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The Countess Conspiracy

(Brothers Sinister #3)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  10,295 ratings  ·  1,277 reviews
Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to s
ebook, 309 pages
Published December 16th 2013 by Courtney Milan
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Meredith Not particularly. We are introduced to the characters in the first books, and some of the previous main characters are in this one. But in this case, …moreNot particularly. We are introduced to the characters in the first books, and some of the previous main characters are in this one. But in this case, there isn't an overall plot that will be spoiled. (less)

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I have never met a woman more in need of a mind-blowing orgasm than Violet Waterfield.

This MC was wound so tight that I just wanted to hand her a vibrator and tell her not to come out of her room until she’d rattled that stick out of her ass. Too bad there weren’t any to be had in Victorian England or the beginning of this book might have been less frustrating.

So Violet is a female scientist in a time where even women didn’t think that they should be educated. Instead of publishing her work he
Al George
Feb 19, 2016 rated it liked it
What is wrong with me that I did not like you more?


Like everyone else seems to think this is the ultimate in tortured love. Dammit, I love me some tortured love - I'm looking at you Laura Kinsale. But this, was apparently above my pay grade.

Setting / Time / Genre: London. Sorta regency. Did they have an underground in regency times? Am I missing something here? Is this set in a different time?

Series: Third

Sexy times: They knock boots once and have a little OP. Nothing racy.

Plan on reading mo
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was waiting for this book. After all, there was a rake as the hero - Sebastian. Plus, he was all yearning for his bff, Violet. We met these two in previous books and they were great together - totally hilarious. So, I loved them, but then there was something slightly missing.


I don't know what it was exactly. Can't put my finger on it, but the chemistry wasn't as volatile as I would have liked. Maybe because our rake was super gentlemanly and took things very very slowly. Which was good
♡Karlyn P♡

4 'Brilliant!' Stars

The Countess Conspiracy tells a fascinating story about a woman who has to hide her superior intelligence in order to maintain respectability, and a man who loves her so much he struggles with having to keep her secret.

Violet and Sebastian are such different character types than what I normally read in a historical. She is the female equivalent of a mad scientist. He is a beta-hero, and man enough to love her for her brains as well as her heart. The romance was slower than so
Sam (AMNReader)
A not insignificant portion of me that believes you can’t choose between your children meanwhile says “you don’t have to like them all the same, you just have to love them,” (Sam’s grandma, probably from 1955-1989) says this may not be my favorite I believe it is Milan’s best.

as long as she stayed still, nobody would discover the truth

I guess it’s fair to mention I have not read all of her novels either. Honestly, that’s partially because I’m in constant discovery mode over Brothers Sinister.

4.5 stars

Romanorum Perfectus!

Viola odorata or Sweet violet

For every woman whose name has disappeared without recognition.

Violet Waterfield, Countess of Cambury, widow, married previously for eleven years. Sebastian Malheur, her oldest and closest friend, and confidante. Secrets. Violet's got them. Sebastian's got a big one he can't share with Violet. And together Violet and Sebastian share a secret. Should it ever be disclosed, they'll both be ruined.

No one does layered like Ms Milan. Th
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

*3.5 stars*

At times very, very good, but it also dragged on for me like none in the series before it. It seemed endless at certain moments, and I wasn't sure that I loved Violet.

Still, these characters were amazingly complex (even the side characters, very much so), but it felt a little like it tried to do too much for one book.

Another great audio reading, though, and I will most certainly be continuing on in the series!
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This has been a very difficult review to write. Some of them seem to trip off the fingers and some… don’t, and this was one of the latter. It’s a complex and clearly a heart-felt book on the part of the author with so much going on that it was hard to decide what to put in and what to leave out. In the end, I’ve gone with the “write less” option (unusual for me, I know!) because the review has already taken me about three times longer to write than it did to read the book!

The shortest version
Written November 3, 2014

4 1/2 Sprakling Stars - Enchanting and so beautifully told. Yet another amazing Milan historical for us romantic (mature) readers.

Book #3

A buddyread, she read and I listened to the audiobook, with my sweet and wise friend Sofia.
Hurray, this is all so clever and well done.
I'm sure you already guessed that I love these historicals in the Brother Sinister series by Courtney Milan. This was my fifth. ~ And I'm once again an applause and whistling admirer.

My reviews: (vi
Courtney Milan has a true gift! This is a strong and emotional book. The first part broke my heart. And it ends with the most beautiful happy ending!

