From Publishers Weekly
Reviewers have compared James's Regency-era romances (Your Wicked Ways
, etc.) to Sex and the City
, but her effervescent voice is somewhat subdued in this first installment of her new series, focusing on four squabbling sisters. After their father passes away, Tess, Imogen, Annabel and Josie Essex find themselves impoverished, uprooted and taken under the wing of a benevolent duke. As the eldest and most sensible, Tess decides she must marry so that she can help support her sisters. But who should she wed? Garret Langham, an earl who seems to admire, though not lust after, her? Or the untitled but über-wealthy Lucius Felton, who hides his emotions behind a mask of cool civility, save for when he kisses her? Tess is mildly conflicted but generally content to go along with whatever fate throws her way, which makes her a less than inspiring heroine. What she lacks in character is more than made up for by Lucius, however, who possesses a quiet intensity and magnetic presence. The chemistry between the two easily overshadows the rather tenuous camaraderie that Tess and her sisters share. Sex and the City
gals they are not; they bicker constantly and rarely connect on a sisterly or even friendly level. But though the book isn't as spry as James's earlier novels, it contains a romance that will induce sighs of satisfaction.
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Tess Essex wished her father had loved his Thoroughbreds a bit less and his daughters a bit more. Now, after his death, Tess, Imogen, Annabel, and Josephine find themselves with a new guardian: Rafe Jourdain, the Duke of Holbrook. Although Holbrook is exceedingly kind, he is completely clueless when it comes to finding suitable matches for his new wards. Deciding that it is up to her, Tess encourages the romantic overtures of one of Holbrook's closest friends, Garret Langham, the Earl of Mayne. Titled, handsome, and sophisticated, Garret is an entirely appropriate suitor for Tess, and his society connections will help Tess secure good husbands for her sisters. The only problem is that even though Tess is resigned to a politely civilized marriage to Garret, she just can't seem to forget the less acceptable Lucius Felton and his deliciously improper kisses. In the first in a new series featuring the wonderfully amusing Essex sisters, New York Times
best-selling James' gift for superb characterization and elegantly sensual, delightfully witty prose create a thoroughly romantic treat. John CharlesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved