Tag Archives: Courtney Milan

Recent Release Review- Once Upon A Marquess by Courtney Milan

Title:  Once Upon A Marquess (Worth Family Saga, book #1)

Once Upon A Marquess

Genre: Historical Romance/ Victorian

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan, Dec. 2015

Pages: 277

Source: Free for review from the author.

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The last man Judith Worth wants to see again is Christian Trent, the Marquess of Ashford—the man who spent summers at her family home, who kissed her one magical night…and then heartlessly ruined her father. But when a tricky business matter arises, he’s the only one she can ask for help. With any luck, he’ll engage a servant to take care of the matter, and she won’t even have to talk with him. But Ashford has never forgotten Judith. He knows she will never forgive him for what he’s done, but when offered the chance to assist her, he arrives in person. His memory of Judith may have haunted him, but it pales in comparison to the reality of the vivacious, beautiful woman he rediscovers. Throughout his life, he has always done what is correct. But now, he finds himself doing something utterly wrong…falling in love with the one woman he can never have. Once Upon a Marquess is the first book in the Worth Saga.

**

The Worth family has had their share of tragedy and dysfunction.  Judith Worth is trying to hold together what is left of her family after her father and older brother’s conviction of treason against the crown.  It has been eight years since the trial, her father’s suicide and her brother’s transportation to a penal colony.  Her next younger sister Camilla is missing from her uncle’s home, her sister Theresa is an uncontrollable teenager and brother Benedict at twelve years of age is refusing to go back to Eton.  All of this would be enough for anyone to bear but now someone is embezzling money that Judith can’t afford to lose.  Her only recourse is to seek help from a member of the ton who will still acknowledge her, Christian.

We are treated to Courtney Milan’s beautiful prose, and her ability to place us right into the Victorian England scene so that we are caught up in the pulse of daily life and the emotions of Judith, a woman who marches on when others would have stumbled. Christian, a man who is obsessive-compulsive and has multiple problems of his own, is drawn so well that we feel his heartache.

I was put off only a bit by so much familial dysfunction and then more from Christian.  It was a bit over the top and I longed for Judith to have someone who was not a problem to her or for her. But as with any of Ms. Milan’s novels the beautiful writing, unique plot and superb characterization outweighs any minus.

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Kindle Deals- By author Courtney Milan- One Free One $.99

Free Today

The Duchess War

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…

Only $.99

The Governess Affair

 

THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR-.$.99

Hugo Marshall earned the nickname “the Wolf of Clermont” for his ruthless ambition–a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner’s son to the right hand man of a duke. When he’s ordered to get rid of a pestering governess by fair means or foul, it’s just another day at work. But after everything Miss Serena Barton has been through at the hands of his employer, she is determined to make him pay. She won’t let anyone stop her–not even the man that all of London fears. They might call Hugo Marshall the Wolf of Clermont, but even wolves can be brought to heel…

The books in the Brothers Sinister series: 

½. The Governess Affair (prequel novella) 201 PAGES

1. The Duchess War 265 PAGES

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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Recent Release Review- Trade Me by Courtney Milan

Title: Trade Me (Cyclone Series, Book #1)

Trade Me

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Young Adult

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Systems. But when he makes an offhand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life. To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations. But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life. Trade Me is the first book in the Cyclone series.

**

When you have such an accomplished author like Courtney Milan it is expected that there will be a very good story that is well written. This offering is no exception. Her characterization is so spot-on that you will think this is a real story about real people. The Chinese background of Tina and the corporate culture background of Blake is so well developed and presented that it is what makes these characters so real. (Courtney goes so far as to thoroughly explain that these are not real living people in an afterword.) There is a strong initial attraction between Tina and Blake but since they have a business agreement and both are full of their own insecurities, they try to set aside (unsuccessfully) the attraction. The romance is slow building and sensual. There are side characters that play important roles in the lives of both Tina and Blake. There is even a shocking surprise or two.

 

I can highly recommend this book to Contemporary romance fans as well as fans of the Young Adult genre.

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Recent Release Review- Talk Seweetly To Me by Courtney Milan

Title: Talk Sweetly To Me (final Novella, The brothers sinister Series)

Talk sweetly to Me

Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com: Nobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much.

All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stopping handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination.

**

We met Stephen in The Suffragette Scandal and all signs pointed to him being a hero to love. There was no disappointment in that, he is all those delightful things we love about a hero and most important of them he is head over heels in love with the heroine. Now the heroine, Miss Rose Sweetly, encounters our hero often in the street where he engages her in conversation that usually turns to her passion for mathematics. He is not put off by this topic he absolutely enjoys listening to her expound on theory and astronomy, so much so that he goes to her employer and finagles a way to take astronomy lessons from Miss Sweetly. Of course Rose is wary, because she is already falling for him and there is just too much societal restrictions for them to ever be serious.

Once again Ms Milan gives us an original plot and protagonists to cheer for. She touches on women’s rights, racism and religious prejudice prevalent in Victorian times and she ties this all up in a lusciously sensual romance.

This is the final entry in the Brothers Sinister Series but like the others it is a standalone book. This has been a wonderful series by a top-tier author, I highly recommend this book and the entire series.

 

Talk Sweetly to Me is the final novella in The Brothers Sinister series.

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)

  1. The Heiress Effect
  2. The Countess Conspiracy
  3. The Suffragette Scandal

4½. Talk Sweetly to Me

 

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Recent Release review- The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

Title:  The Suffragette Scandal

The Suffergette Scandal

 Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

An idealistic suffragette… Miss Frederica “Free” Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women’s rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope…but she needs more rope, and she needs it now. …a jaded scoundrel… Edward Clark’s aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She’s only a pawn to use in his revenge. …and a scandal seven years in the making. But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it’s too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past…and once the woman he loves realizes how much he’s lied to her, he’ll lose her forever. The Suffragette Scandal is the fourth full-length historical romance in The Brothers Sinister series.

The other books in the Brother Sinister series are:

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 (coming in August)

**

In the beginning of the novel we pretty much know where Frederica Marshall stands.  She is a Suffragette, fighting for women’s rights in male dominated Victorian England.  Edward Clark, on the other hand, is a bit of a mystery.  His story unfolds bit by bit throughout the book.  And , oh how that fact keeps us turning pages to uncover all the secrets of his past.  There are two, perhaps three, intertwined plots.  There is Edward’s revenge, there is Amanda’s awakening, and of course, there is the romance of Edward and Free.

Courtney Milan has once again written a superbly constructed novel that overflows with romance and drama and spot on details of Victorian England.  In this the fourth installment to the Brother’s Sinister Series we have cameos by several of the “brothers”.  This is a standalone novel in the series and can easily be read without having read the others, but I encourage you to read all of this series for a true look at how romance novels should be written.  You will find original plots, sensuous evocative writing, deft characterization and hours of reading enjoyment.

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Recent Release Review_ This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan

Title:  This Wicked Gift

This Wicked Gift

 Genre:  Historical Romance Novella (an enhanced e-book)

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Entangled: Edge, July 7 2014

Source: free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Lavinia Spencer is too poor to be anything but practical. But when her younger brother lands himself in trouble, she has no choice but to do the unthinkable. She accepts the help of the dishonorable man that she’s always wanted, even knowing that it might mean her ruination…

This Wicked Gift is a novella prequel to the Carhart series. The full series is:

  • This Wicked Gift, a prequel novella
  • Proof by Seduction
  • Trial by Desire
  • This work contains pictures, audio, and author commentary. You can read this enhanced ebook on any device, but the audio content may not be accessible on all ereaders. That content has been made available on the web, so you won’t miss anything if your device doesn’t support audio.

*************

This wonderful novella was originally published in the anthology THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS. I loved it when I first read it and I loved it again as I re-read it. The enhanced version has the author answering questions about the novella and showing art work that was to be used for promotion but was never used. Don’t worry if you can’t read with the audio or video, I re-read it without those and still got all the interesting and enlightening content.

