Title: The Suffragette Scandal
Author: Courtney Milan
Series: Brother Sinister, book 4
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Source: Review copy from publisher
An idealistic suffragette...
Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope...but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.
...a jaded scoundrel...
Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She's only a pawn to use in his revenge.
...and a scandal seven years in the making.
But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it's too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past...and once the woman he loves realizes how much he's lied to her, he'll lose her forever.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to make justice to this book in this review, but I’ll try to do my best.
Since she has remembered Miss Frederica “Free” Marshall has swam against the current. A woman with strong ideas and a strong will, who wants the best not only for herself but for other women as well. With those ideals in mind and to give voice to women she created the ‘Women’s Free Press’, a newspaper ‘By Women, For Women, About Women’. Despite having the support of her family Free’s enemies are many. Thanks to one of those Edward Clack comes to her life.
Edward Clark was born Edward Delacey and should have been Viscount Claridge, but he decided to forget about his family and the title he should have inherited, after his family abandoned him in Strasbourg during the Franco-Prussian War.
Many years have passed, Edward has made a life for himself, but his plans of never coming back to England change when he learns that one of his childhood friends’ (Stephen) life is at risk. Edward’s younger brother, James, wanted Free as a mistress, but when she declined his offer he decided to ruin her; to get to her he is willing to do anything in his power, even hurting her employees. Stephen is Free’s friend and the only man working for her newspaper and an easy target in James’ eyes.
To save Stephen Edward offers his unconventional services to Free. He allies with her to seek revenge from the man who betrayed him when he needed him most, James.
Free knows she can’t trust Edward, he even told her so, but after spending some time together and learning things about each other the relationship that started as an alliance against a common enemy turns into something more. The only problem is that Edward is keeping secrets from Free, secrets that could change everything.
Free is a great heroine; I can almost say she’s one of my favorite heroines in a historical romance book. Mrs. Milan did an outstanding job portraying a strong woman, idealistic and realistic at the same time. Free knows she won’t change the world, but knows her contribution, even though small, may have positive repercussions in the long run. She fights for what she believes, she knows the risks and deep inside she is afraid, but that doesn’t deter her to do what she knows is right and must be done. Huzzah Free!
Edward is the epitome of a torture hero. His family abandonment and what he had to do to survive broke him. He doesn’t believe in himself nor believes he deserves anything good. How can somebody love him and accept him if he doesn’t love and accept himself? He did many regrettable things to survive, things that hunt him everyday. His past is like a dark cloud that follows him around and doesn’t let him see the light… until Free comes and shows him he’s wrong; she accepts him the way he is and proves him he’s a good person, deserving of love and happiness. Huzzah Free!
Since their first encounter Free and Edward are attracted to each other, but the don’t act upon that attraction. They first become allies, then friends and slowly fall in love. They are great together; Edward admires Free strength and courage and is inspired by her and Edward makes Free feel protected and love and the most important thing he accepts her just the way she is.
The smart banter between them is original, sexy and appealing, simply a delight to read.
Characters from previous books make an appearance, for them the ones I love the most in this installment are Free’s brother, Oliver and Oliver’s half brother, Robert.
I love how Oliver supported Free in all of her endeavors and never judge her for being an unconventional woman (for the times).
Robert was great in this installment. I loved how he had an opportunity to help Free and was able to play a little brotherly role. I also loved how he was included in the Marshall’s family, a dream come true for him.
One thing I have to highlight about The Suffragette Scandal is that Mrs. Milan went where not many historical romance authors have gone. She gave us a side romance between Free’s best friend, Amanda, and Free’s sister in law’s secretary, Genevieve. If I’m not wrong this is the first time I read about a lesbian couple in an historical book. I have to applaud Mrs. Milan not only for writing it, but also for doing it so flawlessly beautiful.
My love for Courtney Milan is widely known. I considerer her one of the best historical romance authors ever. Her books are not only about couples and love; they are also about social problems and real events of the times. Her heroines are strong women who don’t need a man to be happy or to be complete, but when they find that perfect somebody they know they have found their match, their equal, a person they can count on, and lean on when need it. That was the case in previous books and that was the case in The Suffragette Scandal.
As you can see I really loved this book. The Heiress Effect (second book) has been my favorite book in the series, but now, I think The Suffragette Scandal is a good contender for that first place.
I can’t recommend enough this book, this series and this author in general. If you are a fan of historical romance or historical fiction Courtney Milan is an author you have to read.
Next book, Talk Sweetly to Me, will be a novella and the conclusion to Brothers Sinister series. It will feature Stephen and a Rose, a gifted mathematician of mixed race. Talk Sweetly to Me will be release on August 19th and I can’t wait to read it.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
The Governess Affair (Prequel novella)
The Duchess War
A Kiss For Midwinter (Novella)
The Suffragette Scandal
Talk Sweetly to Me (Novella) - August 19th
Other reviews Goodreads