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The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon Book 1) Kindle Edition
"For this impressive Victorian romance, Matthews (The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter) crafts a tale that sparkles with chemistry and impresses with strong character development... Matthews combines authentic period touches with building sexual tension in an excellent series launch that will appeal to fans of Loretta Chase and Stephanie Laurens." -Publishers Weekly
"Matthews' (The Pug Who Bit Napoleon, 2018, etc.) series opener is a guilty pleasure, brimming with beautiful people, damsels in distress, and an abundance of testosterone...It's a well-written and engaging story that's more than just a romance." -Kirkus Reviews
"Matthews (The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter) has a knack for creating slow-building chemistry and an intriguing plot with a social history twist." -Library Journal
"An intriguing plot and a haunting setting leaves the reader immersed in this impressive series launch." -Barnes & Noble (20 Favorite Indie Books of 2018)
"I savored every word of this wonderful historical romance and didn't want it to end...I'm so happy to have discovered Mimi Matthews and recommend to all who love fantastic well written, character driven Regency and Victorian era romances. She's brilliant!" -Jane Porter, NYT and USA Today bestselling author
"A heart-rending Gothic love story, with a strong yet vulnerable heroine you want to hug and cheer for. The hero has the dark past of Mr. Rochester and the tightly leashed emotion of Mr. Darcy, but is a true romantic hero in every sense of the word. The historical atmosphere is top-notch, as is the writing. I loved it!" -Caroline Linden, USA Today bestselling author
"A highly enjoyable Victorian-sensation style romance...I enjoyed every minute of this warm, charming book." -KJ Charles, editor and RITA-nominated author
About the Author
- ASIN : B07DLNC967
- Publisher : Perfectly Proper Press (September 4, 2018)
- Publication date : September 4, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 3703 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 348 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #22,315 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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As I age but still continue to read romance, my preferences on how a relationship is presented continue to change. Not so hot-blooded anymore and much more hormone-deficient, I'm not interested in titillation from written sexual encounters. As a matter of fact, nowadays, if an HR couple needs more than 1-2 pages to go from precoital to postcoital in a sex scene, my attention has wandered off and I skip to the post part.
A romance novel has a limited number of pages and I want those pages spent on characters, relationships, romance development and some interesting historical aspects. Mimi Matthews' new novel has the historical and romantic aspects just the way I prefer them in an HR.
Heroine Helena Reynolds of London has answered a matrimonial advertisement seeking a wife for a gentleman living an isolated life in Devon. This man is Justin Thornhill, former soldier in India. He needs a wife who can bear solitude, will run his household for him and warm his bed. Helena wasn't the kind of woman he was expecting. She's too genteel, too pretty, too well dressed. Why would she possible want to marry a rather grouchy, gruff ex-soldier with physical and psychological scars?
Well, it's because Helena is looking for only two things: security and a little kindness. She wants to be kept safe. Why? What's she running from? Well, all will be revealed in time. And whatever you might be imaging it to be, it's probably worse than that.
Whatever Helena may be running from, she certainly ran to the right man. "For Justin Thornhill wasn't only a handsome man...He was a good man. Unutterably kind and steadfast and fiercely protective of everyone in his care...Despite his growls and grumbles." Oh, be still my beating heart. I loved this man. I loved the romance of this story. I loved seeing Helena and Justin together.
Bring on the next Parish Orphans book, please. My romance-loving heart is waiting breathlessly.
Those opening days were my favorite part of this book. The author does an excellent job with the scarred ex-soldier and terrified lady-on-the-run getting to know each other after she answers an ad for a wife.
Justin, the H, does his best to hide the burns on his body and Helena, the h, tries to hide her own bruises, caused by the dastardly villains who are on her trail.
In lesser hands, this tale could have become a melodramatic mess with chase scenes and lots of screaming, and chains clanking in a horror of an insane asylum.
Instead, Justin remains protective and logical, while Helena takes a few deep breaths and trusts him.
I admit, I didn't enjoy the story as much once they arrived in London and could never talk or interact alone. I have a feeling that after all this time reading about so many musicales and soirees and balls, I am jaded. Even the thought of lobster patties doesn't move me these days.
The ending featured one of my least favorite ploys--the "I must let you go because I am unworthy/scarred/poor/not of your social standing." Probably my reaction was stronger because I had just read another book using the same device. The heroes never ask how the heroines feel. They make a unilateral decision until the heroine says, basically, "Oh, shut up and let's head to the church for a wedding."
I chose this e-book because the premise sounded intriguing. There was potential here but the writing left me disappointed.
Top reviews from other countries
Mimi Matthews has become one of my go-to authors when I want to read an emotional and tender Victorian romance that is elegantly written and well-researched. The Matrimonial Advertisement is the first book in her new Parish Orphans of Devon series.
This is a lovely story and Justin and Helena are such an engaging couple. The romance between them develops slowly which I really liked. It allows time for their initial caution to grow into friendship, and then mutual trust when they are able to share their deepest secrets. I had a real sense of their growing attraction and Ms. Matthews builds the sexual tension most effectively.
Helena sees that, beneath the gruff exterior, Justin is kind, steadfast, honourable, and protective towards all those he cares for. I love how he quickly recognises how lost and vulnerable Helena seems and is determined to shield her from harm. At first, Helena is fearful and skittish but, when her secrets are revealed, I could totally understand her fears and the actions she was forced to take.
I love how these two people who seem such complete opposites are so perfect for each other. Helena finds a man who will protect and cherish her, and inspires her to be strong and face her fears head on. Justine finds a woman who accepts and loves him regardless of his past.
I feel that the story lost some of its momentum after Justin and Helena go to London. While I understand that the plot line was necessary to resolve Helena’s predicament, I think I was probably expecting it to be a little more dramatic. Then, towards the end, Justin suddenly decides to play the ‘I’m not worthy of you’ card which seemed contrived to create some last minute conflict between them. Thank goodness Helena shows some sense!
“I love whatever kind of man you are.”
He gave her an arrested look. “What did you say?” “
I said that I love you, exactly as you are.”
There were a number of interesting secondary characters and I was particularly intrigued by Tom Finchley, Justin’s lawyer, and Jenny, Helena’s cousin, and look forward to reading their story in A Modest Independence.
I love how Ms. Matthews always creates a real sense of the Victorian era with her attention to detail and her in-depth research. In this book, she highlights how sane individuals could be incarcerated in insane asylums by greedy, unscrupulous relatives, with little or no protection from the law. There is also reference to the atrocities committed at Cawnpore during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, which Justin carries so much guilt about.
MY VERDICT: Despite my criticisms, there are a lot of things I loved about this book and I will certainly be reading the rest of the series.