard of goodness and a damaged heroine who does the best she can for those she loves, even if it means destroying her own future. Then, in parallel dilemmas, the hero and heroine must decide whether to sacrifice their own happiness, betraying each other to protect more vulnerable people. Because life is seldom as easy as it is in most novels, Milan's books consistently explore the anguish, the uncertainty, and the grit it takes to lead a fulfilling and honorable life. It is impossible to read Milan's books and not to think, not to consider ethical problems, not to learn something about life. Most romances tell of fairy tale marriages with perfect happiness with effortless unity unto death. Milan's marriages are made up of imperfect humans, who often say the wrong thing, who knowingly almost destroy the person they love. Minnie and Robert have a vital, living commitment because both are capable of genuine love, honesty, and honour.

As always Rosalyn Landor bought the story to life with her wonderful narration

13 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • Canada
  • 06-19-14

Could not get in to this book, very poorly written

Have you listened to any of Rosalyn Landor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Rosalyn Landor always does a great job.

Any additional comments?

Just couldn't get past the first hour of this book. It was confusing, poorly written, and uninteresting for me.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful