I’ve been meaning to get around to reading more romances lately. Nothing I’ve read this year (till last week) included any cascading hair, pert nipples, rock-hard abs, or stays. To remedy this I bought the first four books in Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series (one was free actually, yay!). I’ll review the first two here because why not? The others will follow later, after I’ve finished a couple things
The Duchess War
The first in the Brothers Sinister series concerns Miss Minerva Lane (aka Wilhemina Pursling, or just Minnie to her friends) and Robert Blaisdell, Duke of Clermont. The Duke is hiding behind some sofas and curtains at a large party, smoking alone and minding his own business when in creeps a young woman. When she hears other guests approaching and dives behind the very same sofa to hide, Robert can’t help but be intrigued. Naturally an attraction develops between the two but there are obstacles. One is that Minnie has a sordid past she will stop at nothing to keep secret. She also has no money or connections. Robert is the child of a rapist father and unloving mother so of course he’s emotionally damaged. Like I said… obstacles.
There are entertaining bits to the story and I like our main characters, generally. Robert is commanding and has just the right amount of liberal guilt one requires in a sexy Duke. Minnie is a fierce protector of her loved ones and can take pretty good care of herself even if she is quite emotionally damaged by childhood betrayals. I like that she is also not conventionally pretty and requires glasses. It’s nice to have some normal heroines to think about (Milan seems to have that down pat, see next book, below).
The Heiress Effect
The second of the Brothers Sinister details the love story of Miss Jane Fairfield and Mr. Oliver Marshall. Oliver is the illegitimate-ish half-brother of Robert Blaisdell, the aforementioned Duke. That rapist father I mentioned earlier? Yeah. He raped Oliver’s mom a few months before he impregnated his wife. Ergo, half-brother of nearly the same age. Jane Fairfield is also a bastard, her mother having had an affair with some rich guy at one point who later leaves her 100,000 pounds. So at 19 she is rich as HELL and is actively avoiding marriage. If she has a decent offer of marriage she’ll have to leave her uncle Titus’ home and therefore not be able to take care of her younger sister Emily, who suffers from convulsions and an extremely overprotective uncle. Jane has taken to wearing the most outrageous attire and saying the most offensive things to all the men she meets. It has worked for the most part, until she meets Oliver. He is immediately attracted to Jane’s womanly curves (she has a 32-inch waist even with a corset!! Yay real girls). However, he finds her brashness appalling as he is still licking his wounds from a lifetime of bullying and suppressing his inner rage in order to get ahead in society. Anyhoo, the two fall in love and encounter serious roadblocks that I am not wholly convinced were appropriately worked through. Seriously, Oliver is NOT my favorite hero thus far – I think Jane could do better. He keeps telling her how awful she is and how she’d be a terrible wife because she isn’t demure!
I really liked the secondary plot in this book. Emily, Jane’s baby sister of the convulsion fame, escapes from her house and has a fun little love story with an Indian law student – scandalous! Emily and her tale are really cute.
Stay tuned for reviews on books 3 and 4. And possibly novellas and such. Also I couldn’t insert 2 links so here’s the 2nd one: http://www.amazon.com/Heiress-Effect-Brothers-Sinister-Volume/dp/1490994718/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_y