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Miss Chloe Fong has plans for her life, lists for her days, and absolutely no time for nonsense. Three years ago, she told her childhood sweetheart that he could talk to her once he planned to be serious. He disappeared that very night. Except now he’s back. Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, has returned to the tiny village he once visited with the hope of wooing Chloe Miss Chloe Fong has plans for her life, lists for her days, and absolutely no time for nonsense. Three years ago, she told her childhood sweetheart that he could talk to her once he planned to be serious. He disappeared that very night. Except now he’s back. Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, has returned to the tiny village he once visited with the hope of wooing Chloe. In his defense, it took him years of attempting to be serious to realize that the endeavor was incompatible with his personality. All he has to do is convince Chloe to make room for a mischievous trickster in her life, then disclose that in all the years they’ve known each other, he’s failed to mention his real name, his title… and the minor fact that he owns her entire village. Only one thing can go wrong: Everything.


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Miss Chloe Fong has plans for her life, lists for her days, and absolutely no time for nonsense. Three years ago, she told her childhood sweetheart that he could talk to her once he planned to be serious. He disappeared that very night. Except now he’s back. Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, has returned to the tiny village he once visited with the hope of wooing Chloe Miss Chloe Fong has plans for her life, lists for her days, and absolutely no time for nonsense. Three years ago, she told her childhood sweetheart that he could talk to her once he planned to be serious. He disappeared that very night. Except now he’s back. Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, has returned to the tiny village he once visited with the hope of wooing Chloe. In his defense, it took him years of attempting to be serious to realize that the endeavor was incompatible with his personality. All he has to do is convince Chloe to make room for a mischievous trickster in her life, then disclose that in all the years they’ve known each other, he’s failed to mention his real name, his title… and the minor fact that he owns her entire village. Only one thing can go wrong: Everything.

30 review for The Duke Who Didn't

  1. 4 out of 5

    aarya

    2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Grumpy & Sunshine Since our heroine Chloe loves lists, I thought that it would be fitting to write my brief review (aka All The Reasons I Liked This Book) in list form! 1) Grumpy/Sunshine vibes, y'all! Jeremy is a mischievous trickster who loves to tease Chloe and has given on ever being serious. And while Chloe isn't grumpy all the time, she's serious/no-nonsense enough that the couple dynamic still counts as a variant of Grumpy/Sunshine. “Why not?” Jere 2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Grumpy & Sunshine Since our heroine Chloe loves lists, I thought that it would be fitting to write my brief review (aka All The Reasons I Liked This Book) in list form! 1) Grumpy/Sunshine vibes, y'all! Jeremy is a mischievous trickster who loves to tease Chloe and has given on ever being serious. And while Chloe isn't grumpy all the time, she's serious/no-nonsense enough that the couple dynamic still counts as a variant of Grumpy/Sunshine. “Why not?” Jeremy focused on the dough in front of him, grinning. “You were cute. You reminded me of a kitten.” She lined up another row of labels and slammed her stamp down. “I am not cute,” she said, between stamps, glaring at him. “I am mean and harsh and you will respect that.” 2) I don't wanna give the impression that Chloe is only straitlaced and rule-following, because she's not. She's vulnerable and intimidating and anxious and brave and bent on revenge and — I could go on for a while. The list she and Jeremy make (his "I wanna find a wife with exactly Chloe's characteristics!") is so specific and perfect. “I want a wife who makes me sign contracts to pay for lists, a wife who agrees to do too many things and then falls into a panic, and a wife who has at one point in her life told me to stick my head in a river and swallow.” She's wonderfully complex and no description I give can fully capture her personality. I adored her. 3) Deception storylines can be a hit or miss for me, but I REALLY liked how the "How ever will Jeremy tell Chloe that he's really a rich duke after ten years?" storyline played out. No spoilers, but the reveal was clever and made me laugh out loud. No third act breakup that I'm then forced to bitch about in my review! Hallelujah. 4) Chloe and her dad. Y'all. Tears streaming down my face. Obviously I was cutting onions in the kitchen while reading because nothing else can explain the sobs wracking my body. I am not normally a crier, okay?!? Her dad is so protective and funny (he keeps making Jeremy's food extra spicy as a warning), and I was NOT prepared for That Conversation. You'll know which one when you read it. 5) This romance is so gentle and comforting. I was a bit worried that racism would be a significant conflict in the book because both MCs are of Chinese descent in Victorian England (many white people in Victorian England sucked and were racist — this isn't news to anyone). I really liked how the book handles mentions of racism. It's mostly off-page, but it doesn't erase the terribleness of British society and empire. Yes, the aristocracy has been cruel to Jeremy. Yes, white men have cheated Chloe's family out of a fortune by stealing a sauce recipe. But their tormenters are, for the most part, off-page and in the past (of course the present still grapples with the past, but it's not as painful as actually experiencing hateful acts on page). I'm grateful for this plot decision. By setting the story in a comforting/safe village where the MCs are welcome and loved, I felt comforted and safe. Obviously there's nothing wrong with romance novels that tackle racism/colonialism in painful ways, but I think there's also room for comforting/funny romances about BIPOC in historical times. By zooming the stakes into the village of Wedgeford and its inhabitants, I felt reassured in Chloe and Jeremy's HEA after the end of the book. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lacey (laceybooklovers)

    If you love an adoring hero who is the biggest DORK alive and who cannot stop cracking jokes, you’ll love Jeremy! Also, Asians!!! In a historical romance!!! One of whom is a DUKE. Bless you, Courtney Milan.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    me: i just don't really read historical romance courtney milan: *gives me THIS cover* me: wow, i suddenly wanna be a historical romance reviewer !! Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch me: i just don't really read historical romance courtney milan: *gives me THIS cover* me: wow, i suddenly wanna be a historical romance reviewer !! Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

