Mimi Matthews

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals; 50 Favourite Historical Romances…Part Four! #ShareTheBookLove

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Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! It is the penultimate day of my; 50 favourite Historical Romances, this list has been so hard to compile and I could so easily have done 100 favourites, but I don’t wish to bombard every one with constantwaffled posts.

You will notice unlike a lot of those other ‘50 Favourites‘ I haven’t made a numbered list for them, I refused to do that as I think all these books are equal and shouldn’t be given a ranking, so I hope you will all follow over the next few days to see all of my favourites.

So without further ado, here is Part 4 in my; 50 Favourite Historical Romances.

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Marquess to a Flame (Rules of the Rogue #3) by Emily Windsor

A winter’s heart…

Debonair, handsome and with a devil’s smile. How could any woman resist?”

The Marquess of Winterbourne has long been guided by his Rules of the Rogue, but as spy for the Crown, his next mission will break every single one. Sent to the wilds of Cornwall to beguile secrets from a lady, the last thing this rogue expects is to unearth his own buried heart.

A taste of spring…

“A scandalous rake. How could any woman succumb?”

Miss Tamsyn Penrose remains far from impressed by London scoundrel Lord Winterbourne, preferring a wild gallop over the moors to sinful lips and fulsome flattery. But as danger lurks and her prejudice ebbs, she uncovers a man of contradictions, a man who awakens her forgotten fire.

Seasons collide…

In a Cornish land of cove and mystery, desire sparks and passion flares. But will Jack Winterbourne tear up the rules for a woman who maddens his senses and thaws his heart?

A sensual Regency Romance.

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Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane #3) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman’s heart?

Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind–and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back…and he’s asking for her help.

“Charming” Mickey O’Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London’s criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he’s never been able to forget the naive captain’s wife who came to him for help and spent one memorable night in his bed…talking.

When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap–her mother having died–Mickey couldn’t resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence’s doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he’d also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter.

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Besieged and Betrothed by Jenni Fletcher

Bound to her enemy

Ruthless warrior Lothar the Frank has laid siege to Castle Haword, but there’s a fiery redhead in his way—and she’s not backing down!

More tomboy than trembling maiden, Lady Juliana Danville would rather die than lose the castle. When she’s caught on opposite sides of a war, a marriage bargain is brokered to bring peace. But is blissful married life possible when Juliana has a dangerous secret hidden within the castle walls?

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The Devil Wears Plaid by Teresa Medeiros

Passion sparks in USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Teresa Medeiros’s irresistibly tempting new romance after a sexy Highlander kidnaps his rival’s spirited English bride Emmaline Marlowe is about to wed the extremely powerful laird of the Hepburn clan to save her father from debtor’s prison when ruffian Jamie Sinclair bursts into the abbey on a magnificent black horse and abducts her in one strong swoop. Though he is Hepburn’s sworn enemy, Emma’s mysterious captor is everything her bridegroom is not: handsome, virile, dangerous . . . and a perilous temptation for her yearning heart.

Jamie expects Emma to be some milksop English miss, not a fiery, defiant beauty whose irresistible charms will tempt him at every turn. But he cannot allow either one of them to forget he is her enemy and she his pawn in the deadly Highland feud between the clans. So why does he still want her so badly for himself? Stealing his enemy’s bride was simple, but can he claim her innocence without losing his heart.

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The Warrior’s Viking Bride (Western Isles Vikings #2) by Michelle Styles

A Viking maiden destined for the battlefield…

in bed with her captor!

As a female warrior, Dagmar Kolbeinndottar knows she’s not meant for marriage and a family. Until she’s kidnapped by Celtic warlord Aedan mac Connall, who has been tasked with returning Dagmar to her estranged father. Fighting her father’s orders to marry, Dagmar declares she will take no one but her abductor, expecting Aedan to refuse…but he’s intent on making her his bride

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The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon #1) by Mimi Matthews

She Wanted Sanctuary…

Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill–though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome–is anything but a romantic hero.

He Needed Redemption…

Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household–and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.

Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?

