Victorian Romance

#Review The Viscounts Veiled Lady (Whitby Wedding’s #3) by Jenni Fletcher (@JenniAuthor) #TheViscountsVeiledLady #WhitbyWeddings #Victorian #Romance @MillsandBoons @HarlequinBooks

Posted on

A lady hidden from society
A viscount with his own secrets…

When Frances Webster meets brooding Arthur Amberton on Whitby shore he’s a different man from the dashing young gentleman she once carried a flame for. But life has changed her too. After a tragic accident left her scarred, physically and emotionally, she’s led a solitary life. She cherishes their new friendship, and yet she can’t help but hope Arthur sees the beauty within her…

 

Now this is truly wonderful, I have been waiting with bated breath for Arthur’s story since briefly meeting him in the previous book. I fell in love with his brother Lance the minute I set eyes on him, but I was fascinated with Arthur, I wanted to know him and know why he disappeared and the results of it. He was so different to Lance and I can happily say that this was well worth the wait, Ms Fletcher has pulled out all the stops with this beauty. It is such a loving story all about two people who after both suffering their own personal heartaches find themselves a bit lost in the world, Frances and Arthur are in need of love that can only come from another who understand them and loves them for who they are.

When Arthur Amberton returns after his mysterious disappearance Frances is sent with a message to him from her sister; Lydia – who just happened to be secretly engaged to Arthur that is until he disappeared, now he is back Lydia is determined to be Lady of the manor, she thinks that if she can get him alone for just ten minutes he will fall helplessly in love with her and take her off to Amberton Castle, only problem with that plan is one she is currently in mourning and can not leave the house and two Arthur knows the real Lydia he knows what a manipulator and gold digger she is and wants noting to do with her. Which is where Frances comes in, she can be the messenger.

Frances only goes along with her sister’s slightly mad plan because Lydia being a selfish, spiteful, spoilt little madam, practically blackmail’s Frances into doing her dirty work. Frances would rather not meddle in their affairs she is far happier making her jet jewellery but with her sisters spiteful threat she dons her veil and off she goes across beautiful Whitby to find a man who no longer wishes to be apart of civilization again and try to persuade him to give her sister the second she Frances knows Lydia doesn’t deserve. Only as with all great romances stories all doesn’t exactly go to plan and what should have a been a simple message delivery turns into a twisted ankle, dinner with the two broodingly beautiful Amberton brother’s at Amberton Castles and one sinful lordly pig farmer scandalously peeling off her stockings…ouh, la la! Followed with lots of pent-up lust, frustration, overwhelming emotions and picnics on the beach accompanied with some seriously delicious cakes.

But it’s not all plain sailing (the expression wasn’t intentional, but quite fitting) and cake eating, our two have got serious issues to over come before either of them can even think about moving on and taking that huge step with one another. And this is where the story really comes into it’s own, and where Ms Fletcher excels with her gift for portraying most subtle of human emotion in ways that grabs the reader’s heart. For me it’s is their connection, the fact that they are both fractured and how between the two of them they learn to move forward and to be at peace. The story really focuses on their psychological emotion, their pain, their vulnerability and their eventual hope for the future, which I found utterly heart-warming to read.

Frances is such an amazing lady, I felt a real connection with her, she resonated with me in ways that doesn’t often happen, I understood her. She is a real understated heroine, she is selfless, imaginative, creative, brave and she has an inner strength and intelligence about her that I found utterly captivating. She is has lived her life after her terrible accident under the illusion that she is now destined to be alone, that she isn’t worth anything and worse she truly thinks herself as a burden because of misunderstandings she has always feared to be an embarrassment to her family which is one of the reasons why she covers her scar with the veil and why she finds so much happiness and peace from making her jewellery.

Arthur is so different to how we last saw him, he is a large, brooding, self-conscious, vulnerable, tender, sensual, ruggedly handsome and he has quite the foul mouth. Plus since his return he has cast off the ‘proper’ gentleman etiquette and has thrown himself into his farm….there really is nothing funnier and, may I say sexier than a gorgeous man running around after piglet’s 🙂 I found he also has a real darkness about him, he appears locked in to his self loathing thoughts and it is only the pure, kind, caring and loving heart of Frances that really makes him see past the darkness and into the light.

