Title: The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian
Author: Mimi Matthews
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, Sept 4, 2018
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:
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?
Well written with wonderful prose. Helena is desperate for someone to protect her from her greedy uncle. Justin is taken with Helena when they first meet and will “go to the ends of the earth” for her. But they are worlds apart in social standing, she an Earl’s daughter and he is an orphan bastard. There are many obstacles to overcome and scandal will follow.
I truly enjoyed reading this very original story. I do look forward to future books in this series. (Some of the orphans were introduced; Finchely and Nevelle.) I also hope the future books will explain why Mr. Oswald was so reviled. I was disappointed in this feature not being concluded satisfactorily. There is interesting information about the horrors of the Private Mental Asylums in the Victorian era.