Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Duchess War

(Brothers Sinister #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  18,707 ratings  ·  1,996 reviews
Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly--so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don't get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she w ...more
Kindle Edition, 270 pages
Published December 6th 2012 by Courtney Milan
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Duchess War, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kim Fuhrmann I just wrote a bad review on this one but by the same author read The Governess Affair. I liked it - sweet and nice, adult themes but only touched on.…moreI just wrote a bad review on this one but by the same author read The Governess Affair. I liked it - sweet and nice, adult themes but only touched on. When you meant sexist - do you mean the guy is just an a*shole? Robert in this one likes her "tits". Put me off totally. The person below must have read a different book to me. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,707 ratings  ·  1,996 reviews

Sort order
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
Kindle Freebie!

Sometimes love is an accident.

This time, it’s a strategy.
The Duchess War is the first full length novel in Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, and a story that I've been looking forward to. Having read The Governess Affair, the prequel to this story, and having read the epilogue that sets up this book, I knew that what was to come would be a wonderful, emotional read, but this... it was so much more than I had hoped for.
Cover blur
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historicals

I’m not sure if I can convey my feelings into words right now but I’ll be trying anyway. It goes without saying that I’ve had extremely high expectations. Unfortunately, though, The Duchess War will go down in history as a slight disappointment—to put it mildly. Some parts I loved, some I liked and some…not at all. Up until to the 70 % mark I really thought that The Duchess War would work out for me. Hope dies last after all. With this end in mind I felt totally underwhelmed throughout the next
Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
DNF at 26%

 photo jhghf_zpsbxphqanc.gif

OMG my eyes have glazed over. This book bored me so bad. After reading the first little novella in this series I was excited for this book, but Lord have mercy no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get into this read. I was so bored I got up and did dishes, came back tried again got bored went and did my yoga came back tried again. I reread the same line like 5 times and still can't tell you what I read. I just couldn't connect. The main couple have no chemistry together. The plot is
If this was set in modern times, it would be a cool story of a girl who identified as a boy for her first 12 years of life being raised by an older lesbian couple. But, this is the ye old days.


So, poor Minnie has to act like a good girl and find herself a husband. This means that she isn't allowed to do the boy things anymore, like have an opinion, act smart, or burp the alphabet. Okay, I guess the last thing is probably good. As a mother of two boys I can attest to the fact that they can
Awww! Outstanding! It was so romantic! There are not enough adjectives to convey how great this book is. It is so much more than your usual historical romance.


WORKERS, read the top line in massive capital letters. And then, beneath it: ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE!!!!!

"Oh, no", she protested. "I've never seen this before. And it’s really not my sort of thing." For one thing, she was fairly certain that any sentences that used more exclamation points than words was an abomination.

Robert is like n

***5 stars***

The Duchess War is intelligent, beautiful, romantic, humorous, heartbreaking. Excellent!

This is everything I look for in a historical romance.

Full review in December issue of InD'Tale Magazine

Reviewed for InD'Tale Magazine
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes basic HR formulas with good writing behind it
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: A lot of people
This probably shouldn't have been my first Milan book. I knew going in that a few people didn't like The Duchess War as much as some of her other works but since I'd been wanting to try the author and got a galley for book 2 of the series, I figured 'why not?'.

I wasn't a fan. I mean, it wasn't bad or anything. The book wasn't on the level of 'asparagus pee' bad, but I wasn't feeling it either.

There was something missing from the equation. Without lush historical descriptions or witty banter, I
Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠
I think this was a case of me not reading the book correctly, because so many of my friends loved this book to pieces and I thought it was good, but nothing exceedingly fascinating. In fact, I had to skim at different points with this book. I found it slow at first and a bit tedious with all the talk of factories.

It starts off with the Duke, Robert, coming to the town of Leicester and checking out the factories. He's not too into being the duke and accidentally comes upon Minnie while he's hidi
Sh3lly (
3.5 stars rounded up for Robert

This isn't the type of book I normally read: historical romance. But it was free and some of my friends were buddy reading it, so... peer pressure and all. The first half of the book, I was really enjoying it. I loved the banter and the word play between the two leads. I felt for Minnie. She was trapped and afraid of her future because of reasons. I felt they were legitimate.

