Dina's Reviews > Unveiled

Unveiled by Courtney Milan
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Jan 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-romance, netgalley, ebook, dik
Read from February 07 to 09, 2011

FAN-TAS-TIC!!! This was my first read by Ms. Milan and, wow, I was very impressed. I loved her writing, the story, the characters - everything.

Ash Turner, a wealthy man who's built his fortune in trade after enduring years of near poverty as a child, is finally close to avenging his sister's death and his brothers' suffering at the hands of the Dalrymples. After discovering that the head of the Dalrymple family, the Duke of Parford, married his mistress (in haste and in secret) when he was too young to know better and has never had that marriage annulled, Ash takes the case to the ecclesiastical courts, and thus has the duke's second marriage declared void for bigamy and the children resulting from that union declared illegitimate and unable to inherit. That leaves Ash, the duke’s long-hated fifth cousin, twice removed, as the presumptive heir. And with the duke's current medical condition, it's only a matter of time before Ash becomes the new Duke of Parford.

The Dalrymple "children" (Richard, Edmund and Margaret) have lost almost everything - their titles, their honor, their "friends" and their mother - in less than a year, all thanks to Ash's uncovering of their father's bigamy. They haven't accepted defeat, though. So when they learn that Ash is moving to Parford Manor to oversee the estate he's about to inherit, Richard and Edmund move to London in preparation for the upcoming battle that will take place in Parliament when the lords debate the bill granting the Darlrymple family the remedy of legitimacy. Margaret stays with her father at Parford Manor, pretending to be a nurse so she can spy on Ash and document his failings, demonstrating that he's unfit to manage the estate and thus tilting the odds of her brothers' winning the debate in Parliament in their favor.

Margaret is predisposed to hate Ash on sight, but she soon finds out that it's impossible to not like him. There's just something about him. It isn't his looks, his money or, as she calls it, his cheerful ruthlessness. It's the way he makes people feel they matter regardless of who they are. And Ash makes Margaret feel she matters from the start, when he thinks she's a mere servant. As they spend more time together and she learns his secrets, understanding that there's more than simple revenge behind his actions, a bond of trust and intimacy (of souls, not bodies) is formed between them. Torn between that newfound bond and her loyalty to her brothers, Margaret tries to protect both, but she knows she'll have to sacrifice one to save the other in the end. The question is, which one will it be?

This book had me engaged from beginning to end. I loved both Ash and Margaret: I wanted to be her and marry him. The conflict in their relationship came from the situation they found themselves in, not from any dysfunctional trait they might have as characters - like fear of abandonment or commitment, for example. Family, honor, loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness were at the core of this story and Ms. Milan has done an excellent job weaving those elements into Ash and Margaret's relationship. I especially liked the way Ms. Milan hasn't fallen into clichés, avoiding some of the well-travelled paths in Romancelandia. Without giving away any spoilers, there was a much-anticipated scene where Ash's reaction caught me completely by surprise. A very pleasant surprise, I'm happy to say. I've read that scene - or the basics of it - in many books before and I was braced for what I "knew" it would happen. Well, I was kindly reminded that I "know" nothing. :)

I have to finish this review admitting that this book made me cry. I didn't want to, but I couldn't hold back the tears near the end of it. What can I say? That only happens when I'm really invested in a story, and Ms. Milan's beautiful writing had me enthralled from the first chapter to the epilogue.

Final verdict: It's a keeper!

Note: I received this eARC from Harlequin via NetGalley. That had no influence on my review/rating.
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Quotes Dina Liked

Courtney Milan
“Maybe that’s what I have been looking for. When storms and rockslides threaten, I am looking for someone who will hold on to me and not let go.”
Courtney Milan, Unveiled


Reading Progress

02/07/2011
0.0% "My first read by this author. Let's see what the fuss is all about, shall we? :)" 4 comments
02/07/2011
40.0% "He didn’t dare breathe. He felt as if he’d spent weeks leaving crumbs for a bird, only to have it land on a stone wall beside him. It was hell to keep still, to wait for that moment. But then she brushed her fingers down the side of his face and it was sweet heaven. God, he wanted to touch her back. He wanted to grab her to him, to press his body against hers. He wanted that kiss against his lips." 5 comments
02/08/2011
40.0% "Finally!!! I can finally get back to reading. :D"
02/09/2011
85.0% "He was talking, politely, with those around him. But even as he conversed, he scanned the crowd.

