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A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Devon Book 3) Kindle Edition
"[Matthews] once again highlights the injustices of rigid class structures in Victorian England, this time matching a hero of dubious character and a worthy, resourceful heroine. Readers who enjoy their historicals set in the country- or seaside and France or England will be in for a treat." -Library Journal
"Matthews' storytelling skills remain rock-solid, and she spins a lovely romantic tale...As always, the background historical details are impeccably researched; in particular, Laura's trip to the seaside at Margate provides readers with a captivating glimpse into Victorian culture...A well-crafted historical romance, built on a marriage of convenience." -Kirkus Reviews
"Readers who appreciate character-driven, slow-burn romance, flawed heroes, and a firm sense of time and place will enjoy this one...I'm looking forward to any future books in this series, with the fourth orphan slated to get his story in the next year." -Smart Bitches Trashy Books
"It seems that I say each book that Mimi Matthews pens is her best writing, but it appears to be true. She just gets better, and is rapidly becoming one of my very favorite authors. A CONVENIENT FICTION is a top favorite of books I've read this year, and I heartily give it my highest recommendation." -The Romance Reviews, top pick--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B07VNLZL4D
- Publisher : Perfectly Proper Press (22 October 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 3876 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 354 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 93,036 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Alex has been an unknown quantity in this series so far—the only one of the quartet of orphans readers haven’t yet met, and with a definite shadow hanging over his character. Personally, I was in love with him from page one. Well, technically page two, since that’s when he first arrives on the scene in grand Quixotic fashion! And the more I got to know him, the more I appreciated how complex his character was. For a man who had built up a convenient fiction about his background, he was surprisingly without pretence in his manner. And for all his confidence, there was a deep vein of vulnerability running beneath the surface that drew me like a bee to pollen.
Laura was the perfect match for Alex. Neither a simpering miss nor a harpy, she was as much without pretence as Alex, which made for some delightful interactions between them right from the start. In fact, their interactions and the way their relationship developed were two of my favourite things about this story. Then again, I could say that about all of Mimi Matthews’ romances. She really knows how to make them emotionally satisfying!
Another thing I really loved about this story was that it didn’t take the well-worn path of the fortune-hunter trope. Alex doesn’t bother to try and hide the fact that he’s in Surrey for the purpose of courting and marrying an heiress, but it’s not actually her fortune that’s motivating him. I’m not going to reveal what his true motivation is, but once Laura gets to know him she sees straight through the mercenary outer shell to the heart of what he’s really seeking, and from there the story took a surprising turn and burrowed even deeper into my heart.
Make no mistake. If you love clean historical romance, you MUST pick up Mimi Matthews’ books!
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
This book grabbed me right from the start and held my attention all the way through. As I've come to expect with this author, the character development is great, the writing expert, the content clean, and the ending satisfying - however impossible that might seem at times through the story! Though part of a series, it can stand alone - but having said that, reading it as part of the series does deepen the reader's understanding of Alex, his background, and his 'brothers'. I've loved everything I've read by this author and this book was no exception. I look forward to reading more by the author, hopefully including the rest of this series (surely Neville needs a story too?). Highly recommended.
Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
An absolute delight from start to finish.
It tugs at your heart strings as Alex’s past is revealed & comes to
a wonderful ending that will lead into Neville’s story.
Top reviews from other countries
A Convenient Fiction is the third book in the Parish Orphans of Devon series and, although it can be read as standalone, I think it enhances the reading experience if the series is read in order.
I have been waiting for Alex’s book to discover what happened to him after he mysteriously ran away from the orphanage at the age thirteen, leaving his friends to wonder at his fate - never knowing whether he is alive or dead. It transpires that he is very much alive and, for the past twenty years, his aptitude at cards has enabled him to make a lucrative living at the card tables in London and France, by luring unsuspecting gentlemen into gambling recklessly and losing. More than money, he wants property that will give him a sense of permanency and the only way to achieve this is to marry an heiress.
His opportunity arises when George Wright incurs large losses which Alex agrees to forget in return for an introduction to George’s friend and neighbour, Henrietta Talbot, an heiress with property. Accompanying George to Surrey, Alex has every intention of wooing and marrying Henrietta, but his plans become somewhat derailed when he meets the beautiful and fascinating Laura Hayes.
Three years ago, Laura, her father and her younger brother, Edward (Teddy), all contracted a fever. While Laura made a full recovery, her father died and her brother was left an invalid and confined to a wheelchair. Since then, Laura has been caring for her widowed Aunt Charlotte and Freddy, struggling to survive on the meagre quarterly allowance received from her father’s solicitor, Mr. Weatherwax. On his 21st birthday which is fast approaching, Teddy will take control of his inheritance and Laura is determined to rebuild the remains of the family perfumery business. However, Mr. Weatherwax refuses to relinquish control on the grounds that her brother is too ill to take on the responsibilities.
With everything else to worry about, Laura certainly doesn’t need the added complication of her attraction to the handsome newcomer, Alex Archer. They are constantly thrown into each other’s company as Laura is acting as Henrietta’s chaperone and, although they admit that there is something between them, both are determined to forget it and move on.
However, a trip to Margate changes everything. In the course of saving Laura’s life, Alex’s actions cause a scandal and he proposes a marriage of convenience to save Laura’s reputation - a temporary measure for a month or two and then they are free to go their separate ways. But things don’t always go to plan.
As I have come to expect from Ms. Matthews, this was a charming, tender, romantic, character driven romance which develops in a natural way. It was very satisfying to see how Alex and Laura grew, both as individuals and a couple, and I also love how Ms. Matthews creates just the perfect chemistry between them.
What a complex and fascinating character Alex is. At first, he seems more anti-hero than hero - a man who willingly betrayed his friends; an unscrupulous gambler and a self-confessed fortune hunter; a man who selfishly pursues his own interests without blinking an eye. It was hard to understand how he could have betrayed his friends who were the only family he had ever had. But when he reveals the circumstances that drove him to it, I could appreciate the sheer desperation Alex must have felt and why he would do anything to get away. He had no one to turn to and who would have believed an orphan like him.
Laura shows great strength of character and determination and I respect her for taking on the heavy burden of looking after the family. That she sometimes rages against her current situation, I could certainly relate to. I’m sure everyone has had times when everything seems to get on top of them.
She senses that Alex is hiding his true self. He is convinced that he is not a good man but, to Laura, he has been ‘every inch a hero’ from the very first day they met, with his kindness to Teddy and Aunt Charlotte, his desire to help and protect Laura, and his willingness to save her life, despite his fear of water, and to save her reputation.
Alex sees Laura as beautiful and charming but also incredibly brave and compassionate too. He has been alone for so long with with no one to trust or rely on, no friend or family. Now he has Laura. Even though he hasn’t told Laura he loves, it’s evident in his every word and action, but when he does finally say the words, the whole scene is so romantic.
Ms. Matthews always seems to incorporate some fascinating historical details into her books and I particularly enjoyed the part describing the bathing machines, the ‘promiscuous’ bathing, as Aunt Charlotte calls it, and the nosey parkers with their telescopes.
The scene in the Epilogue where Alex sees Justin and Neville for the first time in 20 years was so emotional that it brought tears to my eyes, but left me with such a lovely warm glow.
MY VERDICT: Another excellent addition to this captivating series. Highly recommended!
Great writing, some super little twists and strong men who fall for independent women
I guess you don’t have to read them in sequence as I have done, but I would recommend it for maximum appreciation