More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

Item(s) unavailable for purchase
Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item(s) now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout.
itemsitem
Ratings and Book Reviews (12 14 star ratings
12 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.9 out of 5
14
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
12 2 0 0 0

Share your thoughts

You've already shared your review for this item. Thanks!

We are currently reviewing your submission. Thanks!

Complete your review

All Book Reviews

  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Great ending to a great series!

    This is the 4th and final book in the Orphans of Devon Parish series. The previous 4 books about Alex, Justin, Tom and now Neville. It's not necessary to read the previous books, as this can be read as a stand alone, but it would certainly add to the story. Neville has been a secondary character in some of the previous books. He has suffered a head injury as a child and it has left him with a speech impediment. But there is nothing wrong with his mind. The 4 former orphans, friends, finally have gathered together as a group for the first time in 20 years for Christmas at the Abbey. 3 are now married, one expecting a baby. Neville.who lives and works at the Abbey is happy to see his friends but doesn't like the disruption it brings to his life, the new people it brings in. Until he meets Clara . Clara is the companion to the mother in law of one of his friends. She brings into his stables, where he lives and works, her little pug dog. The dog is to stay in the stables until she gets permission to keep him in her room. Its love at first sight. Neville is awestruck by her and she somewhat reservedly by him. Both are lonely, both feeling they don't deserve each other. So both decide to be friends even though there is an attraction between them. The friendship, relationship that Miss Matthews grows between them is slow but sweet. It's the little moments that when put all together show how very much they love one another. You will enjoy such a beautiful, clean romance, with its HEA. A perfect ending to a great series. Thank you to netgalley for allowing me to review this book.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Very enjoyable story

    December 1860. Greyfriar Abbey, North Devon. The Christmas period has brought the four orphans, now adults to the Abbey for a long overdue reunion. Clara Hartwright has come as Mrs Bainbridge's companion, the aunt to the now married Laura Archer. While hiding her past, Clara financially supports, with the help of her mother, her brother Simon at University. Meanwhile the last of the unmarried orphans is more comfortable spending time with animals, but then he meets Clara. Can both overcome their pasts or will their courage fail them. Another very enjoyable and well-written Victorian romance. With its cast of very lovable characters. Certainly a delightful end to the series. Although it can easily be read as a standalone story I would highly recommend the whole series.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Overcoming challenges to live his best life

    Following an accident as a child, Neville Cross is speech impaired and that holds him back from fulfilling his dreams of a good life. When he meets Clara Hartwright, lady’s companion with a shockingly unladylike secret, he feels forced to challenge his low self-esteem to forge an independent life. In the Parish Orphans of Devon Series we follow the orphan boys Justin Thornhill, Tom Finchley, Alex Archer and Neville Cross. Installment #4 is featuring Neville Cross, who is apprentice steward at Greyfriar’s Abby owned by his friend Justin. He finds it hard to do the paper work part of the position and prefers to work outside, particularly tending to the horses. Having had a troubled background, Neville is grateful to Justin for the opportunity to work and live on the estate. He doesn’t think he is able to do anything else and is afraid to venture out among people. He expects to be ridiculed for his trouble expressing himself. The parts of the story where we get a glimpse into his thoughts about himself and his life are heartbreaking. Neville’s confidence and outlook on life has really taken a toll. He is convinced he has to isolate himself at the Abbey for the rest of his life. There is not really anybody in his surroundings who challenges him to make a change until he meets Clara. Clara Hartwright, She comes for a Christmas visit together with her employer Mrs Bainbright. She needs her position to save enough money, so she tries to be as good a lady’s companion as she can be. She doesn’t feel she has the knack for staying silent and acting like a living ghost, but she has this shockingly unladylike project that needs funding and be kept an absolute secret. Clara seems an assertive and outspoken young woman, so slowly but surely she manages to challenge Neville’s preconceptions. With her help his mind is opened to dreams and opportunities he previously believed was out of his reach. I really appreciated Clara’s desire to rid herself of some of the feminine constraints of the time, and there certainly were a lot of them to deal with and find creative ways around. I found it refreshing that the plot includes a mix of what might have been forward thinking or even revolutionary ideas at the time. Darwinistic ideas are balanced out with, to us, very old fashioned views. Neville loves horses and the knowledge and interest in horses and dogs shines through in this work, which I find very enjoyable. Clara rescues old pug Bertie from being put down and secretly takes him with her to her new position. He seems to find a new and happier life in the country playing with his two new mastiff friends. I found him an enjoyable and funny supporting character in his own right. There seems to have been thorough research ahead of writing this story into how Christmas decorations were made and what games and activities were played at the time. Some of the activities I even recognize as being done today as part of pre Christmas crafting or Christmas Workshops. As the plot is set at a Christmas gathering of friends and family in Devon, I found this part of the story entertaining and enjoyable adding to the Christmas vibe. I read A Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon #4) as a standalone. It worked well, but I think I would recommend reading the series starting with #1, gradually getting up to speed with characters and events. I found this to be a sweet, entertaining read and I would recommend it to fans of Mimi Matthews other works and readers of historical romance fiction. Thank you to NetGalley and Victory Editing for this eARC in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    A lovely Victorian tale of love and fulfillment

