The Ghost and Roman Trent, set before the events of the short story found in "Cotillion Christmas Spirits", is the fourth tale in which our dear friend Lord Everston is perplexed by young people's inexplicable affinity for denying love, marriage and being happy. And he may have met his match with Serena, who manages to turn every positive into a neferarious plot on Roman's part. Everston should have turned his sights on discouraging love, since that seemed a far better course of action.
Familiar faces appear every now and than, not the least of which is Everston and his living love Jenna, but like the books proceeding it you can read The Ghost and Roman Trent entirely on its own without prior knowledge. It was an interesting counterpoise between the genuine (but impossible) affection between Everston and Jenna and the icy indifference Serena desperately maintains throughout most of the novel towards Roman. As I mentioned earlier, Serena makes everything Roman says or does into something traitorous. Roman literally hangs onto his belief that Serena still loves him because she is displaying so much contempt and continually rejects his suit.
I found myself growing irritated with Serena, who would verbally tell everyone (including Roman) how much she detested him and how much she didn't trust him and how she believed he was mocking her...but privately she'd stew over 'But what if he was saying the truth?' Her constant fluctuating back and forth didn't grow any less aggravating even after she decided to help him with a problem.
In the end I enjoyed this and was charmed by Everston as usual, but if I could find Serena through a plate glass window I would have. Roman does nearly everything under the sun to convince her of his sincerity of worth and she just shrugs it off as 'But you could be lying.'
These events precede those in Jenna’s Eternal Lover, published in Cotillion Christmas Spirits.
In 1806, Roman Trent proposed to Serena. When told to go away, he went all the way to India. His years there didn’t dilute his love for Serena, however, nor his interest in her theories of education. Now Serena has fulfilled her dream, establishing a school, and at last Roman has the opportunity to start his own—right next door to Serena’s, on property willed him by the late Lord Everston.
Now the ghost of Roman’s benefactor—along with Jenna, the ghost’s earthly love—must ensure things go right for Roman and Serena. Unfortunately, their efforts to bring about true love are complicated by another woman’s determination to marry Roman…and made nearly impossible by Serena’s vow to never marry anyone.