The Carhart Series
This Wicked Gift (#.5) - 0 stars
The story made me physically cringe with embarrassment at several points. It was also deeply depressing story.
Proof by Seduction (#1) - 3.5 stars
There were parts of the story that dragged due to having the same angsty conversations. However, the writing is fresh and deals with sensitive topics with a deft touch; the conflict between MCs was based on real issues.
Trial by Desire (#2) - 3 stars
The historical aspect of the story was a bit more woven into the story rather than used as flavoring (such as the Anglo-Chinese opium wars). However, yet again the story needed a strong edit to remove some of the repetitive angst. I skimmed a lot of inner dialogue in this book.
Definitely not my favorite series from Milan. This was her very early work (first published by Harlequin) and shows promise, but is only average reading. I don't have a favorite from this series, but I recommend skipping that novella.
The Turner Series
Unveiled (#1) - 4.5 stars
I liked the fact that Anna was the victor in the feud between her brothers and the Turner brothers; it showed she had some balls and brains - more than the men involved. Anna was a heroine I liked and respected;
Unlocked (#1.5) - 5 stars
Their journey to love was honest and emotional. Best reunion scene EVER.
Unclaimed (#2) - 5 stars
The woman saves herself time and again (once in a duel!), and the sexual tension is off the charts without a sex scene for 75% of the book.
Unraveled (#3) - 2.5 stars
The longest book due to many unnecessary characters and plot line bloat. Didn't like the heroine at all. But hero was the best brooding hero.
Unlocked was my first read from Milan and what made me fall in love with her writing. I didn't know until the end that it was part of a series. Needless to say, the rest of the series was bought soon after finishing the novella. My favorite book in the series is Unclaimed - I cried while reading certain parts.
The Brothers Sinister Series
The Governess Affair (#.5) - 4 stars
Since it was a novella, the courtship was short (about a week between meeting and marrying), and at times I didn't buy into the love aspect so much as that I thought if was more lust and friendship. The best part of the story was the last section, titled Aftermaths & Beginnings, that really carried the storylines into the next book but also tied up loose ends from this story.
The Duchess War (#1) - 5 stars
I liked the sex scenes between the two MC virgins, who knew enough about their individuals likes/dislikes (via masturbation on both their counts) to help each other come together. The cause of each MC's angsty was revealed slowly, like peeling away layers of an onion.
A Kiss for Mid-winter (#1.5) - 4 stars
Bets/wagers are also a favorite plot trope of mine, especially when the MCs discover/admit their feelings to themselves about half-way through the wager and scheme to get the other person to win.
The Heiress Effect (#2) - 5 stars
The couple's verbal interactions and physical embraces made their relationship real and Oliver did a proper amount of groveling at the end for my taste. I liked it best when they were working together on a scheme, as they respected each other's talents and brains. You might need a hanky for the scenes of Oliver's grief after his Aunt Freddy died (her story was so nicely woven into the bigger story). The secondary romance plot line was also so good.
The Countess Conspiracy (#3) - 3 stars
The plot line worked....the romance didn't; this ended up being the weakest book in the series. There was too much angsty characters/situations, too much repetitive dialogue and inner monologues that brought down a decent story.
The Suffragette Scandal (#4) - 5 stars
Edward has no F*CKS to give the world in general or British nobility crowd he was born into specifically, but is always ready to help a friend in need. She gives as good as she gets and is a BOSS without having to demean/demand things of her colleagues or family. She gets stuff done. There is a secondary romance (f/f) between two side characters from previous books that was so sweetly and perfectly done.
Talk Sweetly to Me (#4.5) - 3.5 stars
The book starts without a cute meet, so I felt a little like I was dropped into a show where the story was already in progress. I liked Rose, but she needed a longer book to be fully fleshed out character and to create a more believable change in her mind about falling for Stephen. The romance was okay, but I couldn't really connect with couple.
This series is often recommended by romance readers for those readers who want to dip their toes into the genre or those readers who have biases against the genre. The stories are very character-driven in this Victorian era series. And the book covers can give you serious dress lust. My favorite installment is The Suffragette Scandal. I highly recommend this series, but prepare for the need for tissues and chocolate while reading.
Stand Alone Novellas
What Happened at Midnight - 5 stars
The MCs, Marry and John were so wonderful both as individuals and as a couple.
The Lady Always Wins - 3 stars
Unfortunately, a douchebag hero brought this book down a star.