Welcome to red wine and books! Where an avid lover of all genres shares with you her opinion on some of the best (and not so great) stories she reads.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) by Courtney Milan


Print Length: 270 pages
Publisher: Courtney Milan (December 8, 2012)

From Goodreads.com: 
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..
                              
                                                  *******************

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I finished this novel yesterday, and to be honest, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. 

I guess I will begin by saying that this is not a "clean" romance. Although the pair does wait until after marriage to engage in any adult activities, that doesn't stop them from fantasizing about such activities before marriage, and the author does go into some pretty heavy detail. 

That detail (which to me was minor) aside, there were a few other aspects of this novel that shifted my review to a more neutral tone rather than a more positive tone.

When I first began the novel, it started off strong - and with a lot of potential. However, as it continued on the plot began to move slower and slower and became more and more confusing (and in some cases downright unrealistic). A lot of the dialogue and thoughts of the two main characters seemed more in line with today's society, not with the society in which they were supposed to be living in. The addition of numerous minor characters (some of which really had little or nothing to do with improving the overall story), ended up making the story more confusing instead. At one point, I had to start making actual notes of who exactly everyone was and their relationship with the other characters (where there was one) just so I could keep everyone straight. 

I was also a bit put off about the sudden shift in attitude by the Dowager Duchess. It seemed that she did a complete 180 degree shift in her personality where Minerva was concerned, with no explanation as to why which to me did not seem realistic. I was actually enjoying her as the "wicked" mother-in-law to be, so for her to switch gears so suddenly was a huge disappointment. Another huge disappointment to me was the way that the Duke almost immediately got over his anger and hurt at what Minverva had done, I expected more drama from that as it was such a big plot-line.  


Moving on to some things I did like about this novel - I enjoyed watching the relationship between the Duke and Minerva come about. They started off as strangers, moved to adversaries, and eventually found their way to more.  And although I found there to be a lot of slow moving dialogue and plot-line throughout the novel, there were also some very entertaining parts (that even made me laugh out loud a couple of times), and there was also just enough action and sub-plots that when they were played out, they kept things moving and interesting (it was just a shame some of these sub-plots took so long in coming about). 

Overall, I definitely think there will be some people who do not care for this novel, but I also think there will be a great many people who do. 

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The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) is available (for free at the time of posting) from Amazon.com 

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