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The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham

Scotland, 1795

Alice Ingram escapes her brutish husband and leaves a glittering life in London far behind. With her niece, Beth, at her side she flees north, determined to save the girl from the fate she has endured but after an encounter with two mysterious highwaymen, life for the women will never be the same again…

Devoted to his daughter and resigned to a life of loneliness, James Dillingham has built a reputation as the finest physician in the land and a man for whom romance is a notion best avoided. He leaves all that to his best friend, Ed Hogan, who is just the sort of rogue to catch a girl’s adventurous eye…

By day Alice finds herself ever more at odds with the straight-laced doctor who becomes her neighbour whilst by night, moonlit escapades with a masked highwayman lead her into a life of excitement in the shadow of the Crown Spire. Yet with her husband in relentless pursuit, are some shackles too strong to break?

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One Night with the Major (Allied at the Altar #1) by Bronwyn Scott

One daring encounter

Binds her to his marriage bed!

Part of Allied at the Altar: In England, innocent tea heiress Pavia Honeysett has always been judged for her face or her fortune. She would much rather return to her uncle’s palace in India. So to escape marriage to the aged man her father has chosen, she will ruin herself! But her red-hot night with Major Camden Lithgow changes everything. Suddenly, this stranger will become her husband…

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An Unexpected Countess (Secret Lives of the Ton #3) by Laurie Benson

“Dash it, Miss Forrester, what are you doing up here?” 

The Earl of Hartwick delights in scandalizing the ton with his behavior. But it’s his turn to be scandalized when, on an escapade, he bumps into Miss Sarah Forrester—in the rain, at night, on a rooftop! 

Sarah is hunting for a diamond, and the last thing she needs is the infuriating Hart distracting her. But he’s looking for the jewel, too! They may be rivals, but the sparks between them are uncontrollable. And soon Sarah finds herself longing for another treasure—becoming Hart’s countess!

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Lady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr. Gray (The Beauchamp Betrophals #3) by Janice Preston

Love or family…

How can she choose between them?

Lady Cecily Beauchamp has always put her family first. Until she falls under the spell of the mysterious Zachary Gray—a man of Romany descent. Knowing her family will forbid their match, Cecily steels herself to do her duty and marry someone else. Only she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Zach as the spark between them ignites a passion neither can deny!

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You can find all books featured in this post on Amazon or your own favourite book-buying site. I also want to urge everyone to support their local independent book shops, most of which are delivering directly to your door.

Do stop by tomorrow for the final ten in my Favourite 50 Historical Romances, why not have a look back at the previous posts?

50 Favourite Historical Romances; Part 1

50 Favourite Historical Romances; Part 2

50 Favourite Historical Romances; Part 3

#Review | The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon #4) by Mimi Matthews #TheWinterCompanion #ParishOrphansOfDevon @MimiMatthewsEsq

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Hello Sunshines! I have the massive pleasure to be sharing my review of this utterly beautiful and enchanting book; The Winter Companion by Mimi Matthews with his the fourth and final book in the gorgeous Parish Orphans of Devon series. So prepare for waffle – I know whenever I have a Mimi Matthews book in hand I have to babble about it, I can’t help it though her writing is just exquisite – and settle back grab that cuppa and enjoy!

A winter reunion for the orphans brings romance for Neville Cross in Book 4 of Mimi Matthews’ USA Today bestselling Parish Orphans of Devon series

She Needed to be Seen…

As a lady’s companion, Clara Hartwright never receives much attention from anyone. And that’s precisely how she likes it. With a stormy past, and an unconventional plan for her future, it’s far safer to remain invisible. But when her new employer is invited to a month-long holiday at a remote coastal abbey, Clara discovers that she may not be as invisible as she’d hoped. At least, not as far as one gentleman is concerned.

He Wanted to be Heard…

Neville Cross has always been more comfortable with animals than people. An accident in his youth has left him with a brain injury that affects his speech. Forming the words to speak to his childhood friends is difficult enough. Finding the right things to say to a lovely young lady’s companion seems downright impossible. But Miss Hartwright is no ordinary companion. In fact, there may not be anything ordinary about her at all.

During a bleak Devon winter, two sensitive souls forge an unexpected friendship. But when Clara needs him most, will Neville find the courage to face his fears? Or is saying goodbye to her the most heroic thing he can do?

