Kotka's Reviews > The Duchess War

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
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U 50x66
's review
Dec 12, 2012

it was amazing

This book is very special.

In your typical Victorian romance these days, the intelligent, clever heroine might be a raging, prickly bitch (because of course intelligent women must also be bitchy). The hero would have a certain "woe-is-me" appeal and a miserable back story which he insists on drowning in either debauchery or a veritable cesspool of bastardly behaviour towards workers or women. Maybe he rescues orphans but is ostracized due to a Scandal. Or maybe he would be a spy, and she would be investigating some kind of idiotic intrigue for an equally idiotic friend. Or she would be betrothed to someone but not happy about it, because she just couldn't say no (or maybe he's the one that couldn't say no). Or the villain would somehow become superhuman or crazed and manage to kidnap the miraculously mindless twit who heads off alone into the night to make a point and then she would need to escape, either through her own derring-do or thanks to the hero, who makes it just in time.

None of that happens here. This book glows with the right kind of romance -- the characters are likeable, and best of all, they actually like each other. They have disagreements. They have misunderstandings that they manage to resolve without making them The Misunderstanding. (The Misunderstanding is, of course, that ham-handed convention that splits couples in luuurv up for years/decades/a marriage or two/several affairs or children with other people just because nobody has an honest adult conversation.)

Courtney Milan, your characters rock! They are quirky, endearing, complex people. They are earthy in a way that makes real people having real sex smile and actually read the scenes (no more endless heaving bosoms and transcendent insta-orgasms that make virgins faint with joy!). They deserve each other in the best way. Everyone has a weakness, and mine happens to be a really good, character-driven story. This one hits the spot!

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