Book Review: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

Courtney Milan’s The Brothers Sinister Series nourished my spirit and fed my revolutionary & anarchist romantic energy so completely and utterly, I was left ruminating for weeks over each story and character and the historical significance of it all. I am still thinking of these characters.

After the past four years (2016-2020), The Suffragette Scandal and The Brothers Sinister Series empowered and reinforced my inner queen. The stories reminded me of the best of me and all my courageous sisters and brothers or peoples in all our subversive charm and resilience; of those that battled and brawled and challenged the toxicity of masculinity, patriarchy, colonialism, white supremacy, nativism or nationalism, of homophobia, and all behaviors normative and established then and still—that odious imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy that haunts our happiness even now; that that war is forever unfolding and injustices ongoing, not only to our sisters, but to each group intersected and nonexempt within and out; and that we need resist and overcome still, if not for our privileged selves, but for those most vulnerable, to protect and lift the voices of those silenced, harmed and othered.

But most importantly, that there is hope, happiness, love, and fun within those same circles amongst the struggles; that we are not alone in our quest for justice and truths known and unknown; and, that each story is important and necessary and must be told to make way for the unrestrained, unrestricted, and the unconditional and global acceptance, of appreciation and respect humanity earns at every birth and breath.

From witty one-liners to snarky love tags to elaborate themes and plots, Milan’s writing embraces vivid storylines and engaging characters around politically significant circumstances. I’m not saying that romance novels are filled with pure escapism and little politics—absolutely not so; for all women, every act, breath and word spoken and taken is political and even in those novels labeled pure escapism there carries political weight that has built over time and struggles. There needs be hope, love and romance though and Milan delivers that with an elegant, imaginative, and brainy panache like no other.

The highest of recommendations for reading and hella enthusiastic support for a television series for each of the books including the novellas.

Free simply shrugged off that insult. “I told you once that everything you tried to do to me, I’d bring back to you a thousandfold. Now, maybe you’ll believe me.”

James stared at her, his teeth grinding, his face turning red. Then he turned away, jerking his head toward Edward. “You need to control your wife.”

“Haven’t you figured it out?” Edward said quietly. “I married her to unleash her on the world, not to keep her under wraps.” James blinked, as if trying to understand that. “I married her because she made me believe in her,” Edward said. “Because I wished her beyond your power, not under mine. You have no idea of the debt I owe her. For her I’d do the unthinkable.” He glanced back at Free. “If she asked me to do it,” he told James, “I’d even forgive you.”


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