The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan


4 1/2 stars

Reviewed by Blue

Sebastian Malheur is a fraud.  He has been both revered and reviled for the scientific work he presents, but  the work isn’t his own, at least, not entirely.  His childhood friend, and secret love, Violet, is brilliant.  But when she attempted to present her own work, she was politely rebuffed.  She’s a woman, you see, and can’t be taken seriously.  So, in order to show the results of her extensive  experiments and theories about genetics, Sebastian agreed to present them as his own.  In fact, he has been helping her with her experiments and is very knowledgeable, though she is the genius.  After years of this deception, Sebastian feels he has had enough.  He lets Violet know that he is finished, and that she will have to find someone else.

Violet is now widowed.  She married fairly young, and her marriage, while not a real love match, at least started out civilly.  But circumstances changed, and the events that happened left Violet ill, with no sense of her own self worth, and walled off from emotions.  She directs all her passion to her work.

Sebastian has loved Violet since he was a teenager.  She is a little older than he, and married when he was sixteen.  Sebastian then became something of a rake as he grew older.  Even when Violet was widowed, he could tell that he had no chance with her.  While they worked closely together and were great friends, she froze up at any touch from him.  Sebastian’s changing their status quo acted as a catalyst.  It shook up their relationship, and though it was a long and rocky road, little chinks started to appear in Violet’s armor.

Violet broke my heart.  It was painful to learn the story of her marriage and her family, and to see such a bright woman get beat down by life and feel she truly has no value.  Sebastian, however, was true hero material.  He continues to love her and protect her, even while he is dealing with his own heartache over his dying brother, whose respect he can’t  seem to earn.  Their happy ever after was hard won, but very satisfying.

Once again Courtney Milan has written an intelligent, yet emotionally fulfilling book.  She has become one of my must read authors.  This is book three of the Brothers Sinister series, and we do get glimpses of Oliver and Robert, cousins to Sebastian, and subjects of books one and two.  Highly recommended.

This review originally appears at


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