I've read so many books in the last couple of weeks, but I was away and then I was busy being back, and now I have a backlog and I'm terrible at blogging a backlog (and also at saying that five times fast, but that is neither here nor there).
So this week is all mini-opinions! I'll start with a book that I'm so far behind on I cannot possibly be introducing you to it: The Duchess War, by Courtney Milan, book one of her Brothers Sinister series. I have no idea how it took me so long to get to this book, after all the hit-or-miss searches for romance novels with plots that were not based on pointless secrets and lies. So many people told me this was the book I was looking for, and yet it took me literally years to get here.
Minnie is trying to land a husband before her secret past comes out; it's the only way to secure her future. Robert is a duke who's secretly printing handbills urging the workers to rise up against their masters. When Minnie is accused of writing the handbills, she's afraid that the investigation will reveal her true past, which is one of those things that's only shameful in a Regency novel, but okay, strict society, whatevs.
So when Minnie figures out that it's Robert, she does the reasonable thing: confronts him. And he is equally reasonable in admitting that he did it, and so they are playing a game of chicken with the rage of the aristocracy as a threat. And they fall in love (obvs). And they treat each other with respect, except when they don't, in which case they get mad and argue and forgive each other. And sometimes he doesn't listen, and there are consequences to that, and he realizes it, and apologizes, and then listens. And when she decides that it can't possible work, she also comes to her senses, through logic and rational thinking.
God this was good. I think my favorite thing about it was how Minnie learned how much she had contorted herself to make herself invisible, and how, as soon as someone saw the real her, she realized she couldn't go back to hiding. That feeling that you should be something other than yourself, and the simultaneous realization of how impossible that is, is so beautifully communicated.
And Robert's friends! And Minnie's friend! So many friends! This book was sweet.
Now I just need to NOT wait another handful of years before I read Trade Me as everyone has been (again) telling me I should. Courtney Milan = yes, please. Even if the guy seems like a jerk on page 1.
(Also, poll: should I wait till winter to read the Brothers Sinister novella A Kiss for Midwinter? Minnie's BFF is sweet and I kind of want more. What's your take on reading holiday themed books in summertime?)