Sometimes I worry that I sound a little like a broken record when I review a Courtney Milan book. But it’s not my fault, really. She is just so consistently good that all the same accolades apply. Her characters are so well drawn. They make me feel; they make me cry; they make me shake my fist and jump up and down in the chair. Milan paints such a clear picture, I am completely drawn into the story and I don’t want to put it down, even after I get to the last page.
This second story in the Brothers Sinister series, focuses on Oliver Marshall, a bastard son who aspires to be more than his place in society. He is educated and savvy, and he has a plan to reach his goals in politics. Unfortunately, he needs the support of a less than stand-up nobleman to make it happen.
Jane is independently wealthy, and any man would want her sizeable dowry. Unfortunately, marriage is the last thing she wants. She needs to stay single in order to live with her younger sister and to care for her. If she receives a solid offer, she knows her uncle will expect her to take it, so she makes herself as unattractive to suitors as possible. She is loud, garish, and tactless at every turn. No one wants her around — much less on a permanent basis. She is so offensive to the ton, Oliver is tasked with taking her down, by the very man whose support he needs in Parliament.
The thing is, Oliver is largely a good guy. His parents taught him right from wrong. But his ambition is strong, making his choice a difficult one. It gets even harder once he learns the truth about Jane’s behavior. They fall for each other, each knowing that it could never work between them. No matter how much he sees her worth, Jane would be a liability to his future –and therein lies real problem. It’s either give up his dream or give up his heart.
I’ll tell you, this book made me tear up. Jane felt so real to me. She has to endure so much to take care of her sister. And she faces it all with such strength and stoicism. I wanted so much for her to feel real love and acceptance from someone after all that ridicule. But Oliver let me down more than once. The thing is, though, I understood him too. Why he felt he had to what he did. Even in the face of this undeniable tie between them. I believed in the romance 100%. The sexual tension was amazing. The love scenes were great. It was wrenching and consuming and just so good!
There is also a great little b-plot romance for Jane’s sister I enjoyed; and a good setup for Sebastian’s story. I must find out what is going on with him and Violet! Even the “bad-guys” were interesting. All in all, it’s a really good book — and you don’t have to be familiar with the series to enjoy it. But it’s nice to see what happens to the child at the center of The Governess Affair, and to see Hugo again.
*ARC provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Heiress Effect
by Courtney Milan
Release Date: July 15, 2013