Review: Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan

Reviewed by Olive

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure, a novella in Milan’s Worth Saga series, tells the story of the seventy-three years young widow Bertrice Martin, the bad behaviour of her Terrible Nephew, and how she finally decided to do something about it & him. She’s inspired to take action by Violetta Beauchamps, the manager of the boarding house where Terrible Nephew has his rooms.

Violetta is looking for a little boost to her financials, now that she’s been forcibly retired, and she’s not above a little fraud to get it. Cut off without her promised pension, exhausted at the idea of looking for more work at sixty-nine, and fed up with the Terrible Nephew and the two years of arrears he owes, she’s determined to get the needed funds from Mrs. Martin.

[Read more…]

Review: After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

Reviewed by Jen

Let me be honest. When I started this book I had absolutely no recollection of the first installment in the series. I wasn’t even sure if I had read it until I went back and looked on Goodreads. No wonder I had forgotten. It’s been three years since Courtney Milan wrote the beginning of this series. But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember of have even read that book in order to jump right into this one.

This is an interracial historical romance, which is a bit of a rarity. But one of the things I like best about it was how low key the race element was. Yes, the hero and heroine are of different ethnicities, but this love story isn’t about their race. It was about love and acceptance. About choosing someone to love and who chooses to love you in return. [Read more…]

Review: Hamilton’s Battalion by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole

Reviewed by Jen

This anthology cashes in on the popularity of Hamilton with a trio of love stories against the backdrop of characters marginalized by race, religion, and sexuality. I haven’t seen the musical that has captured the hearts of so many, but you really don’t need to be familiar with it to understand what’s going on here. Eliza Hamilton is collecting stories from her husband’s soldiers after his death about their history with him. Hamilton, the Yorktown, and the Revolutionary are the threads that hold the novellas together. [Read more…]

Review: Once Upon a Marquess by Courtney Milan

once upon a marquessReviewed by Jen

Courtney Milan does such a good job crafting characters who feel like real people. In this case, it’s the heroine who I felt a connection with. Judith has endured loss and ruin that would have destroyed most ladies. But she has not only survived, but carried two of her siblings through the ordeal. Now, so much of what she has worked for is threatening to unravel –and the only person she can turn to for help is the man who ruined her life in the first place. [Read more…]

Review: Trade Me by Courtney Milan

trade meReviewed by Carrie

The premise of the book sounded good (even if a bit implausible) – college rich boy trades lives with poor girl. The book is penned by a solid and well-reviewed author of historical romance. So why did I not care for this book? Is it because it’s the author’s first go at contemporary? I’m thinking it is more likely a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”. [Read more…]

Review: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

suffragette scandalReviewed by Jen

This may not be my favorite Courtney Milan romance, but there were many things I enjoyed about it.  The premise original and engaging. The heroine is intelligent and independent.  And the hero manages to be strong and self assured without ever being threatened by a woman who is his equal.  It’s witty; it’s smart; and it’s an overall fun read.

Free is one of the most confident and self possessed historical heroines I have ever read. She is so sure of herself and so comfortable in her own skin.  She is bold and she makes me laugh and she makes me proud of the women in history who stood up for women’s rights when it was very unfashionable to do so.  [Read more…]

Review: This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan

this wicked giftReviewed by Jen

From most other authors, I doubt I would have been able to enjoy this story. In fact, part of me finished it feeling like I really should have disliked it.  After all, the hero was willing to essentially force himself on the heroine.  It wasn’t actually rape; and despite his intentions, it wasn’t even extortion.  But the point is, he was willing to do it and that’s a pretty substantial thing to overcome. [Read more…]

Review: The Countess Conspiracy

countess conspiracyReviewed by Jen

Let me start by saying what a fan I am of Courtney Milan. Just about any time I pick up something of hers, I feel like it’s a given I am going to love it. Unfortunately, this book proved the exception to the rule.

This is the third book in the Brothers Sinister series and it focuses on Sebastian and Violet.  You may remember Sebastian from the previous books as the controversial scientist who had society aghast with his lectures on reproduction and inherited traits.  What we learn here is that none of those ideas actually belonged to him. In fact, all the theories came from Violet. Sebastian agreed to present them because no one would take the ideas seriously from a woman. [Read more…]

Review: The Heiress Effect

heiress effectReviewed by Jen

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.

Rating: B+

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Heiress Effect
by Courtney Milan
Release Date: July 15, 2013

Review: The Governess Affair

governess affairReviewed by Jen

You can’t go wrong with Courtney Milan! This is the novella that sets the stage for her Brothers Sinister series and it definitely whets the appetite for more, while still giving you a complete and satisfying love story.

Hugo Marshall is the son of a coal miner, with an unerring drive to make himself into something more.   If he can turn around the finances of the Duke of Clermont, it will put a tidy sum in his bank.  Unfortunately, there is something standing in his way –or rather, someone.  Serena is a former governess who was coerced into the Duke’s bed.  Now she is with child and is threatening a scandal if the Duke doesn’t do right by her baby.  The Duke dispatches Hugo to get rid of her, but refuses to tell him the nature of her grievance.

Day after day, Serena sits outside the Duke’s home, waiting for a response, until finally Hugo ventures out to address her directly.  He is intrigued by her fortitude.  One encounter turns into two, then more. Slowly, he begins to unravel her secrets and to fall for the woman who stands in the way of his future plans.

Milan is so great with novellas. Despite the short length, she really draws such well developed characters.  I felt like I knew them –especially Hugo. I understood their motivations and I believed in the development of their affections.  Hugo is a great hero. With the childhood he had, it’s easy to see why he is so determined to succeed, but when push comes to shove, his humanity wins.  I love the moment he finally makes his peace with the Duke!

The romance is really quite lovely.  Serena has given up on happy endings –and Hugo seems like the most unlikely man in the world to change that.  But somehow they fix something broken in each other. They see the value in one another that everyone else has overlooked.  It’s heartfelt; and when they come together physically, it’s quite satisfying too.

And the Epilogue is great too. (How rarely I say that!)  It sets up the remainder of the series in a way you can’t help but be excited about.  Another winner from Milan.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Governess Affair
by Courtney Milan
Release Date: April 21, 2012