Title: A Kiss for Midwinter
Author: Courtney Milan
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Genre: romance, historical romance
Rating: 3/5 stars
A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella in Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, picking up shortly after The Duchess War. Per Goodreads…
Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can’t forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him…or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.
Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He’s been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he’s determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss…
As with my last go at a romance novella, I found this to be a largely frustrating experience. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about Courtney Milan’s books is that you can really see why the characters would be attracted to each other. They spend time together, learn about each other, grow to like each other, and then the love. Sure there’s the usual sexual attraction/insta-lust stuff, but it’s not the primary reason for the relationship. Milan does a great job at creating fully fleshed out characters and showing us why those characters would want each other.
Here, as in The Governess Affair, though to a lesser degree, the romance feels rushed and unearned. Jonas is in love with with Lydia because reasons. Lydia genuinely seems to hate him the first half of the book until the point she realizes she loves him, and then we start hearing all about how she had butterflies whenever she was around him and she was just being mean to him to keep him away. Or something.
These complaints aside, there is one thing about this book that made it 100% worth the read: birth control. Milan uses the Jonas’ being a doctor as an opportunity to incorporate frank discussions about Victorian birth control, and it’s sort of great. They’re called French letters! That’s so weird! I love it.