To say I have been looking forward to this book is an understatement, the moment I read the very first book in this series I just knew that Neville needed his story and then his story was going to be an emotional one. Mimi Matthews is a master at heart-wrenching and thought-provoking stories, but, even I am stunned by just how beautiful this book is.

This is a truly magical, richly emotional and captivating love story, with two of the most complex and deserving characters that I have come across. I knew that Neville would take me on an emotional roller coaster ride and I was right, he brought all boundaries crashing down and made everyone love him for who he truly is and Clara is absolutely perfect for our strong and shy hero, I adore her caring, gentle and unwavering support and love of him. It makes the heart melt so much, I am a mess, this is perfection in every single way.

So for those who haven’t been hanging on to the every word of this beautiful series like I have, then let me re-cap; The Parish Orphan’s of Devon is a group of four friends who as you have guessed it are orphan’s, they all grew together and after an incident that changed their lives, especially that of our hero here; Neville they went their own ways. This is book four and as you may have guessed the one that myself and many, many other readers have been avidly waiting for. You can very easily read them as stand-a-lones, as each book is very much its own story centring around one of the orphan’s, personally though I would read them in order there is just something very special about this series that needs to read in order to fully see just how mesmerizing this is.

When Neville was a young parish orphan, along with his three best friends and practical brothers, a horrific accident happened which changed his life forever. It fractures their little band of brothers and leaves him with a disability, one of which he knows people see or hear before they even give him the chance. He finds talking with his friends hard enough, but at least they know him, he finds it near enough impossible to converse with others outside his little circle, much preferring the companionship of his animals.

It’s Christmas at Greyfriars Abbey, which those who have been following this series will know it is held by one of the orphans whom the whole series has been following; Justin and his lovely wife; Helena. He has brought his friends all together again after so many years apart to finally have their much deserved happily family Christmas together. With the guests, is lady’s companion; Clara Hartwright, who has no wish to be the centre of any attention, her only asperations in life is to study and to be an academic something which as we all know wasn’t conventional or even allowed during the era. Whilst there she meets silent, strong and complex Neville a huge man with a kind and caring soul who like her has a love for being in the background and a passion for animals.

Can you see why I love this man so much?

Aw, my darling Neville, he broke my heart, he mended it again, he made me sigh with joy and shed tears of happiness. He is easily one of the most thoughtful, inspiring and complexly gently creature that has ever walked out of Mimi Matthews brilliant mind. I adore her writing there is something very magical about the way she can capture every emotion in a single scene, honestly, this lady could write a phone book and make it enchanting, but I really fell in love with Neville, I think that he is easily the best hero Mimi has written – which feels a little traitorous saying an I have loved every single one of the Orphans, yet this man just caught my heart and even now refuses to relinquish it.

I love that Clara unlike so many others sees past his disability and really sees the true and gentle man beneath, it breaks my heart sees those moments when Neville really struggles with his speech and how others perceive him to be, they judge him to be simple and feeble-minded instead of getting to know him and this is another reason I like Clara so much she is kind, caring and patient she knows better than to judge on sight. This is another reason why they are so perfect for each other. Mimi Matthews really has out written herself with Clara and Neville.

Their romance isn’t a boom and it’s over, it’s slow and but the emotion and the atmosphere shimmers, I really love that they do become friends before anything else they get to know each other and that builds up into something more.

What I absolutely loved about this series, especially with the first book is that Neville is the soothing balm in the midst of three very different personalities in the form of his friends and fell orphans; Justine, Tom and Alex, I totally see him as the glue that holds their little group together even if at times through heir lives there has been difficulties and incivility towards one and other, they all have their love for Neville that brings them once again together. I really loved seeing them all in this and how at ease they all are now they have all found happiness and contentment its a beautiful piece of writing and some of Mimi’s very best.

I really must mention the vivid Victorian detail that is in itself a story, Mimi’s skill at capturing every single scene so well that it is like looking down a lens into their world, every aspect of Victorian life is beautifully portrayed, the way they live whether that be the wealthy of the more, the simple rustle of the ladies skirts, the weather, the scents, the sights the feel of fabric, how the house is decorated and even the atmosphere when certain characters are in the room together, not a single thing is missed and it draws the reader into the flawless and sensual world that Mimi has built around her characters. You just feel Mimi’s passion for the era, her absolute love of this period in time is reflected in each word she writes.

