Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this incredible book; A Convenient Fiction, which is book 3 in the beautiful Orphans of Devon series by Mimi Mathews. To say I have been looking forward to this book is a pretty understatement, I have been in love with this series from day one and this book just blew me away. So settle down, grab a cuppa and a snack – really, you’re going to need it, this is going to be a long review.
She Needed a Husband…
It’s been three years since Laura Hayes’s father died, leaving her and her invalid brother to subsist on the income from the family’s failing perfume business. But time is swiftly running out. What she needs is a husband, and fast. A noble gentleman who can rescue them all from penury. When a mysterious stranger arrives in the village, he seems a perfect candidate. But Alex Archer is no hero. In fact, he just might be the opposite.
He Wanted a Fortune…
Alex has no tolerance for sentiment. He’s returned to England for one reason only: to find a wealthy wife. A country-bred heiress in Surrey seems the perfect target. But somewhere between the village railway station and the manor house his mercenary plan begins to unravel. And it’s all the fault of Laura Hayes—a lady as unsuitable as she is enchanting.
From the beaches of Margate to the lavender fields of Provence, a grudging friendship slowly blossoms into something more. But when scandal threatens, can a man who has spent his entire life playing the villain, finally become a hero? Or will the lure of easy riches once again outweigh the demands of his heart?
It has taken me an age to write this review, as there are so many things that I want to say about this, yet every word I write seems a little redundant and doesn’t do this stunning book justice. I have written and deleted and banged my head on the desk in frustration because I can’t begin to describe just how beautiful this book is.
This is the third book in the Parish Orphan’s of Devon series and by Jove, have I been looking forward to this book. Each of these beautiful books can be read very easily as stand-alone, as each of them hold their own stories and any reference to the other ‘Orphan’s’ are done as background to Alex’s story, yet I would read the previous books only because they are so good, I wouldn’t want you to miss a moment. This is the one I have been looking forward to, and we finally get to meet the elusive and mysterious; Alex who after the accident that set the course of the Orphan’s lives, he left never to look back, never to be heard from again.
Alex Archer left England many years ago, now he is back with one goal; to find himself a rich wife! He doesn’t care about anything else other than to marry rich, preferably to marry someone connected, love and emotions don’t even get a second thought, he knows what he wants he will damn well get it. He may sound mercurial and pretty villainous and that is the persona he likes to show the world, he enjoys playing the bad boy, but our boy has many layers which over time we slowly peel away and uncover the captivating and vulnerable man beneath, something which our heroine Laura see’s too.
His plan’s for a wealthy wife soon get pushed to the back of his mind and quite soon really, and that is when he sees a nymph in the pond – said water nymph happens to be our brilliant heroine; Laura Hayes.
Laura is one of the most ordinary and relatable heroines that you will ever meet, and she is one that spoke to me more then most, after her father’s death she is left caring for her sick bother, trying to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and coal in the fire, she deals with every aspect of their life and is loyal and protective of her brother, she is a stubborn lioness hiding in meek mice clothing, she is resilient and as savvy as hell with their finance. This is a character’s that doesn’t suffer fools easily even if she has always held a tender for a certain neighbour. She is the finest, strongest and independent woman I have met in a historical romance for a while, one of the reasons I liked her so much is that Ms Matthews has done this incredible job at creating a character that 99% of women can relate to.
Alex, oh my word! He had me hooked like a fish on a line from the first peacock-esque swagger and roguish twinkle, I fell completely, he is by far the sexiest and swoon-some of all of Mimi’s Matthews heroes – if ever there was a time for a #DoubleSigh then this is it, the way Mathews has so perfectly created this character is a testament to just how incredible a writer she is, he tries to be the bad boy he thinks himself to be, and some of his actions may make people think that true, but like Laura you can see beneath his manipulative, villainous mask to the unwittingly good heart and there are moments when he makes me sigh and go weak and the knees.
I utterly loved that very first moment these two met, and it is a little on the scandalous side than what we are used to with Ms Matthews, it sets up the relationship between them perfectly, yet they are an adorably sweet couple, the chemistry smoulders beneath the surface, it’s electric the atmosphere around them crackles. Ms Matthews has a brilliant gift at hinting at things that makes the reader really think and imagine, I loved that style of writing it enhances the reading experience. There are some truly beautiful moments between these two there is a scene where Laura tells him that all he wants deep down is a family and not money or property, that really spoke to me it’s a simple very normal truth that so many can relate to.
I have to mention the ending, without giving away any spoilers, it is perfection, it’s heart-warming and so good to see all the Orphan’s together, I cannot wait for the fourth and final book; I know that that one is going to be a tear-jerker, but that man needs a happy ending too.
This is 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. I have said it before, and I am not ashamed to say it again, but Ms Matthews really does have a beautifully rare gift at writing the most enchanting and magical stories. She is the queen of the Victorian romance there are no others that can compare to her mastery, as ever I am enthralled by her sparkling words.
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Mimi and massive apologies for how ridiculously late my review is.
A Convenient Fiction is available now, I cannot recommend that you go and grab a copy, this book is stunning!