I've been waiting for Violet and Sebastian's story for a long time, and at last Miss Milan delivered! I can honestly say that the dynamics in this book's relationship surprised me.
Usually the man is the aggressor, the pusher, the one who is more detached. In this case it's Violet who is an impregnable fortress and it's Sebastian, who is under his veneer of a scandalous scientist, still a gentle, kind and loving boy who fell in love with Violet at sixteen.
Sebastian is heartbreaking. He is such a wonderful character, - amiable, charming, the person who will make you laugh to put you at ease.
What Violet asks him to do slowly destroys him from the inside because he can't stand when people hate him. The last straw is when his older dying brother refuses to make him a guardian for his son thinking him frivolous and irresponsible. Sebastian decides to change and the biggest thing he can do is to admit that Violet is a genius behind his shocking discoveries on genetics.
This whole book is dedicated to women in science who often hid behind their husbands to force the scientific world accept their work in the past few centuries.
Violet has a brilliant mind, a multifaceted personality and many secrets. She has a formidable mother and selfish sister, so in many ways the only person who understands and supports her is Sebastian. So when he refuses to keep the charade any longer and starts trying to woe her heart, Violet is at loss. She is socially dysfunctional and mentally unprepared to accept that Sebastian's love for her is real even if she secretly desires him.
Oh, this review is such a mess because my feelings towards this book are a mess too! Courtney Milan doesn't write simple historical romances. Ever. There are always so many layers and impossible decisions to make that they leave your brain muddled, but at the same time she is so emotionally rewarding that I recommend her wholeheartedly. Please, read this book, peeps! It's marvelous.