The School For Heiresses Series
1. Never Seduce a Scoundrel (Lady Ameila Plume & Major Lucas Winter)
2. Only a Duke Will Do (Louisa North & Simon Tremaine, Duke of Foxmoor)
3. Beware a Scot’s Revenge (Lady Venetia Campbell & Sir Lachlan Ross)
4. Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (Madeline Prescott and Viscount Norcourt)
5. Don’t Bargain with the Devil (Lucinda “Lucy” Seton & Diego Montalvo)
6. Wed Him Before You Bed Him (Charlotte Harris & ___??)
Today, I’m a fan, and Sabrina Jeffries is my star. Her story, Wed Him Before You Bed Him, is the sixth in her School for Heiresses Series. And it’s about to be released in one week on June 23, 2009. But no one knows who the hero’s going to be yet. Well, OK, we Jeffries fans know it’ll be Cousin Michael paired up with Charlotte Harris.
But who is Cousin Michael?
(Warning: Spoiler alert ahead)
All we know for certain is he’s the mysterious benefactor that keeps Charlotte’s school for heiresses running, and the two of them correspond through letters (and we get to read those letter at the beginning of each chapter in all the School for Heiresses stories).
What I like so much about this mystery is that Jeffries hasn’t shown us Charlotte in a close relationship with one or two (or however many other) men, therefore we can’t be truly disappointed when the guy we think should be the hero ends up playing second fiddle. Yet, she throws in just enough clues to make us wonder, “will it be—could it be—him?”
We’re aware Charlotte is friends with Charles Godwin, but we don’t actually get to meet him much. I only remember them having one conversation together (in book 5: Don’t Bargain with the Devil), and there wasn’t any sensual tension anywhere, nor any soul-bonding experiences. So, we’re not given a good enough look at him, or anyone else for that matter, to decide, “it has to be him, oh, it better be him, or I’ll just die.”
So, let’s see if we can unravel the mystery. Another warning: It's been a while since I read books 1 through 4 in the series so I don't remember them so well. Most of my guesses come from book 5.
The story blurb says Cousin Michael is a man she wrongs bad enough to regret it afterward. In offending him, she becomes Mrs. Harris. But it doesn’t say Mr. Harris is the man she wronged or even if he really exists, which makes me wonder in passing, did she create herself a make-believe husband, accumulating a married name in order to change her identity and flee the “cousin Michael” man. Except I don’t know how strong that idea is. In an earlier story, she makes reference that after being married to Jimmy Harris, she had to travel a lot… so, OK, maybe the man really did exist… maybe he could be Cousin Michael.
So, there’s suspect #1: Her supposedly dead husband, Jimmy Harris.
Suspect #2: Charles Godwin. Everyone knows Charlotte is close friends with him. And the tone of their letters does resemble the tone of their one conversation I remember them having. But, my opinion? Nope. Too obvious. And, honestly, that’d make too boring of a story (or maybe not. This is Sabrina Jeffries writing it, after all! The woman can make anything exciting to read).
Plus, if Charlotte wronged Charles long ago, would they still be friends today? Possibly, but I’m still speculative. The story blurb also says “His masquerade began as preparation for a devastating revenge, but soon became a labor of love,” so I’d think if they saw each other face to face, they wouldn’t be on friendly terms—or at least, she’d be a bit more anxious around him. Another fact making me want to say no is that “Cousin Michael” is unable to buy the land next to Charlotte’s school because he has a bad past with the current owner. Charles Godwin strikes me as too congenial and nice a person to have a bad history with anyone. But… I could be wrong… again.
So, we move on to Suspect #3. Lord Stoneville. I’d kind of like it to be him because he comes across the scandalous, rogue type, and I think a story with him as the hero would be full of sensual sin, making it fun and exciting to read.
In book 5, when he surprises everyone by helping Charlotte find her kidnapped teacher, Lucy, it made me think he’s usually a bad boy and probably has a shady history with lots of associates—ergo, he could easily be on bad terms with the landowner of the ground he wishes to purchase. Then, after Charlotte thanks him for his help, he wickedly answers, “Just how grateful are you?” Was that just me, or it did that make anyone else shiver and sigh?
One more reason I suspect it could possibly be Stoneville: He seems to be friends with the Duke of Foxmoor and Viscount Norcourt, who were both heroes in previous books. I say, heroes usually stick together and guy bond. Weak point maybe, but I want to cover everything.
On the other hand, if Charlotte wronged Stoneville in the past and he was mad enough to plan vengeance, wouldn’t she be a bit more apprehensive around him? There was no mention of tension or guilt or any history between them whenever they were in the same room together in book 5…
Then again, other more important events were transpiring, and they were surrounded by so many other people, she really didn’t have the time to reflect on the past.
Another thought I had: Maybe this misdeed she preformed against “Cousin Michael” was something she didn’t think he was aware of her doing. In that case, she might not behave very anxious around this man—whoever he is.
On to suspect # 4 then. Viscount Kirkwood. Actually, I never would’ve suspected this guy. His wife commits suicide in book 5, but we don’t really get to meet him. The teaser on the very last page of book 5, however, claims him as a possible “Cousin Michael” candidate, so… let’s throw him on the list as well.
And just to cover all the bases, we’ll say Suspect #5 is every other available man.
That leaves us with five suspects: Jimmy Harris, Charles Godwin, Lord Stoneville, Lord Kirkwood, and Mr. Unknown.
Whoever he ends up being, I’m anxious to read how Jeffries draws him and Charlotte together. And I’m thankful she didn’t give him too much coverage yet. I think I’ll enjoy meeting him more, now that it’s time for his story.