Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review: Unveiled by Courtney Milan

In 1837 England, battle lines are being drawn in a fight for a dukedom. Ash Turner, a distant cousin of the ailing Duke of Parford, has petitioned Parliament with proof that he is the legitimate heir, leaving the current Duke’s grown children, Lady Anna Margaret and her two brothers, to face the scorn of society and a bleak future as bastards.

While her brothers race to rally votes on their behalf in an upcoming Parliamentary session, Anna Margaret remains at Parford Manor and assumes the identity of nurse Margaret Lowell, with instructions to spy on the man attempting to steal their birthright.

Expecting a cold-hearted, ruthless opportunist, Anna Margaret is surprised to discover Ash Turner is a kind, intelligent man who harbors a grudge against her father. The more she learns about Ash and the injustices his family has suffered, the more difficult maintaining her familial loyalty to her brothers becomes, especially when Ash reveals a personal secret to Anna Margaret that could result in his own destruction.

Unveiled is one of those rare books where the human heart is revealed in all its complexity and the relationship between the hero and heroine develops in a believable, completely satisfying way. Major themes such as self-image, loyalty and trust are explored, and author Milan handles the intricacies of the English courts system of that period with a deft hand.

The only thing that keeps Unveiled from being a solid 5-star read is that it was difficult to believe Ash failed to guess nurse Margaret’s identity, despite the number of hints that were dropped and the fact that most of Ash’s business dealings were based upon his strong instincts and insight into people.

Lisa Marie

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