Every book is a new journey to embark on. I mainly read romances, but I dabble in other genres too.
Brothers Sinister #1
I wasn't blown away by The Duchess War, but it was still a pleasurable read.
The main characters weren't as well rounded as I would have liked, but both Minnie and Robert had distinguishing, realistic flaws.
I was moved by Robert's longing to have a loving family due to his parents neglecting him when he was a child. The part where he reminisces about desiring to be with his half-brother's family touched me deeply.
Robert is also a virgin which I appreciated since male virgins in romances are hard to find. He admits to Minnie at one point that he hasn't been with women and rather finds release with his hand:
"I'm not so desperate for sexual relations as you might imagine. I don't need to wrangle women into my bed to obtain regular release. God gave me a strong left hand, and there have been many nights when I've preferred it to a woman." He wasn't looking in her direction. He couldn't be embarrassed by that admission, could he?
Minnie I didn't favor as much as I did Robert. She is intelligent and is bold in her investigation about the handbills. She has a big scar on the side of her face so she isn't the typical flawless beauty which is cool. But... (I feel mean for saying this) sometimes I found her wimpy, because she's so frightened about her secret past being found out. I understood her fear and the trauma she went through, but I think there was too much time spent illustrating this out. Minnie thinks about it a lot. Her character is strongly built around this.
To be fair this happens to Robert too, A lot of time is spent on showing how Robert had a bad childhood and how he feels bad to be a duke.
The romance was good but not great. The building and telling about the characters' pasts overshadowed it. There was some chemistry between between Robert and Minnie whenever they were together, but I wouldn't saying sparks flew. Maybe a warm glow at best.
The plot was well thought out and had some originality. I liked how it was set in England during the Industrial Revolution and how it focused on laborers and the working conditions.
Here are some quotes I liked. I thought this one was compelling.
And for the first time, Minnie realized that he was too clever by half. She hadn't overmatched him. He'd handed her the key to his downfall...and made it nearly impossible for her to use it.
This next one is funny. You may have seen it before on my feed. It came from my favorite chapter in the book. Sebastian and Violet stole the show with their playful banter.
"Indeed," Violet said. "Don't mind us. We're scarcely even here. And rest assured, if you'd like to talk of secrets, I'll never repeat a one. I'm known for my trustworthiness."
"This is true," Sebastian said. "The countess of Cambury is like a deep, dark hole--secrets go in, but none of them ever come out."
"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."
All in all not a perfect read, but despite all the flaws I had a good time. I definitely liked it better than The Governess Affair so four stars it is.
My Rating: 4 out 5
Source: I bought it.
Goodreads: 3.96 out of 5
Amazon: 4.3 out of 5
#0.5 The Governess Affair review - 3.5 stars