Courtney Milan continuously blows my mind when it comes to her books. Blows. It. To. Smithereens! The beauty and genius of her writing is that she pushes the boundaries of the historical romance genre. When you read her books, you know, you just know that there isn’t anything quite like it at all.
What worked for me?
The heroine is Frederica “Free” Marshall, a suffragette who runs her own newspaper with the tagline “written by women, about women, for women”. She’s independent, fierce, courageous and loyal. A few threats and inappropriate propositions would not deter her in doing something for the cause she’s fought so hard to protect and promote.
The hero is Edward Clark, son of an aristocrat who had abandoned him in a war-torn city to be left to fend for himself without any resources. The harsh and traumatic details of that particular time in his past have taught him how to survive even in the most unforgiving circumstances. He never imagined he’d be back in English soil again. But threats to the friends he considers as his brothers more than the one with his same blood got him back to England and heading towards a collision with the spirited Free.
I don’t want to spoil the story too much so I won’t give any more details about the plot. But let me just count the ways why I love this book to bits…
Because of Free… and her indomitable character, her fierce loyalty, her courageous heart. I love her intelligence and wit and the magic in her spirit that does not let her fall into despair or ennui but lets her see the world for its opportunities despite having her eyes open to the realities of life and circumstances.
Because of Edward… and his honor and loyalty even if he convinces himself he has none. I love that he loves and values Free’s intelligence and spirit. He has convinced himself that he lives for himself alone but we all know it isn’t true and it was great watching him realize the same thing.
Because of how talks of punctuations became sexy… when does this even happen?
Because of this amazing story about love and acceptance… now just overcoming from all sides—society, norms, inequality—but coming out triumphant in the midst of all these. And watching Free and Edward fall in love… it was just a wonderful experience.
What did not work for me?
Nothing. I adored this story!
My over-all take on it?
Great characterizations and great story build-up. If you don’t fall in love with Free and Edward, I don’t know who else can make you. This is another keeper from Courtney Milan and has definitely earned a spot in my favorite books of all time shelf.
About the Author:
Courtney Milan’s debut novel was published in 2010. Since then, her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. She’s been a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller, a RITA® finalist and an RT Reviewer’s Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance. Her second book was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010.
Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, a marginally-trained dog, and an attack cat.
Before she started writing historical romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After that, just to shake things up, she went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude. Then she did a handful of clerkships with some really important people who are way too dignified to be named here. She was a law professor for a while. She now writes full-time.
Courtney is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.
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