So when I read The Governess Affair, I remarked that I didn’t really care about the next-gen characters in the coda; but I went ahead and read Courtney Milan’s The Duchess War anyway, and it turns out that those characters are actually plenty interesting once they’re more grown up.

The main thing that stood out to me about this book is that it had way less disguise, pretend marriage, or other implausible contrivances in it than most romances I’ve read. It’s a surprisingly straightforward story, really, where the main thing keeping the obvious love interest apart is their own personal traumas that they’re working through, such that the happy ending feels earned as a kind of personal growth almost independent of the relationship itself.

If there’s a criticism, it’s that the characters are maybe a little too perfect, but enh, whatever. It was ideal airplane reading, and I suspect I’ll burn through the rest of the series next time I’m flying somewhere.


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