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

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  9,350 ratings  ·  1,059 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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17th out of 367 books — 679 voters
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34th out of 262 books — 657 voters

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Community Reviews

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UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick
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 blu
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
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

***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
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
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 am dying to read a good romance, but why is it virtually impossible to find one that at least makes some logical sense?!

Search continues...
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
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
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
May 16, 2015 Tormenta rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amantes del historical romance
Recommended to Tormenta by: ᴍɪᴄs *ᴀᴍᴀɴᴛᴇ ᴅᴇ ʟᴏs sᴘᴏɪʟᴇʀs*
2015 Reading Challenge: #17 Recomendado por un amigo.

Empecé a leer este libro sin ninguna expectativa. Considero que es mejor que sea así, porque cuando un libro no es lo que yo esperaba la decepción es terriblemente cruda. Pero este me agarró desprevenida y me sorprendí bastante con su contenido. Estoy demasiado desacostumbrada al romance e historical romance porque, les voy a ser sincera, hace mucho que no leo algo así. Fue muy extraño pero la lectura es super agradable. Courtney escribe de un
Penelope ✘ that awkward girl that doesn't go here ✘

For those of you wondering why I've chosen a Pride and Prejudice edit to grace my review, you'll absolutely have to read this book to get the reference (it's so totally NOT because I'm a lazy mofo *shifty eyes*).

The Duchess War is a heart-wrenching story about two souls struggling with the hurtful pasts that they've inherited from their parents, pasts that have their claws so embedded that it shapes their outlook on life and disallows them from seeing anything but a
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
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
♡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)
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
Después de haber leído The Governess Affair tenía expectativas altas para esta novela, pero la verdad es que no me gustó tanto como la precuela.
Esta historia tiene protagonistas ligeramente atípicos para el género, algo que me parece que podría llegar a ser un sello –muy interesante– de la autora.

Inglaterra Victoriana. Conocemos a la señorita Minerva 'Minnie' Lane, sin ningún título ni fortuna a su nombre, que tiene la refrescante particularidad de no ser lo que se dice bonita. Además de eso, s
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
Buddy Read with the Emma's Tea Party group

((((=)))) Perfect song for this book: Naked by Avril Lavigne

I haven’t read many historical fiction books, so I was very excited to read this one.
There were many things I liked and I didn't like, so I’m going to list them:


Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont: I have a tendency to fall in love with male characters that care about not only the people they know and love, but a
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!
อานตอนแรกไปไดไมกีบท หยุดยาวไปเปนอาทิตยๆเลย ไมอยากอานตอ...คิดวาเนือเรืองชวงแรกมันเอือยๆเรือยๆ บทสนทนาบางชวงยืดยาว อานแลวงวง... จนเมือวานหยิบเรืองนีมาอานใหมอีกครัง แลวกอานรวดเดียวจบเลยนะ เนือเรืองพอเลยชวงกลางๆไปแลวคอยนาสนใจขึนมาหนอย โรเบิรตเปนดยุคทีครังแรกเรามองวาเกงกาจ มี tactics ในการทำสิงตางๆใหสำเรจ แตพออานจบแลว...ขอเปลียนคำพูดเถอะ!

โรเบิรตไมไดฉลาดอยางทีเราคิดเอาไวเลย แอบโงทุยๆเปนบางโอกาสซะดวยซำ เขาเปนพระเอกทีบกพรอง ไมไดสมบูรณแบบเพราะเขาพยายามทำตัวไมใหเหมือนพอตัวเองทีทำตัวเสเพลจนไปขมขืนผูหญิงคนอ
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.
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Duchess War by Courtney Milan 1 5 Mar 07, 2015 01:35PM  
Love this book 1 7 Jan 18, 2015 04:04PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page number request 2 25 Jan 10, 2013 07:24PM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Brothers Sinister (4 books)
  • The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)
  • The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)
  • The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4)
The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5) Unveiled (Turner, #1) The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2) Unlocked (Turner, #1.5) Unclaimed (Turner, #2)

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“Do not pollute my perfectly acceptable figurative speech with irrelevant facts!” 31 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.” 21 likes
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