Something in the Heir
Something in the Heir is old-fashioned cheesy sitcom goodness that trips and stumbles over its own flawed plotting. It’s basically We’re the Millers minus the drug selling part and with the addition of a whole lot of UST. The plot involves a convenient marriage that must look as real as possible so as to impress some distant relatives.
Emmeline Hervey is forced to make a spur-of-the-moment decision between her multiple suitors, or lose her family home forever, so before she loses either her nerve or the property, she selects William Pershing from among them. Though William longs for Emmeline,she makes it clear that their marriage will be one of convenience so she can keep the property, and he agrees to go along with the scheme.
To start with, Emmeline and William tried to make it into a real marriage in order to produce an heir, but after months of (unsatisfying for Emmeline) sex, they agreed to live separate lives. Eight-and-a-half-years later, they’re seemingly happy with the way things have worked out – at least until they’re invited to the eightieth birthday party of The Duke of Welshire, Emmeline’s paternal grandfather. You see, part of his prerequisite for her to keep the house was that the couple should produce children, so Emmeline lied and told him that she and William are the parents of two children – a seven-year-old son named Malcolm and a daughter named Flora. Now Welshire wants to meet ‘Malcolm’ and ‘Flora.’ Emmeline and William must produce come kids posthaste.
Enter two orphans – Henry and Rose, respectively – who have led rough lives on the streets and are now in an orphanage. They’ll do in a pinch. The ready made family departs for the ducal party, but what will come of Henry and Rose – and Emmeline and Williams’ feelings for one another – when the weekend is over?
As if you couldn’t guess from the above, Emmeline and William are planning on returning Henry and Rose to the orphanage from whence they came. This puts an unfortunate damper on the comic sparkle that Something in the Heir tries to spark to life between its characters. I won’t spoil you as to the children’s fate and that of the relationship between Emmeline and William, but it’s a romance novel, and I likely don’t need to tell you much more. The book seeks to evoke emotion from its readers but that’s an impossible feat when our hero and heroine are willing to dump a couple of poor orphans back into the system when they’ve finished with them! They have been married for eight years and already have HIS family’s estate to live in, so the fact that they’re going this far to keep HER home is a bit much. They both come off as callous, cold and selfish by doing this. But it’s the plot, and fish have got to swim.
The book also asks us to buy that Emmeline successfully hides from William that she’s been lying to her family about their having children. It’s a plot that makes little sense. The romance feels lopsided in William’s favor, but Emmeline does finally return his affection.
The romance is alright, and their personalities are fine (outside of the child returning stuff because again, WTH?). The trip to the party is delightful, the weekend itself sprightly written.
Rose and Henry are both delightful and credible children in their own way – not bad but mischievous. I adored Emmeline’s grandfather, who is crusty but funny. They, and Enoch’s writing, is why this doesn’t hit D-levels. But the plot of Something in the Heir does not hold up if you poke it for even the slightest amount of time.
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
|Review Date:||September 22, 2022|
|Book Type:||Historical Romance|
There’s a Carla Kelly with this theme— With This Ring. Since it’s Carla Kelly, they are admirable and liking turns to love, and no one actually believed him when he had made up a wife while he was fighting in the Peninsula.
Forgive my ignorance, but what does UST stand for?
I had to look it up myself. I don’t think Underground Storage Tank, or Universal Standard Time, or United States Treasury applies, so it must be:
Unresolved Sexual Tension
Unless it means something else?
When used in the context of romance – Unresolved Sexual Tension.
Another HR that sounds absolutely awful.
It’s not as bad as some of the others I’ve read lately but whew, this plot idea.
The idea sounds interesting…a makeshift family to cheat on a relative could have been comical with a few tweaks…perhaps if the couple lived abroad across the ocean the successful deception would be understood, (the family can have properties in another country right?) and if the main couple had thought about supporting the children… come on! the orphans get a home, a good life and the heroe and heroine no longer have to worry about the issue of heirs or lie because their children would be real.
I know that if I were a historical woman trapped in a loveless marriage with a husband with whom I am unsatisfyingly intimate, I would think it a great idea to keep those children.
There’s so many ways to do this plot and do it smartly without making your characters seem like selfish folks. The story decides to rectify this in the simplest way possible:
But there’s plenty of easy ways to do this without turning the plot into um, that.
With “let’s fake marriage to please elderly relative” plots, I always wondered what the characters would do when elderly relative wanted grandkids – fake a pregnancy? Now I know.
Flour sacks and pillows: they’ve worked for villainesses for years, why not heroines?