“Unveiled” by Courtney Milan

STORY:  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 when he arrives, 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…

REVIEW: I usually wait a few days to review the book I’ve read. Sometimes I wait weeks. I always need time to process, to absorb the story. Weigh points that I liked against the ones I did not. Well, that was before I read this book. I was done with it two minutes ago, and I just had to sit and tell you how much I loved this story. I’m still in kind of euphoria, sort of high. I’m afraid I’m just going to start gushing and gushing over the Hero, Ash Turner. Ms. Milan has introduced to us a character that will live with us for  some time. I recall only a handful of such Heroes that sort of steal themselves into our hearts, and stay there for decades. Such as Johanna Lindsey’s James Mallory, Diana Gabaldons’ James Frazer, and recently Judith James’ Gabriel St. Croix.

Ash Turner is a flawed man, a man’s man. He’s not a tortured hero, like some reviewers described him. No, he’s more of a man with a lot of regrets. They are the ones that keep him awake at night. He’s also a man who loves his brothers to death and is not ashamed to show it. There is nothing he would not do for them. At fourteen, as the oldest, he had to leave his siblings with their mother while he went to India to make his fortune. That is something he seems to regret, yet at the same time he knows that there was no other alternative. It’s just something he knows he has to live with, except it. It is hard to do that when you come back and find your family, your brothers on the streets. But, he’s Ash, charming Ladies as well as servants is very easy to him. There is nothing fake about him. What he feels, we’re made to feel. When he speaks, we listen, we absorb. We get him!

And then we have Margaret. What a wonderful, poised, sweet, loyal, strong woman she is. We are made to love her slowly and gradually. How refreshing it is to read a book where two mature adults fall in love and the conflict they find each other in, straightens that love, gives it wings. This story will surprise you and take you on an unexpected journey. Don’t hesitate to take it! We are made to fall in love with both of these people in such an easy way. As Ash shows Margaret that she matters, we as readers feel that Ms. Milan is giving us a gift of our own and is telling us that we matter.

This story had everything a romance novel should have. All the characters were very vivid, extremely well-developed. In one scene, almost at the end of the book, we meet this butler, and even though we never meet him again, we SEE him, we KNOW him, and we GET the picture in our head. I’m sorry, I’m ahead of myself, and the only excuse I have is that I want to let you know that you just CAN NOT pass this read.

Often times, we can tell much of the book by reading all those blurbs on the back of it. In this case, we get only a glimpse of the story. Ms. Milan has given us a conundrum by having Ash seek revenge, and by putting Margaret in such a place of choosing loyalty to her family, or loyalty to Ash?! What, how does one choose?! We are kept in suspense until the bitter end, and it is so good once you read that part!

I understand that Mark’s story “Unclaimed” is next, and I am itching for it!