Seven Minutes in Heaven

Written by Eloisa James
Review by Ray Thompson

Ward Reeve, the wealthy but illegitimate son of an earl, needs help urgently if he is to retain guardianship of his two recently orphaned and unruly half-siblings. This brings him to Snowe’s Registry Office for Select Governesses, but when he sees the owner he decides she would make an ideal mistress. Initial physical attraction rapidly develops into love, but Ward needs a socially acceptable wife if he is to win custody, not a beautiful former governess.

Eugenia Snowe is not a former governess as he so arrogantly assumes, however, but a lady: daughter of a marquis and widow of a viscount. She wins the love of his children and the affection of his servants. She is, in fact, an ideal wife. But will he recognize his error before he abandons her for the children’s sake? And will she forgive him if he does?

Ward seems irritatingly obtuse for an intelligent man, his behavior to Eugenia is offensive, and the passionate scenes are prolonged unduly. This is, nevertheless, a thoughtful and well-constructed Regency romance. Wit and humor enliven both the dialogue and the presentation of the characters: the children are particularly delightful. Recommended to Regency lovers.