This is an enchanting story about second chances, about over coming great inner conflict to find your happily ever after. The romance between Frances and Author sizzles right from the off – well its’ not surprising seeing as when she first sees him again, while he was not wearing a great deal and left little to the imagination. There is a spark between them that ignites into some more the longer they are around one and other, and when they kiss….my, oh my! The air fizzles with lust and romance, it is well worth the wait, I can tell you. Their relationship develops in a very natural way and it is that what readers can relate to and will fall in love with – after all who hasn’t shared a cake at a picnic with a loved one?

Utterly captivating! An exquisite, beautifully written story of heart-felt love that will leave the reader with enchanted and yet again proves what an exceptional writer Ms Fletcher is and worth her weight in gold!

This was an Arc via the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Jenni.

The Viscounts Veiled Lady is to be released on 24 January and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Advertisements

#Review Marriage Deal With The Viscount (Allied At the Alter #1) by Bronwyn Scott (@Bronwynscott) #AlliedAtTheAltar #Historical #Victorian #Romance #MarriageDealWithTheViscount @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

Posted on Updated on

‘I can protect you.’

But she must accept his ring!

An Allied at the Altar story: after an abusive marriage, Sofia is struggling to find acceptance in Society. So when dashing Viscount Taunton needs her investment for his business, she’s surprised by his strong, supportive nature.

In Conall’s arms she discovers true pleasure. Yet to fully leave her past behind, Sofia must consider Conall’s offer of his full protection – in the form of wedding vow

My View

This is a fabulous start to a whole new series; Allied At The Alter, which going by this first book is going to be another brilliant series by a favourite author of mine. This is essentially a ‘Marriage of Convenience’ story, but as ever with Ms Scott’s work there is always a great secondary plot or a twist to the tale. I love that Bronwyn Scott has set this series in the Victorian era, which is such a change from her hugely popular and brilliant regencies, I can say without a doubt that she has pulled a beauty out of the bag with this one.

Conall; Viscount Taunton after gaining the title he now has to deal with the problems that go along with it, which in Taunton’s case means they are in dire need of money. Conall comes up with the most brilliant plan to gain the funds that his family and more importantly the title needs and that is to do what many aristocrats deem as rather vulgar. He plans to go into business!! I know shock and horror, he wants to start trading with the mills with his Alpacca wool, but to do that he needs capital but when he goes to the one man who could set this venture off refuses him point blank he must find another avenue to go down.

I love that about him he is an enterprising, creative and imaginative young man who has a proper head on his shoulders, in fact he rather makes me think of John Thornton from North and South – I think everyone knows how much I love a man who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and this is the man. Conall is a very proud man, it does grate that he has to beg but where his family is concerned he will do what is needed. I really, really love him he just wants to do what’s right he is motivated, enigmatic and at times very serious but that just adds to his appeal. Once he gets turned down by a family friend no less he has no other choice than to fall on to the charity of the mysterious but incredibly wealthy; La Marchessa di Cremona.

Sofia has her own reasons to be as mysterious and hidden in the shadows as she is, if found she would face a fate far, far worse then death, which is why she is equally as desperate for this deal with Conall to go well. She is a complex woman, and I love how Ms Scott doesn’t divulge all of Sofia’s secrets in one go, she teases with dropping little clues and subtle hints through out the story. Yes, it is pretty easy to figure out her back story and why she is fleeing, but it’s incredibly satisfying finding out about this woman. Sofia may appear to be an alluring, beautiful, majestic creature from another planet and yes she is, but that is a mask to protect herself, she is pretty damaged, she is vulnerable, afraid and has trust issues.

I adore both Conall and Sofia, as individuals they are tough cookies who are fighting to not just keep their heads above water but to save their family and themselves. But for me they really shine when they are together, they are both immensely intelligent, resourceful, charismatic and proud. You would think that they would be like chalk and cheese, but that’s as far from the truth as you can get they are each others rock.