  4. 5 out of 5

    OLT

    (2.5 stars) Well, I dunno. Maybe I missed something here, because I couldn't find a 5-star story in this to save my life. Yes, it's a sweet romance. Yes, it's a lovely homage to author Milan's Chinese heritage. Yes, it informs, to an extent, about prejudice, racism, and bigotry, about the importance of family and culture. These are all admirable things. And the characters here are appealing people. And I also appreciated Milan's author's notes at the end of the story, notes which were more instr (2.5 stars) Well, I dunno. Maybe I missed something here, because I couldn't find a 5-star story in this to save my life. Yes, it's a sweet romance. Yes, it's a lovely homage to author Milan's Chinese heritage. Yes, it informs, to an extent, about prejudice, racism, and bigotry, about the importance of family and culture. These are all admirable things. And the characters here are appealing people. And I also appreciated Milan's author's notes at the end of the story, notes which were more instructive and informative about Chinese history and culture than the story itself. But the story, albeit romantic and sweet, had a very slow and repetitive plot and felt written just for Milan to pay respect to her heritage, not to supply me with a great romance. (Yeah, it's all about me here because I am in the minority about this romance.) I guess I'll give this three stars just because. Just because I admire Courtney Milan's stance on many social issues. Just because I have enjoyed many of the books she wrote in the past. (Mostly the Brothers Sinister, a Turner or two, and maybe one and a half of the Worth saga.) It's 1890 in England. The hero is the son of a Chinese woman who married a white Brit of the peerage (who eventually, through misfortunes of family members, became the Duke of Lansing). After the death of his father, this mixed-race young man is a duke of the realm. (Yep, that's right. There were a heck of a lot more Blacks living in Victorian England than Asians, but no matter that there were few mixed Black members of the peerage, much less dukes. That's not really important to the story.) Our heroine, Chloe, is Chinese and lives in a village in the countryside which is 50% inhabited by Chinese immigrants. (Not sure if I read anything much about the 50% non-Chinese inhabitants. What did they do? Why were they there?) Jeremy, the young duke, has been coming every year since his adolescence to the village for its annual celebration, complete with a competition and lots of delicious Asian food to enjoy. He believes that he does so incognito, that nobody knows that he is the Duke of Lansing, owner of that village and its surrounding land. Chloe is an introverted listmaking planner, considered cold and unfriendly by many. She doesn't leave home without her clipboard (called a "board clip" here for some reason. Isn't that the clip on the board, not the board itself?) Jeremy is more spontaneous and outgoing. He is also in love with Chloe and has been for years. Chloe is in love with Jeremy and has been for years. Now all they have to do is get on the same page. So the book is full of repetitive ruminating, repetitive conversations, a slow plot, and an eventual HEA. The tidbits about Asian food and culture, the characters' interactions, including other inhabitants of the village, a "brown sauce" being developed by Chloe's father and a revenge planned by them to get even with the British men who stole the father's initial sauce years ago and bottled it as their own, are all somewhat interesting, but not enough to make me like this more than I did. Lest you think I am unfeeling about the plight of immigrants, I will tell you that my husband is one to the U.S. He is post-graduate educated, speaks three languages, his acquired-language English with an accent. And he does not look WASP-y white. So there are undereducated people in this country, ones who just barely can speak their own language, who feel superior to him because they are whiter-looking. I abhor prejudice and bigotry. That was not my problem with this new Milan romance. I just found the romance lacking by my Romanceland standards.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    THIS WAS SO DELIGHTFUL. What do you expect from a Courtney Milan book, right? But also, two British characters of Chinese descent falling in love in a historical romance? Sign me the fuck up. They're both absolutely wonderful characters to read, with the best kinds of suck it up moments. The only thing that might drop this below five stars for some readers is the pace and progress between no relationship and absolutely relationship, but stuff like that happens, yeah? Anyway, I'm so excited for al THIS WAS SO DELIGHTFUL. What do you expect from a Courtney Milan book, right? But also, two British characters of Chinese descent falling in love in a historical romance? Sign me the fuck up. They're both absolutely wonderful characters to read, with the best kinds of suck it up moments. The only thing that might drop this below five stars for some readers is the pace and progress between no relationship and absolutely relationship, but stuff like that happens, yeah? Anyway, I'm so excited for all of you to read this. And I need MORE WEDGEFORD BOOKS because every effing person who lives in Wedgeford deserves their own story. (Also, there's an amazing(ly long) author's note and an excerpt from the next Worth book so I dare you not to just devour the whole thing in one sitting.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sam (AMNReader)

    In a time of pervasive toxic masculinity Milan (as usual) offers an antidote in the form of a sweet and often goofy-ish duke who lacks impulse control named Jeremy. Jeremy has a lot of names, is exactly what he seems, and all of his names make his life and dedication to Chloe a little more complicated than a rich guy loving a difficult woman. Though I didn't find Chloe all that difficult, there are definitely shades of many women you know that are easy to spot and endear you to the character. If In a time of pervasive toxic masculinity Milan (as usual) offers an antidote in the form of a sweet and often goofy-ish duke who lacks impulse control named Jeremy. Jeremy has a lot of names, is exactly what he seems, and all of his names make his life and dedication to Chloe a little more complicated than a rich guy loving a difficult woman. Though I didn't find Chloe all that difficult, there are definitely shades of many women you know that are easy to spot and endear you to the character. If I have one complaint about this book, it's that the characters flirted with depth and while relatable I could've used more, but it's overall a quiet story of acceptance and loving someone enough that outside factors aren't really that uncomplicated. IT's certainly one of the softer Milans I've read, and smacks of her recent novella for me. Don't get me wrong-there's a couple of chapters featuring her characteristic gut punch, but overall it's a smooth and uncomplicated story about love. As usual, she offers some wonderful family interactions, sparkly humor, and lovely exchanges between the leads. In the end, the result is a story as soft as the hero and as gentle as what some of us need at the moment. Need something soft and/or never read Milan before? It's a great place to start. It isn't the best to showcase her talent, and I know no Milan fans will disagree. Here, those edges are smoothed out and make for an overall (pleasant and light read.)** ** My friend Gaufre has made several points that makes me reconsider this assessment. I think I'm likely over-simplifying a bit. So, YMMV.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

