In “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” Eloisa James continues to show through her clever and thoughtful writing that she is not only an extremely erudite professor of Shakespeare, but that she also possesses an abundance of creativity. Each of her female protagonists is uniquely talented and often successful. They have independent ideas and thoughts.
In this new story, which includes many characters from recent novels, Mrs. Eugenia Snowe is a widow who after seven years is still missing her husband. When she meets Edward Reeve, the jilted lover from a previous story, she feels an attraction.
But Snowe’s reputation is beyond reproach, and in her position as the owner of an agency that provides governesses to the most sophisticated realms of society, she must keep her reputation perfect — snowy white, as it were.
When Reeve’s half-sister and brother prove too much for the governesses she has sent, Reeve appeals to her for help. He has no idea of Snowe’s social status, and that leads to a misunderstanding that causes the wrench-in-the-works that every good romance must provide.
In James’ usual style, this novel is a veritable treasure chest of both romance and humor. The addition of a pet rat is a wonderful touch, and James treats the charms of the small mammal with appropriate affection. Those who have had pet rats (James’ daughter has one) will especially appreciate the rodent’s arrival. The action never flags and the dialogue is witty and clever. Don’t miss this reunion of old friends and introduction of new ones. It’s the third book in the “Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers” series.
Please note: This review is based on the advance review copy provided by Avon Books, the publisher, for review purposes.