Yet again Mimi Matthews has created the most enchanting true love story, she has once again proved that she is the queen of the emotional, tender and magical historical romance.

This was an Arc copy via the author which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Mimi and massive apologies for how ridiculously late this review is. xx

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals; Countdown To Christmas, Advent Calander Day 23 #CountDownToChristmas

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Hello my little festive sunshines, we are on day twenty-three in my count down to Christmas. We are so close now, are you getting excited? So, what is beyond the Advent Calendar door today? Go on then, have a look.

On the twenty-three day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Shall we start with a festive Hottie?

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Let me introduce you to two beautiful and immensely seductive heroes, who will make you weep for them and then swoon because of them.

A Holiday By Gaslight

“Readers will easily fall for Sophie and Ned in their gaslit surroundings.” -Library Journal, starred review

A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

The Lost Letter

A PROUD BEAUTY

When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and alone, society beauty Sylvia Stafford finds work as a governess in a merchant’s household in Cheapside. Isolated from the fashionable acquaintance of her youth, she resigns herself to lonely spinsterhood…until a mysterious visitor convinces her to temporarily return to her former life – and her former love.

A SCARRED BEAST

Colonel Sebastian Conrad is no longer the dashing cavalry officer Sylvia once fell in love with. Badly scarred during the Sepoy Rebellion, he has withdrawn to his estate in rural Hertfordshire where he lives in near complete seclusion. Brooding and tormented, he cares nothing for the earldom he has inherited – and even less for the faithless beauty who rejected him three years before.

A SECOND CHANCE

A week together in the remote Victorian countryside is the last thing either of them ever wanted. But when fate intervenes to reunite them, will a beastly earl and an impoverished beauty finally find their happily-ever-after? Or are some fairy-tale endings simply not meant to be?

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I hope, I have inspired and started your Festive season with some serious swooning! I absolutely adore Mimi’s work, she is an amazingly gifted writer, and for me, there isn’t any other who can write Victorian romance as flawless as her. Her stories are full of pure emotion, passion, love and the best broodingly beautiful and sexy heroes you will ever meet. I know you will fall in love with Sophie & Edward and Sylvia & Sebastion just as much as I did.

 

Until tomorrow, have a lovely day!

#Review | A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Devon #3) by Mimi Matthews #AConvenientFiction #ParishOrphansOfDevon @MimiMatthewsEsq

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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!

#Review | The Work Of Art; A Regency Romance by @MimiMatthewsEsq #TheWorkOfArt #ARegencyRomance

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Hello my lovelies, I am so, so excited to be sharing my review of this beautiful book with you all, I am a absolute huge fan of Mimi Matthews, but this is something very special indeed, so grab a cuppa take a seat, try and ignore my babbling and enjoy.

Matthews is a bright, shining star in historical romance…” -Austenprose

An Uncommon Beauty…

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland–a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero…

Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her–and her heart–in more danger than ever?

Well, I am lost for words (I’m sure some will think that a blessing) but really, I am struggling to express just how magical this book is. Everyone knows how much I adore Mimi Matthews work, I have so much respect for her as a writer and I always get a thrill whenever I open another of her books. Each time I read one of her stories I am always blown away, I read her work and as I do, I keep thinking; how can she possibly top what is the peak of perfection and then what happens? Boom; I am once again blown away by her words, if there was ever a title that was perfect for a book, because this is a work of art in its own right. I honestly think that this is the very best I have read by Ms Matthews – which feels a but traitorous towards her other work.

After the death of her grandfather, Phyllida (Philly) must leave her home to live with family which are practical strangers to her, her only companions are her own pack of dogs, which she refuses to leave behind. Unfortunately, she soon realises that now her life isn’t her own she is lonely and unhappy, she thinks that her uncle Edgar has took her to London to find a suitable match. How wrong she is! Because of her uniqueness her uncle has one man in mind for her; the mysterious and notorious, Duke of Moreland, a man who collects all rare and unique things whether that be art work, dogs or people. Her uncle is a despicable human being, he thinks it’s OK to ‘sell’ Philly to the Duke, even though she has been sheltered, she has always done as she is told, she has always been obliging to others; you could say that she is a little naïve to the world, even she knows that marrying the Duke is the very last thing that she should do.