    Only 99 cents today!!!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    September??!!!??? Is the Worth Saga on indefinite hold? Is this some spinoff? Is this some completely separate new series? I wish I didn't go nutzoid when Milan updates her GRs with any crumb of info. But seriously, the release date says Sept but release dates don't always hold true, so I'm kind of dying that it could be so close. A new historical series by Milan!!!! September??!!!??? Is the Worth Saga on indefinite hold? Is this some spinoff? Is this some completely separate new series? I wish I didn't go nutzoid when Milan updates her GRs with any crumb of info. But seriously, the release date says Sept but release dates don't always hold true, so I'm kind of dying that it could be so close. A new historical series by Milan!!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    First of all, I enjoyed this. It was low angst, which I enjoy. Overall, I thought it was lovely. I thought the leads were well drawn and relatable and I enjoyed the setting. I am not quite sure how I want to rate this yet. Hopefully I will figure that out by the time I get through this review. If you are a fan of Milan, this is not a return to her old form à la Brothers Sinister, for example. It felt new. The pieces came together easily and smoothly. There was great banter, which is something to First of all, I enjoyed this. It was low angst, which I enjoy. Overall, I thought it was lovely. I thought the leads were well drawn and relatable and I enjoyed the setting. I am not quite sure how I want to rate this yet. Hopefully I will figure that out by the time I get through this review. If you are a fan of Milan, this is not a return to her old form à la Brothers Sinister, for example. It felt new. The pieces came together easily and smoothly. There was great banter, which is something to expect from Milan. There were social issues addressed, another hallmark of Milan, but they didn't feel forced, which her more recent books have felt somewhat forced. It was as advertised. It was fluffier and you could tell Milan enjoyed writing it, which in turn made it a joy to read. But it didn't bring the reader through the gut wrenching, yet rewarding journey that some of my favorites by her did. Chloe is a very relatable character, IMO. She likes lists. She makes lots of lists and gets really behind on her lists and procrastinates. Reading her characterization was cathartic. Jeremy is a Duke, but he is also half-Chinese. He hasn't told anyone in Wedgeford he's the duke that owns most of the town. He just tries blend in with a society where he doesn't stand out for his ethnicity. Wedgeford reminded of Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove -- a somewhat isolated society where normal priggish British society is not very present, where they make their own rules on what is acceptable. Jeremy has been in love Chloe for years. Chloe has been in love with Jeremy for years. This is the story of where they finally come together. Ultimately, this story didn't blow me away, but I really appreciated it. More stories like this please. More diversity in Historical Romance, PLEASE. Writers, please write stories that bring you joy -- it shows when they do. I hope there are more stories that return to Wedgeford, because that was certainly a highlight. What a delightful setting that Milan created, with delightful secondary characters. In conclusion, if you like angst and liked it when Milan brought the angst, this may not be story for you. It's a character-driven story that builds and the characters don't have TSTL moments. So, if you like diverse historical romances, if you like low-angst stories, you may really like this one. This is sitting about 4.25 stars for me. I expect to reread at some point.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Silvana [The Book Voyagers]

    So happy to have read it because Courtney Milan continues to bless us with romance books. I'm so happy I live in a world (and at the same time!) where Courtney writes and publishes romance novels. Every single one hits my insides with so many emotions. The Duke Who Didn't is a childhood friends to lovers romance where Jeremy returns to Wedgeford to finalyl ask Chloe to marry him. But Chloe was hurt when the last time he came (three years ago tho!) he broke her heart. Though Jeremy is ready with So happy to have read it because Courtney Milan continues to bless us with romance books. I'm so happy I live in a world (and at the same time!) where Courtney writes and publishes romance novels. Every single one hits my insides with so many emotions. The Duke Who Didn't is a childhood friends to lovers romance where Jeremy returns to Wedgeford to finalyl ask Chloe to marry him. But Chloe was hurt when the last time he came (three years ago tho!) he broke her heart. Though Jeremy is ready with a plan to make her see that she is the woman for him; she is going to help him find someone exactly like her to be his bride unbeknownst to her that he is actually talking about her. I'm pretty excited about this new series, Wedgeford Trials, there are so many characters that I'm very intrigued by and want them to find their happily ever afters. But Chloe and Jeremy are the protagonists in this novel and I completely loved them. Jeremy is soft and jokes around a lot. While Chloe is perceived as a cold person from the other people in the town, though she's only shy. These two have been connected since they were 14 years old and have been crushing on each other since that long. I'm always grateful to Courtney when she writes sex scenes, especially first time sex scenes. Be it if they are virgins or just the first time they do it as a couple. In this novel, both the protagonists are virgins and their first time is written perfectly. You know most of the times the first time isn't spectacular at first and you have to find the things you enjoy to feel good and I'm happy that Milan gave us this scene. I got an advanced galley from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    4.5 stars This book was such a breath of fresh air in the historical romance world. It's funny, cute, self-aware and has a genuinely interesting story as well as loveable characters and a very unique setting: the multicultural town of Wedgeford, whose population is largely comprised of characters of Asian descent. I'm not too familiar with the historical details, but I'm sure there weren't many actual British dukes who were half Chinese. But this book just makes sense. The premise makes sense, the 4.5 stars This book was such a breath of fresh air in the historical romance world. It's funny, cute, self-aware and has a genuinely interesting story as well as loveable characters and a very unique setting: the multicultural town of Wedgeford, whose population is largely comprised of characters of Asian descent. I'm not too familiar with the historical details, but I'm sure there weren't many actual British dukes who were half Chinese. But this book just makes sense. The premise makes sense, the plot makes sense and I love how much of her own ancestors' history and culture the author managed to incorporate into this story. 100% recommend, loved it all around.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gaufre

    At first, I wasn't really impressed about this book. The list making was too cutesy and all the reviews mentioned the book is a lighter read. But Sam and Heather told me they would buddy read it with me and it is Courtney Milan after all so I couldn't resist. The beginning and the end of the book are light. The middle hit me upside the head. HARD. I do not think it is a light book at all. The characters do know what they want so they are already half-way to their happy ending. In that sense, the At first, I wasn't really impressed about this book. The list making was too cutesy and all the reviews mentioned the book is a lighter read. But Sam and Heather told me they would buddy read it with me and it is Courtney Milan after all so I couldn't resist. The beginning and the end of the book are light. The middle hit me upside the head. HARD. I do not think it is a light book at all. The characters do know what they want so they are already half-way to their happy ending. In that sense, there is not so much anguish. The Duke makes a lot of jokes. Underneath the jokes there is hiding, hurt, and a deep need to belong. Milan writes about sometimes fraught but always loving family relationships and the difficulty to find a place for ourselves. Milan never delves deeply into any of this but throws many casual experiences of discrimination and racism (ex: "Oh, I know this other Asian - do you know him/her?" - like all Asians knew each other) because all of this is done casually to our characters. And I probably would not have picked up on these if they didn't hit so close. It is also impossible not to compare this book to her previous work. In the Brother Sinister series, Milan was writing heroines who change the world. Here, the ambition is smaller but no less important: the hero/heroines want to find their own people and place in the world. As such, the novel takes place in kind of a bubble. A happy one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    *The Angry Reader*

