- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 3876 KB
- Print Length: 354 pages
- Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press (22 October 2019)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07VNLZL4D
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 167 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,366 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Devon Book 3) Kindle Edition
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"[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
"A Convenient Fiction beautifully mixes Georgette Heyer with Victoria Holt. Part gothic romance, part family story with a tiny sprinkling of humor thrown in, it's a lovely, spooky heartbreaker of a novel that sinks its claws right into you, then kisses the wound it leaves behind." -All About Romance (Desert Isle Keeper)
"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.
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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.
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.
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 international reviews
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
Jetzt war ich auch neugierig auf den neuen Roman,
Es ist ein nettes Buch geworden, aber mein Favorit ist und bleibt Band 1!
The story begins in 1860 in Surrey, in a small village called Lower Hawley. Alex is there visiting George Wright, whom he met at a French gaming club and who now owes Alex 10,000 pounds. It must be said here that Alex is a gambler and adventurer and not necessarily heroic. Living off his wits, he has managed to do well enough for himself, with a luxurious suite of rented rooms in Paris and enough money to live comfortably, even to afford first-class transportation when on the move. But it's not enough. Alex wants property. Perhaps with land of his own he will no longer feel that unsettling emptiness inside himself.
So when George tells him about Henrietta Talbot, young and beautiful only child of rich Squire Talbot, owner of impressive Edgington Park in Surrey, Alex sees his chance to marry well and into property and blackmails George into an introduction to her. But things get complicated by the introduction of Laura Hayes into the mix of George, Henrietta, and Alex. George, Henrietta and Laura were childhood friends and Henrietta wants her around as chaperone now.
Laura, unfortunately, has come down in the world. Until four years ago, her father was the successful owner of a factory in London and a distillery in France which produced Hayes's Lavender Soap, Lavender Scented Powder, and Lavender Water. Poor management on the father's part and then the scarlet fever which took his life have left Laura, her invalid brother Teddy (complications from scarlet fever which he managed to survive) and their Aunt Charlotte in straitened circumstances. Add to that a shady, unscrupulous lawyer who has been in control of the business and properties and the Hayes have definitely seen better days.
Well, I suppose you can figure out what's going to happen. The plot is predictable, but this is a pleasant read with Matthews' usual charming style and a slow-burn/closed-door romance to enjoy. Matthews is also one of the few recent HR authors who actually does research on the period she's writing about, so if anachronisms annoy you, there aren't so many in a Matthews novel.
I am actually torn in my rating for this book. It's perhaps better than a 3 but isn't as good as other 4-star books I've read. I do like it more than A MODEST INDEPENDENCE but much less than THE MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT. The romance here between Alex and Laura started out very well but by the halfway point their relationship was starting to feel tepid and lacking intensity. No, I'm not saying I wanted the bedroom doors open. Not at all. Just more "feels" to the romantic interaction.
It was satisfying, however, to read the reunion of all the Parish Orphan boys, now men, and their respective loves. (Except for Neville, of course, who has yet to meet his True Love in his upcoming book.) And, of course, to see the redemption of Alex, his internal emptiness now filled not with property, but with love.
Everything about the book is truly wonderful. Alex Archer is up there with my all time favorite heroes. He just tugs at my heartstrings. How can a man be so worthy of compassion for all he has suffered, be such a strong and caring person? Ms. Matthews created the perfect hero.
I won’t summarize the plot, but one thing that really sticks out in her writing is how eloquently and with such economy of words, Ms. Matthews portrays the poignant vulnerability of her characters. I must have highlighted a quarter of the book. She puts into words the feelings and fears that all humans must share.
The historical background was so deftly described that even things I already knew were fascinating—she gave background and added information.
The plot is original and the story held my attention up until the last page, and even though the ending was a happy one, I wanted more! I made sure I preordered the next book in the series, Neville’s story.
I plan to read it again!
I was lucky to win an advance copy of this book, but I have already preordered it. (As well as her next one). I cannot recommend this enough!
