Courtney Milan released The Governess Affair, a novella prequel for her upcoming Brothers Sinister series. The short read is not only an excellent set-up for the forthcoming trilogy but also a spectacular story in its own right.
Hugo Marshall doesn't relish his job as money manager/enforcer for the Duke of Clermont, but it's a necessary part of his plan to rise above his status as the son of a coal miner. When Clermont orders him to deal with a displaced governess making a nuisance of herself, Hugo is reluctant but determined that Serena Barton will not interfere with his plans.
Milan has never been afraid to make her characters suffer, whether in their backstory or over the course of the novel. Hugo and Serena are faced with a dilemma in which there are no clear-cut choices or easy answers. Hugo can't help but admire nearly everything about Serena - her spirit, her determination, her wit. To give into his feelings for her, though, would mean sacrificing everything he's worked for. It's these difficult choices that make Hugo and Serena's happily ever after all the better. The novella's primary love scene is beautiful, both in its sheer sensuality and the truths it reveals about the lovers' relationship.
The epilogue to The Governess Affair is really the starting point for the future books in the series (The Duchess War, The Heiress Effect and The Countess Conspiracy, all expected later this year or in early 2013). Initially, it seemed a repeat of the set-up to Milan's most recent series, The Turner Saga. In reality, though, Courtney Milan creates a relationship and set of circumstances that provides for what promises to be a stunning set of books.
Publication Date: April 22, 2012
Length: 33,000 words
Other reviews of The Governess Affair:
Smexy Books (Rating: A)
It's My Genre, Baby.