All of Eugenia Snowe’s problems start when Edward Reeve, an arrogant bastard son of an earl, bursts into her registry office. He wants a governess and he wants her. She gives him the governess he demands, but she refuses to give herself.
No question that Eugenia enjoys crossing wits with the brilliant inventor, but she will never tarnish her reputation with an affaire, particularly with a man who doesn’t realize she’s a lady!
She holds her ground…until he kidnaps her.
Ward will stop at nothing to convince Eugenia that they’re meant to be together. He promises her heaven. She gives him seven minutes.
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Seven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses By the Numbers)
Eugenia Snowe lost her beloved husband in a tragic accident not long after their marriage. Although she is the daughter of a marquess, she needed a challenge to help her through the grieving process. For the last seven years, Eugenia ran a well respected employment agency for governesses. Now she wonders if it’s time for her to start living again. When Theodore Reeve, known as Ward, comes into her agency, demanding a replacement governess for the one who left, Eugenia finds the gentleman very attractive.
Ward is in a very unique situation – he’s the illegitimate son of an earl, but he was actually raised in his father’s home and is publicly acknowledged as his son. His mother, thought by some to be eccentric at best, and mad at worst, left to travel with an acting troupe. Unknown to Ward, she married and had two children, his half siblings. Now his mother and her husband are dead, leaving the children in his care. Ward is happy to take on the task, but the children’s (and his) own grandmother, who is a stuffy, toplofty, unpleasant woman, is challenging him for custody. Ward knows that his status as an unmarried bastard jeopardizes his case, so he hires a top notch governess, and begins to think about making an advantageous marriage to a society lady with an unblemished reputation.
When the second governess leaves her post due to the eccentric behavior of the children, Lizzie and Otis, Ward immediately runs to Eugenia’s agency to demand yet another replacement. When there is no one available, Ward convinces Eugenia to act as governess for two weeks. In the course of their conversation, which is fraught with serious flirting and sexual undertones, the couple begins to consider having an affair for those two weeks. It turns out that Eugenia hits it off really well with the children, and also with Ward. They share an intense passion and fondness that grows daily.
Now, this is where things get complicated. Although it was the last thing she wanted to do, Eugenia finds that she is falling deeply in love with Ward, and adores the children. Ward doesn’t realize that Eugenia is a lady, he thinks that she is just a businesswoman, when in fact her social status is vastly superior to his. When Eugenia makes a couple of innocent mistakes regarding the children, Ward is doubly certain that she has no permanent place in his life, no matter how fond he and the children are of her. When the two weeks are up, Ward determinedly ends the affair, despite Eugenia’s declaration of love, and sends her away.
Eugenia is a jewel, and I adore her. I love how she had the courage to admit her love for Ward, and challenge him to admit his own love. When she was rejected, I admire her class and dignity, and her determination to carry on with her life. Ward is a charming and sexy man – he couldn’t care less what society thinks of him and his birth, yet it was his concern for the children and their future that drove him to be so cruel to Eugenia. He has his work cut out to try to win her back, especially when Eugenia now believes he only wants her for the social advantage she can supply. Can this couple work out all the misunderstandings and find their way to happily ever after? SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN is an enjoyable read, which includes some heartbreak along the way with the light moments. The children are quirky and quite adorable – and how many stories can boast a pet rat – especially one named Jarvis?
Looking forward to reading this one! Thanks for the review!