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The Lady Always Wins

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,366 ratings  ·  155 reviews
It's all fun and games.

Nobody has ever come close to taking the place that Virginia Barrett had in Simon Davenant’s heart. As a child, Ginny was his best friend and comrade-in-arms. As a young lady, she became his sweetheart. But when his parents discovered their growing affection, they threatened to cut Simon off without a penny if he married her. And when Simon planned a
Kindle Edition, 71 pages
Published February 22nd 2013 by Courtney Milan (first published February 22nd 2012)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  1,366 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Courtney Milan is one of those authors who never fails to deliver. Her tales are romantic, witty, sexy, and always have a lesson to be learned with true love as the ultimate reward.
From the cover:


Nobody has ever come close to taking the place that Virginia Barrett had in Simon Davenant’s heart. As a child, Ginny was his best friend and comrade-in-arms. As a young lady, she became his sweetheart. But when his parents discovered their growing affection, they threatened to cu
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was one of CM's more fluffy outings, but it was very well done for what it was. Very silly, very bantery (the MC's have unique sense of humor, and the dude is a bit of an ass). It still has ad a bit of a backbone (the 1800s railroad boom, specifically, and some musings on poverty), and as always with CM, rings true emotionally with even her silliest characters being emotionally complex.
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: hr
The setup for this second chance at love is cleverly done. I just wish it were a full-length novel.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I made my way through a lot of Milan's novellas this year (possibly all of them?) because I bought a collection of them at the start of the year and I've rationed them out across 2016.

So that's my context for this review. Milan is a hell of an author and, within that, a fantastic novella author (I think probably the best novella author? If anyone wants to make a submission to the contrary, please do shout out some recs in the comments) and so I grade on that curve.

This was probably the weakest
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
You can't go wrong with Milan. You might think the two protagonists are hopelessly infantile, but that's sort of the point; they were hopelessly infantile at one point. To see this much character evolution in a novella is nothing short of miraculous.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Simon Davenant was crushed when his childhood sweetheart married another, just to have money since his father was going to cut him off if he dared marry Ginny. Now, seven years later, Ginny is a widow and he has three days to make her fall back in love with him before his new found wealth disappears. But Ginny had her reasons for marrying for money and when they come up, it about undoes Simon's plans. I enjoyed the banter between this couple, how they were always trying to one up each other and ...more
This is free on Amazon right now ... which was definitely a good thing.

So far my least favorite of what I've read by her. I think I just wanted more: as I do with most novellas. There's never enough characterization or development of the plot for me to care about anything.

For some reason I don't feel like this was a complete waste of time though.

Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
heh. ridiculous little story, but also a cute little story. Not where I recommend starting with Courtney Milan but if you're well into her roster, it's a fun, if presposterous, side note.
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: so-plain, meh
It had its sweet moments but I didn't like the story very much. 2.5
4.5/5 stars. It only loses half a star because it was so short but I loved this and can't wait to read more Courtney Milan this year.
Why do I keep reading second chance romance? Every time, I hope that this will be the book I love and every time I am disappointed. Really, this is a "me, not you" situation with my intense dislike of second chance.

As always, Milan's writing is perfect. She is a capable writer. But the plot was just annoying to me.

(view spoiler)
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Milan's novellas don't work well for me as a general rule, and this one's no exception.

The Premise: Childhood sweethearts went their separate ways because his parents were going to disinherit him if he married her, and she refused to marry him without money. Now that she's a widow, he returns, claiming to want to seduce her and break her heart in vengeance, but actually planning to marry her despite the fact that he fully expects to lose his fortune forthwith.

Milan tries to set up the fact that
Novellas about two people reuniting after years of separation and falling madly in love in a matter days apparently work. The fact that there is history and that the characters are only relearning to know each other helps to brush aside the insta love elements, and lets the focus remain on fixing what went wrong in the first place.

Still, a novella is never long enough and the time jump skips over the teasing and more interesting parts of the courting. Hurried, sweet love story, just like any ot
Lady Wesley
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this one in Three Weddings and a Murder and love it. CM is just tops! ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's only missing a star because I really want a full-fledged story from this! I didn't realize it was a novella until it was too late and I was hooked.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
A lesser simpler Courtney Milan, which is still an ok read because, well, Courtney Milan.
Michelle K
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, 2013-read
Another fabulous heroine by Courtney Milan

Courtney Milan writes the best historical heroines. They're always so smart and admirable. I know so many readers love a hero but for me, the heroine makes or breaks a story. Even though The Lady Always Wins is a novella, the heroine Ginny is just as commendable and memorable as though I had read about her story in a full length novel. I just adored her.

