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The Suffragette Scandal (The Brothers Sinister Book 4) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B00LNIR6SW
- Publisher : Courtney Milan (July 15, 2014)
- Publication date : July 15, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 1542 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 322 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 153695554X
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #129,585 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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- Loved both main characters; Free was fantastic, such a wonderful heroine, such an interesting time; Edward was so dark and delicious and I loved how he started to fall under Free's spell and that he totally knew and admitted that it was happening—he was just determined to not let anything come of it, but always a nice change to have the hero not be a dunce about his feelings for the heroine
- The exchanges between them were great, both in terms of dialogue and in terms of chemistry; very sizzling, super lovely.
- Mystery subplot could have used some work, because it didn't make that much sense to me that Edward's brother would be going to such lengths to ruin Free (not spoiling anything); yes, she turned down his offer to be his mistress, but the guy isn't a sociopath (meaning, he isn't written as if he's one; that's not supposed to be the case), so that alone shouldn't drive such intense hatred, and even his opposition to her work and the suffragette movement—that type of reaction and actions just seem way over the top.
- The first half—probably first 2/3rds—of the book were so, so wonderful, but it weakened a bit at the end. Which was very surprising, because they are both such dynamic and lively characters, the connection between them is exciting and interesting, and then ... the subplot kind of disappears into nothing, little anti-climactic, and most annoyingly: Edward kind of loses some of his sparkle and shine. I don't know how exactly to describe it, but he's such a vivid character in the beginning, dark and complicated, vulnerable but hard and remote too, with this playfulness to him (with an edge though). And in the last section of the book, he's kind of a pale imitation of that and I wasn't enjoying him, Free, and their relationship as much. It felt watered down somehow, and especially since I had SO enjoyed the book thus far, it was quite disappointing.
Still a terrific read though (hence the 4 stars), will totally reread, highly recommend, caps off an absolutely fantastic series—but yes, unfortunately had a little something missing at the end that left me not completely satisfied.
Note: have now read all the books in the series (including the 3 novellas spaced throughout), and is definitely one of the best!! Had only good ratings for all of them :-).
This heart-tugging story of two people living in a world into which they do not fit is a an appropriate ending to Milan’s brilliant Brothers Sinister series. Consider this: despite being called the Brothers Sinister, the titles refer to women, and these books are truly about the heroines and the role of women in Victorian society. And in 1877, suffragettes represented the ultimate threat to the status quo.
Frederica “Free” Marshall is the daughter of Hugo and Serena Marshall of The Governess Affair. Her brother Oliver, hero of The Heiress Effect, was educated at Cambridge and is now a member of Parliament. In his story, we saw Free as a precocious youngster who wanted to attend Cambridge and didn’t see why she shouldn’t have just as good an education as her brother. Oh yes, and the right to vote. Fortunately, Girton College came along, and Free got her B.A.
Using a legacy from her namesake great aunt Freddy, Free establishes a newspaper – the Women’s Free Press – By Women, For Women, About Women. Free has made a name for herself as a crusading investigative reporter, exposing abuses against women in factories and hospitals and advocating for their right to vote. She has no illusions of achieving total victory, but she is unwaveringly committed to at least trying. At the suggestion that she could have had a easier life married to a lord, she retorts: "I’ve built something here. It’s a business that is not just for women, but for all women. We print essays from women who work fourteen hours a day in the mines, from prostitutes, from millworkers demanding a woman’s union. Do you think I’d give this up to plan dinner parties?"
Free and her newspaper are, not surprisingly, quite unpopular with certain parts of society, and now some unknown person or persons are on a campaign to destroy the paper. One day, Edward Clark appears in her office offering to help Free fight her nemesis. After coolly announcing that he is a blackmailer, a forger, and a liar, Edward admits that he has his own reasons for desiring revenge against the man responsible for Free’s troubles. He won't divulge who that man is, but Free realizes that she has little choice but to, if not trust him, at least see if he can deliver.
It happens that Free’s adversary is James Delacey, Edward’s younger brother and perpetrator of a cruel betrayal of Edward. For almost seven years, Edward has been assumed to be dead, and James is now on the verge of claiming Edward’s rightful title as Viscount Claridge. Edward does not want the title or any of the responsibilities that go with it, and he had never intended to return to England. James’s vendetta, however, threatens one of Edward’s oldest friends, a young man who writes a column for Free, so Edward proposes to be her ally while keeping virtually all of the details of his life a secret from her.