    Adorable. Slightly confusing. Funny. Meandering. A thoroughly enjoyable little read. And I loved all of the culture encapsulated in the story. Adorable. Slightly confusing. Funny. Meandering. A thoroughly enjoyable little read. And I loved all of the culture encapsulated in the story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Zapf-bélanger

    Ok so you all know how Tessa Dare created a seaside town called “Spindle Cove”, which is a haven for spinsters, bluestockings, and wallflowers? Basically, a whole village chock-full of romance heroines you can use for as many novels as you care to continue the series? Yeah so Courtney Milan has created the Spindle Cove OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION. Wedgeford is a late-Victorian English town, with a plausible backstory, where tons of people of colour live and thrive. Brilliant. The town is full of Ok so you all know how Tessa Dare created a seaside town called “Spindle Cove”, which is a haven for spinsters, bluestockings, and wallflowers? Basically, a whole village chock-full of romance heroines you can use for as many novels as you care to continue the series? Yeah so Courtney Milan has created the Spindle Cove OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION. Wedgeford is a late-Victorian English town, with a plausible backstory, where tons of people of colour live and thrive. Brilliant. The town is full of romance heroes and heroines of colour, and because they’re in this “diverse bubble”, their stories can be about more than just how hard it was to be ethnic in England in the 19th century (though obviously it was). I look forward to whatever she comes up with—the town of Wedgeford gives her a lot of scope. How do you write more diversity into historical romance? BAM. Wedgeford is owned by the Duke of Lansing, and this book is his story, kind of. I’m not sure I think it’s the strongest intro to a series she’s ever written. If you are a Milan fan (like me) you should of course read this, and if you are new to her writing, you might want to consider beginning instead with The Duchess War, which I feel is a strong series opener. In keeping with the theme of this novel, I procrastinated writing this review. Both main characters were blocked in some way in this novel, unable to move forward with their lives, even as what they had to do became increasingly obvious. I appreciated that Milan dealt with this theme in her novel. I appreciated her little insights about being creatively stymied, anxious, and unable to do what must be done. I related. I am an artist and so I really, really, related. It’s a difficult theme to show in a novel without weakening the plot, because showing two blocked characters, unable to act, means that you risk ending up with a novel without a lot happening. I feel Milan’s book suffered from this pitfall. There were many things I loved about this book, and I think I see where she was going with all this. At the same time, I feel like both characters have an interesting story, but I’m not sure I read it. As this novel opens, our main characters have already met, fallen in love. I missed the courtship part of the story—we see some of it in flashbacks near the end of the book, but not enough for me to fully buy into their romance. The stakes in this story are very low from the start, verging on boringly low. The hero wants to ask the heroine to marry him, and comes into town to do that. He is pretty sure she will say no, even though there is no plausible reason why he would think this. The heroine likes making lists, so he has this plan where he’ll pay her to make a list of the characteristics he should want in a wife, and that she will realize he wants her. Sort of. The plan is like I just described, but less reasonable and straightforward, and more abstract. It does not work, for either the heroine or for me. Meanwhile, the heroine’s dad has invented sweet and sour sauce or something, and they are going to debut it at this festival in Wedgeford, but she has not thought of a name for the sauce and therefore cannot print the labels. The fact that the sauce is Unnamed is one of the main issues in the story, and I don’t want to disparage that because it leads to a bunch of great moments where we realize Things Don’t Have To Be Perfect, Just Good Enough and You Should Ask For Help When You Need It and other great things, and I like that and agree with that, but it also causes problems. The whole first half of the novel is them going on walks, and talking in a sort of stylized, circular way, and him saying, “What if we put “stubborn” on the list?” and her saying “Shucks, I just can’t think of a good name for this sauce!” and there are about 3 or 4 scenes of this and not much else. The hero teases the heroine a lot in a way that annoys me, but would like us (the readers) to know that he doesn’t tease her when it’s really important. We are told, not shown, this. We are told, not shown, almost everything. Since the characters aren’t shown doing much, or reacting to dramatic circumstances, their characters are not revealed by plot. We have to trust what they say about themselves and each other to get an idea of their characters. (Is Chloe really stubborn? Is Jeremy really understanding? I don’t know, probably.) They both have excellent backstories, which I also wish I saw shown in the story in a more direct way. The Duke has a lot of trouble being a Chinese aristocrat, and I appreciate the book isn’t about him fighting for acceptance, but without seeing at least a little more of his regular life, the book feels like when you fall in love with someone at summer camp but don’t really get to know the person they are. (Actually, that is pretty much exactly the heroine’s experience.) The heroine’s parents have some seriously great backstory—her mother was a high-ranking government official in The Heavenly Kingdom in Taiping. She flees the country to the Caribbean with her newborn baby as the rebellion topples around her. I know the story isn’t about the mom either, but if it was, I would have read it. I actually found myself wanting to follow quite a few side characters in this novel. Perhaps I could have checked out the Wedgeford Trials, a sort of town-wide festival featuring an epic Capture the Flag-type game which sounds super wacky. The main characters usually play this wacky game—they talk about how they’ve played it in the past—but they don’t play it during the novel, because of course they wouldn’t, not the year when we’re reading about them. Every once in awhile, as they went on walks and sniped at each other evasively, we’d come upon a character participating in the Wedgeford Trials, running around having wacky fun. The reader is given the chance to stare at the fun wistfully but is then forced to follow Mr. Silly and Ms. Grumps around on their Walk of Procrastination. It doesn’t seem like it from this review, but I am a huge Milan fan. I’ve read everything she’s written with a great deal of enjoyment, just sitting there reading like “Yess!” and “She gets it! She gets me!” I’ve never written an ARC review before, and to my shame, when I looked on Goodreads, I’ve hardly reviewed any of her novels. I will begin to rectify that immediately, and so many of her books get 5 stars from me, or will, by next week or whenever I review them. I SWEAR. This book ultimately gets 3 stars for the diverse worldbuilding and delicious Chinese food descriptions. It has many things which make all of Milan’s books good: a beta hero, lots of consent in the sex scenes. The style/tone of the book borders on “contemporary” in a way I didn’t love. The book also has structural problems, and commits the crime of being a Pretty Good Story when we are given the impression that there’s an Extremely Great Story hovering juuuuuust out of frame of the camera, and we want it, we want it, but it isn’t quite there.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*

