Seven Minutes in Heaven
Eugenia is a lady who runs a governess’s agency and faces societal censure from it. Ward is a demanding aristocrat who needs a governess for his much younger half-brother and sister who were long separated from Ward and who lost their mother and father. The governesses Eugenia sends to Ward’s estate can’t handle the complicated ways the children deal with their grief. One faints constantly, and the other is hyper-religious. Neither can reach out to the children in a meaningful way. At risk of losing custody of the two children to his dour grandmother, Ward kidnaps Eugenia, who takes on the task of teaching the children herself. The younger brother, who carries a pet rat with him at all times, and the sister, who is obsessed with death, instantly welcome Eugenia, who has just as much improper useless knowledge as they do.
Seven Minutes in Heaven is part bodice-ripper, part heartfelt story. The chemistry between Ward and Eugenia is sweet, and the way they bicker, make up, and divide the responsibilities of child-rearing is idyllic. The complex emotions that arise from complicated scenarios propel the story forward. I’m never disappointed by an Eloisa James story, and you won’t be either.