RECOMMENDED: The Duchess War by Courtney Milan is .99c right now. If you like historical romance, you should absolutely try this book. Milan writes smart and emotional historicals, and Carrie S adored this one (Grade: A+):
The Duchess War is lovely – smart, touching, funny, sexy, and dizzyingly romantic. Read it right away – yes, now. Everything on your to-do list can wait, believe me….
This book is all about recognition. Robert is plagued by the fact that not only does he bear his abusive father's name and title, but he looks very much like his father. The resemblance is so strong that people often comment on his being “just like his father”, when in fact he has spent his entire life trying to be as different from his father as possible. Meanwhile Minnie is so desperate to conceal her past that she has almost erased herself from existence, hoping no one will notice her. The theme of recognition and acceptance is laid out again and again throughout the book. It's not subtle, but it is beautiful.
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 wants is his attention.
But that is precisely what she gets.
Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he's up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he's determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…
RECOMMENDED: The Governess Affair is the prequel novella to The Duchess War (above, at .99c). This novella is free right now. (Free, cheezy bread, free!) I loved this novella, and had a lot to say about it when I reviewed it (Grade: B+):
“Well written” does not begin to describe this story. There is no cruise control or autopilot with Courtney Milan's writing. Everything is there for a reason, and she is never dozing at the wheel. Pay attention and your brain is rewarded with the intellectual equivalent of the best baked goods buffet in the universe. There are no meaningless moments that serve only move us to another big scene. Every scene is important, like those giant complicated Lego construction pieces where each piece builds on another and there's no subbing in some random piece to make do. In her work, each word fits perfectly and every piece is important.
Hugo Marshall earned the nickname “the Wolf of Clermont” for his ruthless ambition–a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner's son to the right hand man of a duke. When he's ordered to get rid of a pestering governess by fair means or foul, it's just another day at work.
But after everything Miss Serena Barton has been through at the hands of his employer, she is determined to make him pay. She won't let anyone stop her–not even the man that all of London fears. They might call Hugo Marshall the Wolf of Clermont, but even wolves can be brought to heel…
Every Perfect Love is $1.99 today as a KDD. This is Southern Christian historical romance set in Tennessee, and many readers loved the sweetness and setting – as well as the characters with big secrets.
Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.
Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.
When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She’s equally intrigued but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance.
London's most scandalous beauty, Pandora Effington, intends to marry a hero—not one of those boring, run-of-the-mill bachelor lords who leave her cold. No, the husband she desires must be someone special, someone whose touch sends delicious shivers down her spine, and who will do absolutely everything in his power to win her love.
Someone like . . . Maximillian Wells.
The dashing Earl of Trent cannot believe his ears . . . or his eyes.
Here before him stands beautiful Pandora Effington, and the fiery, unattainable heiress is making him a most tantalizing offer. Maximillian can have the lady's hand in marriage . . . if he agrees to play a game of her devising—one involving great risk, ingenuity, passion, and determination.
It is a game he has no intention of losing . . .