Two strikes against it, and still this book charmed me! The only thing that felt rushed is the conclusion of the tale, but I supposed the duke showed himself to be a weak, awful man, so I guess it makes sense that the story was easily wrapped up. And, oh!
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Everything else! Such sweetness! I admired her strength, his patience, and the simmering attraction they had despite the odds. Our hero is a slow talking, always coolheaded, methodical, working-man type with big ambitions to get out of the cycle of poverty. I kept picturing a younger, more attractive Brendan Coyle from Downton Abbey and North and South , though the text gave me no indication he looked like him. And who is this strapping, fine figure of a man that has be the model for my latest romance novel?
This guy:. He probably smells like social justice and good, honest labor. I have a funny story about Coyle the actor. And apparently proud, hardworking working-men are his speciality, because he was also that in Lark Rise to Candleford! They played a game of favors, and then he gave all his favors to her. The duke was a surprisingly fleshed out bad guy. You saw such a different part of him than you see of him in the first novel. You really see his weakness and self-obsession. So, within this novella, we have a strong woman, a patient and pragmatic man, a fleshed out bad guy, radical consent, and the finer points of the results of sexual abuse, worthy of the metoo era.
I even got a little teary eyed in the end. Her: quiet, unassuming companion to a debutante, wears glasses, and has a secret past of being a chess champion! Him: almost naive, well meaning virgin! Meetcute: bump into each other in a library while they are escaping the party. She decides to blackmail him in order to keep her secret past hidden. And, unlike some more fantastical romances, his lack of experience leads to a just.. Our heroine was the first book that made me realize Milan might be a No Idiot Awardee.
She understands strategy, and she is always one step ahead of the hero. When they go toe-to-toe, I mentally jump up and down in glee.
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My podcast cohost Ilana and I usually disagree about the battle of wills trope. When pairing a battle of wills with romance, the plot is a slippery slope to nonconsenty issues, and Ilana is all about consent.
I have a harder time because I love the push and pull, and I love a good bout of verbal jousting. But this was a battle of wills about something other than romance, so it was a lot of fun to see. Also, surprisingly, though our heroine is somewhat of a misfit, her friend is a side character that manages to be charming, optimistic, and cheerful without being a real bimbo. I hate lazy writing, when pretty girls are automatically rivals or superficial.
The Optimist is usually either an ingenue good or bimbo bad. There are intricacies about that outlook that has problems, of course, but we get to explore that in the next novella! Her: purposefully optimistic. Meetcute: he was apprenticing with the doctor called in to examine our heroine when she was first pregnant. She remembers him from that time and hates him. He insta-loves her, and, in an effort to spend more time with her, bets her that she will lose her sunny disposition after she spends a day with him while he makes his calls.
The Governess Affair, Book 0. The Duchess War, Book 1 4 stars Shy hero, intelligent and sympathetic heroine, with great political themes. A Kiss for Midwinter, Book 1. Plus, it's set at Christmas-time. The Heiress Effect, Book 2 4.
And a hero who's honest. There's also a secondary romance featuring an interracial couple. The Countess Conspiracy, Book 3 Friends-to-lovers does not usually work for me, but then. I read this novel, and oh how it worked!!! Angsty, but great. Amazingly strong heroine, and a funny and loyal hero. Plus science. The Suffragette Scandal, book 4 5 stars Suffragettes, scoundrels, and strife. Great book. Talk Sweetly to me, Book 4. A very sweet romance featuring a black mathematical genius heroine, and an Irish hero who was a hilarious rake. So wonderful.
My point is, go read this series. It's smart historical romance done right. I read all of these books in a two-week span, and now I have no idea what to read next. View 2 comments. Mar 14, ReadWithE rated it really liked it. Liked some, loved some, wasn't sure about one My fave: The Heiress Effect. Literally LOL'd. Nov 24, Debbie rated it really liked it Shelves: woc-authors.
