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The Duchess War

Friday, April 17, 2020

The Duchess War (2012) Courtney Milan

The Duchess WarSet in England in 1863

Minnie has spent her adolescence learning how to be quiet. Unnoticed. Unexceptional. When she was taken in by her great aunts, she agreed with them this would be the best path for her, but now she has reached the point where she needs to wed–her great aunts won’t live forever, and once Aunt Caro dies she’ll have nothing and nowhere to go.

“Do you know what it is like to be a woman in these modern times? Gentlemen marry less and less these days. I read that thirty-four percent of genteel young ladies reach the age of twenty-seven without marrying. I don’t need anything shameful in my past. Anything outside the ordinary, no matter how harmless it might seem, is a catastrophe.”

Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont believes he has a great deal to repent. His father destroyed many things, but in that destruction gave him one unexpected gift: his half-brother Oliver, who is now Robert’s man-of-business and best friend.

“Our father was an ass.”

Oliver grimaced. “Your father,” he said sharply. “The Duke of Clermont didn’t raise me. He didn’t take me fishing. He’s my sire, not my father. He was never my father.” By that standard, Robert had been raised by teaspoons and blades of grass.

“I wasn’t speaking as a matter of history,” Robert said stiffly. “Just biology.”

Oliver shook his head. “Family isn’t a matter of history. Or biology,” he said softly. “It’s a matter of choice. And don’t look so grim. You know what I meant. Just because I refuse to let that man be my father doesn’t mean you can’t be my brother.”

And we get a teeny tiny bit of Sebastian and Violet.

“I knew perfectly well what you meant,” Sebastian said. “But I’ve always found that the quickest way to make someone relent in his foolish edicts is to take every command literally and to perform it with flagrant obedience.”

“Sebastian,” Violet replied, calmly looping the yarn about one of her needles, “it is neither proper nor respectful to let a woman know that you think of her as nothing more than a hole.”

And Lydia.

“I don’t like to remember, and he makes me remember. Every time I laugh, he looks at me, judging me for my frivolity. I can’t stand being around him.”

“I had no notion,” Minnie said, moving over to sit beside her friend.

“I work so hard for my frivolity.” Lydia’s hands were shaking. “How dare he judge me for it!”

It’s not like I don’t like Minnie and Robert. It’s just that I love Sebastian and Violet, and I adore Lydia.

The door rattled once, then again. A few moments later, after some more extremely loud fumbling with the handle, Lydia opened the door. She came in carrying a pitcher of water.

“That,” Minnie said, “must be water fetched all the way from Bath. Did you walk there yourself or take the train?”

All of which is really unfair to Robert and Minnie. Robert is is invested in being the opposite of his father, and in become a good man. Minnie is smart and witty and has to hide all of that to survive.

It’s a good story, and I enjoyed re-reading it. But really, it was so I could go on and re-read the other books I adore.
Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Re-Read, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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