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Unlocked (Turner #1.5)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  6,230 Ratings  ·  704 Reviews
A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormenter is up to his old tricks, and she’s his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wall ...more
ebook, 111 pages
Published May 31st 2011 (first published May 26th 2011)
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Because even wallflowers fight back…


This might be the best novella I’ve ever read. It was such an emotional story, one that had me in tears one minute and laughing the next. It’s a story filled with hurt and sadness, hope and happiness, forgiveness and love.

Years earlier a callow, cruel Evan Carlton, Earl of Westfeld and his cousin, Diane, ruined a young woman’s debut into society, and pretty much turned Lady Elaine Warren into a pariah. She lost any hope of marrying well, and as if it wer
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Unlocked is a fantastic short novel about a man who faces his past, and earns the love, trust, and forgiveness of the one woman he always wanted but was afraid to go after honorably, to break out of the mode of society's expectations for him.

I totally identified with Elaine. I was picked on incessantly growing up. No matter what I did, it was the focus of ridicule in school. I followed her plan of attack and withdrew into myself, pretending like it didn't matter. If you pretend like it doesn't m
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a changed woman. I have seen the error of my ways.

Why, oh, why did I ever criticize Courtney Milan's writing in A Kiss For Midwinter? Maybe I read it wrong. Maybe I had a momentary lapse in judgment. Maybe an alien from Mars who hated amazing writing took over my brain and spitefully wrote that review.

Because there is no way in hell that Courtney Milan's writing could be anything but great.

Wow. Unlocked was such an enjoyable read. My attention was captured from the first chapter to the la
Laura the Highland Hussy
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
review posted on Demon Lover's Books & More


I first heard about this book on twitter. Jane Litte (yes, THE Jane, the one from Dear Author) was saying how wonderful it was. And as I hustled over to to buy it, Jane did the coolest thing ever-she bought 20 copies of the ebook and gifted it to the first 20 responders from twitter. I was lucky enough to be one of those 20.

That being said, Courtney Milan is a new author to me. With the cruel actions of the he
Not feeling the romance buzz of late, I've taken a break from all romance, only to be pulled back with this amazing short story by one author I know can write some amazing novels with beautifully deep characters.

Ten years ago Lady Elaine Warren (BF of the heroine of Unveiled) was mocked and teased by Evan Carlton to the point that even ten years later she's sunned by society. Now a man, Evan returns to see the damage he's done to Elaine a wallflower and feel disgusted with himself, his cousin
I bought this with some trepidation, not having liked the previous Milan book I tried. However, I absolutely love her intelligent blog posts ( and commentary, and a dollar didn't seem much to spend to say thank you. I was so glad I took the small chance.

This novella was special, partially because it has such an original plotline and partially because it's (reasonably) plausible historical fiction that speaks so strongly to concerns we have right now. I'm
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Review to come later... In the meantime, here's my favorite line in the book:

"Over the years, everyone stumbles. That's why I'll be here for you — and you'll be there for me. I don't expect perfection. I want you, and you're a thousand times better."
Mandi Schreiner
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, novella
Favorite Quote: “If I’m to list the things I want, I want to own your quiet possession,” he continued, “and drive the wariness from your eyes.”

Do you remember when you were young and a kid would pick on you or tease you and your parents would say – oh, that’s just because deep down, he or she really likes you? This is Lady Elaine’s life – except she has to endure it as an adult, in the eyes of the ton. Elaine has quite a laugh – some say it sounds like a horse with a pig’s snort and they have ni
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

*3.5 stars, rounded down for the narration*

I listened to this book in audio format, and though I actually thought that the narrator did a nice job acting out the story, his voice was a real stumbling block for me. I looked up the age of the narrator, Simon Prebble, and he is in his mid 70s. He sounds like he is in his mid-70s. While most other reviewers love his narration of this story, I thought he sounded much too old for the MC, and his female voices were just ancient sounding.

In terms of th
♡Karlyn P♡
Wow, loved it. Thank you to everyone who recommended this gem.

A great enemies-to-lovers historical novella.

Some favorite quotes:
(view spoiler)
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: historicals
Full review now posted

"I had hoped you wanted to say that," he whispered into her ear. "Now might I repeat it louder?" He took her mouth again. She tasted of cinnamon. She yielded in his arms as he drew her closer. His hands crept up her side, and found nothing but soft fabric and softer flesh underneath.

