Barbara’s rating: 3.75 of 5 stars
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon #1
Publication Date: 9/4/18
This first book in the Parish Orphans of Devon series is my first one by Mimi Matthews. The book is intelligently written and the characters are interesting.
Ex-army captain Justin Thornhill is tall, dark, handsome, and he takes care of those for whom he cares. He also has things in his past that, while they are not a secret, he’d just as soon everybody would forget them. He’s finally reached his goal of purchasing Greyfriar’s Abbey on the remote North Devon coast. He is a self-made man of modest means and his steward thinks he needs a wife. To that end, the steward placed an ad in the London papers advertising for a bride. The ad was very brief and to the point – a retired army officer needs a wife who is a spinster or widow near his own age, sensible, compassionate and capable of managing a remote country property. At first, Justin threatened to fire the steward, but then warmed to the idea since it was, after all, only a business arrangement with no love or affection expected.
Lady Helena Reynolds is in dire straits and must, absolutely must, escape London permanently because her uncle will stop at nothing to gain control of her fortune. When her cousin sees a Matrimonial Advertisement in the paper, Helena thinks it might be her way out. If she marries, then her uncle cannot usurp her fortune, nor would he have control of her. She’d rather trust a stranger than her uncle. She manages to escape to North Devon and to marry Justin Thornhill.
I had a really, really, really hard time liking Helena. Yes, I understand that her predicament was of the very worst kind and I really felt sorry for that. However, all of her actions up until about the 80% mark were very selfish. She married Justin without telling him what her situation was – and that was a situation that could have cost Justin to be injured, etc. She never thought of the implications to anyone other than herself. By the time I was at around the 80% mark, she had had an epiphany and realized she loved Justin.
Justin was a real hero and I liked him very much throughout the book. He had things he preferred not to tell, but if Helena asked, he answered – unlike her. Then at about the 80% mark of the book, he gets altruistic and I just wanted to kick his rear.
This was a very nice story, very clean, but it was also just a bit slow-paced to me and I found myself skimming a bit in spots.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”