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…
I follow a lot of writer’s on Twitter, Courtney Milan is not one of them, however one of her tweets came up in my feed and it described how the couple in this book met. I was immediately intrigued and when my library had her book through e-loan I downloaded it, then before I started downloaded the prequel, because that’s just what I do.
I don’t write reviews for novellas, usually, and I’m not going to here, but so far I’ve read the one before Duchess War and the one after and they were both excellent.
Anyway, Minerva Lane, or Willamina since she’s in hiding and changed her name, is an incredible interesting character. She is playing a role, trying to appear dull and unassuming so that she doesn’t attract attention, lest anyone find out that she is the famed chess master that dressed as a boy when she was a child. It’s all a bit complicated, but so very interesting.
Robert is the son of a duke that was a horrible person in so many ways and he desperately doesn’t want to be like him. I cried several times when he talked about his childhood, it was sad and depressing and you just wanted to hold him and tell him everything was going to be alright.
The sex scenes…omg. So very well written, so realistic without being unromantic. I loved them for their honesty as much as for their heat.
The conclusion to the story is properly climactic and very well done and had me IMMEDIATELY downloading the following novella and devouring it because I want to spend more time in this world. I love historical romances that don’t necessarily embrace everything from the period and I have no idea how accurate this is, but I seriously do not care. It’s wonderful.