Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Miss Jane Fairfield can't do anything right. When she's in company, she always says the wrong thing--and rather too much of it. No matter how costly they are, her gowns fall on the unfortunate side of fashion. Even her immense dowry can't save her from being an object of derision.

And that's precisely what she wants. She'll do anything, even risk humiliation, if it means she can stay unmarried and keep her sister safe.

Mr. Oliver Marshall has to do everything right. He's the bastard son of a duke, raised in humble circumstances--and he intends to give voice and power to the common people. If he makes one false step, he'll never get the chance to accomplish anything. He doesn't need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn't need to fall in love with her. But there's something about the lovely, courageous Jane that he can't resist...even though it could mean the ruin of them both.

I don't think I've read a historical quite like what Courtney Milan has crafted here with The Heiress Effect. When Jane and Oliver come into each other's lives there is so much malevolence - so many reasons and people determined to not only see each them fail, but be destroyed. It's a strange way to feel about a romance, let me tell you. 

As things slowly change and evolve between the two of them, even when they start to work together to face their enemies, it took a while for me to accept that things might actually work out ok for everyone. The turning point for each character, that moment when they realize their own strength after all that time of feeling helpless, is really moving. I'm used to reading historicals about strong women and the alpha rakes who fall for them, but Jane and Oliver, while strong, are beaten down by life and finding the ability within themselves to overcome that and fall in love? It's really fantastic to read. 

Milan does a great job writing characters who are full of different facets and motives, who are moved to their actions because of a myriad of reasons. It makes Jane and Oliver's HEA that much more satisfying and I've love find out what happens next for The Brothers Sinister.

Overall Feeling - A-

Series - 1) The Duchess War 2) The Heiress Effect 3) The Countess Conspiracy 4) The Mistress Rebellion

*Title requested from NetGalley*