This isn’t your stereotypical boy meets girl romance, there is intricate layers that entwine some very serious subjects within the story; such as abuse, divorce and a county which is forging a head into a new innovative world. I love Victorian novels, it was a time of change of new ideas and all of that is features in this book. The character’s are engaging and likeable, the two leads off course are perfect but I love the secondary characters too which are fascinating, and fun to get to know, even the baddie is mesmerising.

Overall this is a brilliantly written, original, thrilling, engaging, captivating and page-turning romance that will keep you teetering at the edge of your seat, reading with baited breath as the story unfolds. A great start to a whole new series, one that I cannot wait to dive into again with book two.

A great book and highly recommended!

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Bronwyn.

Marriage Deal With The Viscount is to be released on 27 December and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

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

Posted on

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 – The Daughter of River Valley (Cornish Tales) by Victoria Cornwall

Posted on

Can you trust a man with no name?

Cornwall, 1861

Beth Jago appears to have the idyllic life, she has a trade to earn a living and a cottage of her own in Cornwall’s beautiful River Valley. Yet appearances can be deceptive …

Beth has a secret. Since inheriting her isolated cottage she’s been receiving threats, so when she finds a man in her home she acts on her instincts. One frying pan to the head and she has robbed the handsome stranger of his memory and almost killed him.

Fearful he may die, she reluctantly nurses the intruder back to health. Yet can she trust the man with no name who has entered her life, or is he as dangerous as his nightmares suggest? As they learn to trust one another, the outside threats worsen. Are they linked to the man with no past? Or is the real danger still outside waiting … and watching them both?

My View

Well this is wonderful. Victorian Romances are a favourite of mine, it was an era that had so much change and out of it comes so many wonderful stories and this is one of them, it is incredibly good. This is the first book I have read by Victoria Cornwall, even though I have always loved the look and sound of her work. I cannot believe that I have never read any of her books until now, but I will be reading more. This is an amazing introduction to this exceptionally talented author’s work. It has everything that I look for in a romance; bang on the mark historic details, strong and vulnerable characters and a twisty plot that keeps you wanting more.

After the death of her beloved grandfather, Beth is left to live out her life in relative peace and quiet. Well that is what her grandfather promised her, he promised her a home for life and with her sewing she has an income. But that idyllic life soon gets thrown out the window, when suddenly she is receiving threats about her home, she feels she is being watched and out of the blue a strange man bursts into her home with intentions that are as mysterious as the man himself. Beth does what any woman would do in these circumstances; she protects herself. She cracks him with the frying pan, only for her conscience and good, caring nature to kick in and she soon keeps the stranger in her cottage to care for him.

But her actions have consequences as the dark and devilishly attractive stranger has lost his memory. He doesn’t know who he is, where he is and most importantly why he suddenly burst into Beth’s home and what he wanted from her.

My goodness, Beth is an incredible character; strong, funny, independent…plus she can’t half wield a heavy, copper frying pan. But she is also a young woman who is slightly out of her depth, she has suddenly found herself with far more on her plate than she ever expected and yet being a resilient woman, Beth takes it all in her stride. True at times her actions could be construed as rash, but that is what I love about her, she is very real. Anyone who has read my reviews will know how much I like the ordinary characters, those that have had to fight for everything. Which is why I really like Beth, she is just a very normal working-class woman, who so any can relate to. She has a hatred for the rich she doesn’t trust those with privilege due to her own, somewhat scandalous background and that loathing has really made her the strong woman she is now. she admires and loves the regular man working man.

The man she call’s ‘Luke’ is as confused and perplexed by the whole situation as she, he initially blames her for the turn of events. Once he has regained consciousness and starts getting his strength back he begins to get terrifying flash backs that invade his dreams. Flashbacks that are so disturbing even he starts to wonder who on earth he is and whether he is a good man or not. And even he feels remorse for how he barged into Beth’s life. Like Beth, my heart breaks for ‘Luke’ there is a lot of darkness about him, he is powerful, and he has a raw brutal masculinity about him that is both intimidating and intriguing. ‘Luke’ is a large, beast of a man who has secrets – even if he can’t remember what they are. He is so vulnerable too and that is the side of him that drew me to him. When he start’s getting flash backs and the nightmares, which involves disturbing bloody bodies it makes you want to hug him and comfort him, not that this proud man would allow that comfort.

