Title: Unveiled (Turner #1)
Author: Courtney Milan
Published: January 2011 (HQN Books)
Summary: 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 tantalizing promise of passion...
My Review: It's been a while since I read this, and I did not take a whole lot of notes. I will do my best to remember, though. Unveiled was a great read. I like fake identity stories when they are well written, and this one was. It was my first Courtney Milan, and I am excited to read more from her. In fact, I am extraordinarily excited to read Unclaimed. That (well, along with the pretty cover and the amazing quote from Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels) was actually why I read this one; it came before the other. I usually don't care in historical "series" where the order doesn't really matter. But I did it this time, anyway. I'm so glad I did! I was thoroughly intrigued by Mark and seriously hoping he got his own book. Then I re-read the summary for Unclaimed and just about died. If Milan pulls it off, it could be absolutely amazing. Cannot wait for it to come in at the library! But back to Unveiled.
There were several fantastic, unique aspects to this book. It was very nice to see a heroine who notices and is affected by the hero's looks, but is not overcome by them. I had not realized how refreshing it would be, actually. Margaret was attracted to Ash from the first, but she was still able to keep her wits about her. It made for much better banter, as well.
The story had a lot to do with family. Both Ash and Margaret dealt a lot with their loyalty to their respective brothers. This is actually where a lot of the conflict and tension stems from in the book.
Oh, I also noted in my notes (ha) that it was funny that I abandoned You Against Me for this, and they wound up having similar premises. However, while I was not feeling You Against Me, Unveiled caught me right away. It had real problems and great chemistry and emotions, but it never got overly sappy. It was a very good read, and I am looking forward to the next one!
I will leave you with the awesome quote that caught my attention and made me want to read it:
❝"Do you know why my peers want their brides to have pale skin?"
"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. ...Damn their bonnets. Damn their rules."
"What do you want? Why are you doing this to me?"
"Miss Lowell, you magnificent creature, I want you to paint your own canvas. I want you to unveil yourself."❞