Robert. Sigh. Robert was magnificent. He was very attractive and powerful, but he wasn't a
Reseña completa:

Es una lectura ágil y muy amena. La novela empieza muy bien, buenas luchas dialécticas y unos personajes que resultan muy atrayentes por la "originalidad", sobre todo de él.
El personaje de ella, aunque esconde un secreto, resulta mucho más típico, la anodina guapa.
Entiendo que en la época esa cicatriz que quitara toda su belleza, pero somo siempre la novela empieza dando a entender que es una mujer de lo más normal y, al parecer y tam
I am dying to read a good romance, but why is it virtually impossible to find one that at least makes some logical sense?!

Search continues...
Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮
Robert is bae. Robert is love. Robert is life.

I fucking love Robert.

I fucking love this book.

It even had a Raahoshing scene.

So much YAS.

5 marry-me-robert Stars

Thanks fot the buddy read you awesome people over at Unapologetic Romance Readers!
Written August 18, 2014

4 1/2 Stars - simply delightful, a genre winner

Book #1

I very much liked the novella prequel in this Brother Sinister series I read more than a year ago. #0.5 - The Governess Affair (4.5 stars) took place in London 1835 and was the story about Serena (Barton) & Hugo Marshall.

Leicester 1863...

This full-length romance takes place when the next generation become adults, 28 years later. We meet two people with very different backgrounds: Minnie (Wilhelmina Pursling / Minerv
3.5 stars.

I couldn’t warm to the heroine after she had been bought like that.
Even with the hero excuses to take her back into his life, just made me more angrier.

The story was good though, only I expected more loyalty from my heroine than this.
(view spoiler)
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hr, perfect, 5-stars
Update Oct 21st, 2017

I've noticed that, whenever I re-read a Courtney Milan book, how much I am used to the generic male lead characterisation of a possessive, jaw-grinding, growling man who only thinks with his dick. And then Courtney Milan comes along and actually says what it's like to be ruled by a dick, at least where the heroine is concerned. I guess the best thing to do whenever I re-read this book, is to update my review with quotes. This time it's about 'tits'...more or less.
He’d obvio
4.5 Brilliant Stars

Courtney Milan is one of my all-time favorite authors. Her books flow effortlessly and soon I find myself lost in the world and the lives she’s created.

Robert Alan Graydon Blaisdale is the Duke of Claremont and he’s determined to right his father’s wrongs. For me, he started out not the sexiest hero created, but as the story unfolds we get to know a man of remarkable character. I was drawn to the empathy he feels for those less fortunate. His radical beliefs are such that if
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es la segunda vez este mes que me pasa esto. Ya había leído este libro pero no lo había calificado, así que pensé que no lo había hecho. En cuanto terminé el primer capítulo supe que ya conocía está historia pero como soy muy curiosa y muero por leer las demás historias, bueno... volví a leerlo y me encantó otra vez.

La parte del tren, es inolvidable jajaja era de las cosas que más me acordaba y volver a leerlo me volvió a sacar miles de carcajadas
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Buddy read with the Unapologetic Romance Readers!

Courtney Milan is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical romance authors - maybe even rivaling that spot in my heart reserved for Lisa Kleypas (sorry, Lisa!).

One of the things I love about Milan's books are her sexy beta heroes and her incredibly intelligent heroines. THE DUCHESS WAR is no exception. Robert and Minnie meet for the first time while hiding in a parlor at a party. Robert
What an original, soothing read! The Duchess War took me completely by surprise, and I'm shocked I still recall most of what happened in it, nearly two months after I read it. Given my crappy memory, that's a sure sign I enjoyed this book.

No doubt, the greatest appeal of The Duchess War lies in the characters. I had trouble fully relating to Minnie, but there's no denying how awe-inspiring she is. After being betrayed by the one man her entire world revolved around at a young age, Minnie reconst
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Oh, I'm sooooo happy to discover another wonderful author of historical romances! :)

The way Ms. Milan writes is very interesting and unusual and I like it very, very much!

The main characters are unique too!
The heroine, Minerva/Wilhelmina, Minnie, is fantastic in her very peculiar and interesting quiet way. She makes a weapon of her quiet. Her apparently demure behaviour is like a calm water on the surface, but very strong current beneath! It's fantastic how she uses her clever, clever tounge!

Sam (AMNReader)
The moment they lay a baby on a mother's chest, the moment the groom sees his bride, the laughter in a room after a long day of work, the conversations that are so entertaining that you doubt you'll forget...Of course, life is made up of moments. Books are too, and my favorite books are the ones that capture those little and not so little moments as a series that lends itself to a character, relationship, and thus a story.