Here is my review from my first reading, and I stand by every word after my second reading:

William has loved Lavinia from afar and when he sees a chance to assist her and to seduce her he grabs for it.  After ruining her, he can’t live with himself and he is in no position to offer her marriage.  Lavinia loves him but can’t get past his disgust with himself.  Can there ever be any happiness at Christmas or ever for these two poor souls of the working class?

Courtney Milan is one of my favorite authors so it was no surprise to me that I was predisposed to liking this novella.  However, I was blown away by her perfectly nuanced characters and the feeling of reality she generates in regard to the working classes of the regency period.  Her characters are all multidimensional and exquisitely written.  The romance is sublimely sensual. (This novella is a first in the Carhart Series and gives a glimpse of Gareth Carhart whose story is in Proof by Seduction.)

Deet’s Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

 

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Free on Kindle Today, Historical Story from Courtney Milan plus another

The Lady always Wins

Here is my review from March, 2012:

If I had a top ten author list Courtney Milan would be on it every time she published.  This is a short story about 60-70 pages long.  Now you might think that is not enough length to fully develop a love story.  You would be wrong.  At first we don’t know why Simon feels an urgency to marry in three days and we wonder why this particular woman.  As the story unfolds we are privy to their long standing love and regard, and the problems that hindered them in the past and that have come to hinder them again.  There are heartbreaking memories that make the reader long for the couple’s happiness.   The romance in this story is exquisite.  If you ever thought roses were the flower of love your mind will be changed, for the flower of this love is the tulip.

Also free on Kindle: The prequel novella to The Brothers Sinister Series

The Governess Affair a novella

 

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La Deetda Reads Top Reads in 2013

Deet’s Best of The Best Reads for 2013

There are two on this list that were not published this year but I just found the time to read them.  The others were published this year.  Of course, there are many good books out there.  I have enjoyed many more than are on this list. (You can see all of my favorites by clicking on the header above “Deet’s Favorite Reads”)  This list is, in my opinion, the best of the best that I have read out of a total of 134 books since last January.  If you want a good read, you can’t go wrong with any of these. Now in no particular order…..drum-roll please…

The Rosie Project by Grame Simsion,  reviewed  September 13, 2013

The Rosie Project

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan, reviewed  July 19, 2013

(Brothers Sinister Series)

The Heiress Effect

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, reviewed September 2, 2013

The girl You Left Behind

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long, reviewed August 30, 2013

(Pennyroyal Green Series)

It Happened One Midnight

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean, reviewed February 6, 2013

(The Rule of Scoundrels Series)

One Good Earl deserves a Lover

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, reviewed February 27, 2013

Pride and Prejudice

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox, reviewed April 12, 2013

About Last Night

Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory, reviewed July 29, 2013

Untie My Heart

To find my review of each you can go to the month of the review in the “Archives”  to the left or you can put the title or the author in the “search” box.

 

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Recent Release Review- The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan

Title: The Countess Conspiracy (#3 The Brothers Sinister Series)

The Countess conspiracy

 Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan, Dec 2013

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership…even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

**

No one, not anyone who is currently writing historical novels, can wring such emotional depth out of characters like Courtney Milan.  Here we have two people who have each been brow beaten into low self esteem by family, who fight to rise above the abuse.  Violet has been cowed by the times in which she lives and the abuse of her, now deceased,  husband.  Sabastian is fighting his way through the disregard of his brother and his own feelings of being less because of his arrangement with Violet.  Milan’s focus does justice to both of our protagonists deep seated problems.  There is a misunderstanding and a surprise that comes unexpectedly toward the end and adds to the drama although I wish it would have been developed further.

The intimacy (sex) in this book is different than in other Milan novels.  Because of the problems of the heroine, compromises have been made.  Although I understand the reasoning I’m not sure that I liked the solution.  But that is just personal opinion.  The solution worked for Violet and Sabastian.

