The Heiress Effect

Courtney Milan


‘They put up with me for one reason, and one reason only. I call it the heiress effect.’

Jane Fairfield is no dummy. Her poisonous color combinations, loud laughter, and blunt speech are designed with one purpose in mind: repel suitors. You see, her younger sister lack only four hundred and eighty days until she attains her majority and can leave their guardian. Until that day, Jane refuses to leave her sister alone and helpless in his care. He isn’t a bad man, only a insensitive one. He truly thinks the medical experimentation he subjects her to may help heal her of her fits, and the pain and the scars he inflicts on her are not enough to stop him. Jane wants to free her sister while she’s still alive, and for that, she does everything she can to make men forget her enormous fortune.

Then she meets Oliver Marshall, a man perceptive enough to see the women beneath the dress. He likes what he sees, but he is blind in his own way. The bastard son of a duke, he wants revenge on a society that rejected him because of his birth. Politics is the chosen path to attaining this purpose, and the last thing he needs is a relationship with a woman who talks too loudly, who dresses the way Jane does, and who doesn’t keep her self or her opinions in the background.

The working out of this dilemma is classic Courtney Milan. After reading this book, I bought the boxed set.



Because of Miss Bridgerton

Julia Quinn


Fluff. Piffle. Light reading. Entertaining, but no substance. These words are frequently applied to romance novels. They completely disregard the craft necessary to write a satisfying romance novel. Nobody mocks a souffle because it isn’t roast beef, and much more art and craft are required to create a souffle. A light hand and a sense of timing are of the essence if you are to have a tasty dish instead of a wreck on your plate.

Julia Quinn demonstrates a light hand and a knowledge of how to keep it light. Her dialogue sparkles. Her characters are likeable and believable even if the situation is not. I particularly like her clear-headed, sensible hero. His straight thinking comes to his aid at the end, but all along it is his friend. In contrast, Miss Bridgerton shows an impetuous nature and an ability to get into trouble. They make a good pair.

Roast beef can be had anywhere, but a perfect souffle is harder to come by.




Mai Tai Butterfly

JoAnn Bassett


JoAnn Bassett has started a new series, this one set on the island of Maui. Featuring a different woman’s story in each book, Mai Tai Butterfly starts us off with the story of forty-something Nola Stevens. A dutiful, if dull wife and mother, she does her best to fulfill everyone’s expectations. Until she receives shocking and irrefutable proof of her husband’s infidelity and her life turns upside down.

Persuaded by a friend to fly with her to Maui, she find herself falling in love with the island and the people she meets, especially that hunk of manhood, a sculptor who likes to work with his shirt off.

This bit of fluff is nothing but fun.