Miss Jane Fairfield can’t do anything right. When she’s in company, she always says the wrong thing—and rather too much of it. No matter how costly they are, her gowns fall on the unfortunate side of fashion. Even her immense dowry can’t save her from being an object of derision.
And that’s precisely what she wants. She’ll do anything, even risk humiliation, if it means she can stay unmarried and keep her sister safe.
Mr. Oliver Marshall has to do everything right. He’s the bastard son of a duke, raised in humble circumstances—and he intends to give voice and power to the common people. If he makes one false step, he’ll never get the chance to accomplish anything. He doesn’t need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn’t need to fall in love with her. But there’s something about the lovely, courageous Jane that he can’t resist…even though it could mean the ruin of them both.– Goodreads
I don’t know what happened. I used to read non-historical romance novels. I used to actively go about not reading historical romance novels. Basically, bookblogging bffs are the worst and they make you find new genres.
I adored the heroine in The Heiress Effect so much. While I had already met Oliver in the previous novel, this is the first time that Jane Fairfield entered the pages, and trust me, she is impossible to forget.
…..unfashionable thirty-seven-inch span down to the still unfashionable girth of thirty-one inches–pg 1
While everyone in this time period tends to be known for their slim bodies, Jane is proud of hers. (It’s kind of my complaint about the cover, while I get the choice, I would have preferred a bigger person. Jane is proud of the body she has, shouldn’t the book be?!) She highlights her body while wearing bright fashions that rarely go together and make everyone, including her dressmaker and best friends cringe. Of course her best friends, aren’t actually her best friends.
They lied to her; she lied to them. Since Jane wanted to be an object of ridicule, it worked out delightfully for all concerned.–pg 2
Wait. She wants to be the object of ridicule?! Why?! Who in their right mind would want to be the object of ridicule. Well, Jane wants to be. But she her completely valid reasons that all come back to her dear sister.
One hundred thousand pounds was not much of a burden to carry. But if a young lady wanted to remain unmarried — if she needed to stay with her sister until said sister was of age and could leave their guardian’s home –that same number became an impossibility. -pg 5
Like most women of this time, Jane is attached to a dowry, a dowry that is promised to her future husband, whoever can get close enough to her to marry her. Jane dresses as crazy as she does so no one will get close enough to her. It isn’t that she has no interest in marriage. It’s that she has no interest in losing her sister. That’s what comes first to her, her sister. It’s above herself. Then, of course dear Oliver enters the picture and they hate each other. So. Much. However, they quickly realize there are no pretenses around each other and slowly they fall for each other. They are in denial about it, both of them, because they last thing they need is each other. Let me tell you: THEY TOTALLY NEED EACH OTHER AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND NOTHING HURT. (Okay. Some stuff hurt, but it was a good hurt).
What I also enjoyed about the novel was the sister subplot and her sisters love of an Indian boy named Anjan, who she has a tender love affair with. They both know it can’t go anywhere and they are both just friends for the longest time. Then the stop meeting and they realize how much they actually mean together. While Milan does is create a smart novel. While it’s historical, it’s also political and your heart roots for characters who you know would have had a tough time in the “real world.”
One of the things I enjoy most about Milan is the fact she writes smart, intelligent characters. They are strong and not “typical” characters. This whole story was a story that was rich of historical detail, full of plot, and a slow, realistic romance. No instalove here and how I love the book more for that.