Friday, January 10, 2020

Review: "The Matrimonial Advertisement" by Mimi Matthews

Bookstagram made me do it. I'd never heard of author Mimi Matthews until some bookstagrammers I trust started posting about her books. And then I realized that The Matrimonial Advertisement was a marriage of convenience story ... and then it went on sale for Kindle for less than $2. I couldn't resist!

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?

Oh, this book! It is wonderful! I will admit that, at first, I wasn't so sure about it. Justin was gruff and crass, and I almost stopped reading after just a couple chapters. But, keeping in mind that people I trust loved this book, I kept going, and I'm so glad I did!

I loved Justin and Helena's romance, and I adored how much he cared for her. While some of his past actions were not very gentlemanly, he was nothing but respectful of her, and he clearly put her needs above his own (though sometimes in a misguided way).

The novel deals with real events, such as the Cawnpore Massacre in India and the horrible conditions of private asylums in England (and the way people used them to get their hands on "mentally ill" relatives' money). Much of the story centers around Helena's desperation to free herself from her uncle's machinations, and I enjoyed watching everything unfold.

I also really enjoyed the supporting characters (especially Neville!!!), and I can't wait to see more of them in future novels. I could easily see myself bingeing Matthew's entire catalog of books! 4-1/2 stars.

Note: This book has a few mild swear words and some very passionate kissing, but nothing beyond that. I'd give it a PG rating.

Buy the book. (affiliate link)

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper 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 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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received purchased this book and chose to review it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. <3 <3 ALL the love for this book! Wonderful review! I think you'll be happy when you get to Neville's story in book 4. :)

    1. Thanks, Courtney! I went on a Mimi binge over the weekend--read The Work of Art, The Viscount & the Vicar's Daughter, and The Lost Letter. And I just got book 4 through NetGalley ... so now I need to hurry up and read 2 & 3 :-) It's a good problem to have ;-)


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