MY DEAREST ENEMY
Independent minded Lily Bede found freedom when she unexpectedly inherited Mill House. If she successfully runs the estate for five years she gains permanent control. There is one snag in the situation, however. His name is Avery Thorne, the heir to the estate.
An adventurer, Avery has not been home for years. As his financial guardian, all Lily needs to do is send him money to continue traveling around the globe on new escapades. If she fails to turn a profit, Mill House will revert to Avery.
Determined to win, Lily does her best for five years; taking in aging race horses, pregnant housemaids and the original tenants of Mill House. She writes Avery letters, treatises on the role of women in society, as well as those concerning the day to day life at Mill House. These letters touch a special place in Avery's heart, mind and soul.
Lily never expects Avery to return, but just before her tenure is up, he arrives to make his claim. He always thought of Lily as a doughty spinster, but when he finds a strikingly beautiful woman, Avery discovers another reason to stay. Her letters inspired him to reveal himself in the missives he returned, but now she inspires him to pursue her for other reasons.
Avery works to break down Lily's defenses and prove to her that marriage can mean freedom, not servitude. Lily learns to unlock the secrets of his soul. Together, they make for a wonderfully entertaining, intelligent, sophisticated read reminiscent of those by Betina Krahn. Connie Brockway is truly an innovative, wonderful writer whose work belongs on every reader's shelf. SENSUAL (July, 400 pp., $5.99)