The Duchess War - Courtney Milan What an original, soothing read! [b:The Duchess War|13489919|The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)|Courtney Milan||19028791] 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 [b:The Duchess War|13489919|The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)|Courtney Milan||19028791] 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 reconstructed her life by the help of her great-aunts and through sheer determination. Her willpower is absolutely remarkable, and the many facets of her enigmatic personality are revealed little by little as the story progresses. While I can't say I love her, I certainly came to admire her for her resilience.

Robert was simply adorable. I love how Minnie outsmarted him at every turn but he was so obviously better with emotions and completely devoted to her. There was a lot more to this book than just the romance however, and I loved reading about the workers' movement in England at the time.

The ending was practical and prefect, something that's tough to come across in historicals featuring dukes and duchesses and happily ever afters. Though a bit on the serious side, I highly recommend [b:The Duchess War|13489919|The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)|Courtney Milan||19028791] to anyone looking for a refreshingly different HR.

Favorite passage:
“You see, there’s this woman. [...] Normally, one might say that there was a beautiful woman—but I don’t think she qualifies as a classical beauty. Still, I find that when she’s around, I’d rather look at her than anyone else. [...] There’s something about her that draws my eye. Something that defies words. Maybe it’s her hair, but I tried to tell her that, and she told me I was being ridiculous. I suppose I was. Maybe it’s her lips. Maybe it’s her eyes, although she so rarely looks at me. [...] She’s clever. Every time I see her I discover that I’ve underestimated her prowess. She ties me in knots.
[...] So beat me to flinders. Win. Overmatch me, Minnie. And when we’re alone…”
His fingers touched her chin lightly. “When we’re alone,” he whispered, “look up.”

*Buddy read with Aly. You can read her review here.*

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