    DNF for now at 40% I barged into a buddy-read with Sam and Gaufre, only for them to finish and me to just... not. Not only that, they gave positive reviews. I'm actually finding this incredibly boring. As with many of Milan's previous works, everyone and everything is just so nice, and that's not my thing. Maybe I'll try to finish it some other time. DNF for now at 40% I barged into a buddy-read with Sam and Gaufre, only for them to finish and me to just... not. Not only that, they gave positive reviews. I'm actually finding this incredibly boring. As with many of Milan's previous works, everyone and everything is just so nice, and that's not my thing. Maybe I'll try to finish it some other time.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melissa McHugh

    Received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Overall Impressions It’s been a while since Courtney Milan’s last full-length historical novel (After the Wedding, 2018) and as a devoted follower on Twitter, I know that the last few years have been difficult for her because people are terrible and stupid. You might expect her first book to be a fluffy, delightful farce that distracts us all from the dumpster fire of 2020. You’d be right. You’d also be terribly wrong. Somehow, this book Received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Overall Impressions It’s been a while since Courtney Milan’s last full-length historical novel (After the Wedding, 2018) and as a devoted follower on Twitter, I know that the last few years have been difficult for her because people are terrible and stupid. You might expect her first book to be a fluffy, delightful farce that distracts us all from the dumpster fire of 2020. You’d be right. You’d also be terribly wrong. Somehow, this book manages to walk a very fine balance between being brilliantly charming, fluffy, delightful, and funny while making the reality of characters so heartbreakingly real and devastating that I found myself tearing up at several parts of this book. I don’t understand how some authors do this — how I can go from laughing like a maniac to reminding myself that the characters aren’t real and everything is okay. That is the Milan brand, and it’s something I’ve been familiar with since I picked up Proof of Seduction on a whim in 2010. That book is good — startlingly good — but it was the second book, Trial by Desire, with her depiction of a hero struggling to overcome depression that put her at the top of all my lists and she’s never faltered. The Duke Who Didn’t is the story of Miss Chloe Fong who loves to make lists and Jeremy, the Duke of Lansing who owns the entire village where Chloe lives — a fact he has never told Chloe or anyone else in Wedgeford. He tried to kiss her one day, and she told him that he needed to be serious. He left, and it’s been three years since she’s seen him. He’s back — and wants her help to make a list of her qualities so he can get married. Chloe is Chinese, living in a village filled with people who might not be stereotypically British (read: white) and Jeremy is the half-Chinese, half-British duke who has struggled to fit into British society. Asking Chloe to marry him means asking her to live in his world — a world he’s not even sure he belongs in. Chloe had me the minute she started talking about making her lists in Chapter 1. The concept of making a list of what could be done if life went absolutely perfectly, then judging herself as a failure because perfection was impossible — if that’s not my life, I don’t know what it is. I make lists for everything. I love to check things off. I also know the pain of making a list that never gets finished and an inability to set realistic goals because people are depending on me and I need to finish things when they need to be done — not when it’s convenient for my sanity. I love Chloe Fong. The first time we meet Jeremy, we see his charm from Chloe's POV, and then we switch to his thoughts.  That is the smartest thing Courtney Milan could have done. If we had listened to that first conversation entirely from Chloe’s POV, Jeremy might seem too charming. Too irreverent. But reading his dialogue along with his inner thoughts — you know that there’s more. There’s real substance and as his story unfolds throughout the novel, I really started to wonder if he had a point — could he and Chloe be happy? In Britain? To make me wonder, even for a minute, how the ending could be a HEA is a feat that most authors can’t manage. Courtney Milan always does. This is a deceptively charming book that will make you smile, laugh, think, cry, and then when you’re done—you’ll want to read it again because there’s a twist at the end of the book that will make you wonder — does it actually work? Does the author play fair with us? And yes. It completely works, and it makes that second read-through all the more better because now you’re all in on the secret — except for one of the characters. And it’s fricking delightful. This is a great book with a gorgeous romance, three-dimensional characters, and a world that feels so real that I’m legit mad that I can’t go to Wedgeford, taste the Wedgeford Brown sauce, and play in the Trials. I can’t wait to see where Courtney Milan takes this series next. Spoilers Beware! The twist is that everyone already knows Jeremy is the Duke which makes complete sense because, as several characters point out, how many half-Chinese dukes are running around Great Britain? I wasn’t surprised when Mr. Fong confronted Jeremy with that fact, but I was slightly surprised when Chloe revealed that everyone knew it. I wasn’t sure if I could quite buy it — so I reread and yeah — it’s not that Chloe doesn’t know. It’s that Jeremy hasn’t told her. He hasn’t told her his real name — and she says from the beginning that she knows it’s not Jeremy Yu. She’s waiting for him to trust her with the truth. I was so happy that this not only tracked throughout the book, but it also gave me a deeper appreciation for the characters and for the relationship. I also adore that the true conflict between this couple isn’t the keeping of the secret — it’s so much more than that. The secret is the least of their problems, and I'm glad it's not a typical dark moment in the relationship. Can we make this work? Can Jeremy bring himself to ask Chloe to join him in a world that doesn’t value or respect him? And the answer is well, no. But Jeremy and Chloe can create their world where the respect of morons doesn’t matter nearly as much. And that’s the better ending. Also — that preview chapter for The Devil Comes Courting? Um, I need that immediately.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    The town of Wedgeford is a nineteenth century melting pot of cultures squatting on an absent duke's land. The people of Wedgeford are proud of their heritage but still dream of doing well in England. Few more so than Chloe Fong and her father, working towards a plan to market a nameless sauce and get their revenge on businessman who ripped off Chloe's father. Jeremy Wentworth is a young well-off half-Chinese man who has been visiting Wedgeford for a festival called the Wedgeford Trials ever since The town of Wedgeford is a nineteenth century melting pot of cultures squatting on an absent duke's land. The people of Wedgeford are proud of their heritage but still dream of doing well in England. Few more so than Chloe Fong and her father, working towards a plan to market a nameless sauce and get their revenge on businessman who ripped off Chloe's father. Jeremy Wentworth is a young well-off half-Chinese man who has been visiting Wedgeford for a festival called the Wedgeford Trials ever since he was a child. For nearly that long he's been infatuated by Chloe, but a romance seems impossible because he's always a joker and Chloe is extremely serious. He's also always fated to leave, and Chloe won't leave Wedgeford. Finally, after a three year absence, Jeremy returns for Chloe who he's determined will be his wife. Only he hasn't revealed to her that he's the long-missing Duke who owns pretty much all of Wedgeford. This was really good, looking at racial dynamics from a historical English point of view, but also looking well past race into personal history and acceptance. It also skewers the secret nobleman trope beautifully in the latter half, and that at least is worth reading it for. I would love to see more of Wedgeford.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Malin

