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The Duchess War (The Brothers Sinister) (Volume 1) (edition 2013)

by Courtney Milan (Author)

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5803924,391 (3.89)23
Member:RobynBachar
Title:The Duchess War (The Brothers Sinister) (Volume 1)
Authors:Courtney Milan (Author)
Info:Femtopress (2013), Edition: 1.1, 264 pages
Collections:Read and owned, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:historical-romance

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The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This was sooooo good. I completely adored both the hero and heroine. To start, the hero. Politically fascinating - there is some great history and poli-sci in this novel, so while it is a fun read, it also strongly appeals to the labor history buff in me. I also really enjoyed that he is kind of a beta hero. His depth and insecurity didn't make him seem weak, just made him interesting. My heart went out to him over and over. And his friends, I can't wait to read their stories!! The heroine is wonderful, too. Scarred and traumatized, but nothing like the shallow, one-dimensional waifs that I love to read about - this book is too complex for that. Her back-story is utterly unique and fascinating, and she is a wonderful mix of vulnerable and tough. She's described as plain and is a wallflower, but it's a fairly minimal aspect of the book - not your traditional wallflower romance at all. Right on to the next one!

First read July 2013, re-read November 2016 - gah I love this book so much! I can re-read Milan's books over and over. So good. ( )
  PNRList | Aug 15, 2018 |
mixed feelings - not bad, but.... not really good...
  Joana_v_v | Aug 10, 2018 |
Minnie is quiet as a mouse in company, doing her best to fade into the background. It's easy for her to do; she wears glasses, dresses primly, and keeps her eyes on the ground. When a handsome Duke realizes Minnie isn't all she appears, Minnie realizes she's going to need to fight a 'tactical war' to keep him off-guard. But Robert has his own agenda, and Minnie figures on it, right at the top of his list.
This was a reread for me and a very enjoyable one. I remember being surprised at Minnie's backstory; it's very different from the usual trope about secret wallflowers disguised as governesses or housekeepers but very believable. Robert is just a sweetheart, a hero in every sense of the word. He's trying to help poor factory workers in Victorian England, partly to make up for his father's ill-usage of people, but also because he is just a nice man. His backstory breaks one's heart, and you just root for him (and Minnie) throughout the book.
This romance is a bit different, but lovely, a truly beautiful story. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Jul 14, 2018 |
The Duchess War
3 Stars

After a childhood in the limelight, Miss Minerva Lane has dedicated her life to keeping a low profile. Thus, when Robert Blaisdell, Duke of Clermont with his gorgeous smile and secret agenda, arrives in town and threatens Minnie’s well-ordered existence, she knows that something will have to be done. As Minnie and Robert set out to discover each others’ secrets, little do they know that their private war is about to become very public …

Wonderful premise, but weak execution mainly due to the fact that there are too many criss-crossing plot threads.

Minnie and Robert’s romance starts out well with some excellent stolen moments and witty banter. The author would have been better served developing this simple love/hate relationship rather than adding numerous unnecessary and confusing plotlines.

To begin with, the underlying cause of Minnie and Robert’s conflict is problematic given the circumstances, i.e., Minnie’s desire to help the working class and Robert’s interest in social justice. Based on this, one would think they would be allies rather than enemies, but this is not the case because of Minnie’s troubled past.

And herein lies the problem with the book as Milan begins to add a host of unrealistic characters and events that make absolutely no sense within the narrative and the setting. For example, the villain is a weak willed nobody whose social standing should not enable him to have any power over a duke yet somehow he does. Moreover, the behavior of Robert’s neglectful and manipulative mother is completely inconsistent. At first she spurns Minnie but then decides to accept and support her? Then, there is Minnie’s supposedly loyal friend who turns her back the moment she feels slighted, not to mention Robert’s illegitimate half-brother who evokes in him both feelings and guilt and jealousy. There is simply too much in such a short book and none of it manages to come together properly.

All in all, a disappointing read given all the hype and I doubt that I will be continuing with the series. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
First, let me say this is a keeper. I will re-read this book! I love how Minnie is the mouse that roars. With her head down and her voice quiet, she speaks volumes. The unsuspecting don't notice, but a certain Duke tunes in loud and clear.

With few choices to an impoverished, scandalized young lady, Minnie is forced to assume a false identity to protect herself from the past, but in protecting herself, she also silences her opportunities, until she meets a certain Duke who also has reasons to hide his activities (moreso than his past). Minnie quickly discovers his secret thanks to her astute skills of observation, carefully honed as a mouse living an "invisible" life. Together, they must figure out how to overcome the sins of the past, the moral crimes committed against them.

Ms. Milan threads heart-rending conflict throughout the book, feeding the reader just enough information without allowing her characters to disclose their secrets too soon, and then making the payoff worthwhile. We walk beside the characters toward trust, and the impossible decisions that threaten to breach that fragile trust. A tale of betrayal, forgiveness, trust and most importantly, finding love against all odds. Well done! Looking forward to the other Brothers Sinister books. ( )
  Karla.Brandenburg | Dec 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Milan, Courtneyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Landor, RosalynReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Agentur LibelliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geiler, Ute-ChristineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Libelli, AgenturÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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For Carey
who prefers beagles over bagels
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Robert Blaisdell, the ninth duke of Clermont, was not hiding.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
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...
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"Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectled 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's 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."--Back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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