The Duchess War - Courtney Milan This book started off really promising. The writing was tight and I loved the author's voice. The plot was fresh and the main characters were likable. If only I had been able to connect with the romance, this would have been a 5 star read. Instead, it drifts between 2.5 and 3.5.

The heroine is not who she pretends to be and she meets a Duke who is also hiding behind a facade. They are able to see behind each other's masks and they form a connection. I just never felt a great spark, though. It seemed almost academic how they fell in love. It's hard to put my finger on why the romance felt so lackluster and devoid of tension. Maybe it was all the time spent in each of their heads listening to repetitive introspection and analysis. Both have sad pasts that take a long, long time to fully be revealed. It isn't until the 70% mark that we learn Robert is a virgin, for God's sake. You'd think he'd have ruminated on that a bit earlier on. . It's clear that they are perfect for each other but they have some huge plot hurdles to overcome before they can get to their HEA. And speaking of plot, it was an interesting one revolving around worker's rights and the peerage system. The secondary characters were also enjoyable and I have high hopes for the next two books in this series. I just wish the romance in this book had been more compelling.