This was a cute historical fiction/romance with a good touch of humor. Set in Regency era England, the story follows the exploits of Emmeline and William Pershing who have enjoyed a perfectly convenient marriage for eight years. More business partners than husband and wife, Will married Emmeline to help her keep her childhood home, and in turn, Emmeline helped Will advance his career with the government. It is all threatened when the couple are invited to Emmeline’s grandfather’s house for his birthday party. The home came with a caveat: Emmeline and Will must have children within the first five years of their marriage or they forfeit the place. While the couple’s few attempts to conceive came to nothing, Emmeline did not let that deter her. She created two imaginary children for the couple and has been lying to her family for the past eight years.
Faced with losing their home and livelihood, the couple secure a brother and sister from an orphanage to pose as the couple’s children at the birthday party. They have 8 weeks to shine them up and teach them to behave as upper class children. The street smart children have their own plans, however, and see this endeavor as a way to evade returning to the orphanage and gaining their freedom.
This was a very cute book. The couple are pretty clueless about each other and romance, so it was sweet to see them start to fall in love with each other. The children are adorable and their savviness and spirit are fun to read. It was also a joy to see everyone in the household go from being wary and suspicious of the children to under their spell. By the end, everyone was in on the plot to save the family home. Overall, this was a fun and quick fluffy book to read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. All opinions are my own.