James Kenwood is a supporting character in "The Heiresses". He was the husband of Poppy Saybrook, the "crown jewel" Saybrook who died after allegedly throwing herself from the window of her office without any previous signs. This lead James and many others to believe that she was murdered.
James was first introduced to the Saybrooks through Rowan - they'd become friends at Columbia when they lived on the same floor freshman year. Rowan’s father had offered to buy her an apartment, but she liked the idea of being like everyone else, even opting for a double instead of a single. She’d spent most of the time in James’s dorm room, playing video games and chatting about the people in their building, especially the girls. They’d stayed on for graduate programs at Columbia, James for business school—he had always wanted to be an entrepreneur—and Rowan for law school. They had a standing Monday-night dinner date at a Mexican dive on Broadway with spicy guacamole. On weekends, they played pool at SoHa, the dingy bar on Amsterdam whose bartenders made potent Long Island iced teas. As usual, Rowan had fallen into her role as the perennial guy’s girl, James’s wingwoman. Plenty of times Rowan had consoled James’s date at the end of the evening when she caught James making out with someone new in the unisex bathroom. It was during a party Rowan hosted for James at Meriweather did he met Poppy - he gave her the same look he gave the other girls he hooked up with, much to Rowan's horror.
James is later seen escorting his fiancé Poppy at Steven Barnett's funeral, smiling unassumingly at everyone, most notably at the women.
Five years later, he and Poppy are now married with two daughters - recently-turned-three-year-old Skylar and twenty-two-month-old Briony. He smolders his wife with kisses and affections in front of her family and friends, but Poppy squirms and briskly pull away both times.
James has curly brown hair, light eyes, and a slightly crooked smile. His skin smells like peppermint soap, according to Rowan.
James is extremely flirtatious, fun, easy-going, and enjoys the party scene. He is also a womanizer and rarely stays committed to one woman - even his own wife. He is loving and gentle towards those he cares about, but values almost everything as a game or a chance worth taking. Despite his facade of niceties and easy-going personas, James is wickedly controlling of those he loves and has a horrible temper with anyone who upsets him. He is also abusive towards Rowan, as shown when he grabs her wrist and digs into her arm, yells at her, and doesn't restrain himself from pushing her around. He enjoys getting what he wants and will do anything and everything he can to get it.
James was Poppy's husband before her death. Likely being a womanizer, James probably wooed and succeeded at getting Poppy. However, that doesn't mean he was truly faithful to her deep down, as he smiled especially at other women at Steven Barnett's funeral. Five years later, he started to suspect that Poppy was having an affair with someone due to her strange behavior and lack of physical intimacy. This lead to him wanting to end their relationship and eventually having an affair with Poppy's cousin, Rowan. He planned to end their relationship the day that she was murdered. After her death, he was heartbroken and missed his wife deeply. However, he still did not remain loyal to her and continued to have a relationship with her cousin.
- Amelia Marrow - Amelia was the mother at Skylar's birthday party who claimed that her daughter had said "bisexual" instead of "biathlon". James slept with Amelia while he was married to Poppy, and after he had just been with Rowan. He was with her the day that Poppy was killed.
- Evan Pierce - Evan was Corinne and Dixon's wedding planner. James had a fling with her after they both got drunk, and planned to get a hotel together when they were caught by Rowan, James' then-girlfriend.
Notes and Trivia
- He was the husband of Poppy Saybrook until her death.
- According to the prenup he had with Poppy if they ever divorced he wouldn't get any of Poppy's assets. However, when she was murdered he did inherit it all.
- He cheated on both Poppy and Rowan, as well as several other women.
- Because of his temper and the prenup, Rowan believed that James had killed Poppy, though he was proven innocent since he had a secure alibi.