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The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)
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The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  6,170 ratings  ·  730 reviews
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
ebook, 270 pages
Published December 8th 2012 by Courtney Milan (first published December 1st 2012)
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A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLeanA Night Like This by Julia QuinnThief of Shadows by Elizabeth HoytThe Duke's Perfect Wife by Jennifer AshleyA Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
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37th out of 262 books — 639 voters
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17th out of 292 books — 543 voters

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Community Reviews

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UniquelyMoi ~ The 1-click Diva
Kindle Freebie!

Sometimes love is an accident.

This time, it’s a strategy.
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 a wonderful, emotional read, but this... it was so much more than I had hoped for.
Cover blurb
Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter

I’m not sure if I can convey my feelings into words right now but I’ll be trying anyway. It goes without saying that I’ve had extremely high expectations. Unfortunately, though, The Duchess War will go down in history as a slight disappointment—to put it mildly. Some parts I loved, some I liked and some…not at all. Up until to the 70 % mark I really thought that The Duchess War would work out for me. Hope dies last after all. With this end in mind I felt totally underwhelmed throughout the next

***5 stars***

The Duchess War is intelligent, beautiful, romantic, humorous, heartbreaking. Excellent!

This is everything I look for in a historical romance.

Full review in December issue of InD'Tale Magazine

Reviewed for InD'Tale Magazine
Awww! Outstanding! It was so romantic! There are not enough adjectives to convey how great this book is. It is so much more than your usual historical romance.


WORKERS, read the top line in massive capital letters. And then, beneath it: ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE!!!!!

"Oh, no", she protested. "I've never seen this before. And it’s really not my sort of thing." For one thing, she was fairly certain that any sentences that used more exclamation points than words was an abomination.

Robert is like n
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jul 29, 2013 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes basic HR formulas with good writing behind it
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: A lot of people
This probably shouldn't have been my first Milan book. I knew going in that a few people didn't like The Duchess War as much as some of her other works but since I'd been wanting to try the author and got a galley for book 2 of the series, I figured 'why not?'.

I wasn't a fan. I mean, it wasn't bad or anything. The book wasn't on the level of 'asparagus pee' bad, but I wasn't feeling it either.

There was something missing from the equation. Without lush historical descriptions or witty banter, I
Written August 18, 2014

4 1/2 Stars - simply delightful, a genre winner

Book #1

I very much liked the novella prequel in this Brother Sinister series I read more than a year ago. #0.5 - The Governess Affair (4.5 stars) took place in London 1835 and was the story about Serena (Barton) & Hugo Marshall.

Leicester 1863...

This full-length romance takes place when the next generation become adults, 28 years later. We meet two people with very different backgrounds: Minnie (Wilhelmina Pursling / Minerv
4.5 Brilliant Stars

Courtney Milan is one of my all-time favorite authors. Her books flow effortlessly and soon I find myself lost in the world and the lives she’s created.

Robert Alan Graydon Blaisdale is the Duke of Claremont and he’s determined to right his father’s wrongs. For me, he started out not the sexiest hero created, but as the story unfolds we get to know a man of remarkable character. I was drawn to the empathy he feels for those less fortunate. His radical beliefs are such that if
What an original, soothing read! The Duchess War took me completely by surprise, and I'm shocked I still recall most of what happened in it, nearly two months after I read it. Given my crappy memory, that's a sure sign I enjoyed this book.

No doubt, the greatest appeal of The Duchess War lies in the characters. I had trouble fully relating to Minnie, but there's no denying how awe-inspiring she is. After being betrayed by the one man her entire world revolved around at a young age, Minnie reconst
I had a spoilery discussion about this book with Anachronist that is now posted on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog. I recommend you read the book before the blog post.

The blurb says… actually, I don’t have a clue what the blurb says. At this point I never look at the blurbs for Milan’s books because they feel like spoilers. I’d rather go in without any expectations and just enjoy the story and writing. Of course, for The Duchess War I was partly spoiled because of The Governess Affair.

Here, the
♡Karlyn P♡
This book started off GREAT, and I loved, loved, loved it for the first 50%. Couldn't put it down! Then it started to meander and got a bit slower, and we get some manufactured drama between Robert and Minnie that felt a bit false for them, but I didn't mind.

