17 August, 2016

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan #Review

(The Brothers Sinister Book 1)

Pages -  271 pages
Device Usage -  Unlimited
Publisher -  Courtney Milan -  1st edition
Pub Date -  December 6, 2012
Amazon -  Link
Genre -  Regency Romance
Sexual Content -  4/5
Language -  vulgar


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... 


Likes and Dislikes with this one.

The main issue was that it was tedious, but I plodded through hoping things would pick up and, about a month later, I finally finished reading The Duchess War.

The author is great at drawing out a character's stuffing, making them come alive in a reader's mind.

The characters she conjures up, however, leave something to be desired.

And, she seems to enjoy inserting 21st Century mindset into mid 19th Century folk without apology.

It doesn't work, I still don't like it, and it will always pull me right out of the time period to muck up things like flow and interest.


I give credit to the author, again, for her ability to draw these characters well enough to be believable and charming despite the dismal tale that surrounds them.

She's great at personality, and I enjoyed the silly banter that occurred among the Duke and his buddies, the painful way in which he had to deal with his mother, and the awkward way in which he courted Miss Minerva.

I liked the Duke and could relate to his loveless past and the wary man that he became as a result.

It is likely that I will read more by this author.


One of my biggest fears as an aspiring author is to bore my readers with too much everything, from attempted build-up to background information to decision explanation.

I maintain that no author should force any of their characters to apologize to the reader.

If you hadn't wanted him or her to come off that way, then you should have rewritten their lines, not make them do the explaining and apologizing for it within their own story.

The Plot,

was unique and interesting while also being irritating in its lengthy lead-in.

Too much build-up occurred about Minnie's background secret until I didn't care or want to know, and then when the secret is finally revealed, it was a WTF moment instead of being grand, shocking, or worth the wait.

It made for a terrific way to paint Minerva's current personality, but if her father was that great a chess player, why hadn't he been the one to enter the tournaments instead?

From now on, if the story doesn't grab me by the throat and pull me right into my Kindle for the duration, I think I will stop reading.

The same way I stop whenever I encounter vulgarity in language or sex scenes, or sex-w/out-warrant scenes.

Or like I do when I encounter atrocious grammar/punctuation/spelling issues.

Boring will be a new stopped-reading category.

But, being an overly curious person, it isn't likely to occur since I'll continue to tell myself that soon ... yes, in the next paragraph or the next chapter, things will change and the story will pick up.

Courtney Milan is a popular author and this, among many of her other novels, is highly rated on Amazon and at Goodreads.

The Brothers Sinister series

½. The Governess Affair (prequel novella)  
1. The Duchess War  
1½. A Kiss for Midwinter (a companion novella to The Duchess War) 
2. The Heiress Effect  
3. The Countess Conspiracy  
4. The Suffragette Scandal 
4½. Talk Sweetly to Me

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