Slow to Start: Unveiled by Courtney Milan

Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family – and now the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But instead he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance….

Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy – the man she’s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties – and the tantalizing promise of passion….

Source: GoodReads

I have mixed feelings about this book, it started out really slow but once I got into it I really couldn’t put it down.  It had a lot of good things going for it.

After this book, there’s no doubt that I’m a fan of Courtney Milan’s historical romances.  She manages to side step many of my pet peeves when it comes to romance novels-i.e there are no jerky heroes and the main characters are realistic women.  However, there were a few times I was like “come on”.

Grant it, that might be a common reaction to the genre.  A lot of the scenarios you see in historical romances are unrealistic but that’s just part of  the genre.

Unveiled has a lot of tropes that I am a fan of: secret heirs, hidden identities, horrible families (yes, I like the horrible family trope), brotherly love, and  dark deep secrets.  The thing is, often these tropes can seem soap-ish, BUT Milan always makes it appear relatively realistic.  The characters are always dead on in how they should be acting emotionally.  And while there is romance and fluff, underlying issues of the period are highlighted too.

Unveiled touches on several issues such as mental illness, illiteracy, inheritance rights, and the treatment of the classes.  It’s not done in a heavy handed lesson of the week type of way either.  The issues flow within the story.  The lack of care for the mentally ill effects several of the characters motivations.  Class issues effect the way characters understand and interact with each other.

This all in all, is a good book.  But damn, it was slow in the beginning.

While I was able to read this novel rather quickly-a good chunk on an hour long plane ride and one night at home-it took awhile for me to really get into it.  There’s a lot of set up that as to take place for the novel to get going, and while it worked in a lot of ways.  I didn’t totally buy Margret and Ash as a couple.  I think because in a way the attraction seemed almost too fast-at least when it came to one party.

Not that I ended up really minding it at the end.  These two had some cute scenes together, but the initial attraction seemed a little forced.

Overall, Unveiled is a cute read with a few issues.  However, not the typical issues you would see in a historical romance.

Overall Rating: A solid B.  Maybe borderline B+.

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