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Book CoverC2’s review of Seven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, Book 3) by Eloisa James
Historical Romance published by Avon 31 Jan 17

Greetings, Faithful Reader! I’m sure you’re glad to know I’m still alive and typing. >.> Anyhoo, there are always those few authors you can depend on, aren’t there? The ones you know will deliver a good, well-written story that will leave you with a happy sigh at the end, right? For me, Eloisa James is one of those authors, so I was glad to get the chance to read her latest, Seven Minutes in Heaven – a twist on the governess-finds-romance plot. Onward!

Eugenia Snowe is part of the aristocracy. After her husband died, she opened an agency for governesses. So, when good families need an excellent governess, they come to her. Sure, some society sticklers don’t like it – she’s running a business, for crying out loud – but most are appreciative of the service she provides. When we meet her, Eugenia is a workaholic – her life is completely wrapped up in the agency. She doesn’t go out, she doesn’t mix and mingle, she just works. However, she begins to realize she needs a new challenge.

Enter Mr. Edward Reeve (an aside – I kept thinking about Inspector Edmund Reid from Ripper Street – which I love!). Following the death of his mother, Mr. Reeve has just gained two young half-siblings he knew nothing about. They share a mother, but he was raised by his father. There’s all sorts of scandal surrounding his mother and, now that the children have arrived in England, their grandmother wants custody of them. However, their late father (a schoolmate of Reeve’s) wanted him to raise them. His grandmother has set up hearing to rule on the situation, and Reeve has a limited amount of time to turn his raised-in-a-traveling-theater-troupe siblings into model English children. Which brings him into Eugenia’s orbit.

After a bit of convincing, Eugenia sends one of the agency’s governesses to Reeve’s home. As it turns out, she isn’t a good fit and leaves. After some sneaky maneuvers by various parties, Eugenia ends up at Reeve’s home until a new governess is available. Of course, romance ensues! Eugenia had already decided it might be time for her to have a fling – she’s been a widow a long time, after all – and Reeve is readily available for flinging. They decide to take advantage of the time Eugenia is there, make the most of it, and, when it’s over, it’s over. But we know how plans like that work out, don’t we, Reader?

I always enjoy Ms. James’ voice and her books generally have slightly different takes on society than many other books set in the same time period. Sometimes it’s hard to put my finger on what, exactly, is different, but there’s usually something. I enjoy that! It keeps things interesting. She also stays true to the world she’s built, even as she moves from the Georgian era (her original Dangerous Duchesses series) into the Regency era (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers) – we see a lot of familiar faces, however briefly, which is always a treat for readers. And is just another reason I always recommend starting at the beginning of a series.

So, does this book stand alone? It does, mostly, although your enjoyment will be increased if you’ve read Four Nights with the Duke – and if your memory is better than mine, because I had completely forgotten about poor Mr. Reeve in that book.

I encourage you to try Ms. James’ books, if you haven’t already. Her voice is enjoyable and her take on things is unique. Plus, there are always interesting historical bits thrown in – some the trivia-lover in me always enjoys. If you enjoy this book, go back and try some more – there’s something for everyone (including some interesting takes on fairy tales). You know you want to!

CSquareds C2 IconGrade: B


Witty and elusive Eugenia Snowe has all society begging for one of her premiere governesses-except the powerful Edward Reeve, who bursts into her office with his arrogant demands.
No question that Eugenia enjoys crossing wits with the brilliant inventor, but Ward wants far more than a governess. He wants Eugenia, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her-including kidnapping.
Will Eugenia lose her heart in the most reckless gamble of her life, or will she discover the sweetest pleasure she’s ever known?
All it will take is seven minutes…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in the series:
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