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The Matrimonial Advertisement

(Parish Orphans of Devon #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  5,892 ratings  ·  627 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Perfectly Proper Press
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Mimi Matthews The Matrimonial Advertisement is the first book in my Parish Orphans of Devon series. There are 4 books in total.

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  5,892 ratings  ·  627 reviews

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Rachel McMillan
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I FREAKIN loved this book! Holy cupcakes!

Okay so, first, Marriage of Convenience stories = RACHEL CATNIP! Total Rachel Catnip! Just gimme all of them!

Second, the setting is all broody and craggy and totally kinda Thornfield and makes amazing use of the rain-swept hills and cliffs of Devon.

Third, you get some time in London, too! Just for extra measure! AS WELL--- you get throw backs to the Great Exhibition ( one of the ways in which the hero and heroine nurture their VERY realistic and well d
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While this may not be a perfect 5-star romance, it's close enough for me to want to round to 5. The author is perhaps the best new HR writer around as far as her attention to detail and historical accuracy. That's always a huge plus. And the second important component of a historical romance is obviously the romance, which I find she has also done very well here.

As I age but still continue to read romance, my preferences on how a romantic relationship is presented continue to change. Not so hot
K.J. Charles
A highly enjoyable Victorian-sensation style romance. There's a Beauty and the Beast set-up--heroine fleeing terrible persecution meets ill-mannered scarred master of remote half-ruined house. However, Justin is about as cinnamon roll as beasts get, and is basically lovely to Helena from the start, albeit struggling with his own feelings of guilt and shame because of his background and past.

It's slightly odd because this is actually a very low-conflict book, both internal (the relationship is u
Delirious Disquisitions
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

You should read this if you like: atmospheric Gothic romances, historical settings, mail order brides, gruff/stoic war heroes, sweet romances, mysteries, stories about British occupation of India, trauma, etc.

I'll be honest, I requested this book based entirely on the beautiful cover and the plot description. Generally, I'm a stickler for only reading historical romances written by my favorite authors. I know what I like and no
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I did enjoy it but it fell short for me. Not sure why. Maybe I was expecting a bit more drama in the story. Oh, well, never mind. It was an enjoyable read and I may continue with the rest of the series at some stage.

I liked both characters. I will be interested in following the story line of the other Orphans in the future

"Shall we visit the Ashburnham Pavilion?"

She retrieved the copy of David Copperfield she'd been reading ...

Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I absolutely loved this! Could NOT put it down. The plot line was predictable, but the gothic nature of the story just drew me in, and wouldn't let go. WOW. This author can certainly spin a tale. It had the same built up for me that North and South did. I would have appreciated a little more steam, but the tension was unbearable. It was like that kiss on the train scene... *swoon*

This was an audiobook, and the narrator, Justine Eyre did a brilliant job. I am really looking forward to the rest of
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've given this a B- at AAR, so that's 3.5 stars, rounded up

Author Mimi Matthews has been on my radar ever since the release of her début novel, The Lost Letter in 2017, but this is the first time I’ve read one of her books.  The Matrimonial Advertisement is the first in her  Parish Orphans of Devon  series, and as the title suggests, the story is a variation on the mail-order-bride theme.  I enjoyed the author’s prose style; Ms. Matthews writes with elegance and precision, and she has created
Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves
Hmmm, Should I jump in with my pov or not?
Because one people’s Sepoy Mutiny can be the other's First War of Independence.
One can be labelled an anarchist, cowardly act and the other, a glorious seeking of freedom and self-governance. But the glory had a blot that the author picks up on here.

I like the romance, though a bit slow, as the h/H seem well matched. A grumpy, emotionally wounded, withdrawn and towering H and a beautiful, vulnerable, on-the-run h. Both are hiding secrets. She recognizes
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Check out all of my reviews at:

Once again, upon opening a Mimi Matthews Victorian romance, I am completely absorbed into the era’s mores, clothing and prose as well as a beautifully written, emotional romance. THE MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT (Parish Orphans of Devon #1) is the first book in a new historical romance series.

