Mimi Matthews is another author who has been placed firmly on my auto buy/read list! I discovered her by chance and have loved everything she has written!
When I saw this one was coming out, I was thrilled and looking forward to another delicious Victorian romance full of sweetness, love, and of course chemistry between the two characters.
What I didn’t know until I started reading this one was that it was a novella rather than a full length novel. That said it’s still around the 200 page mark but still shorter than a conventional novel but don’t let the length fool you, there is plenty to enjoy in this one!
A Secret Burden…
After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy—or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.
A Longstanding Love…
As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago.
During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings—or betraying his brother? (summary from Goodreads)
Right away I noticed that this book was more bold than some of Matthew’s previous books. In her other books the main character is usually unattached but in this book Beryl is engaged to Mark’s brother. Right away I was like whoa this is going to be much different than some of her other stories and I was totally here for it!
I instantly loved Mark. I thought he was sweet, attentive, and just the kind of man that Beryl needed—that much was clear almost immediately. They clearly had a strong bond and friendship that was evident right away in the story. Mark’s brother Henry was simply not her match in the least. He wasn’t a horrible man or a traditional villain, which I appreciated. In many romances, the rival for the heroine’s affections has a clear flaw for readers to latch on to and rule them out a good match for the heroine—a cheater perhaps, or a drinker etc. But in this story Henry is neither of those things.
Perhaps insensitive to the extreme but not wholly unlikeable—he simply just didn’t suit Beryl. I loved that Matthews approached their romance like this, it was new and different and you didn’t walk away feeling like she escaped a fate worse than death, but rather that she knew herself well enough to know that her and Henry would never do and she spoke up in her defense. I loved that.
This book also addressed an interesting topic that gave it a much more serious note. Beryl has suffered from depression or melancholy and is struggling. This was an unexpected approach for me and I wasn’t sure that it was going to work as well as it did because so often the heroine is meant to be this chipper and upbeat character but Beryl struggled with her own issues. While I might have had my reservations at first, I found that this struggle that Beryl had was relatable and highlighted the reasons that made Mark so perfect for her and how Henry just did not.
As always Matthews has managed to crate a charming story that was full of all the things I love—a worthy hero, a relatable heroine, and of course so much sweet romance! Side note—-I need a story or novella about Winnie and Dr Black!
Book Info and Rating
WHERE TO BUY (AFFILIATE LINKS)
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 14
Review at Passages to the Past
Thursday, July 16
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Friday, July 17
Review at View from the Birdhouse
Saturday, July 18
Review at The Green Mockingbird
Sunday, July 19
Review at Robin Loves Reading
Monday, July 20
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Tuesday, July 21
Review at Book Bustle
Wednesday, July 22
Review at Bookish Rantings
Thursday, July 23
Review at Heidi Reads
Friday, July 24
Review at The Lit Bitch
Saturday, July 25
Feature at What Is That Book About
Monday, July 27
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Tuesday, July 28
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– Only one entry per household.
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– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.