Rating: B        Romance: 4/5          Raunch: 3/5

Redonk Nutshell: Two unlikely people hiding in plain sight fall in love

I always enjoy whatever Courtney Milan has to offer up, and The Heiress Effect was no different. That said, I had a hard time finding my words in describing this installment into her Brothers Sinister series. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t one of my favorite. Why, you ask? Well, I suppose it left me wanting in a certain “swoon” way. Yet, this is in no fault of the author’s. No. It actually is because of the brilliant way these characters are written. These two are not swooners by any stretch of the imagination. They think WAAAAY too much. It’s in their nature. So, these two very cautiously traipse around each other in a way that is very atypical in a historical romance, which makes for a very unique read.

Our two leads are at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet have basically the same idea in mind. Bide their time to stay out of the lime light to ultimately get their end goal. Jane Fairfield has a ridiculous inheritance that draws the attention of everyone in the ton. She has no desire for it, though, and she works to make herself the anti-belle of the ball without outright ostracizing herself. She takes things just a bit…too…far, but not far enough to truly get herself in hot water. It’s a brilliant, yet exhausting, game she plays in order to bide her time until she comes of age. It’s a move to protect her sister, the two of them under her uncle’s less-than-stellar care until she turns 21 OR gets married. Thus, why she’s trying to turn away all potential suitors and money seekers.

Then there’s Oliver Marshall. He’s the bastard son of a duke and has worked his butt off to work his way up through the ugly taunts and dismissals of the ton. He’s a barrister, and he’s hoping to weasel his way into the good graces of the lords with votes in order to make a change in parliament. He’s whip sharp smart, despite playing a quiet man that keeps to himself, and he also bides his time putting up with men he can barely stand in order to turn the tables in his favor.

These two meet when a lord asks Oliver to put Jane in her place in exchange for his vote, to more or less shame her and finally put the nail in the coffin that is pain-in-the-arse-yet-harmless-Jane. Oliver truly does have moral standards, so when he’s presented with this dilemma he takes awhile to consider it, going so far to bring Jane in on it. Jane is far from a ninny, though she plays the part brilliantly, and when these two, who are equally matched in the outmaneuvering department, come head to head, it makes for some seriously interesting moves.

Not your typical historical romance, here, folks. There is flirtation, but it’s slow to burn (and burn it does). I very much enjoyed this tale and look forward to the next in the series.

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

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