Enter her hero, in not so shining armour, who comes limping in to rescue her; Captain Arthur Heywood, has recently returned wounded from the war, up until now he has always stayed away from society, away from the scathing remarks and backstabbing ton, but Arthur has business in town, with her uncle that he cannot escape from, which is wen he meets the shy, and monopolized; Philly. He is instantly taken with her, as a friend she was kind to him when others treated him like a leper, in her innocent and very subtle way she showed him that there is goodness in this life and not just the darkness that engulfs him at times. On hearing that his little friend is to be more or less forced into marrying the Duke, a man Arthur has heard some terrible things about, he doesn’t the gentlemanly thing and offers marriage.

Alas, their nasty marriage and fleeing London to his estate, doesn’t go down well with others and as you can expect they soon they find that they have danger hanging over their heads, Arthur is determined to protect his new wife at whatever the cost.

I loved Philly and Arthur the moment we meet them, she is a quiet, caring and loyal young woman who just wants to be able to live happily with her dogs, she isn’t made for the ton she is far more at home in the country being able to run free, I can so relate to Philly she has a gentle soul, but I sensed that she had a strength hidden away and that really shines through in those moments when she is quietly encouraging Arthur, when subtly helps him and the way she stand firm beside him.

What struck me most about Philly and Arthur’s romance was that even though their was ‘marriage of convenience’ they started out as genuine friends, they saw something of themselves into the other and that drew them together, it’s a relationship that isn’t all heart-pounding lust, their blossoming romance is formed on a mutual friendship, they learn about each other and as they start to delve into their own feelings and how their marriage could be, so do we readers, we all go on this journey together and I think that is so skilfully and beautifully done, it really brings the reader into the story and into the character’s lives, I really love how this is written.

Honestly thought this book is amazing; what appears to be a very simplistic regency romance about a young woman who needs rescuing and the wounded war hero appears offering the protection of his name; turns out to be far more then the stereotypical marriage of convenience. With a brilliantly vile baddie, manipulative family, tortured war nightmares and an unexpected twist that makes you go; “What? I didn’t see that coming”, The Work of Art is a marvel of regency romance writing.

I have to say that this is a masterpiece of character writing, each one are brilliantly created, whether that be the sweet and loving Philly and Arthur, the arrogantly horrible; Moreland and Edgar and the cackling banshees that are Elizabeth and Lady Elliott – who really can give the evil Duke a run for his money at being a sadist. But really it is the connection and blossoming romance between Arthur and Philly that keep you hooked and turning the pages, they are an adorable, shy, realistic couple.

Overall a charming, beautifully written, character driven romance, with a dash of intrigue, I cannot recommend this more, it is utterly perfect. I love it, absolutely utterly love it!

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Mimi and apologies the late review. x

The Work of Art is to be released on 23 July and can be pre-ordered at Amazon and I do say go and order it.

#CoverReveal | The Work Of Art by @MimiMatthewsEsq #TheWorkOfArt @HFVBT

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Hello my lovelies, I am beyond excited to sharing the brand new cover for Mimi Matthews up and coming book; The Work Of Art – which I have to tell you now, that this cover is a work of art in it’s own right, it is stunning!! But, you don’t want to take my word for it, I may be just slightly biased as I am a massive Mimi Matthews fan, go and have a peek for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Perfectly Proper Press

Genre: Historical Romance

 

 

An Uncommon Beauty…

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland—a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the Duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero…

Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her—and her heart—in more danger than ever?

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Apple | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

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Exclusive Extract

If you are interested in reading and exclusive extract of The Work Of Art, and really why wouldn’t you? Then click on the following link and fill your boots with perfection.  The Work Of Art Extract 

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About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Matrimonial Advertisement) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterBookBubPinterestGoogle+, and Goodreads.

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Cover Reveal Schedule

Do follow this cover reveal tour and have a look at the other amazing blogs which are participating.

