James continues her long-running and multigenerational Desperate Duchesses series (Four Nights with the Duke) with an enjoyable romance set in early 18th-century London. Eugenia Snow, a viscount’s widow, is free to enjoy herself amid London’s social whirl, but she prefers to focus on running her agency for high-end governesses. When Theodore “Ward” Reeve strides into her office demanding a replacement governess for his orphaned half-siblings, she is tempted to be scandalous for the first time since her husband’s death seven years before. The attraction between Eugenia and Ward is instantaneous, and they leap into an enjoyable no-strings-attached affair. James avoids the cliché of a widow who didn’t find sexual satisfaction with her first lover; Eugenia talks frankly about enjoying the physical side of her marriage. Series fans who remember Ward and Eugenia as children will enjoy seeing them united as adults. Eugenia bonds with Ward’s kids and showers them with love, understanding, and laughter. She is honest about her feelings as Ward reassesses his prejudices and assumptions. Even though Eugenia forgives him far too easily for his mistakes, their romance is a fine addition to the series. Agent: Kimberly Witherspoon, Inkwell Management Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2016 Release date: 01/01/2017 Genre: Fiction
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