It is a story about Violet and Sebastian. Sebastian is one of the world's greatest minds, only it is really Violet. She is conducting brilliant research in a time where women is not allowed to study at university, and society shuns intelligent women. I absolutely adored this part. Sebastian has presenter her their work for several years because he a
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I guess I'm basically just a Courtney Milan fangirl now? This is the third installment in the Brothers Sinister series and I loved it. If you want smart, strong heroines, heroes who are well developed and strong without being alpha males, and really high quality writing then you should absolutely check her out.

The Countess Conspiracy follows Sebastien Mallheur, infamous rake and scientist with scandalous theories about inheritance. Except he has a secret...most of the scientific work is not his
Chrysoula Tzavelas
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is exactly the kind of romance novel I want from an ex-law professor with a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry. It is smart, historical, poignant and lovely. The romance in it reminded me of my own wonderful husband and both made me understand him a bit better and made me a bit braver.

It is about a scientist, inventing the study of inheritance a few decades early, in the 1860s. Because she is a woman, nobody will even read her ideas, and so she works with a man to get her id
… For Rosalind Franklin, whose name we know. For Anna Clausen, who I discovered while working on this book. For every woman whose name has disappeared without recognition. This book is for you. ~~~Courtney Milan~~~

The Countess Conspiracy is the third book in the Brothers Sinister series. Here we get Sebastian Malheur and Violet Waterfield’s story. Milan’s incredible talent is stamped throughout and after reading the above dedication, I was excited to begin.

Sebastian is a charming, intelligent
Mary - Buried Under Romance
HOLY. I fear my mind may never be the same again. What an incredibly piece of sleep deprived brain cannot write a worthy review right now. But be forewarned, it will be long.

Heidi Hart
A brief personal anecdote before I get to my review. I promise, this is relevant to my point. Being lesbians, my wife and I did not have our sons in the usual fashion. (Well, maybe we did, in the usual fashion for lesbians, but you know what I mean.) It took my wife nine cycles of IUI (colloquially known as "the turkey baster method," though it's much more clinical than that), followed by two cycles of IVF, followed by a rough pregnancy plagued with health scares until our son arrived a month ea ...more
Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*
I’m fast running out of superlatives to describe Courtney Milan’s books. Every time I pick up one of her books, I’m swept away by her innovative stories, her fascinating characters, her brilliant writing and her ability to layer her stories with historical detail and thought-provoking social commentary. THE COUNTESS CONSPIRACY has all this plus a poignant and deeply emotional love story.

This book is so intricately layered with complex relationships and flawed characters that I’ve found it diffic
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This book is SO good. So, so good.

Due to events in her past (which are revealed - and make it so devastating) Violet feels unworthy of basically anything - unlovable, untouchable - she is disgusted by herself.

Her best friend (who is also considered a rake) is Sebastian. He tells her early on in the book he is in love with her - but they both know she can't handle it. He can't even touch her hand without her having an extreme reaction.

So he waits. He ever so patiently starts to court her. AND IT
Lady Wesley
Wow! Just wow! Ten stars. A hundred and ten stars, even.

Courtney Milan never disappoints, and she is really on a roll with the Brothers Sinister series. The publisher's blurb sets up the story nicely: Sebastian is famous for his scientific theories on natural selection, and Violet is his childhood friend and helpmeet. Except, really she's the genius, and Sebastian is tired and a bit ashamed of fronting for her.

We often read of tortured heroes, but Violet is a tortured heroine, and your heart hur
Enjoyable Read

Courtney Milan does a great job of portraying strong smart women in her Historical Romances. Although rakes are not my favorite heroes, Sebastian Malheur's patient love made him more likable than his charm.
Re-read as of 1-08-19
I did this as a Buddy Read with "Romance Book Buddy Reading" group on Goodreads.

Good lord, I got nothing. I just realized why this was my least favorite of the Brothers Sinister books. Sebastian and Violet are tedious, all of the science parts did my head in completely, and Violet's sister is written inconsistently. The way she is initially framed in the story is being protective of her daughter, then Sebastian calls her a viper, and we get a scene where Violet's sister is u
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was one of the first romances I read. I'm sure if I had reviewed it then I would've given it five stars, because Milan was such a revelation and it was so different to anything else I'd read at that point. That said, this was my first full reread and I'm not sure it holds up to a five star rating, hence me dropping it to 4.5 stars. Fantastic book though.

I love the plot here. It's very Victorian - a story occurring up and down the country at the time - men taking credit for women's work in t
May 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
As a romance heroine, Violet fails miserably. But! As a pioneeress of science she is a TRIUMPH!