This review is for the series as a whole. I really enjoyed reading these interesting, feminist heroines. If you don't read my entire review, be sure you always read Milan's Author Notes. I did, however, find the books rather unrealistic at first. It did not detract from my enjoyment, I have absolutely no problems with a 21st century anachronistic characters in a historical romance novel, but I did find it unrealistic that all the men and all the families would be so enlightened and supportive.
Upon reflection, however, now I'm thinking whether it's unrealistic bc I'm unnecessarily bound by my expectations of the genre. Or at least, how unlikely is it that they were all together in this series. And then I thought, how come I don't complain about anything else? How come I don't complain about the witches? I didn't find those anachronistic at all even though I can imagine that historians would.
But I'm bothered by the 'unrealistic' feminist women and men? The scientist Countess? The black astronomy computer? The lesbian couple and the gay couple in the background? I don't doubt they exist. I never doubted that. Just that they were statistically unlikely smaller and yet existent. In the same way that I exist in white America. The same way that my Asian American family were super supportive of my pursuing a non-traditional doctor lawyer engineer career.
I exist. These women exist. Their "atypical" families exist. And if you have any doubt, read the Author Notes at the end of each book, where she tells you her research and the Actual History and context of her people. And opened the way for more colorful characters from everyone. It's kinda cool. Jun 17, Lexxi Kitty rated it really liked it Shelves: setting-continent-europe , date-adth-century , genre-historical , authors-milan-courtney , setting-country-uk , setting-country-england , stars , genre-romance-historical , genre-romance. This series here, though, covers a good chunk of the Victorian age — the period of time when Queen Victoria sat on the British throne.
The first part of this series, a prequel short story, starts in The last book in this series takes place in That first prequel short story stars Hugo Marshall and Serena Barton. Several of the books feature either the offspring of these two, or are connected, in one way or another, to these two individuals.
Minerva Lane is the female lead in that book though she rarely gets called by that name, for reasons. I guess? I grow forgetful. And this just leaves the fourth book in the series. Why yes, since it stars Frederica "Free" Marshall, their daughter. Also stars, in the male lead, Edward Clark. Review 2. You have all your teeth. He grew very still. These girls, here? You defend what you see with a surprising capacity for logic. Do say on. She married two months ago, you know?
She told me what happens when women marry. It was one thing to do Lily a favor. Being around you is like being around nobody at all. Only Violet would say something like that and intend it as a compliment. The Suffragette Scandal So, yes, Edward. I know the obstacles women face. I know them better than you ever will. Marshall asked. My father tried to encourage me to use my right more but it never did take. Jan 01, Judy rated it really liked it Shelves: historical , romance. Bear with me for a minute. It mentions, among other Me Too moments, an accusation of sexual harassment against Judge Alex Kozinski [who has now resigned] by Heidi Bond, one of his clerks.
An excerpt, "I remember Heidi Bond. While she was in law school at the University of Michigan she wrote a bl Bear with me for a minute. While she was in law school at the University of Michigan she wrote a blog called Letters of Marque. It was confident and witty, and covered eclectic subjects ranging from obscure case law to predictions about how the Harry Potter series might end.
Examples matter. Exposure matters. Letters of Marque was deleted. I could not escape the notion that my career success was built entirely on my silence, and it poisoned any joy I could have found in the job I did take. She left the legal profession entirely, and is now a successful romance novelist writing under the name Courtney Milan. I felt almost immoral - as if I was profiting from her loss. I have since read the entire "Brothers Sinister" series.
Her female protagonists are usually women who have been traumatized in some way, but who spoiler! Her characters, both male and female, are not the stereotypical romance characters - although these are indeed romances, with light sexual content and the requisite happily-ever-after ending that I sometimes crave. In all, Heidi Bond's life experiences seem to echo through the stories: All around her, the surroundings echoed wealth and generations of power - everything that had aligned itself against her.
