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For the first four books in James's "Desperate Duchesses" series, Jemma and Elijah, the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont, uneasily sharing a home after living apart for years, have been key players in the romances of others. In this, the penultimate book in the series, the time has come for them to produce an heir and, if Jemma has her way, rediscover passion and fall in love once more. Jemma is not a chess master for nothing, and this fun-living duchess is determined to win the heart (and heal it, if she can) of her proper, straitlaced duke by making him choose her in the most critical game of her life. VERDICT Clever plotting, luscious sensuality, and witty, intelligent banter are the hallmarks of this scandalously entertaining book, which nicely sets the stage for A Duke of Her Own(coming in August), the story of the wickedly charismatic Duke of Villiers. James (When the Duke Returns) lives in the New York City area.