Anemone didn’t find out that she was the illegitimate child of the already married Lord Pemberton until after both her parents had passed away. Hoping to get to know her family better, she comes to work at their company in France. But when her identity is discovered, she’s whisked away to the countryside hide from the publicity by her charming boss Phillipe.
This is the fifth book in the Heirs to an Empire series, but I followed it quite easily without having read any of the preceding books. I found this a light and charming read, with likable leads and a real sense of setting, especially in Provence – the author successfully conveys the peaceful, pastoral scenes. I also liked how the author deftly navigated the complicated feelings between Anemone and the Pembertons with a light touch, despite the potential for over-the-top melodrama that comes with long-lost siblings.
However, I found the characterisation of both Anemone and Phillipe to be a little light. We mostly understand who the characters are through the lens of each other, but this can be frustrating – for example, Phillipe often calls Anemone sweet to the point that it is one of her defining personality traits, but I didn’t feel as though there was necessarily a lot of on-page evidence to support this beyond what he believes of her. I also wondered if the romance got a touch shafted in favor of the family reunion angle – the romance felt more like a major subplot than the point of the story sometimes.
Overall a well-written and enjoyable book made less successful by its somewhat unbalanced plot.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.