17179340The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) by Courtney Milan
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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… – Goodreads


I have spent most of my life reading paperback romance novels with no shame. Okay, that’s a lie, when I was 13 there was a bit of shame, but I got over that quickly. However, out of all the romance novels that I’ve read, I never got into historical romance novels. No valid reason for not reading them besides the fact that I’m a big fan of the modern era. I’ve never been a person who would say they wished to live in another time period. One day however, I found one of my favorite people and bloggers, Renae, and while we have very little in common when it comes to books–no, really. Our venn diagram of similar books would be about 5% same, 95% not even close. It’s cool we have tents, puppies, the color red. I’ve decided to finally look into her historical romance recommendations and you know what? She was spot on.

Thanks to my library’s overdrive app, I was able to download this book and stay up to three am reading it with no shame because it was such a good romance novel. While aspects of it bothered me, it didn’t ever make me want to throw my phone and never read Milan again. If anything I can’t wait to read everything else by her.

Milan writes character driven novels and I regret nothing about my love of them and oh how I loved The Duchess War. There wasn’t a single character in this novel that I didn’t love. Even the mean ones were cruel and assholes of a reason. Minerva was hiding from her past, Robert doesn’t want to be his father and together they realize that they aren’t their past, but together they can have a future. While there are obstacles and banter, it was so realistic that I often laughed out loud and my heart often broke for both of them because at the end they just wanted someone to love them. They just didn’t ever see it being the person who calls them out on their shit and you know what: they loved it.

This quickly became one of those novels that I would happily give to others to introduce them to historical romance novels. It had everything: sass, feminism, romance, miscommunication, sweet communication. My three stars isn’t an indication that this is a bad book, it’s a belief that Milan can get even better and I can’t wait to read it.