A Kiss for Midwinter (Courtney Milan)

A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella in the Brothers Sinister series by Courtney Milan (set between the first and second novel).
Finished on: 15.7.2021
[Here are my reviews of the other Brothers Sinister books.]

Plot:
Lydia Charingford has left her past far behind her with the help of her family and her best friend Minnie. The only person who still reminds her of that most difficult time and who still could ruin her, is Doctor Jonas Grantham. Despite knowing about her past, Jonas has no such inclination, though – he would much rather win Lydia over for himself. If only she’d give him half a chance to do so. When he sees an opening to spend more time with her, he proposes a wager – and Lydia accepts.

A Kiss for Midwinter is a sweet read that explores its characters’ vulnerabilities in a really wonderful way, but the romance didn’t quite get off the ground for me in this one. I still enjoyed it, but it didn’t make me squee as it should have.

The book cover showing a dark-haired woman in a white 19th century dress with mistletoe in her hair.
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The Duchess War (Courtney Milan)

The Duchess War is the first novel in the Brothers Sinister series by Courtney Milan.
Finished on: 23.5.2021
[Here’s my review of the prequel novella.]

Plot:
Minnie has perfected the art of going unnoticed. After a scandal forced her to change her name, she had no other choice. Now all she needs is a husband to find some security in her life. Impoverished and with her secret, she doesn’t have much choice. That is why she really can’t have it that none other than the Duke of Clermont, Robert Blaisdell, seems to actually notice her. His curiosity about her is a threat, and Minnie is determined to uncover his secrets first to protect herself. This decision leads both of them down unexpected paths.

The Duchess War is a really sweet book with wonderful protagonists and a good plot that makes good use of the period it is set in. More importantly, it’s easy to root for Millie and Robert and to enjoy their falling in love.

The book cover showing a woman from behind, in a red dress with a huge skirt. She has flowers in her hair.
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The Governess Affair (Courtney Milan)

The Governess Affair is a prequel novella of the Brothers Sinister series by Courtney Milan.
Finished on: 28.3.2021

Content Note: rape

Plot:
Three months ago, Serena Barton was kicked out from her position as a governess in the Duke of Clermont’s household. But she is unwilling to let that dismissal stand. She seeks reparations from the Duke. The Duke asked is right-hand man Hugo Marshall, nicknamed the Wolf of Clermont for his bargaining techniques, to make sure that Serena goes away without a fuss. But Hugo finds that Serena is a tougher opponent than he suspected at first.

The Governess Affair is a sweet story that had me smiling, and also fanning myself. I really enjoyed it and would have liked it to be longer.

The book cover showing a woman in a yellow ball gown.
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The Year of the Crocodile (Courtney Milan)

The Year of the Crocodile is a novella/short story in the Cyclone series by Courtney Milan.
Finished on: 21.12.2020
[Here are my reviews of the rest of the series.]

Plot:
Tina and Blake have been dating for almost a year and Tina is excited to bring Blake home for Chinese New Year. Blake has been suggesting that Tina’s parents should also meet Blake’s father Adam, but Tina is afraid of that encounter. Her parents Hong Mei and Jian had to flee China for political reasons and don’t let anybody push them around. And Adam Reynolds, CEO of Cyclone Industries, is a pusher if ever there was one. But when Adam gets wind of it all, he decides to take matters in his own hands – as per usual. It will be an explosive New Year indeed.

The Year of the Crocodile is an absolute blast (no pun intended) (okay, pun slightly intended). It is funny and emotional and a sweet intermediate course in the series.

The book cover showing a blond, white man hugging an Asian woman from behind. She is turned to look back at him.
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Hold Me (Courtney Milan)

Hold Me is the second novel in the Cyclone series by Courtney Milan.
Finished on: 27.9.2020
[Here’s my review of the first novel.]

Plot:
Maria runs a blog where she runs through various (post-)apocalyptic visions – all with an eye on the science. But she has always been careful to guard her anonymity, even with the one commenter she has been exchanging messages with for over a year. When Maria’s brother comes back to the city, he introduces her to his colleague from university Jay, thinking that they would get along. But rarely has there ever been a more instant dislike than between Jay and Maria. The thing is, though, that unbeknownst to them, Jay is Maria’s commenter and if they’d only let themselves, they’d probably like each other a whole lot.

Hold Me is a wonderful romance novel. I practically devoured it, although the whole enemies-to-lovers thing isn’t usually my preferred trope. Well, what can I say, it absolutely is when it is executed as well as it is here.

The book cover showing an Asian man with a tattooed arm and an open shirt hugging a latina from behind.
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Trade Me (Courtney Milan)

Trade Me is the first novel in the Cyclone series by Courtney Milan.
Finished on: 06.06.2020

Plot:
Tina Chen just wants to get her degree, so she can support her family properly and never have to worry about money again. Unfortunately, Blake Reynolds is also in her class, billionaire son of Cyclone Technologies. And when he makes some comments about being poor that drip with his privilege, Tina just can’t stick to her usual routine of keeping her head down. She calls him out and tells him that he couldn’t survive a month in her life. To her surprise, Blake approaches her later and proposes just such a change: he will live in her shoes for a while and she in his. It is too good an opportunity for Tina to make some extra money to pass it up, but it soon turns out that trading lives without getting close to each other is impossible.

After the entire thing with Milan and the RWA, I wanted to show my support for her by buying one of her books, and since I’m not much into historical romance, there weren’t that many options for me from her works. So I picked up Trade Me although I had my concerns about the premise. Would this turn into a “poor rich people have it hard, too” thing? I am glad to say that my concerns were completely unnecessary – Trade Me knows what it’s about politically, it’s a fun read and I very much liked Tina and Blake.

The book cover showing a white, blond man embracing an Asian woman.
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