I may read mainly scifi and fantasy, but I’ve developed a healthy love for romance recently (more like, since I found out there are good queer historical romances if you know where to look).
I’ve been following Milan on twitter ever since the whole Romance Writers of America debacle (if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’re probably better off not knowing, but it boils down to: racism) and her threads and law opinions are always very interesting. And yet I’d never read any of her books until this year.
Thankfully, Scribd has a lot of her work on audiobook, so I remedied that earlier this year, and I’ve enjoyed every book from her I’ve read so far. If you love diverse historical romance (or even contemporary romance), flawed characters with mental health in particular as a key topic, and characters (especially men) who learn to be better, I fully recommend giving her books a try!
(Also, and this seems like a key fact everyone needs to know about: Pele the dog sometimes co-signs her books with his pawprint!)
Courtney Milan writes books about carriages, corsets, and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller.
Courtney pens a weekly newsletter about tea, books, and basically anything and everything else. Sign up for it here: https://bit.ly/CourtneysTea
Before she started writing romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After that, just to shake things up, she went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude. Then she did a handful of clerkships. She was a law professor for a while. She now writes full-time.
The Duke Who Didn’t
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.
This novel was hilarious, with lots of second hand embarrassment, and definitely sold me on Milan’s writing. Historical romance, your typical prince and pauper story but with layers, and I loved the story being set in an almost entirely Asian community in England.
Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.
To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.
But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.
This was not only a great and sweet romance, but I never thought I could love a character this rich and this oblivious, and obviously Courtney Milan proved me wrong! It also explores social pressures, eating disorders and burnout, and I can’t remember the last time I read a book where a character had an ED.
Jay na Thalang is a demanding, driven genius. He doesn’t know how to stop or even slow down. The instant he lays eyes on Maria Lopez, he knows that she is a sexy distraction he can’t afford. He’s done his best to keep her at arm’s length, and he’s succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
Maria has always been cautious. Now that her once-tiny, apocalypse-centered blog is hitting the mainstream, she’s even more careful about preserving her online anonymity. She hasn’t sent so much as a picture to the commenter she’s interacted with for eighteen months—not even after emails, hour-long chats, and a friendship that is slowly turning into more. Maybe one day, they’ll meet and see what happens.
But unbeknownst to them both, Jay is Maria’s commenter. They’ve already met. They already hate each other. And two determined enemies are about to discover that they’ve been secretly falling in love…
I read Hold Me and thought “Maria needs her own novel” and turns out Milan had exactly the same thought! Absolutely loved it, also we need more trans characters in romance, and ALSO I cannot wait to read the next books in this series!
Once Upon A Marquess
The last man Judith Worth wants to see again is Christian Trent, the Marquess of Ashford—the man who spent summers at her family home, who kissed her one magical night…and then heartlessly ruined her father. But when a tricky business matter arises, he’s the only one she can ask for help. With any luck, he’ll engage a servant to take care of the matter, and she won’t even have to talk with him.
But Ashford has never forgotten Judith. He knows she will never forgive him for what he’s done, but when offered the chance to assist her, he arrives in person. His memory of Judith may have haunted him, but it pales in comparison to the reality of the vivacious, beautiful woman he rediscovers. Throughout his life, he has always done what is correct. But now, he finds himself doing something utterly wrong…falling in love with the one woman he can never have.
If you’ve ever had some deep financial anxieties, you will relate with this book. The romance is great, hot even, as Milan’s always seem to be, but what stayed with me is the portrayal of trauma, what I think I can safely call PTSD and OCD in a historical setting. And discussion of the opium trade and Britain’s wrongs in that area – while remaining a light romance.
You can read all of these and more on Scribd, with 2 free months when you sign up with my invite link : LINK.