Customer Reviews for

The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

The Duchess War is the first full length novel in Courtney Milan

The Duchess War is the first full length novel in Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, and a story that I've been looking forward to. Having read The Governess Affair, the prequel to this story, and having read the epilogue that sets up this book, I knew that what...
The Duchess War is the first full length novel in Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, and a story that I've been looking forward to. Having read The Governess Affair, the prequel to this story, and having read the epilogue that sets up this book, I knew that what was to come would be an wonderful, emotional read, but this... it was so much more than I had hoped for.

Let me get this said right up front. This book is brilliant. The way Ms. Milan writes historical romances, the way she uses the ridiculous social standards of the times to not only hinder her characters but to make them triumphant – yes. Brilliant.

When I first began reading historical romances, I thought things like the ton, peerage, seasons, the need to marry well… I thought they were all silly things, a bunch of hogwash made up by authors to flesh out their stories. But then, as I did more research of this on my own, I discovered that not only was it not hogwash, it was often far worse than historical romance portrays it. So when I read books like The Governess Affair and The Duchess War, and knowing that this was a reality of the times, I find I become very emotionally attached to the… lessers. The Underdogs. Those who don’t fit and will never fit regardless of the kinds of people they are. It doesn’t matter how much good they do, how many lives they might save, or how they treat others. They would never fit. And yet there were those who took up more space than they were worth, but were welcomed wherever they went… it all seemed so unfair. So hopeless.

But not the way Ms. Milan tells the story.

The Duchess War is a story of right and wrong. Of honor - and not just honor when it’s convenient. It’s being a person of high integrity, no matter the cost. It’s also a beautiful romance. And not just about discovering love and holding on to it with every single thing you are - more importantly, it’s about being worthy of that love.

Robert and Minnie are such compelling characters, and had they been real people, I would truly believe that their chance meeting was destiny giving them a hand. They’re so very opposite from one another, but alike in the ways that matter. Both flawed, emotionally scarred people who recognized that in one another, and that's what drew them together. Were they perfect? No! They were human! There were times I was angry with Robert, times I was livid with Minnie, but in the end, I came to adore them both. And that's all that matters.

The bottom line: Courtney Milan never ceases to amaze me with her stories that are witty, clever, intelligent, sexy and so very romantic. She’s one of very few auto-buy authors on my list, one of the few whose stories I am guaranteed to love, and books like those found in The Brothers Sinister series are why.

So do yourself a favor and pick up the novella, The Governess Affair and this story, The Duchess War and settle in for two of the most delightful, poignant, lovely romances you’ll likely ever read.

My sincerest thanks to Ms. Milan for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts with you. It was a true pleasure, start to finish.

posted by BlithelyBookishReviews on December 19, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Mixed feelings

This will be short since I can't really say much about why I did not enjoy it as much as I could. The story line was good and realistic. In the prequel book I read for this series I like that, unlike a lot of historical romances, this series doesn't have this fairy tale...
This will be short since I can't really say much about why I did not enjoy it as much as I could. The story line was good and realistic. In the prequel book I read for this series I like that, unlike a lot of historical romances, this series doesn't have this fairy tale like feel to it. Like it was happening in some far of land, once upon a time....this had real characters, with real issues and mostly talked about and enjoyed sex in a real way. That is the best this I liked about this book and its prequel.

I also liked Robert. He was a character with flaws and really vulnerabilities and issues that were not swept under the rug or magically healed with true love. His loneliness and issues with his father were treated as they should and provided a good understanding of his motivations. Minerva as a character along also was very nicely fleshed out and likeable on her own.

So really...my issue with the book was mainly that I liked all the parts, but I just did not enjoy it all together. How crazy it that. My reviews of books tend to come from the gut, I don't have a lot of fancy words sometimes to describe by I hate or love a book...sometimes all I can say was it was good, but it did not grab me. I did not "feel it." The romance that is, I guess, I found that I needed a bit more build up with the romance and my emotions did not connect with the characters as much as I would like liked it. I was more reading it and observing from the outside...rather than feeling I was living it with them. Make sense? Eh.

But overall I liked it. I just did not love.

posted by cgirl98 on December 23, 2013

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  • Posted December 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Duchess War is the first full length novel in Courtney Milan

    The Duchess War is the first full length novel in Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, and a story that I've been looking forward to. Having read The Governess Affair, the prequel to this story, and having read the epilogue that sets up this book, I knew that what was to come would be an wonderful, emotional read, but this... it was so much more than I had hoped for.

    Let me get this said right up front. This book is brilliant. The way Ms. Milan writes historical romances, the way she uses the ridiculous social standards of the times to not only hinder her characters but to make them triumphant – yes. Brilliant.

    When I first began reading historical romances, I thought things like the ton, peerage, seasons, the need to marry well… I thought they were all silly things, a bunch of hogwash made up by authors to flesh out their stories. But then, as I did more research of this on my own, I discovered that not only was it not hogwash, it was often far worse than historical romance portrays it. So when I read books like The Governess Affair and The Duchess War, and knowing that this was a reality of the times, I find I become very emotionally attached to the… lessers. The Underdogs. Those who don’t fit and will never fit regardless of the kinds of people they are. It doesn’t matter how much good they do, how many lives they might save, or how they treat others. They would never fit. And yet there were those who took up more space than they were worth, but were welcomed wherever they went… it all seemed so unfair. So hopeless.