Monday, June 10
Passages to the Past
Book Reviews from Canada

Tuesday, June 11
T’s Stuff
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Wednesday, June 12
Just One More Chapter
The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Thursday, June 13
Laura’s Interests
CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, June 14
Bookish Rantings
View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, June 15
The Lit Bitch
100 Pages a Day
Donna’s Book Blog

Sunday, June 16
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, June 17
Maiden of the Pages
The Book Junkie Reads

#Review – A Modest Indepenence (Parish Orphans of Devon #2) by Mimi Matthews @MimiMatthewsEsq #AmodestIndependence #ParishOrphansOfDevon #VictorianRomance

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Hello my lovelies, today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this amazing book, anyone who reads my reviews will know how much of a fan I am of Mimi Matthews work, I have not come across one of her books that I didn’t like and then I was introduced to the beautiful Parish Orphans of Devon series and I was blown away so much so that I cannot fully express just how incredible this book is, but I will give a go.

He Needed Peace…

Solicitor Tom Finchley has spent his life using his devious intellect to solve the problems of others. As for his own problems, they’re nothing that a bit of calculated vengeance can’t remedy. But that’s all over now. He’s finally ready to put the past behind him and settle down to a quiet, uncomplicated life. If only he could find an equally uncomplicated woman.

She Wanted Adventure…

Former lady’s companion Jenny Holloway has just been given a modest independence. Now, all she wants is a bit of adventure. A chance to see the world and experience life far outside the restrictive limits of Victorian England. If she can discover the fate of the missing Earl of Castleton while she’s at it, so much the better.

From the gaslit streets of London to the lush tea gardens of colonial India, Jenny and Tom embark on an epic quest—and an equally epic romance. But even at the farthest edges of the British Empire, the past has a way of catching up with you…

Well, what can I say? This is such a beautiful story, which is full of so much hope and it leaves the reader with a real sense of that there is love in the world for everyone no matter what your station in life. It is a book that I felt right down inside, I spoke to me. It is a truly beautiful book!

What I love about this, is that Jenny and Tom are very normal people, they aren’t aristocrats whose only problems in life is whether their morning kippers are hot or cold – no these two are brilliantly down to earth. Anyone who knows me will know how much I love character’s who have pulled themselves up from the bottom and trying to find their own way in life and this is Jenny and Tom. They are two people who have both experienced hardships in one way or another and yes because of that it has made them more jaded, hard and a little cynical but once you get to know them you will understand.

Jenny Holloway is a former lady’s companion has been given what was called then a ‘modest independence’ she is all set to leave England to try to find out what really happened to her old friend the Earl of Castleton, so she has her sights on making her way all the to India to find the truth. But to do that she needs her money which needs to be released by her solicitor Tom Finchley. She is determined that after a live of being in servitude that now is the chance for her to be free to follow her heart, and I really love her for that. She is a quiet woman who has got large opinions and is that which Tom finds utterly fascinating, he sees that she is very much like him and he sees in her a friend first which I found so lovely. He refuses to let her go off on her own so he does the only compulsive thing he has ever done in his life and goes with her.

So Tom, Jenny and two servants set off on a life changing adventure from England to India and it is this part of the story that is so damn good! The way Ms Matthews has written their journey is an assault on the senses, you literally see, smell, and experience everything that Tom and Jenny do. The research that has gone into every detail and element of this journey is a masterpiece of historical research and writing, I was spellbound by every sight that our couple see.

I love Tom and Jenny, they are both brilliant created by the very talented Ms Matthews and they also have quite a unique and very different relationship to what we are used to in Historical Romance which I found so refreshing, it was lovely watching two people get to know each other in a very natural way.

A Modest Independence is the second book in The Parish Orphans of Devon series, and the beauty of this book is that you really don’t need to read the previous to enjoy the series, as everything you need to know about The Parish Orphans of Devon is here, but do read A Matrimonial Advertisement. I cannot recommend either of these books enough!

Overall a gorgeous, heart-warming and brilliantly clever romance which will keep you tuning the pages and I also got a sense that there could be more in the series especially with the ending. There is just a whisper of maybe more to come, I so hope so! My only negative comment was the first few pages, I felt that they were a little slow for the story, but it was still captivating and I am in utter awe of the hard work that has gone into this book, I truly felt that Ms Matthews has put her heart and soul into this, there is little piece of Mimi Matthews in this book that you feel as you read.

In one word, this is beautiful.