Joint Review: The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
This was what she had been fighting against. Not just the Duke Marshall, but an entire country's worth of opinion. She was as nothing compared to this sort of power - nothing more than a single grain in an entire sack of wheat. Nobody cared whether kernels wished to be ground into flour. It didn't matter if she spoke or stayed silent; she had no voice either way. Well, it mattered to her. May 04, Voirrey rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-novels , romance , read Having recently rediscovered the first book of the series and then finding the boxed set on offer, I decided to continue.
And I am pleased that I did; Ms Milan's characters might be a little out of the ordinary but, were they not, the books would not be interesting. And it is always clear that, unlike so many others who write historical romances, she knows the period and can show the logic behind any changes she might make, or the reality behind things which may cause the occasional raised eye-b Having recently rediscovered the first book of the series and then finding the boxed set on offer, I decided to continue.
And it is always clear that, unlike so many others who write historical romances, she knows the period and can show the logic behind any changes she might make, or the reality behind things which may cause the occasional raised eye-brow, such as an Indian barrister in London, or the use of the word suffragette. Her heroines have character; they get pregnant out of wedlock, they secretly do scientific research, they have a history of numerous miscarriages, or they might be black, or fall in love with other women - and the heroes are equally interesting.
Oct 15, S.
The Romance Reviews (TRR) - The Heiress Effect
Tons of fun. My favorite was The Countess Conspiracy I loved that one! I really admired the heroine, but the love interest was kind of a dick and basically had to take a long time with lots of hemming Tons of fun. I really admired the heroine, but the love interest was kind of a dick and basically had to take a long time with lots of hemming and hawing to decide if he liked the heroine enough to be seen with her in public. And she still wanted him after all that!
Pffft, she was too good for him. Sep 05, Sharon rated it liked it Shelves: boxed-set , historical-romance. I was utterly charmed by the first novella in the set. I was progressively less charmed until I put the last one aside. The writing was very good and each book had engaging characters. Each story or book had a bit of a feminist twist to it that holds Courtney Milan apart from other historical romance writers In the last one that I put aside , the female lead was a black genius scientist in Victorian England—I mea I was utterly charmed by the first novella in the set.
In the last one that I put aside , the female lead was a black genius scientist in Victorian England—I mean, come on. Feb 22, Robert Stevenson rated it it was ok. I am sure these novels are, as well. I tried changing fonts O Am Sorely Disapppointed. Jul 13, Shirley Hamlod rated it it was amazing. This was a brilliant collection of stories. The characters are really detailed and life like not to mention lovable. The women are strong and intelligent and know what they want from life.
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May 10, Bex rated it it was amazing. Great fun I generally avoid admitting reading "trashy" fiction, but these came highly recommended and and are super enjoyable. Also well researched, which makes everything better. Was off work sick and made it through the entire set. Aug 02, Victoria rated it really liked it. Picked up the whole set on Kindle. I found all of the books entertaining — standard historical romance tropes with a updated modern sensibility. Jul 17, Aimee rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in Some of the books and novellas were 4 stars for me, and some were 5.
Overall, I really enjoyed this series. Milan does a wonderful job with her romantic subplots, and I love how diverse her characters are. May 24, Myrna rated it really liked it. Really wonderful series I enjoyed this series. It was great to have all the books in order, starting with the Governess Affair. The characters are deftly drawn and the plot of each story was unpredictable.
And thank you, Ms. Milan, for including a black heroine! Rose was a wonder! Mar 23, April Neal rated it liked it. Enjoyable read Started of as a most enjoyable read, with very complex character history. But it kind of lost its way a bit with the last two. Some how I didn't feel as connected.
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Nov 29, Tracy Zullo rated it it was amazing. Totally fun read. Aug 08, Julia rated it it was amazing Shelves: setting-historical , type-anthology , genre-romance. I own all of these books and novellas individually and in this anthology, no regrets. Such an amazing series! Apr 05, joyce ryder rated it really liked it. It was readable,entertaining.
Related The Governess Affair (The Brothers Sinister, Book 0.5)
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