Etta

Book Review: Something in the Heir (ARC)

Expected publication September 20, 2022

Author: Suzanne Enoch

Emmeline and William Pershing have enjoyed a perfectly convenient marriage for eight years. Their relationship is a seamless blend of their talents and goals. They’ve settled into separate, well-ordered lives beneath the same roof, and are content to stay that way—or so Emmeline thinks. And if William has secretly longed for a bit more from the woman he adores, he’s managed to be content with her supreme skills as a hostess and planner, which has helped him advance his career.

Then when Emmeline’s grandfather, the reclusive Duke of Welshire, summons them both for his birthday celebration and demands they bring their two little angelic children, William is stunned to discover that his very proper wife invented not one, but two heirs to fulfill the agreement for living at Winnover. But surely if Emmeline and William team up and borrow two cherubs to call their own, what could go wrong? Enter George, age 8, and Rose, 5—the two most unruly orphans in Britain.

As the insanity unfolds, their careful, professional arrangement takes some surprisingly intimate turns as well. Perhaps it takes a bit of madness to create the perfect happily ever after. 

Something in the Heir is an interesting historical romance standalone where a couple of convenience need to fake having a family. After marrying for convenience, eight years have passed, and Emmeline Hervey and William Pershing need to physically produce the children Emmeline has been writing to her family about to keep her family home, Winnover Hall. Now that her grandfather’s 70th birthday is approaching, and he has requested to meet his grandchildren, Emmeline and Will must figure out how to bring their fake children to reality.

Emmeline and William try multiple times to borrow children from various families but fail. When they think they run out of options, they end up with two orphans from London, George, and Rose. These two children were nicely written as they did read as real children with their own personalities and motivations. I can easily see how the situation for “acquiring” the children can not be for every type of reader. Emmeline is not very sympathetic as I could not connect to her treatment of the children and why I would want her to keep a house that she seemed to want just to keep it from her cousin.

The story tended to focus on the family aspect and the antics compared to the romance that I thought I was going to read. Emmeline and William’s relationship is introduced with her proposing to him, and the marriage of convenience being set up before the story jumps forward eight years. There are hints that William had feelings for Emmeline since the beginning, but it was difficult to see as I did not find it explored enough. It seemed their romance took a backseat to the rest of the story where there were ups and downs, but it just seemed to happen.

Overall, the concept is very interesting, but the delivered story was not what I expected. I can see it being a potential triggering read for adoptees or others more sensitive to this topic as I think more care could have been taken. Instead, it seemed the focus in the writing stayed with the comedy aspect where I felt there could have been more. There are many pieces that could make this story great for me, but it just did not quite work. I do believe that each reader can interpret the events and characters in their own way, so I may be in the minority. Therefore, they should read this story for themselves!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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