Mimi Matthews is a new-to-me author who revives a gothic-like romance with Jane Eyre flair, historical intrigue, and a wonderfully redeemable rogue.
About the book:
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?
If you are a fan of historical romance, particularly more dramatic type, set in 1800s England, this story is likely to check all the boxes on your list. Brooding yet compassionate hero = check. Independent, intelligent, and kind heroine = check. Suspense = check. Accents = check. England = check.
There is also a Beauty and the Beast vibe, a moment where “cliffs of insanity” take on a whole new meaning, and some of the tenderest romantic vibes expressed in such subtle ways. This was truly a fun and beautiful story to read plus the hero is fantastically drawn and the heroine is strong minded/willed yet tempered with kindness. Her storyline is so interesting.
AND at least there is a kiss or two (for my sake, if for no one else’s)
One of the many things that is brought to life in this book is the setting. The story begins in London, but the largest portion of it takes place in North Devon, switching between a small country village and Greyfriar’s Abbey. The cliffs, sea, and countryside are used well to create a sense of both isolation, stark beauty, and…interestingly enough, freedom.
But what makes North Devon a worthy place for this story? Well, there’s a little bit of everything. Moors, hills, cliffs, quaint towns, and the SEA!
Let’s take a look.
Personally, my favorite thing is…the CLIFFS!!!
And the SEA!!!!!
And, of course, there is the mysterious Greyfriar’s Abbey – the home of Justin Thornhill (btw, can I just say I LOVE his self-discovery of what love is. Oh heavens!! And I adore the way he shows his love to Helena – his protection!!! It’s beautiful).
In North Devon there happens to be a popular abbey known as Buckland Abbey that I’m showing as an example of what Greyfriar’s might have looked like – for your viewing pleasure. You can find more images of Buckland Abbey HERE on Pinterest.😊
Ooh, just imagine this abbey a little more run down and cloaked in dusk. Fun stuff here 😉
I’m absolutely in love with the photos from this link (and this town) so I’m sharing it with you as a ‘taste’ of the setting for Matrimonial Advertisement 😊
They really give you some beautiful view of the cliffs and the sea. I can imagine Helena looking out over that view for the first time.
Have you read any of Mimi Matthews’ books?
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews 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 history 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.