Helena Reynolds is desperate to escape London. Her last hope is to be picked by ex-army Captain Justin Thornhill after answering an advertisemen
Stormi (Bewitched Reader)
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Matrimonial Advertisement is such a wonderful historical romance. Thornhill totally gave me bad-boy-Mr. Darcy vibe, which made me immediately love him. He is gruff and stoic on the outside but that man has such a big heart and will do whatever he can to take care of and protect those he cares for. Not only is the hero swoon-worthy in The Matrimonial Advertisement, but the background characters and heroine are also well developed and easy to relate to. I didn't realize this book would be the ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Not a 5 stars, but solid 4! :)

I liked both MCs, but I was annoyed with Helena for postponing revealing her "secret", i.e. telling Justin what is happing and from whom she's running from and why!

Justin was not an ogre and she has ample oppotunity to speak, but she kept waiting for the perfect moment that, obviously, didn't came! What came was disaster!

I liked Justin better. He was honorable and tender, even if a bit self-deprecating.

Still, the idea and the story was interesting and I liked the wr
Frankie (Chicks, Rogues and Scandals)
I really, really want to give this book more than five stars!
Oh, my word! I don’t have enough words to say how unbelievably incredible this book is. I literally started this book and devoured it in one go, that first page hooked me right up until the last very last word. I am a huge fan of Ms Matthews, her writing is always flawless and articulate, but this simply is in a league of its own.

The Matrimonial Advertisement is book one in this new series; Parish Orphans of Devon, what a marvellous wa
What kind of man would post a marriage offer for a wife? What kind of woman would answer it? A man who wants/needs a wife but doesn’t want to go through the hoops of courtship. Yet, when Justin lays eyes on Helena and gets to know her, he’s willing to do a lot more than just jump through hoops. Helena answers the advertisement seeking protection and refuge, just wanting a kind, protective man, but Justin stirs up a lot more than just shelter and friendship. I loved seeing these two fall in love ...more
Kara Isaac
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. Superb writing that had me reading at every spare second I got. Mimi Matthews is definitely a new favorite historical romance author! ...more
Joanna Loves Reading
3.5 Stars

I thought this was an interesting and well-written story, and I would consider reading more by this author if the subject matter interested me. I think this book could not quite decide if it was a romance or a mystery/suspense story, and as a result, both aspects were underwhelming.

The heroine, Helena, is in desperate straights and answers a matrimonial advert as a last resort. The hero, Justin, is an ex-soldier who has recently purchased a remote estate and places the advert in hopes
Jayne Fresina
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review of an arc copy.

Helena Reynolds has something to hide; Justin Thornhill has a past he wants to escape. The solution? A marriage of convenience. He needs a respectable wife and she needs protection, but neither expect the passion and the love that follows.

Like a warm bath, a box of Leonidas chocolates, or a glass of wine after a hard day's work -- ok, actually all three -- The Matrimonial Advertisement is exactly what I want to sink into and enjoy greedily without interruption. This delight
I LOVED this one. It was just right for me. It was such a good romance. It was heart tugging and tension filled. I enjoyed both of these characters:} There was a nice touch of sensuality but a proper romance all the way through. Justin was just awesome. Leading men everywhere take note:} This had a bit of a B&B retelling feel to it. There were some dark themes. Insanity was not handled well back then and this book has a bit of a Gothic feel to it. Things were detailed but I've heard much worse. ...more
3.75/5. When Justin Thornhill agreed to the suggestion of placing a matrimonial advertisement in the papers, he was expecting a pleasant companion to help him run his remote coastal estate and to ease his days of physical loneliness. He certainly did not expect a refined London lady like Helena to answer the ad and to readily agree to marry a cynical, scarred ex-soldier such as himself of comfortable but not wealthy means and certainly with no noble family name to offer her, what with his illegi ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars for this very enjoyable book! Very good writing/story-telling. It’s very relational romance centered, which is what I like best. It’s secular, but relatively clean—which means plenty of sexual tension between the hero and heroine, but no sex. There aren’t very many books like this, but I’m glad when I find them. I look forward to reading the second in the series... and then I suppose there will be another two books in the series after that to look forward to as well, as there are four ...more
Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*
4.25 Stars

Mimi Matthews has become one of my go-to authors when I want to read an emotional and tender Victorian romance that is elegantly written and well-researched. The Matrimonial Advertisement is the first book in her new Parish Orphans of Devon series.