In truth, the book could have - maybe should have - ended there. For me, the last 30% of the book dragged and dragged. (view spoiler)
Ten stars****or maybe 20 stars*****
Wow! I absolutely loved this and it may be my favorite by Ms. Milan. She writes her heroes so well - I fall in love with every single one. When I read the summary for this, it really did it no justice.

This is a love story. Not just a man loves a woman or a woman loves a man kind of love story. This is about two people who yearn to have love in their life - family love, romantic love, friendship love - just love in its purest form. Acceptance, loyalty, forgiven
Beanbag Love
If anyone else had written this book I wouldn't have noticed the flaws. It's still a good book, but Milan has set the bar pretty high, so I was very aware when things went wrong.

Minerva Lane goes by the name Wilhelmina Pursling. She has a huge secret in her past, Minerva Lane having been destroyed in society rather than just ruined, and it would be disastrous for her true identity to become public. So she has spent her life incognito in the care of her "aunts". She dresses like a mouse, she acts
2.5 stars

It's very hard for me to rate this book. For a book with such a beautiful writing, it feels almost like a crime to give it a low rating. However, reading is not just a process of thinking, but also a process of feeling. And with romance genre, my rating should reflect how I feel toward the main characters and their way to get the HEA.

With this book, what I felt mostly was frustration.

When I've finished reading The Duchess War I liked the title even more because honestly, I couldn’t ima
Miss Minerva Lane lives her life quietly and recedes to the shadows, keeping the attention away from her. When she was a child being the center of attention ended very badly for her and it has scarred her for life, physically and emotionally. Now the Duke of Clermont catches her hiding from a would be suitor and Robert is instantly intrigued by this woman who is quiet yet leaves a mark with her clever remarks. As Minnie starts to piece together Robert's involvement in a possible workers movement ...more
Oh, I'm sooooo happy to discover another wonderful author of historical romances! :)

The way Ms. Milan writes is very interesting and unusual and I like it very, very much!

The main characters are unique too!
The heroine, Minerva/Wilhelmina, Minnie, is fantastic in her very peculiar and interesting quiet way. She makes a weapon of her quiet. Her apparently demure behaviour is like a calm water on the surface, but very strong current beneath! It's fantastic how she uses her clever, clever tounge!

Mimi Smith
4.5 stars

Great book, yet again, by Courtney Milan. Loved it! Yes, it was slower at times, and yes the hero isn't the typical arrogant lord, he's insecure at times and is actually looking for love(go figure), but all the characters were so likable, the writing was, as always, fantastic and the plot was different. Too tired now to write a longer review... So, here are some quotes (I felt an urge to highlight half the book, but I restrained myself :))

. “You see, there’s this woman.”
She wasn’t going
10+ Stars for me!!! This was such an emotionally charged book, I cried, I laughed...I did the shuddering sigh thing when you read the ending of a great book!!! Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, has wanted only one thing from life and that was the true love of a family. But his horrible human of a father has pretty much ensured that was never going to happen. Minerva, as seemily shy wallflower of a woman. Minerva is contemplating accepting the hand of the only man that may ever ask for her ...more
An absorbing story, keeping me on my toes. Lots of surprises are contained herein, some delightful, some appalling. I can't write a short review for this story line, so it's looooong, but all spoilers are hidden away.

In The Duchess War, Robert, the duke who would be a commoner, falls in love with Minnie, the star who would rather not shine.

The first half of the story was fairly light and flirty, yet peppered with historical bits about sedition, the abuse of mill workers, and the bias in the En
Mar 17, 2013 Vishous marked it as hahaha-no-no-no
this is HR and you simply can not make both main characters in HR (view spoiler)
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Woah! Awesome kindle freebie, 11/17/14!! And if you get the free e-book, you can get the audiobook for only $1.99!
Jacob Proffitt
I keep forgetting how much I enjoy Courtney Milan's books, and this one has become an instant favorite. And suddenly I'm having a hard time articulating why. I think it comes down to the characters. Minnie and Robert aren't just interesting or engaging. They are kind even as they're kind of broken. And they're witty and intelligent and, most tellingly, they need each other desperately.