This was an Arc via the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Mimi and apologies for the late review.

A Modest Independence is to be released on 23rd April and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Cover Reveal Tour of A Modest Independence (Orphans of Devon #2) by Mimi Matthews @MimiMatthewsEsq #AModestInpedendence via @hfvbt #CoverReveal HFVBTBlogtours #OrphansofDevon

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I have the very great pleasure to be apart of the exclusive cover reveal tour of A Modest Independence by the hugely talented Mimi Matthews. I cannot wait for you all to see this beautiful cover, it is simply stunning. As a massive Matthews fan, I am so excited about this book.

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A Modest Independence
by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Perfectly Proper Press
eBook; 400 Pages

Series: Parish Orphans of Devon (Book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance

He Needed Peace…

Attorney Tom Finchley has spent his life using his devious intellect to solve the problems of others. As for his own problems, they’re nothing that a bit of calculated vengeance can’t remedy. But that’s all over now. He’s finally ready to put the past behind him and settle down to a quiet, uncomplicated life. If only he could find an equally uncomplicated woman.

She Wanted Adventure…

Former lady’s companion Jenny Holloway has just been given a modest independence. Now, all she wants is a bit of adventure. A chance to see the world and experience life far outside the restrictive limits of Victorian England. If she can discover the fate of the missing Earl of Castleton while she’s at it, so much the better.

From the gaslit streets of London to the lush tea gardens of colonial India, Jenny and Tom embark on an epic quest—and an equally epic romance. But even at the farthest edges of the British Empire, the past has a way of catching up with you…

Available for Pre-Order

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

About the Author

Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Lost Letter) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads.

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While your patiently await for the release of A Modest Independence, why not grab a copy of the first book in the Orphans of Devon series; The Matrimonial Advertisement at just 99 cents, in this Savvy Spring Sale. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed, because this is brilliant. 

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Don’t miss out on the rest of this fantastic book blast tour.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, January 28
Bookish Rantings
Queen of Random
Passages to the Past
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, January 29
Pursuing Stacie
Comet Readings

Wednesday, January 30
100 Pages a Day
A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, January 31
T’s Stuff
The Lit Bitch

Friday, February 1
Tar Heel Reader
CelticLady’s Reviews
View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, February 2
Hoover Book Reviews

Sunday, February 3
Clarissa Reads it All
The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, February 4
Old Timey Books
Diana_bibliophile

Tuesday, February 5
Historical Fiction with Spirit
History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, February 6
Maiden of the Pages
Christine’s Book Corner

Thursday, February 7
Proverbial Reads
Jorie Loves a Story
Oh, the Books She Will Read

#Review : A Holiday by Gaslight (A Victorian Christmas Novella) by Mimi Mathews (@MimiMatthewsEsq)

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A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.  

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her former beau isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time, there’ll be no false formality. This time, they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

My View

My goodness, yet again I am blown away with the excellence that is Ms Mimi Matthews. I am a huge fan of her work – In fact, I have said that very sentence so many times, I’m sure that Mimi and everyone reading my reviews must be sick of hearing it, but I don’t care I am still going to shout it from the rooftops just how much I admire this fine lady’s work.

A Holiday By Gaslight is a wonderfully seasonal novella that will definitly leave the reader feeling all warm and Christmassy, set during the Victorian era – which I do have to say, that Ms Matthews is the best there is when comes to this era – and it is full of seasonal joy and atmosphere, the historic detail is as always flawlessly described, it is literally like waking up in this era and joining Sophie and Ned at the Christmas house party.

With the her family facing financial ruin, mainly due to her selfish and inconsiderate father and her brattish sister, Sophie Appersett knows that with no dowry she will most likely have to marry below her station and quickly to bring in the much needed funds her family need especially if they are to carry on living in the land of luxury that they are accustomed to. Walk on stage Edward Sharpe, the handsome, brooding and monosyllabic working class, mill owner and merchant. A man who her class cannot abide because of his humble roots yet will go out of their way to grasp hold of his hard earned cash.