    But not the way Ms. Milan tells the story.

    The Duchess War is a story of right and wrong. Of honor - and not just honor when it’s convenient. It’s being a person of high integrity, no matter the cost. It’s also a beautiful romance. And not just about discovering love and holding on to it with every single thing you are - more importantly, it’s about being worthy of that love.

    Robert and Minnie are such compelling characters, and had they been real people, I would truly believe that their chance meeting was destiny giving them a hand. They’re so very opposite from one another, but alike in the ways that matter. Both flawed, emotionally scarred people who recognized that in one another, and that's what drew them together. Were they perfect? No! They were human! There were times I was angry with Robert, times I was livid with Minnie, but in the end, I came to adore them both. And that's all that matters.

    The bottom line: Courtney Milan never ceases to amaze me with her stories that are witty, clever, intelligent, sexy and so very romantic. She’s one of very few auto-buy authors on my list, one of the few whose stories I am guaranteed to love, and books like those found in The Brothers Sinister series are why.

    So do yourself a favor and pick up the novella, The Governess Affair and this story, The Duchess War and settle in for two of the most delightful, poignant, lovely romances you’ll likely ever read.

    My sincerest thanks to Ms. Milan for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts with you. It was a true pleasure, start to finish.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Great read!

    I have been waiting for this book to come out fot quite a while, as Courtney Milan is one of my favorite authors. The story of Minnie and Robert was worth the wait. What I love best about Ms. Milan's writing is that she follows the romance novel format (in that true love always triumphs in the end) however, there are always interesting challenges to overcome by imperfect/endearing characters.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Surprisingly real

    Somewhat unique among the historical romance novels, there is more balance between believability and drama. The characters are well developed and grapple with the consequences of the selfish actions of others in a way that is both vulnerable and strong. Ultimately the truth fuels romance and rebuilds a family. What more could you ask for in book?

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This is a must read for Courtney Milan fans. She has done it again with flawed characters and an unusual story line. I fell in love with both characters, Minerva and Robert, from the beginning. She leads the reader down a winding path to a satisfying ending. I can't wait till her next ebook comes out to see what happens to Lydia.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    THE DUCHESS WAR by Courtney Milan is an exquisite Regency Histor

    THE DUCHESS WAR by Courtney Milan is an exquisite Regency Historical Romance set in 1863 London. #1 in “The Brothers Sinister” series. What a beginning. With secrets, lies, betrayal, and love you can’t go wrong with “The Duchess War”. Fast paced and filled with passion. Follow Miss Minerva Lane,a wallflower who has a secret and Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont,with a secret of his own on a journey of discovery of trust, the power of love, and the passion of desire. Life is hard, as Minnie learned at an early age and his determined to remain unnoticed, but can she? Not if Robert can help it, he finds her intelligent, and sexy. Robert learned his lesson will from his notorious father, he is determined not to be the man his father was. But his secret could destroy the very people he loves and trusts the most, his bastard brother and his scandalous cousin. Scandalously delicious! I wanted more as these two lovers learn to trust each other and let the past be where it belongs, in the past as they move forward with their love and passion. A must read! Received for an honest review from the publisher.

    RATING: 4.5

    HEAT RATING: HOT

    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2014

    Beautiful novels

    The Governess Affair is the first novel in this series, then this one, The Duchess War. I must say that these novels are very well written and the characters extraordinarily developed. Now I am going to start the next one which I'm sure will be very interesting, too. Give yourself a gift and purchase them for you will nit regret having done so.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2014

    Good

    Well worth your time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

    Loved it!

    I really love that the characters felt well drawn, the plot was interesting, the sex was sexy, and it showed an actual healthy relationship! Who knew all that was possible in a romance?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2014

    Could not put this book down and then had the buy the entire ser

    Could not put this book down and then had the buy the entire series!  What a wonderful series. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2012

    wonderful! up there with Lord of Scoundrels

    wonderful! up there with Lord of Scoundrels

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2015

    Refreshing i lije Refredhinh Refreshing - i I REFR Refreshing - I like Minetvs Refreshing

    I like Minerva and her beau

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2015

    Lovely

    Must read will not disappoint

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2014

    Fascinating story.

    Great plot with intelligent, charming characters. Milan has done a great job of capturing the circumstances of life in England in the 1800's with knowkedge and ar times, humorous dialogue.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2014

    Captivating

    Indeed a very well written captivating book. I liked the fact that the characters were not larger than life, they had their flaws and dealt with them according to their socio-economic circumstances. This book makes me appreciate the fact that it was only 50 years ago that the white house press core had no women reporters.
    It is indeed a pleasure reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2014

    Nice book to read on a day off Work

    Review i gave this book five star's because of the sex,love they share with one another.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2014

    Yo!

    This book was a great read. I couldn't put it down. I was blown by how real the characters were and how real the plot was. Well done. I would recommend this book in a heart beat.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2014

    Pleasant read

    Enjoyed this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2014

    Great

    Recommend

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2013

    I highly recommend this book

    This is the first book that I have read by this author. I found it funny, sad, and very touching. This was a book that did not get put down in order to read something else. This does sometimes happen if a book does not hold me captive. I backed up and read the first novella that goes with this series and have plans to read everything that Courtney Milan has published to date.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Very Good

    Will buy more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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