The Suffragette Scandal is the book six in Milan's Brothers Sinister series, of which I have read none of the previous volumes. The nice thing about romance series is that you can jump in and out of the series without loosing any context. I suspect there was a scene or two that would have been more enjoyable if I'd read the other novels, but I understood this one just fine. All in all, it's an excellent romance novel and I enjoyed most of it. I think it went on just a bit too long in some spots, and it might be time I admit that I just don't care for historical romances-the historical details and conventions that get ignored in the genre bother me.
Frederica Marshall is a suffragette running an independent newspaper; for women, by women. Edward Clark, the secret heir to the tittle of Viscount Claridge, is a rogue and forger back in London to protect a childhood friend. His brother, the almost Viscount Claridge, is pursuing vengeance upon Free's newspaper and because Clark's friend works for Free the two paths cross. Romance ensues. It's great. Plus there is an absolutely perfect sub romance between one of Free's fellow (female) reporters and a Lady's Maid. In general, the harsher aspects of suffragette life is ignored, but the ideals and values which pushed those women to fight are represented in wonderful detail.
Romance novels live and die on their heroes and heroines. I have absolutely no issues with Free, but Edward was super annoying. This is the third Milan novel that I've read, and I think it's safe to say that I don't care for her type of heroes, the 'woe is me, I have done terrible things and am unfit for human society but with the love of a good woman I will turn around' type just turns me right off. Especially when those 'terrible things' are really more along the lines of 'I was in a war' or 'I've forged documents and lied to people'. Really? REALLY? These kinds of heroes skirt the line of evil bastard while still remaining someone that women can dream about, it bugs me a lot in part because its a character trope that is used to excuse some terrible behavior. Though, fortunately Milan doesn't go quite that far in her books.
Oh, holy crap. I need to take back what I said about Milan’s heroes. While Edward is a good example of the kinds of heroes I was talking about, I had COMPLETELY gotten Milan mixed up with Tessa Dare. This is the only Milan book I’ve read, so I can’t comment on whether her heroes follow this mold or not. Dare’s heros on the other hand, definitely seem be more of the same. I know that a lot of romance heroes fit into the mold of ‘I am a terrible person and not good enough for love and I’m going to leave you for your own good’, but I can’t place Milan’s heroes in this category because I haven’t read enough of her books. And you guys, this is why Romance is not my genre.
I quite liked the novel. It was fun and full of escapism. However, I'm discovering that I just don't think Romance novels are really my favorite form of escapism. I've read more in this past year then I in all the the years since I was 13. They're fine, just perhaps not my cup of tea. And thus while I think this is a decent book, I just can't give it more then the three stars to indicate "I enjoyed it". If romance is more your bag, I really do think you'll love this one.