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A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Devon Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 354 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 3 of 4 in Parish Orphans of Devon
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"[Matthews] once again highlights the injustices of rigid class structures in Victorian England, this time matching a hero of dubious character and a worthy, resourceful heroine. Readers who enjoy their historicals set in the country- or seaside and France or England will be in for a treat." -Library Journal
"Matthews' storytelling skills remain rock-solid, and she spins a lovely romantic tale...As always, the background historical details are impeccably researched; in particular, Laura's trip to the seaside at Margate provides readers with a captivating glimpse into Victorian culture...A well-crafted historical romance, built on a marriage of convenience." -Kirkus Reviews
"A Convenient Fiction beautifully mixes Georgette Heyer with Victoria Holt. Part gothic romance, part family story with a tiny sprinkling of humor thrown in, it's a lovely, spooky heartbreaker of a novel that sinks its claws right into you, then kisses the wound it leaves behind." -All About Romance (Desert Isle Keeper)
"Readers who appreciate character-driven, slow-burn romance, flawed heroes, and a firm sense of time and place will enjoy this one...I'm looking forward to any future books in this series, with the fourth orphan slated to get his story in the next year." -Smart Bitches Trashy Books
"It seems that I say each book that Mimi Matthews pens is her best writing, but it appears to be true. She just gets better, and is rapidly becoming one of my very favorite authors. A CONVENIENT FICTION is a top favorite of books I've read this year, and I heartily give it my highest recommendation." -The Romance Reviews, top pick
"A truly beautiful story of second chances, of moving from your past and embracing the future, it will enchant you from the moment you open the first page." -Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
"Mimi Matthews does it again--A CONVENIENT FICTION is utterly engrossing with characters I love. Her books are classics and remind me of Georgette Heyer and Mary Balogh...simply wonderful." -Jane Porter, New York Times bestselling author
"A sumptuous and instantly readable addition to what has become one of my favourite series...Brimming with intelligence and pitch-perfect dialogue..I cannot wait to return to Devon again. Nor to Matthews' inimitable magic -- she owns this period!" -Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration
"I love Mimi's work and this has to be my favourite so far. Her characters are multi-dimensional, truly likeable, memorable, and have great chemistry. Dropped into situations that don't feel forced or unlikely, you can't help but cheer for them to get their happy ending." -Jayne Fresina, author of Once Upon a Kiss
About the Author
To learn more, please visit MimiMatthews.com
- Publication date : October 22, 2019
- Publisher : Perfectly Proper Press (October 22, 2019)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- File size : 3876 KB
- Print length : 354 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07VNLZL4D
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #18,393 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The story begins in 1860 in Surrey, in a small village called Lower Hawley. Alex is there visiting George Wright, whom he met at a French gaming club and who now owes Alex 10,000 pounds. It must be said here that Alex is a gambler and adventurer and not necessarily heroic. Living off his wits, he has managed to do well enough for himself, with a luxurious suite of rented rooms in Paris and enough money to live comfortably, even to afford first-class transportation when on the move. But it's not enough. Alex wants property. Perhaps with land of his own he will no longer feel that unsettling emptiness inside himself.
So when George tells him about Henrietta Talbot, young and beautiful only child of rich Squire Talbot, owner of impressive Edgington Park in Surrey, Alex sees his chance to marry well and into property and blackmails George into an introduction to her. But things get complicated by the introduction of Laura Hayes into the mix of George, Henrietta, and Alex. George, Henrietta and Laura were childhood friends and Henrietta wants her around as chaperone now.
Laura, unfortunately, has come down in the world. Until four years ago, her father was the successful owner of a factory in London and a distillery in France which produced Hayes's Lavender Soap, Lavender Scented Powder, and Lavender Water. Poor management on the father's part and then the scarlet fever which took his life have left Laura, her invalid brother Teddy (complications from scarlet fever which he managed to survive) and their Aunt Charlotte in straitened circumstances. Add to that a shady, unscrupulous lawyer who has been in control of the business and properties and the Hayes have definitely seen better days.