The story takes the reader through several months of Free and Edward working together, and sometimes apart, to achieve their goals, never completely trusting one another. Along the way, Edward undergoes a remarkable, and unexpected, journey toward the discovery that he is not quite so much of a scoundrel as he had supposed. Gradually, he tells Free more about his life -- how he was exiled by his father, betrayed by his brother and eventually caught in the horrible siege of Strasbourg during the Franco-Prussian War, how he was held captive and tortured, and how he came to perfect the art of forgery. But he never reveals his true identity to Free, even after he marries her, and he knows that this is one deception she will never forgive.
There is so much to know about Edward that I would have to double the length of this review were I to discuss it all. Suffice it to say, then, that Edward is a reluctant, tortured hero unlike any other I have ever read, and I’m half in love with him myself.
Not surprisingly, the other Brothers Sinister and their mates appear as secondary characters, along with Free’s parents. Every book in this series has featured unforgettable characters, and it’s fun to encounter them again.
This review has barely skimmed the surface of Milan’s complex, satisfying story, but I want to say a word about the Brothers Sinister series in general. By polite society's standards, there is something "wrong" with each heroine -- Serena, the ruined governess determined to get justice; Minnie, the chess prodigy and political activist; Lydia, condemned by medical "science" for her sins at the age of fifteen; Jane, a naturally loud, talkative, argumentative woman who chose to make herself more even more undesirable to protect her afflicted little sister; Violet, who hides her scientific acumen knowing that society will not accept her discoveries; and now Free, brash, assertive, and committed, no matter that society disapproves of such unladylike behavior.
In none of these books does the hero come along, sweep the heroine off her feet and rescue her. Instead, these women persevere until they succeed in finding a comfortable mate and place in the world without surrendering their essential being. And the mates that they find are exceptional as well – men willing to accept the women they love for who and what they are. Milan’s talent is so remarkable that she is able to present these stories without every straying into preachiness. In fact, each book is filled with warmth, sensuality and lots of clever humor.
Obviously, I adore romance novels, but Milan's books are really so much more than that. They are not merely historical romance novels. They are history. They are romance. They are excellent novels deserving of wide readership. As I’ve said before, she's playing chess, while everyone else is playing checkers.
Top reviews from other countries
At the start of the 1877 story Frederica gives Edward a card that says "Frederica Marshall B.A." Couldn't be. Girton women were only allowed to attend lectures with the permission of the lecturer and weren't allowed to take the university exams until 1881. Even then, they weren't awarded the BA degree until 1948. The very first (honorary) woman graduate of Cambridge is now better known as Queen Elizabeth II.
The author refers to the track or path from the university. There is no such thing. There is no building you can point at and say "that is Cambridge University" because it comprises very many departments and very many building scattered across the city.
Equally, Stephen is supposed to have a student room at the university. The university is where people work. Students have rooms in their college and the colleges are autonomous, not part of the university.
Getting married under an assumed name? No, it wouldn't be a legitimate marriage as the book says.
Getting married in the evening? No, in that year, marriage wasn't legal except between 8am and 12 noon. Even until recently it was only legal between 8am and 6pm.
I have a toasting fork, about 100 years old. I can make toast on an open fire. But cheese on toast? I can't imagine how it could be done, the cheese would fall off...
Then the story slows right down in places and I get the impression some padding was added (probably at the request of the publisher) to make it the 'right' length for a novel.
Courtney Milan can, and has, done better than this. She needs to take a tourist trip to England, take a good look at the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge colleges, then go home and make some corrections and some necessary cuts to turn this into the kind of story we expect from her.
Wistful. This book made me feel wistful, enchanted and a little bit sad, ladies and gents. It's extremely beautiful, and I think most authors would sell their souls to be able to manipulate words the way Miss Milan does.
However, last two books of Milan I find that I don't feel for her characters the way I used to feel. They are so brilliant on their own they really don't need each other to grow. They are already fully formed and don't require correction or redemption.
Free is an intrepid journalist and an owner of a newspaper "by women for women". She is a strong woman, a suffragette and she fights for what she believes with all her heart.
Edward is a scoundrel by his own definition, but we, readers, don't really see him the way he does. He is a brave, just man, an entrepreneur, a skillful manipulator and a professional forger due to his past, however he is NOT a scoundrel.
When Free and Edwards' paths collide he does everything in his power to help her because he admires her as a woman and as a person. They have amazing banter between them, and it's Edward who almost constantly yields to Free's iron will and expertise. I found that slightly tiring, - that absence of conflict between the main characters, and I also wasn't convinced by the attraction between them. Call me jaded, I know!
Overall, it's a wonderful read, and I really liked it. It just wasn't as powerful as Courtney's other books like, for example, The Heiress Effect.
the writing is charming and light, even when dealing with the depth of the characters...who are extraordinary and yet totally vital and believable...
well researched, passionately delivered and genuinely life saving!