ARC Review: The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

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I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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ARC Review: The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
The Duchess War

4.5 Stars

Book Info

Released: December 8, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Brothers Sinister #1
Pages: 270

“Another winner from Ms. Milan” ~Under the Covers

If there is one thing I’ve come to realize about Courtney Milan’s books is that she has come up with some unique plots for her books.  They are well thought out, researched and executed.  Her writing style flows and keeps you turning the pages effortlessly.

In THE DUCHESS WAR we are introduced to yet another set of unique characters.  From the opening scene to the closing of the book, I couldn’t stop reading.  It consumed any free time I had and I read this in less than 24 hours.  Why?  Because I felt compelled to know more, to find out what happens next.

The Duke of Clermont, Robert Blaisdell, is hiding a secret.  But then again, so is Miss Minnie Pursling because she is not who she says she is.  They come from two completely different backgrounds and lifestyles but they are very similar deep down.  Minnie is trying to hide her past and Robert is trying not to become his.

Robert was a good hero, not great enough to be “claimed” material, but flirtatious, idealistic, strong and determined.  Also he was quite the smooth talker 😉  Very direct in his approach of Minnie.  Maybe it’s just that, as he said, when she was around she couldn’t think and did stupid things.  There were several moments that their banter made me laugh.  But in the end I thought he was a bit naive himself, and I’m not just talking about the fact that he was a virgin.

Minnie, on the other hand, has known the darker side of life.  Humiliation, lack of freedom, she’s lived her life repressed and not able to show the world who she really is, always having to pass by under the radar.  But underneath that there’s a feisty girl that Robert was able to draw out from the very beginning.  Their connection and the way they were able to complement each other was great.

But of course, what good Courtney Milan book doesn’t have a bit of BETRAYAL.  And in this case it comes from both sides.  When she puts one of these obstacles in the way of the story, they are big.  They are the type of betrayals that I don’t know if could be forgivable.  But she manages to make me believe.

And make me cry.  This book brought tears to my eyes in the wee hours of the night.  Towards the end I couldn’t help but keep wiping the tears away so I wouldn’t have to put the book down.  But as it made me cry, it also made me smile.

Smile because Minnie, a virgin herself, had to instruct Robert on what to do the first time they were together.  Smile because Minnie couldn’t help but fall in love with Robert.  Smile because two broken people were able to fix each other.

I can’t say this book was perfect.  I thought the problem resolution at the end was a bit rushed and the Dowager Duchess coming in at the very end and being part of the family as if nothing had happened was a bit farfetched to me.  I think time and some groveling had to happen before that could take place.

Regardless, the storyline and the characters have captured me.  Another winner from Ms. Milan that has me waiting anxiously for the next.

*ARC provided by author

Did you like this review? If so, please tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

About Courtney Milan

Courtney Milan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a marginally-trained dog, and an attack cat. Courtney wishes she could say she has lived in numerous fabulous places. But aside from her husband, there is a distinct lack of fabulousness in her life. Instead, she is happy when standards in the Milan household hover above mediocrity. Her husband attempts not to kill people for a living.[1] In exchange, Courtney attempts not to do the dishes.

Before she started writing historical romance, Courtney experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientificating... Having given up on being able to do any of those things, she's taken to heart the axiom that those who can't do, teach. When she's not reading (lots), writing (lots), or sleeping (not enough), she can be found in the vicinity of a classroom.


1. The astute reader will notice that this sentence can be read as either "Courtney's husband attempts to make his living by means other than offing unsuspecting passersby," or as "Courtney's husband, while making a living, tries not to leave dead bodies in his wake." Luckily, both are true. Although it must be admitted that Mr. Milan has had greater success with the former.

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thanks for the great review! This was on my wishlist already. Gotta bump it up 🙂

Under the Covers Book Blog

Oh I hope you enjoy it as well.

Aly P

I already bought the book for the cover and ‘cuz it has a duke as main character(have a thing for those) and your review makes me pat myself on the back 😀 I will read it soon and I hope it’ll be as good as it was for you.
Thanks for the review

Under the Covers Book Blog

I certainly hope it is as good for you. Robert is not your typical Duke 🙂


Thanks for the review. I’ve always wanted to read one of her books and this might be the one to start with.

Under the Covers Book Blog

I love Courtney’s books. Hope you give them a chance. Really any of them are good.

Maria D.

Thanks for the review – I’ll have to add this to my list

Under the Covers Book Blog


Joanne B

Thanks for the great review. This was already on my wishlist. Cant wait to get it.

Under the Covers Book Blog

Hope you enjoy it as well when you get to read it.

trish dechant

I am such a sucker for a tear jerker–altough you have me quite puzzled about the comment regarding Minne, the big “V” instructing Robert what to do in the bedroom. Why? Hmm…I can almost here you saying, “I’ll guess you have to read it, to find out,”…hehehehehhe…
Great post.

Under the Covers Book Blog

Lets just say she’s taken matters into her own hands a time or two…

BWAHHHHHHHHHHH…mutual masterbation? that’s frickin hot…

Under the Covers Book Blog

I didn’t say anything about mutual.

Lori Meehan

Thanks for the review. Very pretty cover.

Under the Covers Book Blog

I love the cover too! I think it was the first thing that drew my attention to Courtney’s books.

Annette C.

Thanks for the review, love a good historical will have to add this one to my TBR list.


Thanks for the great review Francesca!


I have this series on my wishlist 🙂
And the covers is wonderful! 🙂
Great review Francesca 🙂