Title: The Countess Conspiracy
Author: Courtney Milan
Series: Brothers Sinister, book 3
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Source: Review copy from publisher
“Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.
Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.
So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership...even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.”
The Countess Conspiracy is the third book in the Brothers Sinister series by Courtney Milan.
Let me start this by saying I love Courtney Milan and everything she writes. I think I have read every single book she has written. I love her so much that I know when I pick up one of her books I’m going to fall in love with her characters and the journey they will take to their happily ever after. At least that was the case until The Countess Conspiracy. I have to be honest, having previously met Sebastian and Violet I was expecting a lot from this book, but sadly, it didn’t meet with my expectations. My biggest problem with this book has a name and that’s Violet.
It was difficult for me to believe that the Violet I was reading in The Countess Conspiracy was the same Violet from previous books in the series.
Sebastian is tired of passing Violet’s theories as his; he’s also tired of all the bad reputation this has brought him. When he tells Violet he can’t continue with the farce because is affecting him deeply, instead of understanding him she freaks out and treats him really bad. To add to this Sebastian opens his heart to her and tells her he has been in love with her since they were kids, to this revelation she reacted even worse and belittled his feelings.
This goes on and on, Sebastian being there for her as her friend and she feeling bad about herself and her behavior towards Sebastian, but still not doing anything to change it. It’s implied she suffered a lot during her marriage, we just learned what happened to her almost at the end of the book. These experiences during her marriage left her feeling irreparably broken and hiding behind a tough façade. It was something very serious and heartbreaking; still it didn’t explained nor justified her behavior towards Sebastian.
My problem was that Violet was an impossible to like character. I don’t remember when was the last time I disliked a heroine as much as I disliked her. She was so bad I would have preferred she stayed in the friend category and Sebastian would have found another ladylove. The only thing I admired about Violet was her dedication to her experiments.
I understand her past changed her, but her things she did to protect herself were disconcerting and didn’t feel natural. She was always putting herself down in a very hateful way. Those things instead of endearing her to me made me feel the least sympathetic towards her. I can say I disliked her less after I learned the “reasons” behind her behavior, but sadly it wasn’t enough for me to like her or understand her.
Sebastian was a shade of what he was supposed to be. It was said over and over he was a well-known rake, but we never see that, we don’t see it on previous books and we don’t see it in this book. We just see a man in pain because people don’t understand him and can’t see the real him, they just see the jokester everybody is expecting him to be. The woman who was supposed to be his best friend (Violet) just sees what other people say of him. His brother was the same case. I couldn’t help it but feel bad for poor misunderstood Sebastian.
I liked the end of the book better, when we learned about Violet’s past and see changes in her and Sebastian’s brother. I also liked Violet’s mother and how she reacted to Violet’s truths. I also liked the scientific part of the story.
After seeing some reviews it looks as if I’m a minority in regards to The Countess Conspiracy. Many of my fellow reviewers loved this book, so don’t let my experience discourage you, The Countess Conspiracy wasn’t for me, but it may be the perfect book for you.
Despite my problems with The Countess Conspiracy I still have faith in Courtney Milan and her beautiful writing, for this reason I’m eagerly looking forward to next book in the series, The Mistress Rebellion, to be released on May 1st.
My Verdict: 3 Paws
Other books in the series
The Governess Affair (Prequel novella)
The Duchess War
A Kiss For Midwinter (Novella)
The Countess Conspiracy
The Mistress Rebellion (May 1st)
Talk Sweetly to Me (TBA)
Other reviews Goodreads