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I received an ARC of Mimi Matthews’ The Mat­ri­mo­ni­al Adver­tise­ment through His­tor­i­cal Fic­tion Vir­tu­al Book Tours for review pur­pos­es. As always, this review reflects only my hon­est opin­ions on the book.

The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews

Pub­li­ca­tion Date: Sep­tem­ber 4, 2018
Per­fect­ly Prop­er Press
Paper­back & eBook; 317 Pages
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon, Book 1
Genre: Historical/Romance

 

 

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?

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MY REVIEW:

I’ve been very picky about my book choic­es as of late, but I’m almost always down for a good his­tor­i­cal romance (my love of Philip­pa Gregory’s Tudor-era nov­els should make that pret­ty clear!). I was unfa­mil­iar with Matthews’ work before join­ing this blog tour, but I can con­fi­dent­ly say that I’m very much a fan since read­ing The Mat­ri­mo­ni­al Adver­tise­ment.

The book quick­ly drew me in with a Vic­to­ri­an-era set­ting on the coast of Eng­land. If you’re new to the blog, I lived in Som­er­set for a time and miss it ter­ri­bly. Books might be the eas­i­est way to get myself there until I’m able to return! I don’t think I’d have dis­liked the nov­el if it took place else­where, but I loved it all the more for this aspect.

What real­ly kept me intrigued, though, was The Mat­ri­mo­ni­al Adver­tise­ment’s char­ac­ters and their mys­te­ri­ous indi­vid­ual back­sto­ries. Why is Hele­na so afraid? What dark secrets have forced Justin to put such empha­sis on his gruff exte­ri­or? Beyond that, what secrets are they keep­ing from one anoth­er from the moment they meet? Matthews brings these ques­tions to light time and again, giv­ing both char­ac­ters and read­ers a bit more insight each time around.

Along­side these pro­tag­o­nists, The Mat­ri­mo­ni­al Adver­tise­ment fea­tures a cast of sup­port­ing char­ac­ters that keeps you just as intrigued as the cou­ple. From Helena’s long­time com­pan­ion, Jen­ny, to the var­i­ous char­ac­ters at Greyfriar’s Abbey, I found myself as inter­est­ed in the sup­port­ing cast as in the novel’s stars. For­tu­nate­ly, the more inter­est­ed I grew in these oth­er char­ac­ters, the more I could remind myself that this is the first of the Parish Orphans of Devon Series. There are more sto­ries to come! I’m already excit­ed about 2019’s Book 2, A Mod­est Inde­pen­dence.

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WHERE CAN I GET A COPY?

Amazon| Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

For more infor­ma­tion, please vis­it Mimi Matthews’ web­site and blog. You can also con­nect with her on Face­book, Twit­ter, Book­Bub, Pin­ter­est, Google+, and Goodreads.

Praise for The Matrimonial Advertisement

“Matthews’ (The Pug Who Bit Napoleon, 2018, etc.) series open­er is a guilty plea­sure, brim­ming with beau­ti­ful peo­ple, damsels in dis­tress, and an abun­dance of testosterone…It’s a well-writ­ten and engag­ing sto­ry that’s more than just a romance. The author choos­es to draw on dark moments in British his­to­ry to cre­ate Justin’s and Hele­na’s com­pli­cat­ed pasts…It’s an unex­pect­ed nar­ra­tive addi­tion that works well, as Matthews seam­less­ly blends some grim his­to­ry with light and frothy fic­tion. An enjoy­able love sto­ry that dares to dip a toe into bleak social and polit­i­cal his­to­ry.” ‑Kirkus Reviews

“I don’t have enough words to say how unbe­liev­ably incred­i­ble this book is…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 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!…Ms Matthews has out done her­self with this, by far one of the best books I have read–ever!…This is a haunt­ing­ly beau­ti­ful, grip­ping and heart-wrench­ing sto­ry. It is sim­ply spell­bind­ing!” ‑Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

