Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized façade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.
Exquisite, head-strong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.
But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.
Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.
But there is only one thing that will make India his . . . the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose . . . his fierce and lawless heart.
James's seventh Desperate Duchesses historical (after A Duke of Her Own) is her most enticing work to date, replete with sizzling romance and riveting characters. Lady Xenobia India St. Clair has shocked the high society of 1799 London by scorning marriage and becoming a successful interior designer. India is hired by Tobias "Thorn" Dautry, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Villiers, to refurbish a house he has purchased. While India works with various craftsmen to make the vacant house habitable, she and Thorn engage in witty correspondence. Soon their budding friendship turns into a romantic flirtation. But Thorn is supposed to be courting Miss Laetitia Rainsford, a woman whose sweetness and biddable nature and undeserved reputation for being a bit simple are quite in contrast to India's feisty independence and cleverness. As Thorn and India hesitantly reveal their secrets to each other, they wonder whether they can accept the risks of love. James's wonderful cast and effortless plotting make this a delicious romance to be savored again and again.