Victorian

The Suffragette Scandal

the suffragette scandal

The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister #4) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

An idealistic suffragette…

Miss Frederica “Free” Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women’s rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope…but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

…a jaded scoundrel…

Edward Clark’s aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She’s only a pawn to use in his revenge.

…and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it’s too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past…and once the woman he loves realizes how much he’s lied to her, he’ll lose her forever.

Review:

Free was great. She was idealistic, but she wasn’t stupid. She knew exactly what she was fighting for and what she was fighting against. She was smart and didn’t let anyone take control of the situation. That ended up driving Edward to not telling her things.

Edward was damaged and didn’t feel as though he deserved anyone to love him. Friends or a woman, love was not something he would ever have. Of course, several people loved him and eventually he figured out he was maybe worth it.

The big thing was Edward’s brother who was an absolute piece of shit. Years ago Free told him she wouldn’t be his mistress. He didn’t take it well. He also, basically, tried to kill Edward few years earlier and caused all of Edward’s mental issues. He was the enemy in this book, but he was inept and they easily thwarted him, mainly because he had no idea they were working together.

They worked great as a couple, but I thought the ending was a bit underwhelming. They got married, had a fight, made up, and then they started planning to change their part of the world. I don’t know, I just felt a bit disappointed. I did like to see Free’s parents show up there at the end and I loved Free.

3.5/5

The Countess Conspiracy

the countess conspiracy

The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister #3) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership… even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

Review:

I was slightly disappointed in this book. Sebastian was a great romantic interest, very dedicated and funny and super sweet, but I found it hard to believe that he’d loved Violet for so long. The fact that he missed out on her trauma and yet was so in love with her felt suspect. He also felt a bit too good to be true. Maybe I’ve just read too many romances in a row?

Violet was an incredibly logical woman that was a scientific genius but emotions apparently alluded her. Which seemed to be because of trauma caused by her deceased husband, and I understood why she didn’t try and analyze those feelings, but I couldn’t understand why her supposed friends didn’t see what was going on. I was disappointed in all of them for how little they seemed to care about her.

The best part of the book was when Violet discovered her mother, who she didn’t think would support her, killed Violet’s husband because of what he was doing to her. Her mother’s love for her was beautiful.

I enjoyed The Countess Conspiracy, but I felt like it damaged my view of the relationship between the friends. There were so many secrets being kept from everyone and it conflicted with the image I had of them being long best friends.

3/5

The Heiress Effect

the heiress effect

The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister #2) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

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:

Jane Fairfield is too much of everything. She’s too loud, too opinionated, too bright and colorful, and just too fucking amazing in the process. I loved her. I loved when she very nicely said things that you never say in polite society. I loved her and just wanted to be her friend and make all the mean people go away, but she handled herself beautifully.

Oliver is a good man that has let his ambitions cloud his judgement. I wanted to shake him a couple times but his “awakening” was worth the wait.

They were such a good couple, but Jane definitely stole my heart more than he did. I cried, again, while reading about her life and how she was treated. I worried about her and her sister, but they were both able to handle themselves.

The Heiress Effect wasn’t just about Jane and Oliver, though, it was also about her sister Emily and her love story. I loved the inclusion of a person of color, I do think the issues the couple will face were glossed over and racism was barely mentioned, but then this isn’t that kind of romance so I don’t really fault it.

I stayed up super late to finish this book because I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters, the story, the intimate scenes, just everything. Excited to read the following books and happy to have found a new author that I love.

5/5

The Duchess War

duchess war

The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

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…

Review:

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.

5/5