After two month courting, Sophie breaks it off with Ned. She thinks him gruff and silent, in their brief courtship she cannot bare he thought of marrying such a silent man, a man she doesn’t know and who refuses to talk to her. Ned is far from what Sophie thinks him to be, he is silent because he is following what a rather stupid book on society rules says, instead of being himself. They meet again during her parent’s annual Christmas house party, which is when she begins to see what we all see, that he is a wonderfully thoughtful and fascinating man and Ned too sees that she isn’t like the rest of society she doesn’t see him as just a walking bank balance, she is kind and generous and very loving and open.

I have to say that I do love the scene where Ned tell Sophie that he will get a kiss from her, it is such a fun scene and really shows Ned’s witty and fun loving side and shows that he is much more that the incredibly shy with women, brooding yet amazingly intelligent and hard-working man he is, especially when he says he will kiss anywhere either under the mistletoe or under the stairs, I love that!

This is magical, it beautifully entwines a gorgeous Victorian Christmas, social prejudices of the era and the most marvellously different cast of character’s that you would ever want I a historical romance. Each character brings their own personalities to the story, that gives it that realism that I love, Sophie’s sister Emily was a little irritating brat and Mr Murry, well he is a real rakish charmer. I love that the driving force of this is Ned and Sophie not just over coming their own misunderstanding towards one and other, but also attempting to bring their two completely different worlds together to have a harmonious and unforgeable Christmas.

Yet again, Ms Matthews has created another wonderfully charming and vividly rich romance, that will have the readers swooning with absolute delight.

Perfect!

This was an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A Holiday by Gaslight is to be released on 13 November and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Review : A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty by Mimi Matthews

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What did a Victorian lady wear for a walk in the park? How did she style her hair for an evening at the theatre? And what products might she have used to soothe a sunburn or treat an unsightly blemish? Mimi Matthews answers these questions and more as she takes readers on a decade-by-decade journey through Victorian fashion and beauty history.

Women’s clothing changed dramatically during the course of the Victorian era. Necklines rose, waistlines dropped, and Gothic severity gave way to flounces, frills, and an abundance of trimmings. Sleeves ballooned up and skirts billowed out. The crinoline morphed into the bustle and steam-moulded corsets cinched women’s waists ever tighter.

As fashion was evolving, so too were trends in ladies’ hair care and cosmetics. An era which began by prizing natural, barefaced beauty ended with women purchasing lip and cheek rouge, false hairpieces and pomades, and fashionable perfumes made with expensive spice oils and animal essences.

Using research from nineteenth century beauty books, fashion magazines, and lady’s journals, Mimi Matthews brings the intricacies of a Victorian lady’s toilette into modern day focus. In the process, she gives readers a glimpse of the social issues that influenced women’s clothing and the societal outrage that was an all too frequent response to those bold females who used fashion and beauty as a means of asserting their individuality and independence.

My View

Well this is wonderful, I am a huge fan of Mimi Matthews work, whether that be her beautifully poignant romances, or her well researched factual pieces, like this. I will admit that as soon as I heard about A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, I was fascinated by it and I was jumping about for pure joy when I got the opportunity to review it.

This is the perfect reference book for those interested in Victorian fashion and beauty, set out in different sections throughout the book it covers every aspect of what a Victorian lady would have worn and her beauty regime from 1840 to 1890. Ms Matthews covered everything you would ever want to know about, from under-garments, day/evening wear and shoes to cleansing soaps, hair removal and hair styling.

Every aspect of a ladies, day when they change, and why is written in clear and precise detail from which piece of clothing they would wear for what occasion, who would be able to wear what. Ms Matthews has even covered the fabric and colours that would have been used. And I do have to say that, I love how very gothic the Victorian era was in their clothing.

My favourite part is the Victorian Beauty chapter, I always knew that their cosmetics were at times perilous for the health. Some of what they used to do, to keep that perfect porcelain complexion is mind blowing plus quite bizarre and worry-some that Victorian ladies were so obsessed that they were happy to put quick lime on their faces and even use electricity to combat some normal issues.

This is such a great read, brilliantly researched and fabulously engrossing. I love how much detail Ms Matthews has added to each part, her passion for the era is obvious and another thing I love is how she has sprinkled the whole book with passages and extracts from genuine articles and periodicals from the time.

I cannot recommend this enough, for anyone who loves their fashion history and Victorian’s then this is a must read.

This was a ARC/Complimentary copy from the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.