Jannockj's Reviews > The Duchess War

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

really liked it

The Duchess Wars
Full novel

I am a little bit in love with Courtney Milan's writing and her stories. My love affair started with the novella 'Unlocked.' I just bloody loved it. I got the tight chest feeling when I read it, like I was feeling the character's pain. So you have to excuse me when I become this fangirl around Milan's books but there is a reason. So my expectations are high when it comes to this lady.

Back on topic, first of all. I liked this book. I liked it a lot.
First reason I liked this was because it's based in Leicester and I live in Leicestershire - I know, I know, that's not a good enough reason to like the book. However, stay with me, I have reasons. I have lived in Leicester so I can also pick up the geographical and historical additions Milan has included.
They are accurate, this implies, to this reader anyway, that the author has researched and has done so properly. The fact that the story is set in Leicester and not London suggests to me that this isn't going to be an ordinary regency romance. There's even a bit on social history but it isn't forced down our throat.

Our two protagonists are Minnie and Robert and I shouldn't favour one more than the other, but I do and its Minnie. Now she's a lady I would like to know.
She had modern sensibilities, so we as readers can relate to her but her behaviour and fears were still in keeping with the time. True, she was still unconventional but then again so was her upbringing. (no spoilers here).
That's not to say I didn't like Robert, I did. He was a gentleman who had fears that we could understand. In some regency romances, the fears of the hero can often be a bit... well... convenient. Irrational even.

I should definitely mention the chemistry between the two of them. The dialogue is sharp as can be expected from this author (don't forget my high expectations). For me, the part that made this novel go from good to awesome, were the small observations Robert makes during their conversations.

"Standing this close to her, he could begin to see the difference. She was still looking down, still acting shy and quiet so that anyone more than three paces away would have no idea what she was saying. But there was a little more excitement in her hands. Her lips twitched, on the verge of smiling."

Courtney Milan doesn't just tell the reader Minnie is brilliant, she shows us. She doesn't just tell us Robert thinks Minnie is awesome, we discover with him that Minnie is awesome. So we, the reader and Robert fall in love with Minnie together and in turn we fall in love with Robert.

Its those touches that to me, makes this novel.
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