Well, I suppose you can figure out what's going to happen. The plot is predictable, but this is a pleasant read with Matthews' usual charming style and a slow-burn/closed-door romance to enjoy. Matthews is also one of the few recent HR authors who actually does research on the period she's writing about, so if anachronisms annoy you, there aren't so many in a Matthews novel.
I am actually torn in my rating for this book. It's perhaps better than a 3 but isn't as good as other 4-star books I've read. I do like it more than A MODEST INDEPENDENCE but much less than THE MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT. The romance here between Alex and Laura started out very well but by the halfway point their relationship was starting to feel tepid and lacking intensity. No, I'm not saying I wanted the bedroom doors open. Not at all. Just more "feels" to the romantic interaction.
It was satisfying, however, to read the reunion of all the Parish Orphan boys, now men, and their respective loves. (Except for Neville, of course, who has yet to meet his True Love in his upcoming book.) And, of course, to see the redemption of Alex, his internal emptiness now filled not with property, but with love.
Everything about the book is truly wonderful. Alex Archer is up there with my all time favorite heroes. He just tugs at my heartstrings. How can a man be so worthy of compassion for all he has suffered, be such a strong and caring person? Ms. Matthews created the perfect hero.
I won’t summarize the plot, but one thing that really sticks out in her writing is how eloquently and with such economy of words, Ms. Matthews portrays the poignant vulnerability of her characters. I must have highlighted a quarter of the book. She puts into words the feelings and fears that all humans must share.
The historical background was so deftly described that even things I already knew were fascinating—she gave background and added information.
The plot is original and the story held my attention up until the last page, and even though the ending was a happy one, I wanted more! I made sure I preordered the next book in the series, Neville’s story.
I plan to read it again!
I was lucky to win an advance copy of this book, but I have already preordered it. (As well as her next one). I cannot recommend this enough!
If you haven’t read the first two books of the series, you won’t be lost. However, I suggest that you read them first. Having a bit of background on the dynamics of the orphans adds so much to the “feels” in the story. Alex Archer was the boy who ran from England as far and fast as he could when the opportunity arose. He’s back, looking for an heiress to marry. It’s not the money he wants, but land; he feels that it will give him a sense of belonging. On the way to meet his possible heiress, he spies a young woman in a pond whom he believes is drowning. He “rescues” her, only to find out she doesn’t need rescuing. The young woman is Laura Hayes, the daughter of a deceased perfumer, who is not anywhere close to being an heiress. Yet he is totally drawn to her. Read the book blurb to read more of the story synopsis; I’d rather talk about the emotions. Yes, those pesky uncontrollable emotions that can make or break a romance novel.
Laura is overwhelmed in life, with no one to really lean on. Her deceased father left his business in a shambles, with barely any money to keep her family afloat. She basically has to beg his solicitor to give the family funds to live on. Her younger brother was crippled from a fever. Her aunt who has heart issues also lives with them. Laura cares for them all. All she desires is to get the business running again…and to swim in the ocean. Alex, on the other hand, fears the ocean. He’s made money from gambling and is by no means destitute, but he wants land. Alex hides a lot from Laura; you can easily see that he is unhappy with his past actions and doesn’t believe he deserves love. He wants to protect Laura from what he’s done and endured in order to survive. Oh, their interactions touched my heart and boy, did I cry! I think I cried though the last third of the book. My heart hurt for Alex. He was seeking absolution; would he get what he desired?
This is a book you can share with your mother and grandmother. Physical intimacies are behind closed doors; it’s the beautiful writing that makes you feel their attraction and need for each other. I’ve said this before about this author’s writing – you don’t realize until after you’ve finished the book and your face is puffy from crying that there wasn’t any sex. The story just sweeps you away. ~Sigh~ I want more! The fourth orphan’s story can’t come out quickly enough for me. Actually, ANY book by Ms. Matthews can’t come out quickly enough for me!
I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Top reviews from other countries
Great writing, some super little twists and strong men who fall for independent women
I guess you don’t have to read them in sequence as I have done, but I would recommend it for maximum appreciation