"For this impressive Victorian romance, Matthews crafts a tale that sparkles with chemistry...an excellent series launch that will appeal to fans of Loretta Chase and Stephanie Laurens." —Publishers Weekly
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
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, firmly established in the grandest house in King's Abbot, 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?
For this impressive Victorian romance, Matthews (The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter) crafts a tale that sparkles with chemistry and impresses with strong character development. Helena Reynolds is desperate to be married, so she responds to an advertisement for a wife and travels to Devon to be interviewed. Justin Thornhill is haunted by his military service in India. He survived a mutiny but was captured and tortured before returning to England, where he bought an isolated estate so no one can see his disfiguring burns. Loneliness prompted his search for a wife; he is immediately attracted by Helena's beauty, and his protective instincts are aroused. After a quick wedding, Helena soon finds herself falling for her enigmatic husband, but her past and his cynicism about love threaten her ability to transform their marriage of convenience into something more romantic. Their story moves smoothly, with occasional stumbles toward the end. Matthews combines authentic period touches with building sexual tension in an excellent series launch that will appeal to fans of Loretta Chase and Stephanie Laurens. (BookLife)
I really really loved this one! Writing was perfect, I never got bored. One thing to note is there’s no smut lol, but the tension is great and while I usually like the spicy scenes, this book was not lacking because there wasn’t any.
The Matrimonial Advertisement
A powerful story about transforming from victim to survivor of domestic and institutional abuse and, though part of a series, can be read as a standalone. The period, and subject matter are well-researched and the writing immersive.
If I had to nitpick, Helena’s expensive upbringing being a repeated point of contention seems moot since her room at the Abbey has already been renovated, and shortly after she moves to the comfort of Half-Moon Street where she conveniently regains nearly the entirety of the wardrobe she left behind, which she originally planned on running the risk of shipping it to the Abbey somehow without getting tracked, despite being terrified that she herself had already been followed. Also, a couple times recycled descriptions resulted in random callbacks. But otherwise this was a good read.
This series as a whole was a fairly good. Odds are readers will learn something new.
The Matrimonial Advertisement
Such a lovely book with endearing characters and a storyline with plenty of at-arms-length romance. This kept me rooting for Helena and Justin to find their way past their secrets. The intrigue was not overdone—it was perfect. I will certainly buy more books by Mimi Matthews,.