My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews of Courtney Milan’s work, I like her writing quite a bit–and Unlocked, her novella set between Books 1 and 2 of her Turner series, was no exception. This story features a side character that we briefly meet in Book 1, and how the wallflower Lady Elaine Warren is courted by an earl who once was extremely cruel to her and now deeply regrets it.
I really liked Elaine’s backstory, and I liked Elaine a lot as a character. The incident in her and her love interest’s history that set her down the path of spinsterhood was his publicly mocking her for a distinctly unladylike laugh, and the ton being what it is in these sorts of books, all of his hangers-on immediately leap on the chance to mock poor Elaine mercilessly. This pretty much ruins her socially, and I can’t help but feel for the poor woman and want to punch Evan for having pulled that on her. This being a romance novella, though, Evan’s maturation as a character hinges upon his having realized the error of his ways, and he does so beautifully.
If Regencies are your thing, this is a great fast read, and you can read without needing to have read the first in the Turner series since it stands alone. Four stars.