They are both very similar, both independent and reluctant to accept help. These two people are tough in mind and spirit and even though there are serious trust issues between them, you see that deep down they are kindred spirits. There is a connection between them and as they try and forge on try and solve all the mysteries that is surrounding them both, they each see the other in a completely different light.

This book is such a beautiful story! An emotional, compelling and atmospheric tale with two fascinating, beautifully developed and engrossing characters. The entwining plot takes you on a journey, a voyage of discovery as we follow these two wonderful people as they find the answers to all the questions that have arisen though out, there are twists and turns that keep the reader gripped right until the last page.

I am a huge fan of lots of detail and history while reading and this is absolutely spot on, perfect. The story is steeped in historic detailing, I particulay love the descriptions of Cornwall, each scene is excellently descriptive that it captures the readers imagination and whisk’s them away to another time and place, the realism grabs you in a way that you can practically taste the sea air. This is a clever, articulate and beautifully written story with a mesmerizing romance. Ms Cornwall’s writing is a pure joy to read, she captures your attention with her artful words. Just wonderful!

A definite page-turner, I cannot recommend this book enough and I will definitely be stocking my bookshelves with Ms Cornwall’s books.

This was an ARC copy via the publisher Choc Lit in exchange for an honest review.

The Daughter of River Valley is released today and can be purchased at Amazon.

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

Posted on Updated on

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?

My View

Oh, my word! I don’t have enough words to say how unbelievably incredible this book is. I literally started this book and devoured it in one go, that first page hooked me right up until the last very last word. I am a huge fan of Ms Matthews, her writing is always flawless and articulate, but this simply is in a league of its own.

The Matrimonial Advertisement is book one in this new series; Parish Orphans of Devon, what a marvellous way to be introduced to this series. Judging by this, this series is going to be a cracking good one and I am now waiting with baited breath for the next instalment. I really am very impatient. 😊

Lady Helena Reynolds is running away from London, running away from something worse than death. She answers a Matrimonial Advertisement in the paper, gets on a train and travels to Devon to marry a man she has never met. She is desperate, this really is the only way she can protect herself. The man himself and her soon to be home isn’t exactly what she expected, he isn’t exactly the knight on a white horse with a fairy tale castle on a hill, he is just as vulnerable and tormented as her.

Helena is a scared, desperate young woman who is facing something that no woman should have to face. She has been treated absolutely abysmally by her powerful uncle and his cronies and now she is running not just her life, but her sanity. My heart bleeds for Helena, especially when all she wants out of her marriage is for Justin to be kind to her, she is a good person who has been through so much. Ms Matthews has created an incredible young woman, her fear and desperation is palpable in every scene she is in. Yet deep down there is a strong woman who just wants to be free of her fear, she wants to be happy. Justin is the perfect man for her, he is protective to a fault, kind and honourable, he opens her eyes to exactly the kind of woman she wishes to be.

Self-made man and Ex-military Captain; Justin Thornhill is reluctantly in search of a wife, not something he is looking forward to. But as his man-of-business took it upon himself to put an advertisement in the paper for a bride, he knows that if he is ever going to gain the trust and civility of the villager’s instead of constant disdain towards him, he needs a wife to help him. He expects an older stern woman who will be able to manage a house and servants, what he doesn’t expect is a young beautiful woman, who is terrified and secretive.

Oh, my goodness! What a man Justin is, he is a brilliantly good man. Always putting others first, he never thinks of himself and when he does it is only to think of what a horrible man he is – which is a complete lie. He think’s himself to be too much of a monster for anyone to love, especially the likes of fragile Helena. But, he is an incredible, brilliantly handsome, tormented kind man who is highly protective to those he loves, ruthless in business and principled.

Both go into this ‘Marriage of Convenience’ with one purpose in mind, that this arrangement will benefit them both, him for the wife that he clearly needs and her for the protection she desperately needs. As each of their personal secrets are revealed, they soon learn that this arrangement is something more than either of them had expected. I love how they start bonding and getting to know each other over the likes of Charles Dickens, it brings a great realism to their relationship.

