The Duchess War

The Duchess War

by Courtney Milan

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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...

The Duchess War is a historical romance novel (97,000 words) in the Brothers Sinister series.

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
4. The Suffragette Scandal
4½. Talk Sweetly to Me

Product Details

BN ID: 2940015755107
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Publication date: 12/07/2012
Series: Brothers Sinister Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 67,484
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Courtney Milan’s debut novel was published in 2010. Since then, her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. She’s been a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller, a RITA® finalist and an RT Reviewer’s Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance. Her second book was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010.

Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, a marginally-trained dog, and an attack cat. Courtney has had several occupations--computer programmer, scientist, lawyer--but her favorite job is the one she is now doing full time: Writing romance novels.

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The Duchess War 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 174 reviews.
BlithelyBookishReviews More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read The Governess Affair first to get a more in depth understanding of the character. It is well written and you'll root for Robert and Minnie to find true love. Its not the most realistic regency I've ever read but the characters are so nice you'll want the best for them. Good series---can't wait for the next one.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
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
RiceChick More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable characters and funny scenes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly painfully tedious. Excessively wordy ... not necessarily descriptive ... just needed about 200 pages cut from finished product. Characters were rigid and unlikeable, as well. I couldn't finish the last 150 pages as I am not feeling masochistic.
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
This (barely) historical romance ticks all the right boxes. Meet-cute? Check. Gorgeous Duke hero? Check. Our heroine, however, does and does not fit the tropes - she has a secret, she has facial SCARS and PTSD, and she impresses Duke Robert with her brilliance, long before he starts obsessing about her sexy shape. It's funny, it's well-written, and contains lots of zigs and zags and while, knowing it's a romance, we expect the happily ever after, it truly does takes some unexpected twists and turns to get there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
just okay. the author was a little too repetitive as to their issues which makes me think the story line was forced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, but then again I like most of her books. This a great love story. It was well written, interesting, engaging, and the characters were lovable. I recommend you read it.
regencyromantic1 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. If you like regency romances buy it, you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
DKillebrew More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down and then had the buy the entire series!  What a wonderful series. 
GsPOV More than 1 year ago
I really liked this story - it's so nice to read a romance that has brains! The story itself was well written, the characters are so engaging, love Minnie & Robert!! Looking forward to reading the next in the series. I read the prequel - really need to do that to set up this series.  I'll look for more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read the Sinster series in order and I really do not think it is necessary. Having said that, i thoufht this story was slow moving and very repetitous in dilemia. So much so i skipped some pages just so i could move fwd. The Duke was of good character, and Minnie...i did not dislike her but when her "dilemia" was finally revealed i was disappointed and did nit think it was that extraordinary. But in all fairness i take that perspective from modern day ppint of view. Not a bad read, but long and slow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An OK read Minnie was a hard character to like It took over half of the book to warm up to her
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If there were a 4.5 star available I would have given the rating to this book. A wonderful story coupled with great writing. I especially enjoyed the application of chess strategy to manage life challenges.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wonderful! up there with Lord of Scoundrels
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robert so desperately needed love and he found it with Minnie. Loved their story.