A review by andra_mihaela_s
The Countess Conspiracy, by Courtney Milan

emotional hopeful informative inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

 This book goes neck to neck with "The Heiress Effect"!!!

We follow Sebastian Malheur, the briliant and funny scientist we met in previous books, and his best friend, widowed Countess of Cambury, Violet Waterfield...a most proper lady who would never hide something from society! >...>

Content warnings: misscariage, implied domestic abuse.

I loved the fact that throught the series we get to see little snippets of all the characters the stories will be focusing on. I especially appreciated that in regards to Sebastian and Violet. We got to see more of his struggle with the role of joker in the friend group and the pressure of being equally loved and hated, crucial things in understanding his journey in this book. Loved the relationship Sebastian had with the other Brothers Sinister. Up until now, we only got to see the bright side-the companionship; now, we also had some additional dynamic issues addressed as well. Amazing! ^^
I think Courney Milan took the best decission when she put Benedict in the picture...it really gives a solid foundation for Sebastian's struggle!

Violet....Lovely Violet... I'm really happy to get such a representation on a romance novel. Even today is still hard to get in books and other media, women who don't wish the whole package for themselves (or what society wants them to wish for), who have unique interests and views on life and fight for them! I really resonated with her in several ocassions, both as a woman working in what is traditionally a men's field and as an individual with her own dreams for her future.^^

This is a friends to lovers story and I find myself thinking this type of love is my favorite! We get to see a whole and well-established relationship, with banter and understanding(implicitly acceptance thrown in the mix as well); nice scenes that don't need extra words or motivations brought up for no reasons and no over the top drama (not a fan of that) >..<

The author created a complete world using just several characters besides the ones we already know of, with some key places where the action is happening, and that's really a mark of a good writer.
We get to know Violet through Sebastian, the rest of the group, her sister,Lucy, and her mother. For Sebastian, we have Violet's inside view, his brother's- Benedict's- opinions, and the Sinisters.
This type of narration gives life to people on page!

What really drew me to them. was the fact that despite their amazing understanding of themselves and their place in the world, they fail like everybody else when it comes to the ones they care about...nobody can hurt you more than a family member/ a friend.
Before I forget, I loved the implications with Violet's mother! Such a baddass! ^^I also liked the way in which Lucy and Benedict were painted...after all, in their world, they are right. This gets to show how complex life and choices are!(and also: to what lengths people are willing to go in order to feel safe in their mind...Lucy did a terrible thing in the end..but, at least we got Benedict on the right track! ^^)

Before I finish this review, I want to mention just how wonderful it was to see Sebastian understand Violet's trauma..without endless explications that will destroy the victim's mind and make her/him ashamed for what happened to them, and with no promises beyond friendship. This felt great! Courney Milan is amazing on what she sets her mind to do! (After reading other books from her, I think this is no coincidence!)

For those of you who already read this book, I hope the following istallments don't nullify their perfect understanding of what they want or can give: Amanda and Harry are just perfect for them!

To sum it all up, this book is a wonderful representation of a friends to lovers story, with complex and complete characters, in which the author explores themes and ideas such as:
-the role of women in science in the late XIX and XX century;(the author's note is vey helpful in making us understand just how rare a woman ever got appreciation for her work -even as a small footnote in the paper)
-the weight of societal rules and beliefs that many scientist faced with each breakthrough;
-the role of a wife and the trauma that can be caused by it;
-fertility in the late XIX and XX century;
-preferential treatment when it comes to more wealthy people(the author uses a scene with Violet in order to aknowledge the unfairness of the treatment done to her in contrast to other women who would be in her position).

If any of the above sounds interesting to you, please give "The Countess Conspiracy" a try! I'm sure you will love it! ^^

Enjoy 

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