Milan, Courtney. The Heiress Effect. [United States]: Courtney Milan, 2013.
eBook | $4.99 (also part of the $9.99 Brothers Sinister Box Set) | 978-1937248154 |280 pages | Victorian Romance
Thus far, Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series can more or less be summed up with the words “consistently brilliant.” Building on the backstory of The Governess Affair and Oliver’s introduction as a supporting character in The Duchess War, The Heiress Effect fleshes him out, adding to what we know about his backstory, who, inspired by his past, wants to become involved in politics to give the common people a voice. The struggle between “ambition vs. love” that was a thread in his father’s story is key to his narrative as well, as he falls for someone completely unsuitable.
I already liked Oliver as seen from Robert’s perspective, but I like him as a character in his own right as well. I like that he wants to make something of himself to make things better for others. And while he does have a bit of short-sightedness, feeling he can’t be with Jane, even telling her so in a somewhat cavalier manner, I felt like he grew to the point of understanding that what she means to him is more important than having an impeccable reputation.
Jane is a wonderful heroine. It was great seeing how she was sure of who she was, and that she actually embraced being a failure in society, to the point of exaggerating it. And when the reason for rejecting convention, her relationship with her sister, whose well-being she fears for in the care of their uncle, I truly admired her.
I also like that Milan managed to balance a secondary romance plot without the book feeling too bulky, or without deviating from the central plot with Oliver and Jane. Emily is such a wonderful character, who is determined to live her life to the fullest in spite of having epilepsy, and I loved the romance she had with Anjan.
And speaking of which…I love Milan’s dedication to adding diversity in her books in a way that is respectful to the various cultures and/or identities she’s writing about. In this case, Anjan is an incredibly well-written character, and it led to me learning something about the real life inspiration for his character as well.
This is a wonderful second full novel in the Brothers Sinister series, and I heartily recommend it to any historical romance fan who hasn’t picked it up yet.
The Heiress Effect: https://amzn.to/3amlCQv
Brothers Sinister Box Set: https://amzn.to/2FZgmEn