Posts Tagged ‘Turner Brothers’



Smite Turner is renowned for his single-minded devotion to his duty as a magistrate. But behind his relentless focus lies not only a determination to do what is right, but the haunting secrets of his past—secrets that he is determined to hide, even if it means keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Until the day an irresistible woman shows up as a witness in his courtroom…

Miranda Darling isn’t in trouble…yet. But she’s close enough that when Turner threatens her with imprisonment if she puts one foot wrong, she knows she should run in the other direction. And yet no matter how forbidding the man seems on the outside, she can’t bring herself to leave. Instead, when he tries to push her away, she pushes right back—straight through his famous self-control, and into the heart of the passion that he has long hidden away…


I can’t believe that I only discovered Courtney Milan last year, but I’m so glad I did. It’s no wonder she’s become one of my favourite authors. Her stories are original and beautifully crafted, her characters are unique and compelling and her writing is so emotional, evocative and sensual.

There was just enough of Smite in the previous books to intrigue me and I’ve been anticipating reading Unraveled ever since.

The hero, emotionally scarred by past childhood events, is common enough in the world of Historical Romance but Ms Milan succeeds in creating one of most fascinating heroes I’ve ever come across. She gradually developed Smite’s character through his actions, his interactions with others and the insight into his thoughts and feelings. I loved Smite with his flaws and idiosyncrasies (especially his ‘Sentimentality Quota’). I was so pleased that he stayed true to his character throughout. He could never truly be free of those terrible childhood experiences because they are part of who he is; they are what spurred him to become a magistrate. He even regards his nightmares in a positive light:

They were more like a call to arms. They were a reminder of what had transpired. Of what it meant for him to do his job, to listen to those who came before him. Of what might happen if he turned a blind eye.

I like Miranda because she’s a realist and does what she has to survive in the slums of Bristol. I don’t have a problem with her decision to become Smite’s mistress. She’s attracted to him and it means an apprenticeship for Robbie and future security for herself. She’s also strong, witty, determined and independent and just the perfect heroine for Smite. She really cares about him and is willing to accept him flaws and all.

I was so happy to see Smite finally reconciled with Ash and settle his grievances with Richard Dalrymple. The scene with Ash was so, so heart-rending but finally they were both able to reveal what was truly in their hearts.

The mystery element of the story had lots of twists and turns. I didn’t guess the identity of the Patron and I liked the way Ms Milan painted that character in shades of grey rather than black and white.  The final confrontation scene in the docks certainly held some surprises.

Here are a few of my favourite quotes:

“Ghost. Do listen. In event that I need a squirrel brought to justice, I will go to you first. Until then…” He adopted his harshest tone. “Behave in my absence, or you will pay the consequences when I return.”

She reached to touch his cheek, and he grabbed her hand.
“I said, I’m perfectly well.”

But he wasn’t. A flutter of…of something passed through him. Something barely recognizable.

Her pulse beat, and an unexpected thrill ran through her at the sight of him. The sensation spilled through her body in little shocks, like a harpist strumming out an arpeggio against her ribs.

She was… God, there were no words for her. She warmed up his dark room.

There was nothing easy about Turner. He’d fashioned himself into one hard edge. He was all blade and no handle. If she held him close, she’d risk being cut.

“…The truth is simply this: you can find a better man than I. God knows you wouldn’t have to look very hard. But I don’t believe you can find one who loves you more.”




Read December 2012

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A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormenter is up to his old tricks, and she’s his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wallflowers can fight back.

Evan has come to regret his cruel, callow past. At first, he only wants to make up for past wrongs. But when Elaine throws his initial apology in his face, he finds himself wanting more. And this time, what torments him might be love…


AMAZING – that’s the first word that came to mind after I’d finished reading Unlocked. Even within the constraints of the novella, Ms Milan‘s story is original, deeply emotional and profoundly moving. I have certainly never come across the theme of bullying in a historical romance before. I am sure that Ms Milan must have done a lot of research to convey with such realism not only the emotional effects of verbal abuse but also the motivations of the abuser as well.

I loved Evan because Ms Milan made me truly believe that he had matured from the selfish swine who thought nothing of ruining a girl’s prospects simply because it would make him popular and make others laugh into a man who showed genuine remorse for his actions. He proved over and over again through both his words and his actions that he would do anything to win Elaine’s trust, friendship and ultimately her love.

