One reason I've read so many books by Milan (and I only just went through my ereader and noticed this) is that she seems to make an effort to try something a bit different - example: using characters of different classes (not all aristocrats), educational backgrounds, etc. You don't have to have just one character be The Intellect - you can have multiple clever people with various histories. I like that variety - and that I don't feel like I'm reading the same story over and over (I can sometimes enjoy plot repetition, depending on how well the story's told). That doesn't mean I love everything she's produced. Often the traumatic backgrounds she gives her characters are a bit much for me - sometimes I'm not in the mood for loss, betrayal and/or suffering, for instance.