Mira, Sep 2002, 6.99, 416 pp.
Inventor Professor Michael Rowen breaks the heart of Helena Cabot because he believes she, as the daughter of the most powerful US Senator, would never marry him. Pregnant with Michael's child, Helena turns to New York's Junior Senator Troy Barnes. They forge a loveless marriage of convenience that has fooled the international upper crust into believing this couple shares the perfect matrimony.
Almost a decade later, two events destroy the Barnes couple alliance. First her father dies leaving Helena with no protector. Second Troy learns that William is not from his seed. Fearing retribution for herself and her son from her authoritative abusive husband, Helena tries to obtain a divorce, but no attorney will go up against Troy. Desperate she flees to Upstate New York and opens a woman's shelter, but also turns to Michael for help. Though neither trusts one another William is Michael's son and Helena, knowing Troy has a rep to maintain, is coming.
Names aside (Helena and Troy!), ENCHANTED AFTERNOON is an exciting nineteenth century romantic intrigue that provides readers with a vivid look at the plight of women in a society granting no rights. The story line is fast-paced once the key cast members are introduced so that the reader understands how they react to tribulations. Though how Troy hid his true colors from his spouse even if she lived in Sarasota Springs while he in Georgetown for much of that time seems a stretch, the audience will relish Susan Wiggs delightful historical tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner