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Ratings and Reviews (4 7 star ratings
4 reviews
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4.7 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Historical Romance

    The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews Parish Orphans of Devon #1 Some books are more than just well written and well plotted stories because they truly engage the reader. This book did that. I felt I was in Victorian England and all of my senses were engaged. I cared about the characters and felt with them as their stories unfolded. I hoped and cared and wished right along with Justin and Helena as they slowly got to know one another. None of the historical information was new to me but experiencing it from the viewpoints of Justin and Helena made it more relevant and brought it closer to home than just reading about the issues in a history textbook. What were the issues? Public and private orphanages and mental asylums, greedy relatives, underhanded practices to steal money from family, the disparity between the haves and have nots, the return home of military men after capture and torture, the Sepoy rebellion, massacres perpetrated by both British and those they colonized in India, women as property, family, friendship, nobility and so much more. This is in some ways a story of a mail order bride but it is also more than that. It is about a woman, Helena, who has only one hope of thwarting the evil intentions of her uncle by taking a husband who will then “own” her and hopefully protect her. It is about a man, Justin, who is seeking a woman to ease his life as he lives in remote Devon. It is about a friend, Jenny, who finds the matrimonial advertisement and assists Helena in reaching the interview with her potential husband. It is about a man, Finchley, who solves problems and one of those is providing a safe haven and defender for Helena while also providing a woman to love for his friend Justin. It also lays the groundwork for more books that will no doubt tell the stories of orphans like Justin…at least three were mentioned in this book: Justin Thornhill, Neville, Tom Finchley and Alex Archer. I believe Finchley and Jenny will have their story told next but I look forward to reading all of their stories when the books come out. Mimi Matthews is a new author to me. I loved her writing and though only a few kisses were shared by Justin and Helena there was no doubt in my mind that once the two finally opened up and shared what was bubbling beneath the surface their relationship would become all that they both were hopeful for in a marriage and no doubt much more. Did I like this book? Yes Do I want to read more in this series? Definitely Thank you to NetGalley and Perfectly Proper Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    A wonderful story

    Beautifully written, The Matrimonial Advertisement is an emotional, moving and touching romance. It brings two wounded people together that really were meant for each other and were strong together. The premise of this new series surrounds some men that were orphaned and had so many challenges in their lives. What a great first book that held me captive from the first page in this unique storyline. Lady Helena Reynolds is running for her life and when she sees an advertisement for a wife in the paper, she hurries to Devon to get away from London as fast as she can. She needs protection and to be safe and prays the man she is going to will provide that in spades. Justin Thornhill, ex military captain with a hard background, only wants a wife to help him gain the trust of the villagers and bring some much needed structure to his home. He thinks that the woman who answered the ad is an older widow, but what he gets is young lovely Helena. Both have secrets and eventually as they begin to spend time together, they find the arrangement is more than they expected. Of course Justin is wary thinking no woman could really love him but he supports and guards Helena with his life. I wish I could convey how this story gripped my heart with the wonderful writing of this author. This is the first book I have read by her, but now I cannot wait to read more. Some of the secondary characters will soon have their own story and I know I will be reading them as soon as they are released. I read this through NetGallery
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Enjoyable

    The cover of The Matrimonial Advertisement is elegant and breathtaking. The book description left me intrigued and impatiently waiting for the release date to arrive. Mimi Matthews did a great job at plucking me from my favorite armchair and placing my feet on the cliffside of the North Devon coast and in the rooms of the abbey. Her attention to detail and world-building drew me in from the beginning. (A must for me as a reader.) Romance novels aren’t my usual choice when I’m on the hunt for a book. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy romance in a book, but I want there to be more going on than a love story. The heroine, Helena, I adored from the first few pages. As for the ex-army captain, Justin, I appreciated that he wasn’t the flawless male character romance novels often portray. This outlook Ms. Matthews took along with the added tension of Helena’s uncle and the setting won me on this book. I'd read more from this author in the future.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Much more than just romance

    Every so often I crave a really good romance. I am picky about the romance novels I read. They need to have substance, a great setting (preferably historical), and believable and flawed characters. The Matrimonial Advertisement had all this and more! I was immediately drawn into the story and basically devoured this book. The interaction and dialogue between Helena and Justin was intelligent and set the tone for their relationship. I love a romance where there is both physical and emotional tension between the main characters without resorting to explicit and immediate love scenes. Instead, the author built this romantic liaison between two complex characters with dark and heavy secrets. Furthermore, the topics of their past were not only intriguing but very different from the common damsel in distress and dashing rich hero. Without disclosing what they are as this will give away some of the plot, these are topics that interest me and learning about them from a historical point of view truly fascinated me. So I felt this book was much more than just a romance. It had a good plot, well-developed main characters and also good secondary characters. I was thrilled to learn that this is the first book in the Parish Orphans of Devon series. And for those of you who love clean well-written historical romance, this is it. The book cover too was well done, different from most romance novels out there. The Matrimonial Advertisement was a satisfying read and I will be looking out for more books by Mimi Matthews! I am now a fan and will count this book among my favorites this year.
7

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