Sharyn's Reviews > The Duchess War

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
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's review
Dec 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-romance
Read from December 25 to 30, 2012

Miss "Minnie" Pursling is living quietly, very quietly, in Leicester with her Grand-Aunts when she meets the young Duke of Clermont. Robert, the Duke, is in town to look over some factories that his father used to own. The late Duke of Clermont was a nasty man who used his title to get whatever he wanted. To combat that, Robert has learned to be the opposite of that, to the point where he is almost meek and unassuming. Someone has been distributing radical pamphlets inciting workers at the various factories to strike and suspicion is thrown on Minnie. Minnie has a very big secret to hide about her past and is terrified that someone will discover it by digging into the mystery of the creator of the pamphlets. She takes it into her own hands to find out what is going on.

This was an unusual story for me in that 1) Robert is definitely a Beta Hero even though he is a Duke, and 2) Minnie's secret was... odd. The first point was evidenced throughout the book and especially during the first sex scene. The second point was revealed slowly and in pieces. Even when you think you know the whole secret, another part of it is revealed later. It's just so very unusual a secret. Usually, when a girl is "ruined", I am pretty sure what it mostly entails. This one I could have never guessed. Also, after knowing the secret, I really questioned why the Great-Aunts did what they did. I also had a hard time figuring out Robert's mother. Did she hate Robert? Was she indifferent? Did she actually love him but didn't know how to show it?

The story is very well written and the romance really shows itself in the last third of the book. There are some really great scenes such as one with Robert and Mrs. Marshall and many with Robert and Oliver, his brother. To get more of a background of Robert's and Oliver's background, I definitely recommend the prequel novella, The Governess Affair.

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