So this is the second novel in the Brothers Sinister series, but fourth story overall. Thus far the two novellas have been perfection (and every romance reader and author should read and take note), but both novels haven’t done it for me yet. And that includes you, The Heiress Effect.
This time we have Jane, an heiress of undistinguished birth, and Oliver Marshall, bastard brother of the Duke of Clermont. Jane comes off as loud, brash and uncouth, but has so much money that no one can ignore her. Oliver is an up and coming politician who is trying to get votes for a Reform Act in order to broaden the voter base.
Over on the Facebooks there was a discussion of this one, and the idea was proposed that the hero is Jane, and not Oliver. After finishing the novel I completely agree. Go Ms. Milan for turning that trope around, but man did it make me not like Oliver. He was weak and lacking integrity in my eyes, and after having a father like Hugo Marshall (the hero from The Governess Affair) I couldn’t understand why. I just kept yelling at him, “Hugo and Serena raised you better than this!” I’m well aware they are fictitious characters, but sometimes they need to be yelled at. At the end it explains away why he behaved the way he did, but it felt too late for me to forgive his behavior.
The reason though that this book gets three stars has nothing to do with the main plot, but entirely with the wonderful secondary love story. Jane’s sister, Emily, and the barrister, Anjan, deserve all the love. Their story was sweet and wonderful, and I really wish they’d gotten their own novella. At least though, they kept me going through this one when I was fed up with Oliver insisting he needed a less obvious wife. I’m usually willing to give the heroine the benefit of the doubt on loving the hero, but at the end I still felt Jane deserved someone better.
If you are a completist, definitely read this one, if not you could skip it, but it definitely sets up the next book. I guessed the big idea behind The Countess Conspiracy and honestly can’t wait till it comes in at the library! I love these stories of women who’ve been hiding who they are come out of their shells, especially science women! (Why no, my being a chemist in a still entirely male dominated field, could in no way be related to that…)