Whispers…I'm a little bit disappointed. May I say it louder? I'm a little bit disappointed. Unlocked didn't captivate me.

For such a short novella there were just too many characters involved. In
Really good short story about a heroine who was bullied by the hero and his friends 10 years before. He just came back after the 10 year absence and is trying to apologize and make it up to her. Very nice story! Check it out, it's only 99 cents on Kindle and well worth the money, it was emotional and sweet!
♥~♥Geri Reads ♥~♥
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 solid stars!!

This is my first Courtney Milan read, and I must say, she did not disappoint. Unlocked reminded me of Bully, albeit the HR version. I enjoyed Bully, so it was no surprise I enjoyed this one as well.

Elaine Stockhurst had been the object of the ton's ridicule ever since she came out to society years ago. She was different, you see and attracts an unhealthy attention due to her laugh and her, ahem, generous bosoms. Elaine has long accepted her place in society by making herself as in
Elizabeth (Liz)
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am, unfortunately, very much able to relate to the character of Elaine. People can be so vicious and cruel to anyone who doesn't look, sound, think, or act as they deem to be within the realm of popularity. It's a very real problem that resonates personally with me, as well as far too many others. And it's an especially relevant topic in today's world where so many young people have been hounded to the point where they take drastic measures. This short story addresses the topic seriously, and ...more
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best novellas I have had the pleasure of reading - EVER! Usually I shy away from the shorts because they just can't seem to successfully carry an interesting and thorough plot while allowing for character development in such a short period . Not so with "Unlocked", in it Ms. Milan hit every single point dead on.

The story is creative and unique (if there is such a thing in HR by now), the character development is pitch perfect. Starting with a wallflower who has been tortuousl
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: Available Now!
Publisher: ???
Imprint: ???
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book:
Part of a Series: Yes, Turner Series
Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone
Steam Level: Steamy

I think what I enjoyed most about this story is that it’s not just about a “wallflower” coming into her own, but also about forgiveness and finding out exactly
One of the best novellas I have read. This is a truly heartbreakingly beautiful story of a woman who was ridiculed her first season out and how she has dealt with the aftermath. When the man who started the taunting returns ten years later to make amends, you get to see the ostrich bloom into a beautiful swan. She stands strong against temptation and will make you shed a few tears throughout the process. A truly excellent story of overcoming bullying that is truly beautifully written and worth w ...more
Fani *loves angst*
4.5 stars

"Over the years everyone stumbles. That's why I'll be here for you-and you'll be there for me. I don't expect perfection. I want you, and you're a thousand times better."

One of the best historicals I read lately. Pity it wasn't longer.
10 years: that number really hit me in the face. Evan and Elaine met in 1830. That same year, Evan left England. He returned in 1838. When he meets Elaine again, at a ball in 1840, it’s been a decade since they’ve seen each other. Long separation … not a trope I love.

Great opening: why is an earl who once “dominated society” feeling uneasy as he enters the ballroom with his cousin Diana? What had he done that made him hate himself? He spots Lady Equine (Lady Elaine Warren) even though she’s easy
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
satu lagi cerita mengenai wallflower. tapi wallflower yang satu ini tidak hanya duduk dipinggir ruangan dan membaur dengan dinding.

wallflower yang satu ini, Lady Elaine Warren, aktif dicari oleh semua orang untuk dipermalukan dan diejek sebagai hiburan para bangsawan. dan yang paling aktif mempermalukannya adalah Evan Carlton, earl of Wesfeld.

earl muda yang dandy dan banyak diikuti ini sebenarnya naksir ama elaine tapi ga pengen orang lain tau. kalu hanya bicara berdua dengan elaine dia bisa ngo
Penny Watson
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Finally, a winner! Courtney Milan's new novella, Unlocked, was very sweet. I adore wallflower books, but this one was especially touching since the hero is the cause of years of emotional turmoil for the heroine. Courtney Milan is such a gifted storyteller. I love how this story we see that the hero has grown and matured and is eaten up by guilt about his past behavior. I love that the heroine is torn between her love for her clueless, brilliant mother, and trying to paste on a br ...more
Marie Lu
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First of all: Lady Stockhurst. Best mother EVER. This made me want to call my mom and tell her I'm proud of her. :) What a sweet motherly character, always cheery and endearingly oblivious to the biting remarks of others, passionate about mathematics and astronomy....agh, love. LOVE. Milan's romance is sizzling, as always. Evan and Elaine are flawed, sympathetic leads. This is one heck of a good story.
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a really lovely short by Ms. Milan. It isn't too often that an author can fit an entire book in such a short format and make it believable. But CM certainly did it for this one. Evan was an immature jerk toward Elaine 10 years ago then made her life hell. But now he is back, matured and ready to grovel if he has to in order to win back the lovely Lady Elaine and she does make him pay. This was a real feel good story and one that I am glad that I didn't miss.
Cee (The Mistress Case)
Just as good as the first time. THIS. BOOK. IS. PRECIOUS.