    This was an ARC sent to me by the author. I had already pre-ordered the book, and the free copy has not influenced my review in any way. Chloe Fong is seen as strict, stern, intimidating, and demanding by everyone in the little village of Wedgeford Downs, where she lives with her father. Chloe's mother died when she was a baby, and Chloe's father was taken advantage of by unscrupulous businessmen, who have now gotten rich because of the sauce he developed for them. Chloe wants to help her father This was an ARC sent to me by the author. I had already pre-ordered the book, and the free copy has not influenced my review in any way. Chloe Fong is seen as strict, stern, intimidating, and demanding by everyone in the little village of Wedgeford Downs, where she lives with her father. Chloe's mother died when she was a baby, and Chloe's father was taken advantage of by unscrupulous businessmen, who have now gotten rich because of the sauce he developed for them. Chloe wants to help her father perfect his new sauce, launch a rival sauce production company and eventually achieve revenge over the men who left her father to fend for himself once he had used his culinary skills to their advantage. Her father is just as much of a perfectionist as she is, and loathe to accept help from anyone, least alone the child he promised her mother he would provide for and keep safe. The only man who ever seemed to show any romantic interest in Chloe was Jeremy Yu, also affectionately known in Wedgeford Downs as "Posh Jim". For nine years, he would come to visit during the big festival, charming everyone in general and Chloe in particular. However, once she asked him to go away until he could be serious, he disappeared, and for the last two years, despite Chloe trying to pretend that she doesn't miss him, he has stayed away. Now, when Chloe is facing possibly the most challenging weekend of her life, when the decades-long plans of her father and her may come to fruition (she just needs to figure out a name for the sauce first), he suddenly shows up again, and asks Chloe to make him a list. A list to help him find a wife... The man known as Jeremy Yu or "Posh Jim" in Wedgeford Downs has several secrets. The fact that he is absolutely besotted with Miss Chloe Fong isn't really a secret to anyone who has ever seen them together, except to Chloe herself. No, his biggest secret is that he is, in actuality, Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, he owns the village of Wedgeford Downs, and everyone who lives there probably owes him about forty years worth of back rent. Jeremy was only a teenager the first time he came to Wedgeford during their famous Trials festival, and he was warmly accepted by everyone there and felt a sense of belonging he hasn't felt anywhere else, so he couldn't very well confess his true identity then. And with each passing year, confessing the truth became harder and harder. Now Jeremy's aunt wants him to settle down and find a wife, and for him, there is only one candidate. He went away to try to be serious for Chloe, but can't seem to stop making jokes and looking for the positive in every situation. Jeremy knows he will need to tell her the truth about himself and his title before he proposes, but he is also aware that asking Chloe to become a Duchess is no easy thing. His mother hated the way she was treated by British high society and went back to China as soon as she could after his father's death. Nevertheless, if he must marry, Chloe is the only one he could imagine spending his life with. In order to get to spend as much time with her as possible, he promises her ten pounds if she'll write him a list with all of her qualities, as the only woman he'd consider marrying needs to have ALL of her qualities. He also insists on helping her and her father with their many tasks in preparing for the festival and the launch of their (hopefully soon to be famous) sauce. It's been a year and a half since Courtney Milan published anything at all, and two and a half years since she published a full-length novel. If you follow Ms. Milan on Twitter and other social media, or have read anything online about the complete implosion of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) over the last few years, you can see that she hasn't exactly had the best of times. While she was never tested, it also seems very likely that she had Covid-19 and was pretty seriously ill earlier this year. So the fact that she's written this new historical novel, which does not fit into her ongoing historical Worth Saga, nor her contemporary Cyclone series, was a wonderful surprise. As soon as the pre-order links were available, I rushed to make sure I'd have my copy on release day. It was therefore a wonderful surprise to open my e-mail about three weeks ago and discover an e-mail with an ARC of this book - I had completely forgotten that I had qualified to be on Ms. Milan's ARC mailing list. I devoured the book in less than 24 hours. The book made me laugh out loud more than once because Ms. Milan is very funny when she wants to be. Moreover, reading this book filled me with a satisfying warmth, like being wrapped in a cozy blanket or given a really good hug (something I think many of us are starved of at present). It's such a ray of golden light in these dark times, the entire narrative is focused on finding, recognising, and seizing your happiness with both hands, and it felt like a balm. I love pretty much everything about this book. I love how effortlessly sweet it is, how full of warmth and joy it is. I love that Ms. Milan imagined this tiny village in Kent filled mostly with immigrants from all over the world, making up a vibrant and diverse community. I love Chloe and Jeremy as protagonists, I love the supporting characters, especially Chloe's gruff father, who shows his deep affection for her by constantly nagging her to eat. He's not necessarily happy about Jeremy's interest in her, and he certainly doesn't like that he's keeping secrets. He keeps torturing Jeremy with excessive amounts of chili added to his food until the young man comes clean about the things he's been hiding from Chloe, and Jeremy, knowing that he deserves it, dutifully eats the fiery food and suffers in silence. I loved how determined, loyal and strong Chloe is and how Jeremy loves her exactly the way she is, not threatened or put off by her ambition and independence. I love that Ms. Milan gave us a half-Chinese duke, which may not be entirely historically accurate, but is no less implausible than the scores of dukes, viscounts and earls that already make up historical Romancelandia. I loved learning more about the Hakka people of China and as with Jackie Lau's contemporary romances, that frequently feature a lot of descriptions of food, reading about all the things that Chloe's father cooked made my mouth water. My only initial complaint when finishing this book was that it was possibly too free of conflict and effortlessly happy. Ms. Milan has said that she specifically set out to subvert the tradition that there needs to be some big third act complication, which frequently requires angst and emotional turmoil for the protagonists to work through. There are no big misunderstandings here, this book is decidedly anti-angst, and yes, maybe the path to true love actually does run too smooth here. Having thought about it for these last three weeks, I've come to the conclusion that I was wrong, and this book just being one long escapist fantasy isn't a flaw, it's a gift. This is exactly the sort of story we need right now and I'm so glad that I was able to read it a few weeks early. I sincerely hope Ms. Milan felt as happy writing the book as I did reading it. Judging a book by its cover: I've commented when reviewing Jackie Lau's books that you very rarely get to see Asian people represented on romance covers. While seeing a couple passionately embracing and looking as completely entranced by one another is something you can expect from a romance cover, the sad lack of representation for BIPOC people is such that this very sexy, super -steamy cover is unusual, because both the cover models on it are Asian. It's also a far cry from a lot of Milan's covers, with poofy wedding dresses photo-shopped into various period gowns, so personally, I'm a huge fan, and hope this trend continues.

