Review: The Suffragette Scandal Courtney Milan

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Title: The Suffragette Scandal
Author: Courtney Milan
Genre: romance, historical fiction
Series: The Brothers Sinister #4
Pages: 281
Published: July 15, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5

An idealistic suffragette...

Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope...but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

...a jaded scoundrel...

Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She's only a pawn to use in his revenge.

...and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it's too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past...and once the woman he loves realizes how much he's lied to her, he'll lose her forever.

Reviewed by Danielle

"A paper written by women, for women, and about women obviously NEEDS a man to speak on its behalf. If it is a joke for men to speak on behalf of women, then our country, our laws, and our customs must all be jokes, too."

I see what you’re doing with this book, Courtney, and I approve.

The Brothers Sinister series has played a lot with what a romance heroine is. She's a survivor, a prodigy, an individual, a scientist, a feminist. She's more than a love interest. She's a fully realized character. These tenets have come to a raging boil with Free, out titular suffragette. Through her character, Ms. Milan has a lot to say on women's rights in Victorian England and their parallels to modern struggles. It's not your typical bodice ripping fare, and that's why it's so special.

I adore that Free’s able to be open and sexual and throw Edward off his game. Their relationship felt wholly unique. I loved both characters individually and together. At first, their romance is overshadowed by the plot against Free, but as the book progresses and both characters soften, there’s a really interesting part where they’re separated and writing letters, (including Edward’s infamous puppy letter that melted me into goo,) that tied back into Free’s parent’s romance from the prequel novella. It’s a little thing that I didn’t connect initially, but it fleshed out the world and reminded me how much I’m going to miss these characters.

It’s not a perfect book. The villain’s motivations felt thin and I don’t think a lord can just decide he doesn’t want to pay attention to his tenants anymore. Still, this is also the book that gives us TWO beta romances featuring queer characters. That’s something I’ll forgive a lot for. It’s smart, well written, and sexy. I know there’s a coda to the series still coming, but with the epilogue, I’m happy to bid the Brothers Sinister farewell.

1 comment:

  1. This series, though. <333

    Totally what you said with in the first paragraph of the Suffragette review. Milan doesn't allow the fact that she's writing romance hinder her from creating strong women characters that defy stereotypes and social norms. I wish more romance authors would follow her example, honestly.

    I haven't read Talk Sweetly To Me, but it's coming up soon!

    Also, very interesting thoughts on Milan/Harlequin. I mean, definitely, Harlequin wouldn't be publishing the Brothers Sinister anyway, but was that the reason she left? I should go investigate this!


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