Counting Courtney Milan

Last fall/winter there was a hullabaloo that ripped Romance Writers of America (RWA) asunder. I will flub things if I try to explain it here, so I won’t, but feel free to check out this article on Jezebel or this post from Smart Bitches. Basically, Courtney Milan, herself a woman of color, pointed out racism in a novel and the author of that novel filed a complaint for being called out. In response, RWA suspended Milan for a year and banned her from future RWA leadership positions. 

I read Courtney Milan’s response to the Ethics Committee regarding the complaint and was duly impressed. That woman can turn the shit out of a phrase, I tell you. 

I realized at some point that I’d bought one of her novels at some point and hadn’t read it yet, so I found it and started reading it. I went on a long car trip when I wasn’t finished and couldn’t bear to wait until I got home, so I downloaded the audiobook for the ride. That was The Duchess War and I quickly listened to Courtney Milan’s entire backlist. Except one because the narrator was terrible, but I’ll get to that when I do reviews on the individual series. 

I’m counting the ways I love Courtney Milan. I love her prose. I love the depth of her characters. I love the community you can feel in her books. But I think it’s her choice of theme and subject matter is what has made her my favorite author. 

Here is an in-exhaustive list of things about Milan’s books that go right to the squishy part of my soul:

  • Transgender protagonist (Hold Me
  • Fertility
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Illiteracy
  • Domestic violence
  • Voting rights
  • Abandonment
  • Depression
  • Justice system
  • Healing properties of dogs
  • Child abuse/childhood trauma
  • Same sex relationships
  • Societal shaming
  • Imperialism
  • Perspective of the ones who don’t get to write the history books

Read her books. Seriously, go read them. I can’t say enough about how good they are. I will say more, though. I will talk about each of her series in posts to come. Until then, pick any of them to read. They’re all wonderful. 

Dogs and books: they just go together. 

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