  19. 4 out of 5

    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    JEREMY. That's it. That's my review. JEREMY. That's it. That's my review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    Thank you for the gift, Green as Grinch Grouch!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kit

    5* I loved this. This was the softest, gentlest, most beautiful romance I've read in a long while, and it was just what I needed. Thank you, Courtney Milan. I hope you continue to find joy in writing like this. 5* I loved this. This was the softest, gentlest, most beautiful romance I've read in a long while, and it was just what I needed. Thank you, Courtney Milan. I hope you continue to find joy in writing like this.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    First book of 2021! I loved so much about this. Courtney Milan did what Shondaland does so well with Bridgerton -- took a standard romance story, imbued it with history that involves people of color, and created something fun and clever and wonderful. It wasn't the retelling of Persuasion I was originally expecting based on early reviews, but it was something altogether its own and I enjoyed it that much more. ++++++ Wentworth! Asians! PERSUASIAN!!!!! HERE FOR ITTTTTTTT! First book of 2021! I loved so much about this. Courtney Milan did what Shondaland does so well with Bridgerton -- took a standard romance story, imbued it with history that involves people of color, and created something fun and clever and wonderful. It wasn't the retelling of Persuasion I was originally expecting based on early reviews, but it was something altogether its own and I enjoyed it that much more. ++++++ Wentworth! Asians! PERSUASIAN!!!!! HERE FOR ITTTTTTTT!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wendy'sThoughts

    August 21, 2020 It Wasn't Too Much To Ask... Miss Chloe Fong Explained The Obvious... One Needed To Be Serious... One Needed To Stop The Shenanigans... Jeremy Wentworth, Her Childhood Sweetheart... Was Smitten And He Was Told... Stop The Nonsense and Then... Miss Chloe Fong Will Converse With Him... Unfortunately, Then Jeremy Wentworth Disappeared... During His Time Away... He Tried And Tried... To Be What Miss Fong Wanted... But There Was A Couple of Problems... Mainly, No Matter What He Did... His Persona August 21, 2020 It Wasn't Too Much To Ask... Miss Chloe Fong Explained The Obvious... One Needed To Be Serious... One Needed To Stop The Shenanigans... Jeremy Wentworth, Her Childhood Sweetheart... Was Smitten And He Was Told... Stop The Nonsense and Then... Miss Chloe Fong Will Converse With Him... Unfortunately, Then Jeremy Wentworth Disappeared... During His Time Away... He Tried And Tried... To Be What Miss Fong Wanted... But There Was A Couple of Problems... Mainly, No Matter What He Did... His Personality and Leanings... Tilted Towards The Mischievous... Now Jeremy Is Back To Woo Miss Fong... To Get Her To Accept The Man He Is... And Also To Reveal His Title and Station... This Man Wants To Win Miss Fong... And He Truly Wishes Not To Be Known As The Duke Who Didn't (Wedgeford Trials #1)-September 22nd 2020 The Duke Who Didn't (Wedgeford Trials #1) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    An objective 4 stars. I wanted to love it more than I did. The writing was superb as usual, but I found myself forgetting this was supposed to be historical. It didn't feel historical to me, (not because of the race/ethnicity of the characters) perhaps due to the language. I can't call it anachronistic because I don't know. Maybe it was. I was shocked to see it was supposed to be a retelling of Persuasion, because I didn't see that at all. I loved Jeremy. Chloe was okay. The food was wonderfully An objective 4 stars. I wanted to love it more than I did. The writing was superb as usual, but I found myself forgetting this was supposed to be historical. It didn't feel historical to me, (not because of the race/ethnicity of the characters) perhaps due to the language. I can't call it anachronistic because I don't know. Maybe it was. I was shocked to see it was supposed to be a retelling of Persuasion, because I didn't see that at all. I loved Jeremy. Chloe was okay. The food was wonderfully described. I liked sandwiches though they may taste better smashed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    steph

