A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister #1.5)
December 18, 2012
Reviewed by May
He had decided it would be best not to mention his main reason for wanting to marry- that he thought it expedient to procure a regular source of sexual intercourse without risking syphilis.
In her last book The Duchess War, Lydia was seen through the eyes of her best friend (heroine of that book), and we could see some tensions brewing between Lydia and the town’s doctor Jonas. Now the pair are back in an all new novella from Milan, and I was both entertained and intrigued by the story.
Lydia dislikes Jonas quite a bit, mostly stemming from a most unfortunate incident years ago when he was following the old doctor around on rounds. While she has built a happy life and has successfully kept that scandal buried, she has never really gotten over what happened when she was a teenager. She sees Jonas as a reminder of that awful time, and she doesn’t know that at the time (years ago) Jonas was ordered to remain silent, he didn’t agree with the scathing remarks the doctor made, and he isn’t the horrible man she’s always imagined him to be.
Jonas seems to enjoy his work as a doctor, and I was instantly charmed by him as a character. He’s very factual and upfront (see my favorite quote above!) Needless to say, as he considers Lydia as a potential wife things do not start out smoothly.
“Rest easy, Miss Charingford,” he said. “I wasn’t attempting to seduce you. I had come to no conclusions about your virtue. I was only talking to you because you were the eleventh prettiest young lady in Leicester.”
Faint dots of pink appeared on her cheeks. “Oh?” There was a dangerous tone to her voice now. “Eleven, am I?”
“That is – I mean-“ He looked away. “Shite. I didn’t mean to say that.”
She didn’t gasp at that obscenity. “Work your way on to number twelve,” she snapped. “Number eleven wants nothing more to do with you.”
The problem is of course, not only does the good doctor realize exactly who she is (and that she has survived a potentially epic scandal) – but he also is instantly more interested in her because she is so vibrant, so full of life, and so happy despite it all. He hatches a plan to spend more time with her and get to know her a bit more – and to hopefully show her that he is a man she should look at and consider.
He had told her outright that he loved her, and she hadn’t seen it as anything but another volley, another ill-considered jest. The entirety of his feelings had become a joke. She didn’t even see him as a friend, let alone a suitor.
Oh poor Jonas! Always stumbling and making awkward comments around his lady love. You see once he really sets his eye on her not only does she become the sole woman of interest in the whole town, but he falls deeply in love with her as well. As you can imagine, things don’t go smoothly for our hero. He’s got quite a bit of work to do – and stumbles to make. I was quite satisfied overall by this novella and the amount of character development balanced with a swift moving plot that Milan was able to fit into this length of story.
While it is related to The Duchess War, and takes place immediately afterwards, I believe that it could be read as a satisfying stand-alone novella. I look forward to the next installment in this series – once again Milan has truly sparkled and shown how strong, beautiful, funny, and emotional a novella length romance can be.