This isn’t just a tender and loving romance as there are some very sensitive and difficult subjects that are a vital part of the whole story. Such as asylums and the Indian revolutions, these are tough and heartbreaking subjects and the scenes are full of angst and emotion. When Justin and Helena finally reveal their past’s, which involve those subjects those scenes are raw and heart-wrenching. Ms Matthews has done an astounding job at covering these hard and difficult subject’s, and she has conveyed the subject with realism and respectful clarity.

Anyone who has read my reviews, will know how much I love this lady’s work. I am a massive fan of Mimi Matthews she is my go to author for anything Victorian, her brilliantly composed and stylish writing engages and entrances. ‘The Matrimonial Advertisement’ is a lot darker that what we have come to expect from Ms Matthews, but for me this is Gothic Victorian story-telling at its best. This is how this genre is supposed to be written!

The plot is solid and fresh it takes you on a journey that will have you reaching for the tissues, I can guarantee that you will be weeping like a baby. The characters are astounding, they develop throughout the story in a natural and wonderful way, not just as people but as their romance blossoms so beautifully. Ms Matthews has out done herself with this, by far one of the best books I have read -ever! I cannot wait to see what comes next in the series, I am hoping that Justin’s best friends and fellow orphans; adorable Neville and Cunning Tom get a story.

This is a hauntingly beautiful, gripping and heart-wrenching story.

It is simply spellbinding!

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

The Matrimonial Advertisement is to be released on 4th September and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Review – Captain Amberton’s Inherited Bride by Jenni Fletcher

Posted on Updated on

‘Marry me…

…And you’ll have your freedom.’

Her father’s will dictates that Violet Harper must wed or be disinherited—but she’d rather face the wilderness of the wintry Yorkshire moors than be bound to cynical, damaged soldier Lance Amberton. Lance promises a marriage of convenience that will grant Violet her independence. In exchange she must put her faith in Lance, and see beyond his gruff exterior to the man beneath…

Firstly, let me say that if I was one of those reviewer’s who rates books with star’s then this would be a huge ten star book, but as I’m not I’ll just overly gush about how much I love this book instead.

I am an avid reader of Jenni Fletcher’s work, everything from her Medieval’s to this Victorian and I have to say that this is the finest I have read, Captains Amberton’s Inherited Bride is a beautifully written story with some well-crafted and defined character’s, which portrays a wealth of knowledge and research into the era. I am an odd reader that I can always seem to ‘see’ the hero of the story so much clearer than the heroine, yet in this case Violet spoke to me – her character shouted out and made me listen and when I did, the revelations of not just the character but of how I felt about her were astounding.

Are you saying that you were willing to lose your inheritance just to walk around some old walls?’ ‘Yes.’ She seemed nonplussed by his reaction…..
‘Indeed.’ He didn’t know whether to laugh or be offended. ‘You must have heard some very interesting stories about me, Miss Harper. I’ve always flattered myself that I was more attractive than crumbling stone.’‘I didn’t mean it like that. It’s not the wall itself—more the idea of it. The freedom to do something I want to do. That’s what I want, freedom.’

Lance (Lancelot) Amberton is the black sheep of the family, he is on a knife-edge where his father is concerned and so when an innocent mis-understanding concerning his twin brother’s future wife; Violet, this just confirms everything that his father and the whole of society think of him – that he is a un-repenting scoundrel who has is a basically a waste of space. Lance gets banished from and right there and then he walk’s out of his family home, goes back to the army and from that day he never see’s his brother or father again.

After living her life practically, a prisoner in her own home, because of her stern, selfish and controlling father – who is such a pathetic bully who really should be ashamed of his treatment of his beautiful daughter. Violet has always been told by him that the only reason any man would want to go near her was because of her vast wealth, she grew up sheltered in her prison like home with this man telling her daily that she is odd, ugly and no one will ever love her for her. At her first ever – and only ever – social outing she meets Captain Amberton, who because of her naivety she instantly thinks that he is making fun of her and doing what her father has always said a man will do to her and string her along. One thing leads to another and she is witness to the Captains banishment, while she is pushed closer and closer to the Arthur; Lance’s twin.

Arthur is a man who is very unhappy with his lot in life, he doesn’t want to marry Violet he has his eyes set on the beauty of society but being the more reticent and dutiful twin, he never stands up for himself where his father is concerned. He goes along with whatever his father says, but in his heart and mind he is screaming for someone to listen to him.

Five years later Violet’s father, Lance’s Father and Arthur all die, she thinks that this is her chance for the freedom she so desperately yearns for, she is severely saddened by Arthurs death, but she cannot hide the fact that she now feels free. That is until she hears of the terms of her father’s will, which basically states that if she doesn’t marry the heir to Amberton she will be cut off, which is one thing but that’s means as Lance is now the heir it is in his hands her fate and happiness rests. She really doesn’t want to marry him, infact she doesn’t want to be in the same breathing space as the ‘beast’ as he is now called. She can’t go back to how her life was, to putting herself back under the control of man she wants to live rather than be ruled over.

…staring at her feet for a few seconds before crouching down suddenly. ‘There a pattern here.’‘It’s a Yorkshire rose.’ He watched the graceful sweep of her fingers across the floorboards. She was so small, so delicate, and yet there was something entrancing about her….

Lance isn’t the fun-loving, scoundrel he was, he has become a cold, stoic and deeply unhappy man, and I do have to say that my heart bleeds for this traumatised man. The pain he is in – not just due to being shot in the leg, but he is emotionally damaged and that has a lot to do with his family and their treatment of him more than what he had to go through while at war, even though that has had a huge impact on his character.

He blames Violet for everything that has happened to him and I suppose you can see where he is coming from, for the first time in his life he was doing something that was good and proper and because of that he gets banished from his family. The only person Lance knows who is always on his side is his twin brother Arthur – are you seeing the Arthurian link yet? I love that! Arthur is the only person in Lance’s world who genuinely has any love for him, so when Arthur drowns in what is classed as an accident, Lance feels as though someone has ripped out his heart. Like the other half of himself has been stolen away, he is absolutely gutted!

He isn’t keen on the idea of marrying Violet, any more than she is of him and there is some hugely entertaining moments between them as they bicker and throw insults to and fro. I do love a ‘Enemies to Lover’s’ trope and this was right up my street. I do really like Lance, he reminds me of John Thornton from North and South, he is a tormented but ever such a good man and I never did feel that he was the scoundrel that his father and whole of society deemed him to be. After coming back from the war injured instead of skulking away into the shadows – don’t get me wrong he does that too, his soul intention on a daily basis is to drink himself into oblivion – he decides to help put the people of his estate and neighbouring area’s by not only purchasing a iron works but he wants to open a colliery which not only brings vital jobs to the area but gives him something to live for – other than living in the bottom of a whisky bottle. He thinks of the regular people, he feels their plight and he wants to do the best for them.

‘A kitten and a beast?’‘Violet and Lance.’ She lifted her head up to kiss him lightly, and then not so lightly, on the lips. ‘Who will Arthur find, I wonder?’

I always seem to understand and ‘get’ the heroes, I don’t seem to connect with heroines as much as I do the heroes but, in this case, it is so different. I felt hugely connected to Violet in a way that I haven’t ever connected with a heroine before, I understood her! Everything about Violet struck a cord with me, parts of her character and circumstances reminded me of myself. I understood her thirst for knowledge, her fascination with history her urgent need to do what she wants with no restrictions and being able to explore places she has never been before, see things she has always wanted to see without responsibilities holding her back. She is a sheltered little thing who just wants a bit of freedom to do what she wants, when we first meet her she is a naive over sensitive little thing, but I saw a sparkle, a fire under that sheltered façade.

For me this is by far the best Fletcher has done, I do love her medieval’s but this is something special, I do have a real soft spot for Victorian stories and this is just fabulous it is infused with Fletcher’s unrelenting passion for history, for the era and especially for Yorkshire. I particularly love how she has written in the beautiful Yorkshire Rose into the floors and ceiling of Amberton Castle. I love the Arthurian undercurrent is such a wonderful addition, it’s subtle and perfect for the story. I really can’t say too many good things about this book, for me it is a breath-takingly pure and beautiful tale and this story really shows just what a fine and articulated writer Ms Fletcher is, she time after time shows that she can handle the hard and complicated stories as well as the loving romantic ones.