He would have ridden to hell and back for the look on Elaine’s face – that brilliant, incandescent happiness, one that could not be smothered.
He felt the joy so keenly it almost hurt.

I found it was so easy to relate to Elaine and feel how much she was hurt and humiliated by the constant cruel barbs. I so admired her courage in facing her tormentors with defiance and how fiercely she protected her mother. Sometimes Elaine’s strength fails her and the tears flow but it only makes her more human. I sighed at that wonderful scene when she finally comes into her own.

This was who she could be. For years she’d had one purpose at gatherings like this: to make everyone look away from her.
Tonight she wanted them to look at her

I loved this novella so much that I immediately purchased all the other books in this series!



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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….


I was totally captivated by Unveiled. It is original, beautifully written, with finely crafted characters and a tender love story.

How I imagined Parford House, Somerset

He wasn’t supposed to be handsome. He wasn’t supposed to be human. He wasn’t supposed to have any good qualities at all.

Ash totally captured my heart with his charm, kindness and sincerity. I love his innate ability to understand people and make them feel special. This scene with Mrs Benedict, the housekeeper, is one of my favourites.

”Go on with you!” Mrs Benedict wagged a finger at him, as if he were a wayward child. “I’m fifty-five, if I’m a day, and I’ve watched every last hair on my head turn gray.”
Ash frowned at her and peered at the unruly curls peeking out of from under her cap. “Silver,” he said. “Like moonlight, I think.”
She burst into laughter then, and Ash knew he’d won. It wasn’t flirtation – no sense of awareness had passed between him and the housekeeper. It was something sweeter and friendlier. He’d seen her as a person, rather than a servant, and she knew it.

A self-made man, Ash has worked hard for his wealth and there’s no mistaking his aura of strength and confidence. But no-one knows his deepest secret, not even his brothers. Seeing this vulnerable side to him made me adore him even more.

I can even forgive him for inadvertently hurting Margaret in his desire for revenge simply because…

He thought she was magnificent and he meant it – really meant it – beyond all possibility of fabrication

He’d robbed her of her name, her dowry, her everything.

I adore Margaret. Despite have her life turned upside down, being declared a bastard and being shunned by her friends, she still retains her dignity and an inner strength. I admire her fierce loyalty to her family although they certainly don’t deserve it.

How do you choose between your family and the man you love? I really felt for Margaret having such a terrible dilemma.

She walked through the gallery, the sunset painting the walls variegated shades- not dark, not light – but a dizzying blend of the two, echoing the muddle in her mind.

I love how ultimately she is able to take charge of her life on her own terms.

Ms Milan develops the romance between Ash and Margaret in a believable and completely satisfying way. Even though I knew they would have a happy ending, there are still bitter-sweet moments when the obstacles in their path seem so insurmountable. I love how unpredictable Ash is. When I thought I knew how he would react to a certain situation, he would totally surprise me. Never more so than when he discovers Margaret’s true identity. The love scenes fit the mood of the story perfectly. They aren’t particularly explicit, but written with such skill that they’re still sensual. I loved the ending which seemed the perfect conclusion to such a wonderful story.

I am really intrigued by Ash’s brothers, Mark and Smite, and I’m hoping their own books will throw light on what happened whilst they were living on the streets of Bristol.



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Her only hope for survival…

Handsome, wealthy and respected, Sir Mark Turner is the most sought-after bachelor in all of London—and he’s known far and wide for his irreproachable character. But behind his virtuous reputation lies a passionate nature he keeps carefully in check…until he meets the beautiful Jessica Farleigh, the woman he’s waited for all his life.

Is to ruin the man she loves…

But Jessica is a courtesan, not the genteel lady Sir Mark believes. Desperate to be free of a life she despises, she seizes her chance when Mark’s enemies make her an offer she can’t refuse: seduce Mark and tarnish his good name, and a princely sum will be hers. Yet as she comes to know the man she’s sworn to destroy, Jessica will be forced to choose between the future she needs …and the love she knows is impossible.


There are so many outstanding reviews of Unclaimed that it’s very difficult to think of something truly original to say. So I’m adopting the old adage – ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

This perfectly sums up my feelings about the book and Courtney Milan is definitely one of the foremost writers of Historical Romance today.

I can’t wait to read Smite’s story in Unraveled. Such an intriguing character!



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