Ginny and Simon were childhood friends, adolescence sweethear
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought this novella could easily have been a longer story and its short length was a bit of a detraction. Having said that though, I really enjoyed the friction and dynamic between the main couple. Ginny and Simon were childhood frenemies. The adored each other from the ages of 10 onward, though competition was at the forefront of how they always interacted. Incidentally, the childhood beetle story is wonderful and one worth remembering for how to respond to bullies. I love that Simon continu ...more
Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

You know what I need to realize? That when I read a Courtney Milan book I should expect the unexpected! This little novella took me on a ride and made me feel all sorts of different things. I liked and disliked the characters at times and never saw the twists coming! I loved every second of it!

Simon Davenant has been in love with Ginny since they were kids. They had a teenage romance and, because of her lesser position in society and her lack of money, his father didn’t think it would be a g
Jen Davis
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Whenever I am looking for a historical romance novella, Courtney Milan always hits the spot. This second-chance love story was no exception.

It's been seven years since Ginny broke Simon's heart. She refused to marry him, instead marrying another man. But now her husband is dead and Simon sees his chance to reclaim the only woman he has ever loved. When Ginny turned him down years ago, it was because his parents threatened to disown him. He had no trade and she didn't want to live in poverty. Now
Although this was cute and sweet, it was not quite on the level of The Governess Affair, which is one of my shining examples of all-time favorite novellas (also written by Milan). She is quite good at building tension quickly and finding just the right fit between her leads, but ultimately I felt the story, perhaps the characters, lacked quite the level of connection I wanted them to have. Perhaps falling back on the idea that they've known each other for years and have all this history together ...more
Simon Davenant and Ginny Croswell
1845, England

Courtney Milan really packed a lot into the 60 pages of this novella. For once, I felt satisfied after reading a short romance. You really felt the love and, more importantly, the friendship between the two characters and I loved the banter and gamesmanship between this couple. Perhaps because it was a novella, the story did not dwell tediously on any feelings of betrayal or revenge but quickly segued into a sweet reunion between Simon and Ginny.

Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This one ended up being really sweet. At the beginning, the guy seemed a little too arrogant and the woman a little too one-dimensional, but I should've known Courtney Milan wouldn't leave me hanging like that. Because by the end (after the story took a rather delightful turn I wasn't expecting), the characters had sorted themselves out, and I couldn't help sighing with happiness over the way it all worked out. Milan always shines in her novellas, and this one is no exception.
Tammy Walton Grant
The first Courtney Milan that I haven't really cared for. I'm guessing it would have made more sense if I'd read it in Three Weddings and a Murder when it was originally published, rather than as a stand alone. ...more
InD'tale Magazine

It’s difficult to write a novella that has fully-formed unique characters, a good plot and a believable relationship. However, Courtney Milan does it every time!

Read full review in the 2013 May issue of InD’tale Magazine.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Lady Always Wins is for people who...

...enjoy historical romance the rekindling of early love a good Courtney Milan story (who doesn't, really?)
...don't mind a little game playing
...even when that game playing leads to a little heartbreak too
...but ultimately love prevails
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ms. Milan is my favorite novella writer. This one is great fun.
This was a REALLY tense read, in that I felt the same way about it that I felt about This Wicked Gift; it's Courtney Milan, so I trusted everything would be okay in the end, but WOW was I not okay with the hero's morals throughout, despite his about-face at the end!! And the end was satisfying and rewarding to reach, but the hero's actions still just... made it all feel off, and made me feel as if he didn't quite deserve how well it all turned out. It's frustrating to feel that way, and it's fru ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019
I, for one, was surprised yet again by the little twists in this story. The blurb - and Simon - really does a good job of setting up what the reader is meant to believe is the truth, and then you learn what a complete boob Simon was at a young age. Ginny was right in choices, both then and now. And I liked that she wasn't some simpering virgin during their time apart (really not possible considering she was married, but you know what I mean).

Milan always manages to make the most of the few words
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I find it incredible that even with a book that is only about 70 pages with brand new characters, Milan still manages to turn out a great story. Granted, I was a bit wary of this since it is so short and I was real unhappy with Simon's initial plan. But he ultimately made the right choice and the solution / ending was perfect, so I'm left thoroughly enjoying this brief read. Ginny is a fantastic character and a badass woman to boot. I love her role in this story.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 03, 2015 11:39AM  

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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

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