“This is an irre­sistible romance with the added fris­son of goth­ic fear. At a time in Vic­to­ri­an Britain when a woman belonged entire­ly to her father, guardian or hus­band, can Hele­na ever be free to love and live as she wish­es? Mim­i’s writ­ing style is engag­ing, and we are plunged imme­di­ate­ly into Hele­na’s predica­ment. Secrets are grad­u­al­ly revealed, adding depth to our under­stand­ing of the main char­ac­ters. This is Miss Matthews’ best book so far and it is only the first in a new series!” ‑Lizanne Lloyd, Lost in a Good Book

“This delight­ful Vic­to­ri­an love sto­ry took me away to anoth­er time and anoth­er place for a few bliss­ful hours. Mimi Matthews is a won­der­ful sto­ry­teller. She cre­ates very like­able, mem­o­rable, lay­ered char­ac­ters that quick­ly feel like friends. Her style is nat­u­ral­ly ele­gant and warm­ly flow­ing, full of his­tor­i­cal detail and charm…this is the sec­ond of her fic­tion­al works that I’ve devoured and I’m look­ing for­ward to more.” ‑Jayne Fresina, best­selling author of Once Upon a Kiss

“Since I first read the sam­ple chap­ters, I’ve been eager to read this book. Mimi Matthews does not dis­ap­point. She lures the read­er in for an emo­tion­al jour­ney. Full of romance and heart, The Mat­ri­mo­ni­al Adver­tise­ment takes a mar­riage of con­ve­nience, a pinch of Beau­ty and the Beast, and some tru­ly engross­ing social his­to­ry and brings to life a sat­is­fy­ing roman­tic tale. I look for­ward to more from this tal­ent­ed author!” ‑Lena Goldfinch, best­selling author of The Unex­pect­ed Bride

“The Mat­ri­mo­ni­al Adver­tise­ment is a Vic­to­ri­an romance in all its glory…Mimi Matthews def­i­nite­ly knows how to present his­tor­i­cal facts effec­tive­ly and with­out sound­ing bookish…a delight­ful treat for Jane Austen and his­tor­i­cal fic­tion fans.” ‑Read­ers’ Favorite, 5‑Stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mimi Matthews (A Vic­to­ri­an Lady’s Guide to Fash­ion and Beau­ty, The Lost Let­ter) writes both his­tor­i­cal non-fic­tion and tra­di­tion­al his­tor­i­cal romances set in Vic­to­ri­an Eng­land. Her arti­cles on nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry his­to­ry have been pub­lished on var­i­ous aca­d­e­m­ic and his­toric sites, includ­ing the Vic­to­ri­an Web and the Jour­nal of Vic­to­ri­an Cul­ture, and are also syn­di­cat­ed week­ly at BUST Mag­a­zine. In her oth­er life, Mimi is an attor­ney. She resides in Cal­i­for­nia with her fam­i­ly, which includes an Andalu­sian dres­sage horse, two Shel­ties, and two Siamese cats.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tues­day, Sep­tem­ber 4
Review at Pas­sages to the Past

Wednes­day, Sep­tem­ber 5
Fea­ture at Don­na’s Book Blog

Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 6
Review at Based on a True Story

Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Fea­ture at What Is That Book About

Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 8
Fea­ture at The Book Junkie Reads

Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 10
Fea­ture at The Lit Bitch
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste

Tues­day, Sep­tem­ber 11
Fea­ture at To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednes­day, Sep­tem­ber 12
Fea­ture at The Caf­feinat­ed Bibliophile

Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 14
Fea­ture at Maid­en of the Pages

Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 15
Review at Nao­mi Fin­ley’s Blog

Sun­day, Sep­tem­ber 16
Inter­view at T’s Stuff

Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 17
Char­ac­ter Inter­view at Love Books Group

Tues­day, Sep­tem­ber 18
Fea­ture at A Hol­land Reads
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Giveaway

Dur­ing the Blog Tour we will be giv­ing away a signed copy of The Mat­ri­mo­ni­al Adver­tise­ment! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Give­away Rules

– Give­away ends at 11:59pm EST on Sep­tem­ber 18th. You must be 18 or old­er to enter.
– Give­away is open to US res­i­dents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All give­away entrants agree to be hon­est and not cheat the sys­tems; any sus­pect of fraud is decid­ed upon by blog/site own­er and the spon­sor, and entrants may be dis­qual­i­fied at our discretion.
– Win­ner has 48 hours to claim prize or new win­ner is chosen.

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