Friday, June 7, 2013

Unveiled ( Turner #1 ) by Courtney Milan

Unveiled by Courtney Milan

Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family—and now the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But instead he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance….Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who's stolen her fortune and her father's legacy—the man she's been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties—and the tantalizing promise of passion….




I'm not sure why the book excerpt painted Ash Turner as a villain. Honestly, he is not. He is the epitome of perfection, he is caring, loyal, intelligent, charming, down-to-earth and totally swoon-worthy. The way he treated people around him and the things he said makes me gasped "Are you for real?".

The story started with Ash Turner stolen a dukedom from his fifth and twice remove cousins, the Dalrymples by exposing that their father engagement in bigamy. The motivation behind his action was to provide higher status for his brothers and also to pay revenge on the family that refused to help save his sister all those years ago. When he reached Parford Manor with his brother Mark, he was determined to win his people over and become a much better Duke than the Dalrymples. On the first day of his arrival, he had set his eyes upon the the old Duke of Dalrymple's nurse, Margaret. Little did he know, Margaret was Lady Anne Margaret Dalrymple herself. 

Margaret vowed to help her brother to gain back their dukedom by staying behind at the manor to pose as their father's nurse while spying on Turner to gain any information that will tarnish him. Unfortunately, he make his interest on her showed and she can't help but felt that he was not what she assumed him to be, a ruthless man who will do anything to steal a dukedom from her family. 

"You are the most cheerfully ruthless individual I have ever met."

Ash never acted like a snobbish gentleman much to Margaret chagrin. He was friendly to the servants, especially Mrs. Benedict, the housekeeper and valued her opinion. He encouraged Margaret to be a defiance and not bow to society's rules. He make her felt important and valued as a woman in a society where men viewed them as something to possess. Whenever she had an outburst and revealed her flaws, she expected him to despise her or leave her, but he did non of that. He accepted her willingly no matter what. Honestly sometimes I felt that Ash was just too good to be true. Anyway, I love that guy. Especially when we knew that he loves his brothers and will do anything for them, steal the moon, walk on glass, anything. He also struggling to hide and cope with his dyslexia. I loved the scene where Margaret read to him in his chamber. 

When Margaret identity was revealed, he had to make the hard choices. Will he choose his brothers or the woman he loves? 

Margaret's brothers, Richard and Edmund were in London appealing their case to the magistrate. She was supposed to supply her brothers information on Ash's weakness, but after she known the man, she can't bring herself to ruin him. And she was dreading the moment that she needs to confess to him her real identity. She also had some hard choices to make, to help her brothers by betraying Ash or give in to her own happiness and forgo her brothers. 

I like way things ended, the choices that Ash and Margaret individually make in the end make me admired them more as a person. You won't get those lame and cliche moment like the hero will just gives up everything to be his woman. This will only make him less admirable. No, Ash was much better than that. 

Most historical romance usually depicted the heroes as rakes and manwhore, as it is something to be proud of. So it was very refreshing to read that both Ash and Mark actually are quite honorable man when it comes to women. Mark even practice chastity. Oh my. There was no mentioned of Ash previous lover or mistresses. I'm sure we will get more on Mark's story next and just need to know what was going on in his head. "A Gentleman's Practical Guide to Chastity", indeed.

Rating 4/5