I must start with an apology to Courtney Milan. I know she spends months and months writing and editing her books, and then I gobble them up as fast as I can like a savage animal. I tried to savor The Heiress Effect, I really did, but I just couldn’t stop. I guess that’s what rereads are for.
THE PLOT: The heroine, Jane Fairfield, is one of the most original characters to hit romance in a while. She’s deliberately exaggerated her natural tendencies toward inappropriateness to avoid finding a husband. See, she’s an heiress, so many men would overlook a lot to get their hands on that money via marriage. But Jane needs to avoid marriage until her sister comes of age, and she knows her guardian will accept the first marriage offer Jane gets just to be rid of her.
The hero of this story, Oliver Marshall, is the son of the characters from The Governess Affair and the illegitimate half-brother of Robert from The Duchess War. He’s spent a lifetime trying to make up for his birth and become a “somebody.”
MY TWO CENTS: This book started off super-strong. Then there were a few anxious moments where I wondered if momentum had been lost. But it came roaring back at the end with such a finish that I was beyond impressed. Like Ms. Milan’s other novels, this book is about love that helps individuals become their best selves, and not in a preachy or boring way. While other romance authors may be about steamy sex or comedy, I feel like Courtney Milan always gets to the heart of true love. Two separate personalities who only become their best selves by knowing, and loving, each other.
I also want to note that the secondary characters in this book are also multilayered. For instance, from the first few pages, you’d expect Jane’s uncle to be the type to beat defenseless young girls. But actually, his cruelty is well-intentioned. Jane’s sister Emily has an unusual romance of her own. And even seemingly flat characters like Jane’s fake friends, twins Genevieve and Geraldine, evolve.
BOTTOM LINE: This is an above-and-beyond book that I will reread despite my heavy reading schedule, and it also makes me wish that Sebastian and Violet’s book, The Countess Conspiracy, was coming sooner than December. So I could gobble THAT up quickly like a savage animal, despite the work the author pours into it.
TEACUP RATING: If you haven’t guessed by now, this book gets five-plus teacups. Let’s say six out of five.
Note: Reivew is based on a copy provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.