England, 1799

Major Matthew Southam returns from India, hoping to put the trauma of war behind him and forget his past. Instead, he finds a derelict estate and a family who wish he’d died abroad.

Charlotte MacKinnon married without love to avoid her father’s unpleasant choice of husband. Now a widow with a young son, she lives in a small Cotswold village with only the money she earns from her writing.

Matthew is haunted by his past, and Charlotte is fearful of her father’s renewed meddling in her future. After a disastrous first meeting, can they help each other find happiness?

My View

Well, this is truly wonderful, I am simply amazed at the quality of this debut and will definitely be reading more from Jayne Davies. I was instantly hooked from the prologue which is basically a brief look into why the hero is how is, I make it no secret how much I love a vulnerable, troubled veteran and this one is a beautifully crafted one who will pull at your heartstrings. I loved those first few pages during the bloody war, it reminded me of a Bernard Cornwall book. It was honest and gritty and instantly made me sit up and take notice.

Our very unlikely hero; Major Matthew Southam returns from the war in India, he is basically a wreck of the man he was, emotionally anyway. He has seen and experienced way too much to ever have peace of mind with his wonderfully adapt Sergeant Webb at his side Matthew is forced to face having to take on the responsibility of an unwanted title and estate, pus having to navigate his way around a family who hoped he had died in the war as they have been helping themselves to his fortune for years. Matthew wants nothing more than to lock himself away with a drink…and another drink and try to forget everything or just to drink himself into a stupor he may never wake up from, whichever comes first. Anyone who has read any of my reviews will know how much I love a good war hero, and Matthew is a wonderfully flawed character, how he suffers from his experience in the war is heart-wrenching.

Thank goodness for Sergeant Webb, who really is a miracle worker. This intelligent, conniving and fun man really takes control of Matthews’s life, he takes care of him and subtly manoeuvres him around where he needs to be. I was very taken with this Webb, he has a real charm and wit, for an extra, he certainly stood out to me.

Charlotte MacKinnon is a widow, living a quiet life that is until her mother dies and suddenly she and her son are thrust into her malicious father’s gaze. The only reason Charlotte entered into her loveless marriage was to escape the marriage her father had proposed for her. To make ends meet and make certain that she can always provide for her young son, she writes charming children’s stories and has a column in the local newspaper. I do really admire Charlotte she has forged this life for herself, she is resilient and determined that her manipulative father doesn’t get his hands on her son. She is strong-willed, intelligent and caring she takes no-nonsense from anyone.

They may not appear at the first like peas in a pod, but there is something very magical about them. They both have not just personal issues with the family getting in the way of them doing what they need to. But they do work well together, they bring out the lightness that has disappeared in their lives and I think it is rather beautifully done. Matthew needs someone special in his life that will love him and help him move forward from the horrors of his war past and Charlotte needs a man who will truly love her for herself and who will help her when her malicious father returns into her life.

For me though, the star of the show is definitely Webb, he is such a fun and magical character who can really make you laugh and sigh. This is a wonderfully different story that has a real heart to it. There is darkness and passion in equal amounts, the charming characters draw the readers into their lives and you are gripped by the intricate and engaging story. Ms Davis has a stylish and articulate writing style that really captures the reader’s attention and I Cannot wait to read more from her.

This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Mrs MacKinnons is available now and can be purchased at Amazon.

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