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Unraveled (Courtney Milan, Turner #3)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is a satisfying end to a very, very well done series (perhaps one of my all-time favorites). The setup is probably my least favorite, but (as usual for Milan) the characters are just so richly drawn that you’re just engrossed in the book before you know it. Here, we have a dedicated magistrate who’s got a very, very traumatic past. He trusts almost no one, and prefers solitude (and in some ways, he prefers suffering). He falls for our heroine because she doesn’t pity or fuss over him, but rather, makes him feel calmer, more centered. Though the initial “falling” happens quickly, the relationship that develops between these two is very satisfying, and there are some nice cameos from earlier characters to make this feel like a well done finale (as opposed to just a solid standalone).

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Unveiled (Courtney Milan, Turner #1)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
So this 5 out of 5 star review is less shiny than my review for Unclaimed (which I thought was close to perfect), but having said that, this is just wonderful. You’ve got a simply fabulous male hero, one who is charming, loyal, and street smart with just a hint of insecurity in a way that makes him feel both layered and believable. He’s the type of character who makes you sigh, because you’re half in love with him by the end of the book. And, as a match, you’ve got a slight spin on the managing spinster, in that she was once one of those boring debutantes… before she was bastardized by legal machinations. I’ve been told that the legal/history part of this book isn’t accurate (it’s a major plot point, though it doesn’t really matter other than as a large McGuffin), but I can’t really confirm or deny that, and it didn’t really detract from what I thought was truly a very well done historical romance.

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Unlocked (Courtney Milan, Turner Novella)

2 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Milan is a talented writer… but the main problem here is twofold. One, because it’s a novella, the characters and plotlines all feel really underdeveloped. You have glimpses of characters that could be really interesting, and the start of a plot that could be good… but no more. Two, because it’s one of those they’ve-known-each-other-for-years pairings, the action of “falling in love” (at least for the hero) happens outside of (specifically before) the book, which means that we’re seeing more the aftermath of things than the core action in many ways. I’d skip this one and go straight to Milan’s full-length work Unclaimed, which was fantastic.

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Unclaimed (Courtney Milan, Turner #2)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Undoubtedly one of the best historical romances I’ve read in a long time. I found the premise a little hard to come around to: a courtesan looking to get out of the business takes a contract to seduce and defame a famous male virgin. But… the writing is so good: crisp, clear, and almost lyrical at times, and the characters are drawn so clearly that you can’t help but be drawn in. If I had to nitpick (which I am wont to do), parts of the climax might have been a tiny bit slow, and also, there are times when the pacing meanders a tiny bit… but still! Overall, this is really, by far, one of the best historical romances I’ve read in a long, long time — I recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in this genre as a wonderful example of historical romance.

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