Don't get me wrong, this story had a meaty plot. But it also conveyed its
I had a spoilery discussion about this book with Anachronist that is now posted on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog. I recommend you read the book before the blog post.

The blurb says… actually, I don’t have a clue what the blurb says. At this point I never look at the blurbs for Milan’s books because they feel like spoilers. I’d rather go in without any expectations and just enjoy the story and writing. Of course, for The Duchess War I was partly spoiled because of The Governess Affair.

Here, the
Beanbag Love
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If anyone else had written this book I wouldn't have noticed the flaws. It's still a good book, but Milan has set the bar pretty high, so I was very aware when things went wrong.

Minerva Lane goes by the name Wilhelmina Pursling. She has a huge secret in her past, Minerva Lane having been destroyed in society rather than just ruined, and it would be disastrous for her true identity to become public. So she has spent her life incognito in the care of her "aunts". She dresses like a mouse, she acts
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, romance
2.5 stars

It's very hard for me to rate this book. For a book with such a beautiful writing, it feels almost like a crime to give it a low rating. However, reading is not just a process of thinking, but also a process of feeling. And with romance genre, my rating should reflect how I feel toward the main characters and their way to get the HEA.

With this book, what I felt mostly was frustration.

When I've finished reading The Duchess War I liked the title even more because honestly, I couldn’t ima
Grecia Robles
3 Stars

Después de haber leído un libro con personajes tan memorables como Callie y Gabriel en 9 reglas que romper para conquistar a un Granuja, este libro me quedó cortó la mayor parte se me hizo aburrido sobre todo el comienzo, no pude simpatizar con los protagonistas pero más en especial con Minnie que me cayó súper mal, tenía una actitud demasiado insoportable aunque al final puede que haya cambiado, Robert era un tanto inocente y soñador y se merecía una mejor protagonista.

También me esperab
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Buddy read with Nenia.

I don't know if I should call this the first romance novel I've ever read, but I think it is my first grown-up romance novel with all the trappings of the genre - the cover and tropes and all that. I was pleasantly surprised by it. Courtney Milan's writing style combines elegance with humor, sending the reader on a dance that twirls gracefully into the absurd.

"Forgive my cousin, for he is a bit of a prude. But my apologies; I was intruding into your very delightful conver
Ten stars****or maybe 20 stars*****
Wow! I absolutely loved this and it may be my favorite by Ms. Milan. She writes her heroes so well - I fall in love with every single one. When I read the summary for this, it really did it no justice.

This is a love story. Not just a man loves a woman or a woman loves a man kind of love story. This is about two people who yearn to have love in their life - family love, romantic love, friendship love - just love in its purest form. Acceptance, loyalty, forgiven
Alba Turunen
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lectura muy entretenida y original, admito que me he llevado una grata sorpresa. Actualmente no es fácil que me guste un libro, o incluso que una autora me convenza escribiendo algo "distinto", pero Courtney Milan lo ha conseguido. Conocí a la autora con el relato corto que inició ésta serie, y digamos que me abrió el apetito para conocer las historias de Robert y Oliver.

¿Y qué tenemos en "La guerra de la duquesa"? No es el típico libro de época victoriana basado en los grandes salones londinens
♡Karlyn P♡
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-historical
This book started off GREAT, and I loved, loved, loved it for the first 50%. Couldn't put it down! Then it started to meander and got a bit slower, and we get some manufactured drama between Robert and Minnie that felt a bit false for them, but I didn't mind.

In truth, the book could have - maybe should have - ended there. For me, the last 30% of the book dragged and dragged. (view spoiler)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • True Pretenses (Lively St. Lemeston Book 2)
  • It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8)
  • A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1)
  • Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2)
  • A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3)
  • The Way to a Duke's Heart (The Truth About the Duke, #3)
  • Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1)
  • Bound by Your Touch
  • Let It Be Me (The Blue Raven, #5)
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 Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)
  • The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)
  • The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4)
“Do not pollute my perfectly acceptable figurative speech with irrelevant facts!” 38 likes
“I earned this, fair and square." We'll, maybe it hadn't been fair. And maybe it hadn't been precisely square. Still, she'd earned it legally. Legally and... rectangularly. That would have to do.” 25 likes
More quotes…