And I think that's the key to my engagement (with this book, at any rate). It's not just that I liked Minnie or
Lady Wesley
10 December 2014: Now a Kindle freebie. The Brothers Sinister is an outstanding series.

December 2012:
This is a very good book -- serious, funny, heartbreaking, romantic, and so damn well written that I would have to give it five stars even if I didn't like the story. I highlighted so many passages, but I think this one is my favorite:
It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in love. The thought of love was like water in the desert. Now there was a stupid cliché, one that made him think of a man in ragg
Anne OK
Another fantastic and well-written story by Courtney Milan. Cleverly enticing with well-developed and intereesting characters. This is the first book in her "Brothers Sinister" series.
3.50 to 4.00 Stars – Historical Romance/Regency.

Milan continues to exhibit her faculty to write down emotionally intense, unique, and vibrant romance setting with multidimensional characters. Once more she draws readers with imaginative plot and absolute sensuality (more than sexuality) in this first full-novel of the Brothers Sinister series. With the foreword of interesting characters to the prolongation of remarkable turns of events, once begin reading this attention-grabbing story, it becom
Dec 22, 2012 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wendy by: Jill
Surprising and refreshingly good! Smooth and well balanced, good plot and great characters. It's a thumbs up!
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
WOW. Unputdownable. 4.5 stars.

Review to come.
Rating: B ... Heat: Warm

The tagline for this novel – “Sometimes love is an accident. This time, it’s a strategy.” – could not be more appropriate. From the moment that Minnie and Robert meet, these two are at war. Because Robert’s secrets are endangering Minnie’s own and, if it comes down to it, she will take Robert down. Duke or no.

Wilhelmina Pursling has spent most of her life trying to blend in. She is quiet and unassuming… until she feels cornered, that is. Then a whole other side, a side t

Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
**5 Sublime Stellar Stars**

The minute I pick up a Courtney Milan book, I know that I’m going to become totally absorbed in the world she has created. Her stories are original and thought-provoking, her characters are compelling, her research is meticulous and her writing is superb.

Robert grew up watching his father abuse his privileged position without ever having to answer for his crimes no matter who got hurt. This instilled in Robert a determination to be nothing like his father. He champions
Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
After reading and loving the prequel novella The Governess Affair I was so looking forward to the first full length novel of the Brothers Sinister series. Happily, it didn't disappoint!! The hero of The Duchess War is the legitimate son of the villain of the novella the physical image of his father but thankfully has nothing of the despicable temperment. In fact Robert Blaisdell, the ninth Duke of Clermont is a radical secretly writing seditious handbills determined to make amends for the terrib ...more
19 November 2014: $0.00 FREE on Kindle!!

I've been in a bit of a dissatisfied mood with nearly every new book I've picked up lately, but Courtney Milan has never disappointed me. I realized I had one of her books in my review pile and eagerly dove into the Brothers Sinister series. I had read The Governess Affair back when it was first released, and I loved it - highly recommended; now I was hoping that I could fall back into the wonderfully described world and meet more incredibly realize
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Goodreads Librari...: Page number request 2 25 Jan 10, 2013 07:24PM  
  • Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
  • Sweet Disorder (Lively St. Lemeston, #1)
  • A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2)
  • The Luckiest Lady in London
  • A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7)
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2)
  • Fool Me Twice (Rules for the Reckless, #2)
  • The Duke's Tattoo (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse , #1)
  • Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4)
  • When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton, #1)
  • Let It Be Me (The Blue Raven, #5)
  • Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5)
  • Blame It on Bath (The Truth About the Duke, #2)
Courtney Milan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a marginally-trained dog, and an attack cat. Courtney wishes she could say she has lived in numerous fabulous places. But aside from her husband, there is a distinct lack of fabulousness in her life. Instead, she is happy when standards in the Milan household hover above mediocrity. Her husband attempts not to kill people for a living ...more
More about Courtney Milan...
The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5) Unveiled (Turner, #1) Unlocked (Turner, #1.5) The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2) Unclaimed (Turner, #2)

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“Do not pollute my perfectly acceptable figurative speech with irrelevant facts!” 25 likes
“I earned this, fair and square." We'll, maybe it hadn't been fair. And maybe it hadn't been precisely square. Still, she'd earned it legally. Legally and...rectangularly. That would have to do.” 15 likes
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