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Unveiled by Courtney Milan REVIEW

Unveiled by Courtney Milan (Turner #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
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 tantalising promise of passion….

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK

* * *

This book is simply amazing.

I've been reading HR since I was 13 years old, and this genre has its own the good, the bad and the ugly. Emphasis on the last two. But there are rare gems which destroy all the usual cliche and rise above it all. Unveiled is a book like that.

First of all, Courtney Milan doesn't play by the rules.

I was reading the book and unwillingly drew parallels with Amanda Quick's Scandal. Both men are ruthless businessmen absolutely bent on revenge, however Amanda's Blade gets the woman and then softens and changes because she believes in him; Milan's Ash wants the woman and because she can't accept him the way he is, he changes first - there is a huge huge difference between them.

Ash is fascinating. He grew up literally on the streets and left the country at 14 to make a fortune and provide for his brothers. He is a severe dyslexic to the point of not being able to read at all, but he managed to build an empire because he can read people and judge their abilities really well.

Margaret is not your usual simpering miss, she's got balls of steel, but she doesn't know her own strength until Ash tells her that she matters, she is important. Everything he says to her is empowering her and sets her free, and it's really really wonderful...

“You’ve tugged on your bonnet strings five times in this conversation already. Why wear one, if it’s so uncomfortable? Have you any reason for it, other than that it is what everyone else does?”
“I brown terribly in the sunlight. I’ll develop freckles.”
“Oh, no. That sounds awful.” He spoke with exaggerated solicitude, but he leaned down from his horse until his nose was a bare foot from hers. “Freckles. And what do those dastardly spots portend? Are freckled people thrown in prison? Pilloried? Covered in tar and sprinkled with tiny little down feathers?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
He moved his hand in a lazy circle, ending with it stretched towards her, palm out. As if to say, explain why.
“Pale skin—a white complexion—is superior,” Margaret said. “I don’t know why I am defending a proposition everyone knows to be true.”
“Because I don’t know it.” Mr. Turner slid his finger under her chin. “Yet another reason why I am glad I am not a gentleman. Do you know why my peers want their brides to have pale skin?”
She was all too aware of the golden glow of vitality emanating from him. She could feel the warmth in his finger. She shouldn’t encourage him. Still, the word slipped out. “Why?”
“They want a woman who is a canvas, white and empty. Standing still, existing for no other purpose than to serve as a mute object onto which they can paint their own hopes and desires. They want their brides veiled. They want a demure, blank space they can fill with whatever they desire.”
“Miss Lowell, you magnificent creature, I want you to paint your own canvas. I want you to unveil yourself.”
The whole book is like that, - a very easy, insightful and bittersweet read. If you want to try HR, go for Courtney Milan or Sherry Thomas - both go against stereotypes and both a sheer delight to read!

* * *
Я ещё раз убедилась, что Куртни Милан - голос исторического романа 21 века. Эта женщина ломает все стереотипы и обычные клише и создаёт невероятно притягательные и симпатичные пары.

Аш - бесподобный персонаж, дислексик, который совсем не умеет читать, однако сумел создать могущественную торговую империю, благодаря своему таланту правильно оценивать людей и их способности. Его единственная цель - обеспечить своих младших братьев и отомстить аристократу, который отказал ему в помощи в детстве, когда его младшая сестричка умерала от лихорадки.

Доказав, что герцог Парфорт - двоежёнец, Аш становится его наследником, как ближайший из родственников и приезжает в загородное поместье умирающего аристократа.

Маргарет - дочка герцога, приворяется его медсестрой, чтобы шпионить за Ашем и доказать, что он не годен для принятия такого титула, когда его дело будет разбираться в Парламенте. Однако характер Аша, его мудрость, его оценка Маргарет как сильной личности, способной на что угодно, если только она расправит крылья и решится поверить в себя, меняют и освобождают её.

Я уже сказала, что Милан ломает все клише, и книга читается так, что предугадать реакцию персонажей на то или иное событие просто невозможно. Оба Аш и Маргарет - великолепны и между ними чувствуется здоровое равновесие сил - они равноправные партнёры,  и потому что они верят друг в друга, читать книгу одно удовольствие.

Советую всем, и тем кто ещё не начинал ИР и заядлым любителям.

Цитата: см. выше.


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