    A man with a speech disability meets a woman in search of her place in the world. A lovely Victorian tale of love and fulfillment “The Winter Companion” brings Mimi Mathew’s Parish Orphans of Devon series to a sweet and thought-provoking close. The book is standalone, but the whole series is excellent and I recommend reading them all. Confined to an orphanage, friends Justin, Tom, Alex and Neville faced a traumatic childhood deprived of almost everything but found in each other strength to cope with life. They often sought adventure and mischief by climbing the treacherous cliffs of Greyfriar’s Abbey. One day, while climbing down, young Neville Cross lost his balance, crashed his head and fell into the ocean down below never to be the same person again. Now adults, the friends reunite in Greyfriar’s Abbey (currently owned by Justin) to celebrate Christmas. In the meantime, Neville is struck by the realization that, due to the speech issues that followed his accident, he stayed frozen in place with no future or perspectives while his friends lives moved on. Neville’s character is very complex and utterly adorable. He is vulnerable but at the same time strong. It is hard for him to communicate with words, but his actions speak for themselves, and show the unmistakable goodness of his heart. His mind is sound, and it is painful to see how the speech struggles change the perception other people have of him. The romance takes place when Clara Hartwright, the companion to one of the guests of the Christmas party, comes to the stables to ask Neville to take care of her old pug dog Bertie. Clara is strong and caring and has to work to maintain herself and also to pay for her brother’s studies. She has academic aspirations and, like Neville, a true love for animals. It is a slow burn romance, but it is so worth the wait. The reader is invited to witness their first meeting, their friendship, and how they slowly get to know each other and see each other’s true selves. Once again, Mimi Mathews crafts a beautiful tale of true love and the quest for a fulfilling life. Disclosure: I have received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Historical Fiction

    The Winter Companion by Mimi Matthews Parish Orphans of Devon #4 Neville Cross is someone I have been hoping would get a happily ever after from the time I first met him. I knew there was more to him and was pleased to find out that he was not only handsome, big and strong but also gentle, kind and a truly good person. The connection between his thoughts and putting those thoughts into words was a struggle but he was not lacking in wits...not at all. So, when Clara Hartwright walked into the stable with Bertie the Pug I was on tenterhooks waiting to see how their story would develop. I found Clara to be the perfect person for Neville. She could read him and knew he was a fine person and a man she could trust...after she got over her first misgivings. She really didn’t see a future for herself beyond being a lady’s companion and later being secretary for her brother and had left many dreams behind as she worked as a lady’s companion. There was more to her, too, than met the eye and Neville saw her beauty of face, form and intellect right away. That the four friends, once orphans struggling to survive, were together for Christmas and there for one another was a heartwarming. It was so nice to see how the men and their ladies were doing. What I liked: * Neville: such a wonderful person inside and out – a gentle giant – perfect for Clara * Clara: a woman I could feel with and for – brilliant woman in a time that did not appreciate women as they should * The couples met in the first three books of this series – getting to see them again and hear about their lives was a bit of fun * The dogs – so glad that Bertie got to join the pack for awhile * The part about the Dartmoor ponies – had fun looking them up online * The strength of both main characters – they faced what they had to and did so brilliantly * All of it, really except… What I did not like: * Clara’s brother Simon – seemed a self-entitled son and brother that had had smooth sailing too long * Simon’s tutor – a cad, creep and callous male that deserved a thrashing * That both Neville and Clara had spent time questioning parts of themselves and were made to feel “less” Did I enjoy this book? Definitely Would I read more by this author? Without a doubt What I might like to still know? What happens to Edward/Teddy Having been a neurosurgical intensive care nurse and then having worked in a nursing home for mentally alert but neurologically impaired I have known people with injuries like Neville’s. The ability to “come back” from those injuries is not easy and often is not 100%. I am so glad that Neville found his place in the world and a life that was so rich and rewarding. Thank you to NetGalley and The Perfectly Proper Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
14

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • DESKTOP
  • eREADERS
  • TABLETS
  • IOS
  • ANDROID
  • BLACKBERRY
  • WINDOWS