If you haven’t read the first two books of the series, you won’t be lost. However, I suggest that you read them first. Having a bit of background on the dynamics of the orphans adds so much to the “feels” in the story. Alex Archer was the boy who ran from England as far and fast as he could when the opportunity arose. He’s back, looking for an heiress to marry. It’s not the money he wants, but land; he feels that it will give him a sense of belonging. On the way to meet his possible heiress, he spies a young woman in a pond whom he believes is drowning. He “rescues” her, only to find out she doesn’t need rescuing. The young woman is Laura Hayes, the daughter of a deceased perfumer, who is not anywhere close to being an heiress. Yet he is totally drawn to her. Read the book blurb to read more of the story synopsis; I’d rather talk about the emotions. Yes, those pesky uncontrollable emotions that can make or break a romance novel.
Laura is overwhelmed in life, with no one to really lean on. Her deceased father left his business in a shambles, with barely any money to keep her family afloat. She basically has to beg his solicitor to give the family funds to live on. Her younger brother was crippled from a fever. Her aunt who has heart issues also lives with them. Laura cares for them all. All she desires is to get the business running again…and to swim in the ocean. Alex, on the other hand, fears the ocean. He’s made money from gambling and is by no means destitute, but he wants land. Alex hides a lot from Laura; you can easily see that he is unhappy with his past actions and doesn’t believe he deserves love. He wants to protect Laura from what he’s done and endured in order to survive. Oh, their interactions touched my heart and boy, did I cry! I think I cried though the last third of the book. My heart hurt for Alex. He was seeking absolution; would he get what he desired?
This is a book you can share with your mother and grandmother. Physical intimacies are behind closed doors; it’s the beautiful writing that makes you feel their attraction and need for each other. I’ve said this before about this author’s writing – you don’t realize until after you’ve finished the book and your face is puffy from crying that there wasn’t any sex. The story just sweeps you away. ~Sigh~ I want more! The fourth orphan’s story can’t come out quickly enough for me. Actually, ANY book by Ms. Matthews can’t come out quickly enough for me!
I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
There is nothing I like better than the redemption of a man’s way, all in the name of Love.
Having not read the two previous installments, I do understand Alex was described as the vilain of the group of four orphans. The one who took off and never looked back.
Still he carries his past transgressions like a cross, so ashamed by what he sees as his sins, he never stopped running away.
For his first encounter with Laura, he fights his attraction to her, chemistry he senses either way.
She awaken feelings he has long ago bury and refuses to experience again as it has carved deep scars last time he felt the same.
Laura is holding her household with her fortitude, but now she struggles to make ends meet.
She is kind and caring but also hardheaded and not easy to relinquish her control.
She tries to find a way to restaure her family business but her plans are dwarfed by her solicitor and as a woman she hold little to no power.
As for Alex, her relationship with him unsettles her, but still, she is drawn to him even knowing he has come with a specific goal and hide a great deal of things.
Alex might be introduced as the wicked guy but George and Henriette, Laura’s childhood friends are no flawless angels, they bear their own sins.
Mrs Mimi Matthews has manufactured an arresting tale of vanquishing one past’s guilt to let it go for the hope of a future. This tremendous story with vibrant and spirited characters had me turning the pages with bliss, eager to see the plot unfold and Alex and Laura find their way to one another. Their romance was so sensual, by small touches with bare hands, a hint of skin revealed, a scent lingering, Mrs Matthews expressed voluptuously their growing sentiments. Scorching gaze does enough a steamy scene to convey the magnitude of their love.
The one matter was to find where home was really, an act of property or in the heart of those you care for.
I was granted through Netgalley by the publisher Perfectly Proper Press an advance copy, prior to it I have preordered my own.
Here is my true and unbiased opinion.
Alex Archer is a villain. He betrayed his friends, he blackmailed a young weak man, he pursued a country Miss just for her money. He meets Laura when he jumps into the pond to “rescue” her from drowning, but she did not need any rescue.
Laura is entrancing but poor and he is enchanted but cannot loose view of his goal. He needs to get a estate in the country to call his own. A place to finally belong.
The story is very emotional and full of self discovery for both Alex and Laura. The writing is exquisite and the reading a great pleasure!
Can’t wait (but I will have to) to read the next book in the series and find out how Neville will fair in his quest for his HEA.