I think that any author who can switch so seamlessly from one era to another and create such inspiring and fabulously original stories that draw you in are so talented and Jenni Fletcher is up there with the best.

Just perfect!

Captain Amberton’s Inherited Bride is to be released on 22nd March and can be pre-ordered at Amazon

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

Review – The Viscount and The Vicars Daughter; A Victorian Romance by Mimi Mattnews

Posted on


England, 1861. A world-weary rake and a prim vicar’s daughter are thrown together during a holiday house party. Will they discover there’s more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?

A WORLD-WEARY RAKE
After years of unbridled debauchery, Tristan Sinclair, Viscount St. Ashton has hit proverbial rock bottom. Seeking to escape his melancholy, he takes refuge at one of Victorian society’s most notorious house parties. As the Christmas season approaches, he prepares to settle in for a month of heavy drinking…until an unexpected encounter changes his plans—and threatens his heart.

A PRIM VICAR’S DAUGHTER
Valentine March is not the drab little spinster she appears to be. When her new job as a lady’s companion lands her smack in the middle of Yorkshire with England’s most infamous rake, she resolves to keep her head down and her eyes fixed firmly on her future—a future which most definitely does not include a sinfully handsome viscount.

A MATCH MADE IN SCANDAL
A friendship is impossible. An affair out of the question. But when one reckless act binds them together, will two star-crossed souls discover there’s more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?


Let me start by saying what an unbelievably great book, it is rich and emotional and for me definitely what I have now come to expect from Ms Matthews. The Viscount and the Vicars daughter is very different from other historical romances it does go along the lines of marriage of convenience but the difference if that Tristan genuinely does love Valentine very much, and he wants to do what is right by her – after what happened, even with so much going against them not just society and his father and his lack of funds after his after cuts him off but also his black reputation. To see his transformation from the cynical and harsh rake to the loving and protective man right before your eyes is refreshing and appealing and hugely enjoyable.

The story opens as Tristan Sinclair; Viscount St Ashton is making his way to the Fairbanks house party, which is a notoriously scandalous event that only the blackest of reputations from society attend. He isn’t attending because he want’s to, he’s there because he has been summoned by his father; the Earl of Lynden who figures this is the best chance to have ‘the chat’ with his wayward son and heir. Tristan cannot think of any thing worse than having to listen to his father lectures about him settling down and stopping his rakish behaviour, or maybe his sire will do what he is always threatening and cut him off? Anyway, while trying to waste time before he must face his father’s wrath he stumbles across a woman in the woods, a chance meeting that will change his life forever.

“….But kissing you…” His expression warmed. “Valentine, I wanted to kiss you in the folly— when I was wet, irritable, and cold sober.” He paused. “I want to kiss you now.”

After the death of her father, vicars daughter Valentine March has had no choice but to go into service she is the companion of the most selfish and manipulative women ever, really tis woman and her daughter are horrendous they are so selfish and vain that they have their staff especially the woman dress in the same uniform of spectacles and black sack of a dress just so that they don’t over shadow precious felicity – really that would be the end of the world – she is upset after spoilt Felicity Brightwell has more or less destroyed the only thing she had of her late mother, the nasty little madam in a fit of temper had burnt Valentines’ mothers bible. It is while in the woods at her lowest that she meets the most handsome man that she has ever met – a meeting that will stay with her for the rest of her life.

From that one chance meeting in the woods both their lives turn up-side-down forever, as on the first night of the house party Tristan is told in no uncertain terms that is has to either do his duty and move to their ancestral estate in Northumberland or he be cut off starting with immediate effect and Valentine goes back to her job as companion/slave to Lady Brightwell, but both have of them have been affected by their chance meeting. Valentine as much as she distrusts the rakish and sinful Tristan she cannot get the sinner out of her mind, for a few moment’s he wasn’t the scoundrel that everyone thought his to be but he was kind and caring and so different to what she expected the Lord of St. Ashton to be. Tristen has met his fair share of women and every one of them have fallen to their knees at his charm, and yet the prim and virtuous Valentine March is so different she isn’t at all what usually takes his attention yet all he can do is think about her. For the first time in his life he is concerned for someone else bar himself, his protective instincts are on high alert whenever she is around, especially being at this scandalous and debaucherously sinful party.