As a romance character Violet was all over the place. She was characterized as being sharp, prickly, cold and out of place, but I never saw that in any of the previous books where she made an appearance. In this book she denied herself any love or compassion but she depended on her sister needing her. She was used (in the worst way) by her deceased husband and felt selfish because of it. She tried to
Beanbag Love
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I finished this days ago and forgot to update. Such are the holidays. So be forewarned, the following review is a bit of a ramble.

There were parts I liked in the Countess Conspiracy and parts that annoyed me. I admit to too many interruptions during the beginning of my read so it was hard to warm up to the heroine. She was too much of a basketcase and I didn't have enough information to want to follow her.

Violet is an honorary member of the Brothers Sinister. Two of the "brothers" are half-bro
Courtney Milan has never been an author that is going to write about a typical hero/heroine or situation. This book was no exception. Sebastian has a secret that he has been carrying for many years and he can no longer bear the weight of the secret. So when he lets his best friend Violet know that he will no longer present her papers as his, Violet is devastated. She thinks Sebastian will come around and things can go back to normal. But of course they don’t because he drops an even bigger bomb ...more
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

As with all of Courtney Milan's stories, I finished The Countess Conspiracy with a smile on my face and a contented sigh in my heart! It's fun, romantic, poignant, inspiring... all the things that make reading such a delight!

Full review to come....

A copy of this lovely story was provided by Ms. Milan.
Rachna R
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was fucking magic. My favourite thing about Milan is that I'm always aware of the fact that she super-respects women and people in general, and that translates into things that show you she's keeping not just her characters but also her audience in mind. it's just a comfort, to me. and having that guarantee would've been enough on its own, except this book was basically everything I've ever, ever wanted from a romance about two people who've known each other forever? their shorthand, not ju ...more
October 2020:

I read this twice. In a six day span.

I mean that. There was something so captivating about this book that I re-read it last week in like a day and half, waited another day and then picked it up and started reading it again because I couldn't get this couple and their love story out of my mind. I NEVER DO THAT. Ever. I am staring at my large TBR pile as I type this. But there was something so captivating about these characters that I had to go back and re-read. And I am glad I did be
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you're looking with chick lit with substance.
Recommended to Anuradha by: The Duchess War
This was going to be a three-star read...till about 50% in. The characters annoyed me to no end in the beginning, but much like the previous Courtney Milan I read, there was a depth to the story that I don't usually see in HR. Milan's characters are markedly different, but in a good way. They aren't adorkable or clumsy or manic pixie etc. etc. They have real issues and deal with real problems.

Have you seen the television show Masters of Sex? This book is something like that. Violet Waterfield i
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
You know, I think I absolutely adore Courtney Milan's writing. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the problem with perfection is that it's a subjective virtue. Courtney Milan's books are perfect to me. They won't be to everyone. But I enjoy stories with strange characters. Characters with actual quirks. Not girls who simply trip over their own feet at every turn and then shrug and say, "That's ME!" while the author is expecting me to giggle at how adorably quirky her charact ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical

Milan is a superb writer, I might not always fall totally in love with her characters, or the situations they find themselves in, might stretch my credibility, but I am in love with her writing and how she explores themes.

In the third of this series Milan gives us Violet and her partner in crime Sebastian. A true couple this one, there for each other through thick or thin. Both Violet and Sebastian are very intelligent, maybe Violet more so, but in a totally normal real life way, they are not co
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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

Other books in the series

Brothers Sinister (4 books)
  • The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)
  • The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)
  • The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4)

Articles featuring this book

Regular readers of romance know that the genre is currently chock-full of fresh plotlines and heroines who save themselves (and sometimes the...
175 likes · 68 comments
“Do you want to know why you don't meet my standards?" he asked.

She shook her head in mortification.

"Too late," he replied. "Here's my most important rule: Never have intercourse when one of the parties is in love with the other. It won't end well."

She gasped. "You arrogant cad! I'm not in love with you."

"I know." He didn't look away from her. "Isn't that what I said? Only one of us is in love, and it isn't you."

Violet stared at him. Her ears appeared to be working; her brain seemed to function. Tentatively, she added two and three and verified that they still made five.”
“I keep everything hidden because there's nothing about my true self that anyone likes. I'm not difficult, Sebastian. I'm the easiest person around. I don't belong, and I spend all my time pretending I do. Sometimes I get weary of it, and that makes me angry.

It's not fair to the people around me when I lose my temper. I say awful things when I'm angry. But it's not fair to me, either, that I was made this way.”
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