RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Unveiled by Courtney Milan


Title: Unveiled
Author: Courtney Milan
Publication Info: Harlequin 2011
ISBN: 978-0373775439
Genre: Historical: European

Unveiled This review was written by Milena. This story was nominated in the Best Historical Romance category.

The summary:     

Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family—and now the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all.

But instead he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance….

Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who's stolen her fortune and her father's legacy—the man she's been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties—and the tantalizing promise of passion….

And here is Milena's review:

Courtney Milan has become one of my go-to authors when I want historical romance with real people and not just wallpaper dukes and duchesses. I loved the whole Turner series, but I must confess that I loved Unveiled the least. Part of the reason for this certainly lies in the fact that I read the series out of order, so I had already “met” the heroine and hero of Unveiled by the time I came to their origin story.

Of course, knowing that the two will end up together is not really unexpected in a romance novel, just like heroes entering a lab full of radioactive spiders don't surprise us when they emerge endowed with superpowers in the knitting department. However, in the case of Unveiled, the hero, Ash Turner, always seemed just a leetle bit too perfect for my taste. Yes, he has a weakness – and it's a great, unusual and totally unexpected weakness in a romance hero (no, it's not that his manly parts are embarrassingly small – that would be too revolutionary, now, wouldn't it?). But he's as self-sacrificing as a Hollywood dog; he devoted all his life to saving his brothers, yet he's full of guilt for not saving them quickly and thoroughly enough; he's proud yet not unreasonable; and generally so noble that it seems his real parents must have been Mother Theresa and Dalai Lama, caught in some sort of time-warping passion storm.

As such, Ash is a sharp contrast to the heroine's brothers, who are not really bad people in any way that would include twirling moustaches and leering, yet put themselves first and consider their sister to be something of an afterthought, practical to have around but completely forgettable and expendable when things get rough. This is necessary because it makes the ending of the book possible, but unfortunately it also makes the brothers, and the moribund father of the family, more convincing as characters. Not more attractive, mind you – in fact, by the end of the book, I wanted to give them all a good walloping – but they seemed very real. At moments, Ash almost felt like a fantasy the heroine constructed to get away from it all. Others may not feel that way, though (I tend to be rather critical of heroes).

That aside, Unveiled was still wonderfully crafted, and managed to stay interesting all the way through, simply because the resolution – apart from the love story, obviously – could have gone either way. Also, the heroine develops a spine, slowly but certainly, which is very convincingly done and made me smile because it rang so true. There's quite a bit of angst in there, too, the legal complications kept me on the edge of my seat, and the love scenes were lovely, so, all in all, it was a C+/B- for me.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Sarina says:

    “time warping-passion storm!” yes please!

  2. 2
    DesLivres says:

    Milan belongs in the “really bright romance” category as in “really bright author, really bright plots and really bright characters”.

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