“You’re slipping away from me. I can see it. I can feel it happening, but I don’t know how in the devil I’m supposed to stop it.”
“I’m not slipping away from anyone. I’m right here.”

Tristan can’t seem to help himself, but he wants to help her, when he returns some items to her that she left in the woods after they had met, they share a moment which turns into something more only for them to be discovered by the whole house. Valentine is dismissed from her post as companion and Tristan knows that there is only one way for this scandal to disappear – him and Valentine must marry!

Let us just say that valentine is shocked by this turn of events, after her own nearly scandalous episode in her past she has become weary and cynical of all men – especially those silver-tongued charmer’s such as the Viscount, but this one moment of pure joy has been her downfall and if she doesn’t accept his proposal she may become destitute. Tristan even though he had no intention of marrying yet again can not explain his addiction to this woman, she sets him on fire whenever she is close. He finds that in that moment when they are both backed into a corner he can’t think of anything better than marrying her, he wants her, and Tristan will do anything in his power to have her.

Everyone, which is including Tristan’s father; the Earl is adamant that Valentine will be ruined because Tristan is the worst rake ever, he is known to never keep his promises and that he is too wild to ever settle down – especially with the likes of a lowly vicar’s daughter with a secretive past. The moment that they become engaged you are willing them on, you are wanting them to finally find the happiness that they both deserve. I felt so very sorry for Tristan because of his wild youth he has been stuck with this label that he can’t seem to ditch. I really do like Tristan, he is a powerful force, not just the fact that he is a Viscount that has nothing to do with it, he is charismatic, dynamic with a very well hidden and very rarely seen good heart and any woman that he sets those genuine smiles on are exceedingly privileged because they are rare and beautiful.

“I’ve put my faith in you, sir. And I have precious little faith left to spare. Don’t you dare let me down, Tristan. Don’t you dare break my heart.” Tristan stared down at her, stunned.
“Do I have your heart, Valentine?” Her mouth trembled.
“I’m very much afraid that you do.

The relationship between Valentine and Tristan is honest and pure, he never lies or misuses her, he is kind, unlike his reputation he acts like the true gentleman around her something which has very rarely happened to Valentine. She has never been treated as though she is special or like a proper lady before in her life, in all honesty when her mother died her father the vicar was very harsh with his grieving daughter and so she hasn’t experienced true kindness so obviously she is suspicious of Tristan’s motives. I love how from the moment of meeting Valentine, Tristen knows that this woman is exceptionally special and that she is just what is fractured and blackened heart needs – he knows she is the one immediately, he doesn’t fight how he feels for her the biggest obstacle in their way is her independent and cynical nature.

The Brightwell’s are the most horrid and spiteful women you have ever met, as much as Lady Brightwell irritated the hell out of me with her constant simpering and ‘poor me’ routine the crown for the most self-centred, manipulative and spiteful woman must go to her daughter; Felicity – who being the jewel in the aristocracy’s crown but, she is as unpleasant as you can get. I view her as more of an acid tongued viper, just waiting to strike and I think that Matthews has got their character’s and personalities just spot on, they are both awful self-centred women, yet they have such a prominent role in the book and without them Valentine and Tristan wouldn’t be the adorable couple that we come to know.

I do really like this one, as we have come to expect from Ms Matthews we are transported the fascinating Victorian era, and I do really like this era it is full of promise of what is to come and also darkness of what is happening and amongst the grim reality we have wonderful stories like this one. The Viscount and the Vicars Daughter is hugely romantic, fabulously written and researched, it teases the senses and makes you wonder and surprisingly all the romance comes from Tristan. He surprises you as you get to know him throughout the book, the change in him from his black rakish reputation to the man he becomes is beautifully composed.

This is very much recommended, if you like the marriage of convenience with a light twist and transformed rakes and cynical, shy heroines this is the book for you – even if you don’t like all that, this is still a must read.

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

The Viscount and the Vicars daughter is out 23rd January 2018 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.