This is not my favorite of the Brother Sinister books because the problems of the H/h were a bit overwhelming.  That does not mean I didn’t thoroughly enjoy reading Violet and Sabastian’s story. The premise was totally unique to the genre and most welcome.  I look forward to Frederica’s (Free) story to come in Milan’s THE MISTRESS REBELLION in 2014.
The books in 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

Coming soon:
4. The Mistress Rebellion
4½. Talk Sweetly to Me

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2 Fridays til’ Christmas Review- The Heart of Christmas by Balogh, Cornick & Milan

Title:  The Heart of Christmas (anthology)

The Heart of Christmas

Genre: Regency Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick, Courtney Milan

Publisher: Harlequin Books, 2009

Source:  Purchase

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 4.5

Descriptions in bold type from amazon.com:

A Handful of Gold(1998)
Mary Balogh

Not only is Julian Dare dashing and wealthy, but he’s the heir to an earldom. So what do you get a man who has everything? Innocent and comely Verity Ewing plans on giving Julian her heart—the most precious gift of all.

**

Verity Ewing is in desperate financial straits.  Her sister is seriously ill and requires doctors and medicine.  Her clergyman father has died leaving the two sisters and their mother penniless.  Verity takes on an alias as Blanche and gets a job as an Opera dancer.  The pay helps but it is not enough so she agrees to acting as mistress to Viscount Julian Dare for the week of Christmas for 500 pounds.

Mary Balogh has created a wonderful Christmas story of a desperate woman and a kind thoughtful man.  The writing is superb, the characterization is perfect and the romance is heart stopping.  This story brims with Christmasy feeling.

Deet’s Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

The Season for Suitors(2005)
Nicola Cornick

After some close encounters with rakes in which she was nearly compromised, heiress Clara Davenport realizes that she needs some expert advice. And who better for the job than Sebastian Fleet, the most notorious rake in town? But the tutelage doesn’t go quite as planned, as both Sebastian and Clara find it difficult to remain objective when it comes to lessons of the heart!

**

Eighteen months ago Clara proposed to Sebastian and was rejected.  Now that she has become not only more beautiful but an heiress, the rakes of the ton will not leave her alone.  Since she feels Sebastian is a safe bet she contacts him to give her lessons in deflecting rakes.  Sebastian refuses but finds he cannot get Clara out of his mind and heart.

Nicola Cornick is a new-to-me author and I have really been missing out on some good writing.  This story is well written, and very romantic.  The sexual tension and attraction is very well done.  It does not have a lot of that Christmas feeling.

Deet’s Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3

This Wicked Gift(2009)
Courtney Milan

Lavinia Spencer has been saving her hard-earned pennies to provide her family with Christmas dinner. Days before the holiday, her brother is swindled, leaving them owing more than they can ever repay. Until a mysterious benefactor offers to settle the debt. Innocent Lavinia is stunned by what the dashing William White wants in return. Will she exchange a wicked gift for her family’s fortune?

**

William has loved Lavinia from afar and when he sees a chance to assist her and to seduce her he grabs for it.  After ruining her, he can’t live with himself and he is in no position to offer her marriage.  Lavinia loves him but can’t get past his disgust with himself.  Can there ever be any happiness at Christmas or ever for these two poor souls of the working class?

Courtney Milan is one of my favorite authors so it was no surprise to me that I was predisposed to liking this novella.  However, I was blown away by her perfectly nuanced characters and the feeling of reality she generates in regard to the working classes of the regency period.  Her characters are all multidimensional and exquisitely written.  The romance is sublimely sensual. (This novella is a first in the Carhart Series and gives a glimpse of Gareth Carhart whose story is in Proof by Seduction.)

Deet’s Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Deet’s Overview:  There are good anthologies and then there are great ones, this is a great one.  Each story is mesmerizing and although not all have a strong Christmasy feeling they are all simply superb.  I highly recommend this anthology and each of these authors.

sexy_santa_4-257x400

Coming next Friday:  Twas’ The Night Before Mischief

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