As head of the vast empire of Deravenels, Edward is in a very powerful position. But the politics of inheritance involves a lot of treachery. And sometimes the treachery comes from within the family.

Constantly watching his back, Edward is also torn between his wife Elizabeth and his mistress Jane. In their world, mistresses are quite common. The fact that Edward only has one mistress is something he is quite proud of.

An heir is always uppermost in his mind as the outside forces of influenza, tragic accidents, and uncertainties threaten to leave him without one. Fortunately, in the early twentieth century, Edward has changed the rules of inheritance for his company by allowing a woman to also be named heir. This important detail will determine the future of his company, since he has many daughters. Protecting his sons is still important, but not as crucial as it once was.

One of my favorite things about this author’s books is her ability to show the reader the lush world of privilege through her descriptions that lead the reader right into the gorgeous rooms. And her characters have many privileges, including city homes and country homes. She also shows us the innermost thoughts and dreams of each of them, adding to our investment in their lives.

What I did not enjoy about The Heir was the rather snail’s pace of the first part of the book. In the first almost 400 pages, the period 1918-1928 was in the spotlight. Then the author took us quickly to 1970, leaping over more than forty years and featuring the grandson of Edward Deravenel and his quest for an heir. By the time he made his appearance, I was still caught up in the treachery of the early twentieth century. Taking such a quick pace at the end of the book left the reader without enough time to really know and care about the character Harry Turner. However, I enjoyed many portions of the book, and recommend it for fans of Barbara Taylor Bradford. Three stars.