When his eyes rested on her, he stopped. He’d been smiling before, in a friendly fashion. But what lit his face when he saw her was more than a smile, more than a grin. It was as if someone had thrown aside the curtains of a sickroom on a glorious morning, to let sunlight spill into every darkened corner.

" 6 comments
02/09/2011
100.0% "Excellent!!!"
11/17/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-36 of 36) (36 new)

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chanceofbooks READ IT!!!!


Dina LOL! Okay, that's a big thumbs-up.


Dinjolina We are so glad for you :DD :wink:


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) She writes beautifully, doesn't she?


Dina Yes, she does. I love her prose. I haven't finished this book yet but I already know I'll be tracking down her backlist when I'm done.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I really loved this book, Dina!


Dina I remember your raving review and the comments that followed it, UM. So good to find out that my high expectations were met this time. :)


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I'm so glad, too!


Rach~The Highlander luverrr Hmmmm i just might read this one .. Dhes will i like it


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Rach~The Highlander luverrr wrote: "Hmmmm i just might read this one .. Dhes will i like it"

I think so... it was pretty hot and had a great story. It's not erotica, but not tame, either.


Isalys I have been scouring the shelves of my B&N for at least 3 weeks looking for this book. They must be flying off before I can get to them *grrr*


message 12: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina They must be, Isalys. This book is that good. :)

Good luck on your hunting!


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Target has it!


Isalys Ooooh, thanks :) Guess I'll just have to stop by Target *oh darn! lol*


message 15: by Rane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rane Wonderful Review Dina! I've had this on my kindle TBR and haven't picked it up yet, your review pushed it up on list!


message 16: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina Thanks, Rane. I'm pretty sure you're going to love it too. :)


message 17: by MelissaB (new) - added it

MelissaB Great review Dina! You sold me on a regency romance, you should be proud.


message 18: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina Thanks, Melissa. I can't believe it! I'm incredibly proud. *puffs out her chest*


message 20: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina Thanks, Danielle. :)


message 21: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Milan (I'm just butting in to say if you can't find my book in B&N, go to the information desk and tell them to order it in. There have been some weird problems with distribution with the book, and some B&Ns actually don't have stock at all. You have to make them solve the problem.

Sorry. I know that's annoying--but that's the way it is.


message 22: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Great review, Dina! I've read Proof by Seduction by this author as well and really enjoyed it. UM is the one that turned me on to this book, but your grade has definitely helped cement my determination to get this book.


message 23: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina Thanks, Catherine. I hope you enjoy it. :) I have Proof by Seduction on my Wish List and I plan to get it as soon as my book buying moratorium is over. Only 4 months and 18 days to go now, but who's counting? ;P


message 24: by Catherine (new)

Catherine LOL! Stay strong!


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I'm having more and more problems getting new releases through B&N. I've been waiting for them to get Blood of the Rose (The Tudor Vampire Chronicles, #2) by Kate Pearce, even though their computers say they have it in store.


message 26: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Great review Dina!


Fani *loves angst* Great review Dina! You've convinced me to add this in my wishlist:)


message 28: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina Thanks, Scully and Fani. :)

Fani, I hope you like it. We need to add more books to the Fani-and-Dina-agree-on-this-book pile, LOL.


Fani *loves angst* lol! Yes, we should. Perhaps we need to add a shelf named like that to our collections:) It would be interesting to see how many books would end up there.


message 30: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina No matter what, we'll always have Devil in Winter. :)


message 31: by Quinn (new) - added it

Quinn Great review, Dina!


message 32: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina Thanks, Quinn. :)


Lisa Kay Great review, Dina! The third one I've read and the one to convince me to get it. Thanks!


message 34: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina Thanks, Lisa Kay! :)


Gisele Great Review! I LOVED this book too! :)


message 36: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina Thanks, Gisele! :) CM is my absolute favorite HR author.


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