    This was an enjoyable read. It was funny, light and the gentle banter between Chloe and Jeremy was exactly what my soul needed right now. It was honestly refreshing that no major drama or miscommunication happened in the course of this novel I kept waiting for the shoe to drop in the end regarding Jeremy revealing he is the duke but (view spoiler)[ that storyline was handled way better than I expected -"Every white person thinks every Chinese person knows each other, you think we WOULDN'T be tol This was an enjoyable read. It was funny, light and the gentle banter between Chloe and Jeremy was exactly what my soul needed right now. It was honestly refreshing that no major drama or miscommunication happened in the course of this novel I kept waiting for the shoe to drop in the end regarding Jeremy revealing he is the duke but (view spoiler)[ that storyline was handled way better than I expected -"Every white person thinks every Chinese person knows each other, you think we WOULDN'T be told that the Duke of Lansing is half Chinese?" hahaha Oh Jeremy, you special snowflake you. (hide spoiler)] I also think this is one of the few historical romance novels set in the 1800's England in which both characters are Chinese and neither one is bombarded with hatred/racist acts and situations on-page. Racism is present, there is revenge sauce-making going on after all plus Jeremy is half Chinese and a duke, but it is not the focus of this story which was nice. Like yes, we need to have all important historical books that discuss the impact that colonialism and racism had on POC's but we also just need lighthearted and funny ones too and this story definitely fell into the later half of the sentence. Anytime Chole and Jeremy shared a scene together (especially involving her lists!) I just smiled. Also Chloe's father? I LOVED HIM AND I WANTED TO EAT HIS COOKING. 4/5 would recommend. Also this book made me realize how much I have missed Milan and her writing so I might go back and re-read the Brother Sinister's again because it's been too long.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Teleseparatist

    I received an ARC of the book for review purposes. My opinions are my own. This was a lovely, cosy and warm historical romance that's just the right mix of smart, funny and heartfelt. Chloe and Jeremy's affection and attraction are believable and worth rooting for - they're adorable together, their chemistry is visible on page and their happy ending was satisfying. I enjoyed spending time with them in Wedgeford and I loved the subtle humour as well as the more obviously comical moments, but perha I received an ARC of the book for review purposes. My opinions are my own. This was a lovely, cosy and warm historical romance that's just the right mix of smart, funny and heartfelt. Chloe and Jeremy's affection and attraction are believable and worth rooting for - they're adorable together, their chemistry is visible on page and their happy ending was satisfying. I enjoyed spending time with them in Wedgeford and I loved the subtle humour as well as the more obviously comical moments, but perhaps the most compelling part of the book was the relationship between the two protagonists and their community. It made them feel real and lovely. The success of a romance novel is often down to the details - the way in which the author puts their own flourish on reliable tropes and tweaks a familiar narrative structure achieving the right balance between new and known. Milan takes some risks here, experimenting with the conflict and the structure and it pays off - the novel does a few unexpected twists in a way that made me laugh out loud (waking my cat in the process) and that also made me think "of course" in the aftermath - all the clues were there. This was the best way to make the pieces fall together. And together they fall. And then there's the details of the world and minor characters that I just loved. The revenge subplot. The Chinese heritage details concerning the protagonists and their families that were described so lovingly. Chloe's father and all the ways in which his fierce love for Chloe manifested itself. And the unnamed sauce. (In fact, the surprising thing about this book might be that it's not really bedtime reading because the mouth-watering descriptions of cooking and eating made me hungry every time!) I guess the only thing I didn't quite love in the book was the eponymous Wedgeford Trials aspect - not because I didn't enjoy it, but because it felt like the fact that the protagonists didn't participate in them in the time of the action meant that this aspect felt incomplete to me - but that only means there's space for us to see the trials themselves in the sequel(s) that I hope will come. Finally, I loved the extended author's notes. It was fascinating to hear about the real stories that served as inspiration for some of the author's choices, and the story behind the story is something I'd gladly read for every book I read. Highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Bertke

    You can only read a book for the first time once, and I meant to make this one last. I meant to savor it, enjoy its complexities, not bolt it down in a single sitting. So I put it down several times through the day, between chapters, and did other things. And that’s how it happened that I finished reading the author’s note at the end of Courtney Milan’s _The Duke Who Didn’t_ at one in the morning, rather than in the early evening. This book is extremely unusual amongst romance novels, in that the You can only read a book for the first time once, and I meant to make this one last. I meant to savor it, enjoy its complexities, not bolt it down in a single sitting. So I put it down several times through the day, between chapters, and did other things. And that’s how it happened that I finished reading the author’s note at the end of Courtney Milan’s _The Duke Who Didn’t_ at one in the morning, rather than in the early evening. This book is extremely unusual amongst romance novels, in that the romance trope gender roles are swapped…and I *love* it. The hero not only allows the woman to lead the life of her choosing, he actively supports her in it, and looks out for her interests. The only times he bullies her is … into taking care of herself. The book expected me to understand certain aspects of Chinese culture and history, and I, like an intelligent reader, perked up and started learning from what I read. It reminds me of how I felt in my teens when I first got a taste of English society in the 1800s by reading romances. The dialog is often hilarious, and the characters – all of them – are intelligent and working for what they see as right. There are no paper cut-out villains with flimsy motivations; simply people acting with perfectly human reasons. It was balm to my soul, and exactly what I needed to be reading right now.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    I haven't read any of this author's historicals, but have liked her contemproy romances. So I thought it was worth checking this one out. Sadly this one didn't work for me, giving it up around 30%. I found I was bored, I have a feeling that Jeremy's secret identity will not come out good and oddly enough I found myself more interested in knowing what they were going to name the sauce, but it wasn't enough to keep me reading. This one just wasn't for me. I haven't read any of this author's historicals, but have liked her contemproy romances. So I thought it was worth checking this one out. Sadly this one didn't work for me, giving it up around 30%. I found I was bored, I have a feeling that Jeremy's secret identity will not come out good and oddly enough I found myself more interested in knowing what they were going to name the sauce, but it wasn't enough to keep me reading. This one just wasn't for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    One of the few books I’ve been able to finish during COVID, and it was a very good escape to a place a little brighter and kinder. I am so grateful to Courtney Milan for her softer books, ones that don’t have a gut drop of conflict and betrayal in the middle. Those are thrilling and fun in their own right, and I enjoy reading them during other times, but right now? I love the soft reveals of honesty and the loving acceptances, and this book had them in droves.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    COURTNEY MILAN. MY HEART.

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