Shocking family secrets of St. Barts, Emme Cross
Genre: Romance, women’s fiction
Wow, a real mouthful of a title this time! I loved the previous books in this series, but wondered if Emme could keep up the momentum and standard of them. Was there anywhere left for Sunny and Sven to go? I’ve read series which just go on and on and on, the magic of the early books is lost, and they just become bland, anodyne reads and I really didn’t want that to happen, so I opened this with some trepidation…..Thankfully Emme pulls it off really well and produced another winner.
This story concerns Sunny and Sven in the present time, and also goes back to Sunny’s parents meeting and marrying and raising a family. Sometimes the back and forth in books like this gets confusing, or I get really lost into one time span and then feel upset as it moves. Emme keeps each part brief though, so I wanted to know what happened next but was also invested in what was happening in the other time, and this worked really well for me. When we meet Sunny’s parents and their families there were some surprises in store. Doug was spending a month in St Bart’s and Madeleine is just 16 when they meet. She’s very like Sunny in that once she sets her mind its hard to move, and she falls in love with Doug and is determined they’ll marry. Madeleine’s family were an interesting mix, and I didn’t remember one vitally important thing about her – maybe it was in an earlier book, maybe not – but it has a huge impact on this book. The past doesn’t always stay in the past, but the actions from the characters come forward to affect Sunny and the family in the present time in a way no-one could have imagined.
I enjoyed seeing how Sunny’s family met, how things developed, and what a terrific and honourable man her father was. A gentleman in the truest sense. Then there’s the present day, where the family are staying at none other than the chateau of Evil Evangeline. Oh I love someone like her, a character that’s bad to the core, immoral, selfish, vain, they provide for some great dramatic parts. Emme uses Evangeline to her best here and it gave some fabulous tension and drama especially when everything came to a head!
Sunny is her usual happy self, always trying to brighten others lives, solve everyone’s problems. Her Russian friend Mischa is staying with them too – she’s come on so much from the gaunt, depressed addict we knew, and is now a person making her own path, and devoted to Sunny and her family. I hope we see more of her in future books. Then there’s Sven who’s a hero at times and a disappointment at others. He’s changed so much from the person we first met, an amoral manwhore, who didn’t want to be in love and took it out on Sunny. At times in the early books I was so disappointed in him, so let down ( but of course it was what made the story so great ), and Sunny had far more patience that I would have done. She was right though, what they had together was worth waiting for, and he’s now a devoted father and husband who would give up everything for his family.
I really enjoyed this story, its a continuation of course of Sven and Sunny’s romance, but more so a back story of events that have a massive effect on the current time in their lives. I wasn’t sure the story could go further – I was wrong and I’m really happy about that 🙂
Stars: Five. a great read and terrific addition to the series. Hurrah too that everything is in one book this time, and not split over two.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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