Guys, I have a confession to make: I hardly ever read self-published books. I know, I just have been burned a couple of times and now I just don't really read them anymore. I know there are probably some gems out there, so give me your best recommendations if you do read them!
BUT I really enjoyed some of Courtney Milan's traditionally published books, so when I heard she was going to self-publish this series, I decided I wanted in on the action! And guys, her writing is so good!!
I totally loved this plot in which an heiress is deliberately seeking to make herself unattractive to eligible men in order to stay unmarried and be able to look after her sister, who is diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if their uncle, who is their guardian, wasn't intent on limiting her sister to the house and trying all different kinds of treatment that may or may not always be good for the girl. And seriously, there was some REALLY messed up stuff going on! I mean, I get that people had no idea what they were doing in medicine generally back then and that in 300 years people will say that about today's medicine, but really, it is just so harsh! I mean, burning her to make her 'snap out of it'?? Seriously? That is just cruel. I totally cringed every time something like this was mentioned, because it's more like torture and has absolutely nothing to do with healing someone.
Ok, so medical rant done.
ANYWAY. I really, really liked Jane. She was so brave and she was not afraid to humiliate herself and was just so wonderfully funny when she was deliberately being unattractive! I loved how she told people exactly what she thought of them and insulted some of them very creatively! And I loved that she kept calling Oliver 'Mr. Churchill' when she of course knew that his last name was Marshall. And seriously, I wish I could have seen all the horrendous colors the was dressing herself in! The gowns sounded outrageous and I loved it!
I liked Oliver. He is truly a good guy, even though I lost him somewhere halfway through the novel, when he became a coward and toward the end when he said the completely WRONG thing and was just GAH! OMG, I wouldn't have faulted Jane for just turning her back on him and never wanting to see him again. I really wanted to slap him right then and there. UGH.
I did really enjoy the romance between these two. They were not looking for it in each other, but they just can't help themselves and it is beautiful for the first part of the novel. And then it sort of fizzles and Oliver is being an ass and well, I couldn't fully get into it after that. I really wish the awesomeness of the first half of the novel had continued through the end, because then this would have gotten the full five stars.
Oliver does redeem himself at the end and he does this really AWESOME thing that made me warm up to him again, and I really liked the epilogue.
So this was a succesful foray into the world of self-publishing! I really liked The Heiress Effect, but there was something missing in the last part of the book to make me truly love it. I also wanted to strangle Jane's uncle who is a horrible ignorant man.
My rating: 3,5 stars
Made me crave: water melon