The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Brothers Sinister, Book 2

Synopsis: Miss Jane Fairfield can’t do anything right. When she’s in company, she always says the wrong thing—and rather too much of it. No matter how costly they are, her gowns fall on the unfortunate side of fashion. Even her immense dowry can’t save her from being an object of derision.

And that’s precisely what she wants. She’ll do anything, even risk humiliation, if it means she can stay unmarried and keep her sister safe.

Mr. Oliver Marshall has to do everything right. He’s the bastard son of a duke, raised in humble circumstances—and he intends to give voice and power to the common people. If he makes one false step, he’ll never get the chance to accomplish anything. He doesn’t need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn’t need to fall in love with her. But there’s something about the lovely, courageous Jane that he can’t resist…even though it could mean the ruin of them both.

Review: Courtney Milan presents here a lovely little historical atypical romance. How not to succumb to the new ideas that have been introduced in this story with this unique heroine who has built herself a gilded cage.

Jane Fairfiels is not a young woman like the others, she is what is called a « bastard » but also a very intelligent rich woman. Something that could be very interesting for one person may prove to be a mortal enemy for a woman who does not wish to marry. Indeed, trying to be present for her sister, until her majority, Jane has the duty to prevent any wedding proposal to protect her junior. This is a full time job when we see how the tutor takes care of the girl, locking her permanently in his house, stopping her from having friends and constantly trying to find her all sorts of doctors to treat her little known evil. It is not an easy task for Jane, but even if our heroine does not really have talents in society, she accentuates her nature to become the most hateful person. In addition to this, she continually wears hideous outfits that are now famous. But now, her plans change when she meets with Olivier, a different man who seems to realize that she could be much more than that but also a man who could do what he dreams of if he manages to publicly and permanently humiliate our dear Jane.

I took a lot of pleasure to follow Jane, it’s a different heroine of the one we usually find in historical romance. The young woman is strong, courageous even if all she does is very difficult … Nevertheless, it is really not easy when we see that she must also confront the terrible remarks of the persons evolving around her. But it is also why she does not change who she is and what she has to wear to suit the company. And finally we have Oliver … It is difficult to identify this man and I must say that he does not know himself how to act in light of the choices available to him. All this, is further complicated when a certain attraction is created between him and Jane. Alas, it is not possible for him to marry a young woman who does not behave herself and who does not hesitate to dress this way, all his politician plans would be seriously affected.

It was a very good novel and even if it’s true that I did not necessarily connect to the first, I was thrilled by this second volume. It was a real pleasure to see some important events here as the laws of parliament, ethnic marriages, the desire of women to become more than what they can be. Yes, we easily find some great themes in the chapters.

As you can see, a new very good novel and I am curious to know what we’ll find later.

4 

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The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Brothers Sinister, Book 1

Synopsis: Sometimes love is an accident.

This time, it’s a strategy.

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 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…

Review: I heard a lot of great things about the Courtney Milan’s historical romances and when I saw this new series, I admit that I was very intrigued. So I started happily with this first volume.

Minnie is a young woman who hides her past as best as she can, that’s also why she has changed her name. But the only way for her to be really safe would be to find a husband … alas, is it really the solution? The fact that she is trying to be a person she isn’t, gives a different image of her nature to the persons around her. While she has a great determination, many desires, she passes for a young silence woman, a malleable and insignificant mouse. It’s pretty sad that see what people think about her, and yet she is far from that. But while some are closer to the truth, attempting to delve into her past, Minnie crosses the path of a duke, someone well beyond what she could expect but which nevertheless seems very interested in her.

Mixing with the workers’ revolution and tracts to help the poor people conditions over a period which is governed by the privileges, gave a very interesting story. It was not necessarily a theme that I expected there but it was very interesting to learn more about it. As for the characters, Robert, our beloved Duke is a really likeable character. He is true, natural and, above all, trying not to look like his father, but when he meets with Minnie, everything will change. Minnie will have to face her past here, the choice of her parents and she will finally allow herself to believe in a better life where she would be recognized for the person she truly is.

I was very surprised by the revelations about the Minnie’s past! The author had very good ideas and it’s true that we do not imagine for a single second about the truth. All this makes us feel the pains of our heroine elsewhere and we fully understand some of her strange behavior. She had not had an easy life and it’s true that we hope all along that everything will work out for her.

It was a good first book and I admit that I’m curious to see how the others will be.

3-5 

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