This is a romantic story that happens backwards- the pair become engaged in the opening pages and spend the rest of the novel gently falling in love. However, the romance is done very subtly and it isn't the main focus of the book.
A few more sweet scenes between Emmaline and William to show a spark in their relationship would have brought my rating up to a five.
The heart of the novel is the relationship Emmaline and William develop with the two orphans they borrow from the orphanage.
Rose and George are hilarious and totally adorable. I loved how they expressed themselves whether it was polite or not. It was heartwarming to watch them interact with William and Emmaline as well as the staff and slowly bring laughter and friendship back into the household. It was difficult not to like the children and hope that Emmaline and William would resolve their issues and find a way to adopt them and save their home.
There were a few twists involving the children's older brother that added extra drama.
The inevitable HEA for the newfound family was heartwarming and uplifting.
A really charming and delightful story that I found difficult to put down.