Mr. Milan reviews “This Wicked Gift”

Courtney’s Note: This review was written by Mr. Milan. Courtney edited it only for length. We all know that Mr. Milan has no bias towards Courtney. None.  Admittedly, he is married to her, but a little thing like that would never lead him to soften his reviews.

Hello, I’m Mr. Milan. Yes, I’m a man, and as such, I don’t usually read romances.  My tastes run more to fantasy and sci-fi with the occasional Elmore Leonard or James Ellroy novel just to keep things fresh.  But Courtney asked me to write a brief review of her novella, “This Wicked Gift.”  No one has to ask me twice to give my opinion about something.

I will not allow the fact that Courtney makes me dinner to bias my review of her story. I’m not afraid to call it like I see it.  It’s like when Courtney attempts to play basketball.  If she sinks a three-point shot, I’m eager to shout “you go, girl!” and pat her on the bu–uh, on the back.  But if she fumbles the ball out of bounds because she bounced it off her own foot, despite the absence of any defensive pressure whatsoever, I’ll groan louder than anyone.  (Delicate considerations of marital peace prevent me from saying which event happens more often when Courtney plays basketball.)

You can trust me to give you the straight scoop about her story.  Which is that it sucked.

For one thing, there weren’t any good fight scenes. Swordfights?  None.  Gunplay?  Forget about it. Now, I like a good sex scene myself, don’t get me wrong.  But I prefer it when the sex is the denouement to a bloody barbarian invasion, or when the hero and heroine get a little jiggy with each other after they’ve just killed a monster with a six-inch kitchen knife and their own teeth.

For another thing, I know Courtney went to great lengths to make everything about the story fit with the historical setting of London in December of 1822.  The pences and shillings all add up, the way a lending library works is accurate, the neighborhoods are all realistic. But what was not realistic for any year in any city, was that a man would have sex with a woman and say anything other than, “Let’s do that again.”  When I told her this, she said something about “conflict” and “motivation.” I’m sure it would make sense to another woman.

There is some stuff to like about “This Wicked Gift.”  I don’t know if all romances are this way, but the dialogue was okay. My favorite part of the entire story, in fact, was the part near the end where the hero and heroine finally get around to discussing what the “Q” stands for in “William Q. White.”  It was something I’d been wondering about since the book started.  Quincy?  Quigley?  Quintillian?

And I have to say, I like the name William Q. White.  I may not be an expert, but don’t most romance authors give their heroes good metrosexual names like Adrian or Ethan or Derrick?  “William Q. White” sounds like something out of a documentary about the foreign policy of the Truman administration.

Unfortunately, a little sex and a lot of wit don’t make up for the lack of butcher knives or machine guns.

Bottom line: 2 out of 5 Sherman Tanks.

Um, thank you, Mr. Milan! I … appreciate that. Very much.

22 thoughts on “Mr. Milan reviews “This Wicked Gift”

  1. What?! No sword fights? No gun battles? Well, I can see why Mr. Milan would be so negative.

    (PS: Dear Courtney, perhaps you should bounce the basketball off Mr. Milan’s head next time)

  2. LOL. Poor Mr. Milan. How will he survive PROOF BY SEDUCTION in January? Have you suggested other, sword-fight-y historical romances, Courtney, as a rapprochement to this fictional divide?

    Nice tanks, btw.

  3. I’m just impressed that you got Mr. Milan to read the romance in the first place. Mr. Bennett would not be caught dead reading a romance. Although he would definitely be intrigued by a documentary about the foreign policy of the Truman administration.

    (I think Mr. Milan may have secretly liked it and wanted to give it a 5, btw, but might have been concerned about what the guys down at the hardware store would say.)

    Great review. 🙂


  4. I’m glad he gave this 2 out of 5 tanks. I’m not too sure I’d want to read anything he’d give a 5 tank ranking! 🙂

  5. LOL! This sounds exactly like some of the things Mr. Harris said about my book. He lamented the lack of explosions, got squicked out by all those messy feelings, and stated no guy would care that much about his emotions so obviously Alejandro was repressing something, which is what made him such a prick.

    God, you gotta love an honest review of a romance by a man. 🙂 Kudos Mr. Milan. Hope your dinner isn’t, um, burned or anything.

  6. I have a little crush on Mr. Milan. Not because he’s so wrong in the ranking of 2/5 Sherman tanks, but because he’s so witty and funny. I definitely think more Mr. Milan reviews are in order. I can just see his review for PROOF by now in regards to oranges and elephants.

    And also, congrats on your release day, Courtney!!! “This Wicked Gift” is utter perfection! I loved it so much!!! YAY!!!

  7. So instead of something non-swashbuckling like Mrs. Giggles, Mr. Milan would be reviewing all forthcoming books under the name Mr. Artillery? Or perhaps Mr. Shell Casings?

    Congrats on your release, Courtney! Woot!!!

  8. You have a real peach there, Courtney. Or would he prefer being called something more along the lines of You got a real broadsword there, Courtney? Or you got a real Smith and Wesson? Maybe some sort of tactical martial arts move, like, you got a real arm bar there?

    I had to laugh at the three-point shot, those are the only shots I’ve ever been able to make, no lay ups or free throws.

  9. Wow, I’m not sure a five Sherman Tank book is something I’d be interested in reading. Though I’m sure there is an audience out there. Why not try your hand at writing one, Mr. Milan? You two could be the new Jim & Shannon K. Butcher! Or Jonathan and Faye Kellerman. Yes, Courtney and Mister Milan…has a nice ring to it.

    No, I think two Sherman Tanks in Mr. Milan’s rating system is equal to Five Stars in my rating system. So, congratulations on your TWO Sherman Tank rating, Courtney!! Let’s hope Proof By Seduction makes it two in a row!

  10. Mrs. Essex cannot compose herself long enough to write a coherent comment, as she is laughing too bloody hard. What Wicked fun!

  11. Hahaha. That was unexpected 🙂

    I hope Mr Milan will review Proof By Seduction as well – that will be interesting :p

    Congratz on release day Courtney!

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