FIRST READ JAN 16, 2015:

Okay, I admit I cried. I admit it! What a tear-jerker!

“When I see you, I remember that you made me want to drown rather than be myself.”

"What you did when you were young could kill you. It just might take years to do it..”

The author of Unlocked did a wonderful take on the bully-and-victim-romance between the hero and heroine. Not everyone can pull this off and make it believable and sympathe
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
AMAZING - that’s the first word that came to mind after I’d finished reading Unlocked. Even within the constraints of the novella, Ms Milan‘s story is original, deeply emotional and profoundly moving. I have certainly never come across the theme of bullying in a historical romance before. I am sure that Ms Milan must have done a lot of research to convey with such realism not only the emotional effects of verbal abuse but also the motivations of the abuser as well.

I loved Evan because Ms Milan m
This was a really great little novella. The hero and heroine are just exactly as you would wish them to be, the plot speeds along nicely and the writing was pretty good.

What I liked:

- The mother. Normally in HRs, the mother figure is just so stereotypical that you find yourself sighing. Either a social-climbing wannabe, a disillusioned aristocratic title-bearing bargaining chip or cit heiress, or a horrible bitch, or some other rather tired, boring cliche. Well, this one wasn't. She was great an
This was a bit more insubstantial and undeveloped than I've come to expect from Milan (even in her novellas). I don't think it helped that she skips over the entire period where Elaine is getting to know Evan again. But I did really like the angle here, of the heroine who was, essentially, bullied into obscurity for no reason at all. That combined with the hero's regret at being the one who caused her misery was an interesting mix. Just wish she hadn't skipped over the emotionally tangled bits. ...more
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Steamywindows♥♫ by: UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~*
Well. You know when you are reading and you HAVE to pause to just to smile and savour the moment, you are reading something lovely. Courtney Milan has written un petit bijou. This novella is a delightfully crafted story of a deeply regretful H pursuing a richly complex wallflower. Even the villain of the piece was multi-dimension-ed. Loved it.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 03, 2015 11:03AM  
Unlocked - the cover 3 83 Aug 21, 2012 03:56PM  
  • Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)
  • Winning the Wallflower (Fairy Tales, #2.5)
  • The Ice Princess (Princes Trilogy, #3.5)
  • The Other Guy's Bride (Braxton, #2)
  • What I Did For a Duke (Pennyroyal Green, #5)
  • Nearly a Lady (Haverston Family #1)
  • Follow My Lead (The Blue Raven, #3)
  • A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (MacKenzies & McBrides, #4.5)
  • Lord Perfect  (Carsington Brothers, #3)
  • Always a Temptress (Drake's Rakes #3)
  • His at Night
  • Scandal of the Year (Abandoned at the Altar, #2)
  • A Little Bit Wild (York Family, #1)
  • Romancing the Countess (Romancing, #1)
  • The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (The Burgundy Club, #3)
  • Midnight's Wild Passion
  • The Duke of Shadows
  • Scandal
Courtney Milan’s books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller and a RITA® winner.

Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, an exceptionally perfect dog, and an attack cat.

Before she started writing historical romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After th
More about Courtney Milan...

Other Books in the Series

Turner (3 books)
  • Unveiled (Turner, #1)
  • Unclaimed (Turner, #2)
  • Unraveled (Turner, #3)
“I’ll be your friend in daylight. I’ll treat you as a comrade in every gas-lit ballroom. But alone, under moonlight, I’ll not pretend that I want you for anything but mine.” 85 likes
“Over the years, everyone stumbles. That's why I'll be here for you — and you'll be there for me. I don't expect perfection. I want you, and you're a thousand times better.” 46 likes
More quotes…