Sunday 8 February 2015

Joint Review: The Duchess of War - Courtney Milan

Author: Courtney Milan
Title: The Duchess War (#1 of The Brothers Sinister)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: December, 2012
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)

Sometimes love is an accident. This time, it’s a strategy.

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 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...

Since the joint review last month went so well, B and I decided to do another one! This seems to becoming a monthly thing. Yayy! However, we decided to do a discussion instead of a Q&A. Which one do you like better? 

B: First, I want to talk about their love affair. I mean I just do not see why he fell for her

C: I agree...I don’t really see it. Yes, she stood up to him and yelled at him and maybe she does have a nice rack….but I just don’t see it. I can totally see falling for him though *drools* 

B: I could see why she fell for him too. And yes she had a great rack and a brain, but he falling for her, nope. Also why did he have to be so pretty!?

C: RIGHT!? I am surprised I at all liked him. Because I loath perfect characters and he was pretty almost perfect. He did not use his brains all the time. IDK...maybe his mom was right that he was looking for someone he can save. Maybe its all psychological. haha

B: Ok I can see, that he wants to save someone and she certainly needs saving. And it’s not like anyone else will come calling when she looks like a rodent. Though I do feel like the whole he is a freaking ANGEL and she is a rodent was a bit too much. Let him be less pretty and I would be happy. He was still a duke.

C: Agreed. I hated the fact that the author described her as a mouse/rodent. It was...I don’t the term...a little over-the-top/insulting. 

B: I did like the fact that she had glasses, and that he thought she looked prettier with them, that actually made me happy :)

C: Me too. I liked the glasses bit, but I hated that she was “ugly” and “mouse-y”. Speaking of their love...what do you think about the speed of them getting together? Too slow? Too fast? Just right?

B: The speed was ok with me, it always happen faster in historical romance, so I did not feel it was too fast or slow. It was pretty perfect

C: It was a nice pace. I am glad it took a while to get together, because they are from polar opposite sides of the ton. Plus she didn’t want saving from him (she still wanted a man - but not a duke). I think it was weird that Robert’s mom gave a hoot about who he wanted to marry.

B: True, I mean she was miserable in her marriage, let him marry whoever he wants! As long as she is willing.

C: Yes! I hated his mom. I totally get why she wanted him to NOT marry her and WHY she was the way she was….but really? The dad is dead. LOVE YOUR SON!

B: Can we talk about sex now? Cos omg I loved the fact that she did not enjoy it, haha. Cos in every other book the virginal heroine is all OMG this rocks after a second.

C: HAHAHA! Yes! I loved the fact that Minnie wasn’t totally into it at first. It took a second round for to be like “Oh...I like doesn’t hurt!” I am undecided if I liked Robert as a virgin tho…

B: True. I could see it though, his dad was an ass. But I still feel like he would have sampled some goods during his life.

C: Totally. I just think it is out of character from a man of his time period to not have had ONE experience at the age of 16 while at school.

B: I guess she really wanted a virgin, and for that reason I can accept it. It’s nice to have a virgin hero too.

C: It is a nice change tho. :) I hate (okay not hate, but it’s over-used) when the male is a total rake and cad and likes the lady and then he finds THE ONE and changes his ways >__>

B: Hm, yes, I can actually see these two staying together and him NOT having a mistress, while all those other rakes would grow tired of their women.

C: Def. Speaking of endings: did you like the ending? I did. It seemed a wee bit rushed, but I liked it.

B: Rushed yes, but I also liked it. It fit. She did not change, and he accepted her as she was.

C: It was nice that the author kept Minnie pretty much the same. The issues she has with crowds and not liking attention WOULD NOT change due to “finding love”. She needs to talk to a therapist about her daddy-issues. 

B: LOL!. In any other book she would totally have changed but this felt real. Milan does well with real.

C: I agree (except for Robert being a virgin) that she kept it super real. I loved the P&P reference. I laughed with Mama Robert mentioned that she didn’t care if she was labeled as “Lady Catherine”. One last question (because you know me), favorite character? Least favorite?

B: My memory is bad (names), that stupid captain! was an ass so least favorite. Favorite, maybe Minnie.

C: Ugh. I hated the captain as well! >___> So yes, he was my least alongside with the aunts (I did not like them). My favorite would be...ummm...Minnie and def Sebastian (I wanna read his book). 

B: I’d totally read his book :) 

B: Yay, done, well done us

C: YAYY! *throws cookies in the air* 



  1. I have this but I've only read a few novellas by Milan so far.

    I do like how she mixes things up a little with unconventional tropes and characters.

    It always makes me cringe how everyone in historicals feels free to tell the heroine she's ugly - to her face!

    Fun review!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. I had also only read novellas before this one :) it was a good one to start with in my opinion.

      Aye, she does it so well!

  2. That's why I like Milan so much. She makes you love her characters no matter what :) Great joint review, gals!

  3. I liked this format and feel it gave me a good assessment of the book. He was a pretty boy, she was mousy, confusing love interest and a bitchy mother

  4. I never read this author but it sounds good. I love the joint review format.

  5. Hey now, if you're throwing cookies, prepare to be invaded by me :)

  6. This definitely isn't my favorite of the series, so I'd encourage you two to read on as the series gets much better, IMO. Also, the novellas are precious. Love this form of joint reviewing, ladies! :)

    1. I have read and enjoyed some the the novellas :)

  7. I just love your reviews. Now I'm so intrigued by the book! It's rare about the glasses and the first experience thing. I need to try a book by this author! thanks girls!

  8. Amazing joint review - you make me want to go out and buy this NOW :D Keep this double-thing going. It works really well!

  9. Loved your review! I'm a big Milan fan and read this one last month (I think).

  10. I agree with you girls, Milan keeps her books real, that's what I like the most about her stories.

  11. Oh man. I have been doing things wrong. I never get cookies for finishing a review. *makes a note*

  12. lol. You two are a hoot. And love the characters. Thanks!

  13. Cookies?! Genius. Oh, and I guess the format of your review was pretty smart too ;) You two make me laugh!



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