This is a lovely story and Justin and Helena are such an engaging couple. The romance between them develops slowly which I really liked. It allows time for their initial caution to grow into friendship, and then mutual trust when they are abl
The Matrimonial Advertisement was my first time reading something by Mimi Matthews and let’s just say, color me impressed. I became interested in this author when several of my GR friends gave her stories four or five stars. I was hooked when I found ripples of gothic vibes resonating in this marriage of convenience.

Helena Reynolds and Justin Thornhill first met in a tavern though she was unaware he was her possible ‘intended’. She won him over with her beauty, properness and an unwavering deli
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a quick read that I knocked over in one day. It was a pleasant but not very memorable read for me. I liked the MCs, and the underlying plot device was historically interesting.

The book started off quite well, with a bit of a 'gothic mystery' feel. Helena obviously has a dark secret she's running from - otherwise she wouldn't have answered the titular advertisement. Justin dwells in the run-down old Greyfriar's Abbey at a remote and rugged clifftop site in Devon. He's a hot and appealing
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it

I enjoyed this one. Justin Thornhill was a wonderful hero as was Helena Reynolds a lovely heroine. One would think that by posting a Marriage Advertisement that the rules and expectations would be clear and precise but for Justin and Helena that certainly wasn’t the case.

Both had their reasons for entering such a bargain but neither expected to experience the love that blossomed.

Justin was not only kind and compassionate and more than willing to protect Helena with everything that he had he was
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I first want to say that I’ve loved every book by this author! She’s in my top 5 favorites.
I held off reading this because I read through her books so fast that I won’t have anything new by her for awhile. Anybody?
Another wonderful story of love and sacrifices!
What I loved:
* romance
I can’t wait to start book two! Happy Reading! ❤️
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve come to really appreciate Mimi Matthews. Her attention to historical details is superb, as is her writing. In this instance, she took inspiration from the controversy that existed around Victorian asylums. This reminded me of the sensation novel style that made Wilkie Collins so famous (I’m a fan). He himself used details from real court room cases that were being discussed in newspapers of the time. It is fascinating and horrendous at the same time, and Matthews’s treatment of it worked ve ...more
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this one & it did NOT disappoint!!! I loved this one, just like I loved The Work of Art! This is an amazingly gothic-feeling-heart-melting marriage of convenience story. I just simply love everything Mimi Matthews writes.

The brooding wounded hero- LOVE
The beautiful damsel in distress above his station- LOVE
The mystery over why she answered his ad- LOVE
The secondary characters& setting the stage for the other orphan men- LOVE
Kathy Jo
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kathy Jo by: Jennifer Peel
When you're in one of those dreaded reading ruts and not one, not two, but three bookish friends tell you to read a particular book, my advice to you would be... READ IT!

Justin Thornhill is in need of a wife. But finding one in a small, middle of nowhere town is proving to be impossible. Especially when the towns people won't go anywhere near him or his home. When his steward suggests a matrimonial advertisement, he agrees as long as the woman understands it's simply a business arrangement.

Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't Put It Down!

This book captured me from the very first pages and didn't let up once. I loved the intensity I felt from the characters and between them as well. Helena and Justin both have secrets, deep hurts, regrets and sorrows that are revealed slowly and perfectly. They have overcome the worst life could throw at them and still they are standing. That's tenacity. I loved them both. So, so much. I loved this whole story. I'm ready to read the next book!
Content: frequent mild swearing,
Sarah Monzon
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not usually one for the brooding heroes, but Mimi Matthews and Justin’s protectiveness won me over. And I am SO glad to not have been born in an age when women were considered property.
A delightful story by a talented authoress who seems to combine elements of two of my favorites: Georgette Heyer & Charlotte Bronte :)
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USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances, including Fair as a Star, a Library Journal Best Romance of 2020; Gentleman Jim, a Kirkus Best Indie Romance of 2020; and The Work of Art, winner of the 2020 HOLT Medallion. Her novels have received starred reviews from Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her ar ...more

Other books in the series

Parish Orphans of Devon (4 books)
  • A Modest Independence (Parish Orphans of Devon, #2)
  • A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Devon, #3)
  • The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon, #4)

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“The point is,” she said, “I don’t need you to be noble. I only need you to be mine.” 1 likes
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