Monday, July 22, 2013

The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister #2) by Courtney Milan + Featured Freebie

The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)
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.

My Rating: 3.5 Roses

I'm not sure what to say about this book. I liked it for the most part. But, I had some trouble connecting with a certain character. And that was disappointing, considering how much I like Courtney Milan's other books. However, overall, The Heiress Effect was a nice read and a lovely romance.

Normally, I'd start discussing the heroine first, but this time, I'll start with Oliver.

I really liked Oliver. He was a great hero, one with more depth than usual. You see, he has a dilemma. He is full of deep seated ambition that stems from his treatment at the hands of young lords who bully him for his birth as a bastard. He wants nothing more than to one day have to power to prove them all wrong. On the other, his parents raised him to be a moral man who does the right thing. And caught in the middle of that is Jane. Despite his temptation to do something wrong in the name of good, he still was a genuinely good man. It was interesting seeing his moral dilemma play out. I thought he was a wonderful hero. Very sweet, determined to succeed, and intent on always doing the right thing. He was the epitome of hot nerd. And I love me a hot nerd.

Jane was the weak point for this book. I liked her dedication to protecting her sister. I thought her outrageous behavior was hilarious. But, for some reason I couldn't connect with her. I didn't dislike her, but I didn't get engaged enough in her character to actually like her. For one thing, there were much easier ways to protect her sister. She is filthy rich. Why not spirit her sister away and live in a house far away from her uncle? It just didn't quite click for me. And, I didn't like how she turned her back to Oliver at one point in the book. Especially because she stigmatized him for something he did in the past that she assured him he had no blame for earlier in the book. And what was so wrong about wanting to teach her social graces? She was upset about not having that knowledge and told Oliver about that earlier in the book. But, when he said that he would have someone teach her social graces when she married him, she got upset. I don't know, it just didn't sit well with me. She wasn't a constant character. She went back and forth too much. Again, I didn't dislike her. But, I just couldn't connect with her.  

The romance was okay. There were definitely some steamy moments between Jane and Oliver. The sweetness was a little inhibited for me because of my issue with Jane. But, it was still there in how both of them understood each other better than anyone else.

I liked the parallel love story with Emily, Jane's sister, and Anjan. It was really sweet and gave a little extra romance to the book.

I liked that Ms. Milan didn't make Jane's uncle a caricature of the evil antagonist who abuses his nieces. He wasn't an entirely bad person, just disinclined to like Jane because of her parentage and entirely misguided on how to care for Emily. This is what I really like about Courtney Milan. She's very good at creating complex characters rather than flat cliches.

The plot was fast paced and I was kept interested the entire way through. Despite my problem with Jane, I still enjoyed the story. And the ending was completely perfect.

The Heiress Effect wasn't a perfect read for me, but I still enjoyed it. Because Courtney Milan is a favorite author of mine, I would still recommend any of her books, including this one. Despite any issues I had, it was a nice read.

*Thanks to Netgalley and Courtney Milan for a copy!
Featured Freebie:
Today, I have a historical romance that sounds really good: The Virgin's Auction by Amelia Hart. Go forth and get it for free!

Melissa did not want to take this path, but she must have money to rescue herself and her brother from that fiend. She is all out of choices. She must auction the one asset she has: her innocent body. 

It's a terrible fate but she will face it bravely. On the night of the auction, fate will be kind and give her the chance of redemption in the arms of a sensual rogue. But will she honor the contract and forge bright chains of desire that will bind them together?

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