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Sunday, August 11, 2013

ARC Review: The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

The Heiress Effect was a delightful read. I thoroughly enjoyed this second full installment in the Brothers Sinister series. Courtney Milan is a very talented writer, combining humor and sentiment, rollicking action and deep discussion, political intrigue and social maneuvering into a cohesive tale.

Jane Fairfield is a very wealthy (100,000 pounds) heiress caught in a difficult dilemma. Her fortune makes her very attractive in the marriage market and her guardian uncle wants to see her married off as soon as possible. But Jane needs to avoid marriage until her younger half-sister reaches her majority and independence. Emily Fairfield has a medical condition that causes her uncle to be overprotective to the point of abuse. Jane juggles the appearance of husband hunting with behavior designed to deflect any potential suitors. Oliver Marshall, bastard son of a duke, can see past Jane’s outrageous clothes and thoughtless speech. He is divided between a scheme to promote his political ambitions and his growing attraction to the wrong woman (Jane). There are many themes in the book (maybe a few too many), but the overriding issues involve self-realization and acceptance.

I liked almost everything about The Heiress Effect. I laughed and cried. I loved Jane’s outrageousness (and the irony of her name being Jane). I loved that Oliver was attracted to her spirit and character in spite of her hideous clothes and plain speech. The rescue-on-a-horse scene was super cute and funny. However, at times I thought that Milan was a tad bit preachy and too political correct. I wanted to know more about Jane’s mother’s affair and how it influenced her becoming such a wealthy heiress. I was hoping that Dr. Grantham might be able to treat Emily (perhaps that will be in an upcoming book). Some of the secondary conflicts (like Emily’s situation) were resolved a little too quickly. But these issues are minor. The Heiress Effect is a terrific book. It can certainly be read as a stand-alone, but it is well worth it to read all of the excellent books in the Brothers Sinister series – The Governess Affair (novella), The Duchess War (#1), and A Kiss for Midwinter (novella). And it’s great to know that there are more to come.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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