Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon #1)” as Want to Read:
The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Matrimonial Advertisement

(Parish Orphans of Devon #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,469 ratings  ·  254 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 bu
Paperback, 388 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Perfectly Proper Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Matrimonial Advertisement, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Matrimonial Advertisement

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,469 ratings  ·  254 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel McMillan
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 t
Stormi (Bewitched Reader)
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
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
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
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
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
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stars-4-0, 2019
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
Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink*
I've blown out my back and I am in excruciating pain but the idea of not being ahead on my reading challenge was enough to finally mark this book as read and write a review.

In a word: Heartfelt.

This book covers so many emotions and terrible situations. Abuse, gaslighting, forced imprisonment, mental illness and treatment, desperation, love, respect, friendship, really is a lot to handle in a book but this one does it really well.

It is also beautifully researched with subtle mentio
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
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Debbie Brown
Fantastic book! It starts out appearing to set up the usual trope where a man and woman agree to a marriage of convenience and end up falling in love, yet it turns out to be far more than that.

A friend of Helena Reynolds places a matrimonial advertisement in the newspaper for her, as Helena is desperate to find "a man who will be kind" to her and "protect [her]." From what? That's just one of the secrets she and Justin Thornhill don't learn about each other until after they're wed, each certain
Susan in NC
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this Victorian romance by Mimi Matthews; I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by her over the last year or so!

Her books are very “clean” - I’m no prude, but she does an excellent job building believable, romantic relationships between her multi-layered characters. In this case, Justin Thornhill, one of the parish orphans of the sub-title, and a former soldier captured and tortured in the Cawnpore Rebellion in India, has placed an advertisement for a lady willing to marry him and
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
Judy Lesley
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many thanks to NetGalley and to Perfectly Proper Press for a digital galley of this novel.

This is the second historical romance I've read by Mimi Matthews over a short time period and I am pleased to say I enjoyed this one as much as the first. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find historical romances that are so pleasingly presented with no profanity and no sex scenes. Yes, that's what I said. So if that isn't the style of book you are looking for, you can stop reading this review here.
Sighing all the way to the next book!
Carol *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
This is why I read historical romance! Mimi Matthews elevates her prose to incomparable heights through tight plot and an elegant hand. Her deft storytelling is sublime: subtle details that build from well intended words. A gothic Devon abbey is the setting for intrigue with no little yearning between our unlikely heroine and her roguish captain. Sensual from the first pages and left me breathless by the last.
Beautifully executed—should not be missed. I dare say this stand alone novel has set us
Barbara Rogers
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iblog, netgalley
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon #1
Publication Date: 9/4/18

*** 3.75 Stars ***

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 Greyfr
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Victorian era England. I'm grateful OLT's review led
me to this old-fashioned romance.

Orphaned Justin, apprenticed to a blacksmith, became
a career English Army officer: now retired. He carried
scars and bad memories from India's Sepoy Rebellion.
As a POW. Helena, an earl's niece, learned her Army
bro went MIA & was presumed dead in India. Helena
ran away from her mental/ physical abuser. Thankfully
the story avoided gory abuse flashbacks. Helena so
wanted a "gentleman" & considered rumple
Amy Bruno
Well, this year is turning out to be a year of stellar reads for me and The Matrimonial Advertisement was another stand out hit! I read it in one-sitting, staying up until the wee hours of the morning, flying through the pages. I was immediately enamored with Justin. Talk about a swoon-worthy man! Le sigh....

I am a tough critic when it comes to the romance aspect in books but I absolutely loved Helena and Justin. The reader can feel their connection and you want so much for them to be together.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could only have one book for the rest of my life, it would be this one. This is my first time reading anything by Mimi Matthews, but rest assured, I now need anything that this incredible author has ever written. The characters were outstanding, developed with complexity and a humanity all their own. The setting and scenery were described with such perfection that I was able to see the circumstances through the characters' eyes with ease. Both Helena and Justin are forever etched onto this ...more
This one had a lot of different reviews, but the blurb sounded appealing, so I took a chance. Go me, because I really liked it. It had a dark gothic feel that worked for me and the writing was solid. I liked it so much that I went out and got her Christmas novella as well. Looking forward to the next one in the series. **Kisses only, a good recommend for someone looking for a good book without a lot of smexy times.
Yvette (bookworlder)
My command of superlatives is failing me so I will simply say that I adored this novel and I'm thrilled that it is just the first in a series.  If you enjoy historical fiction, mail order bride, marriage of convenience stories or 1850's Victorian romance and intrigue, and don't mind a read that just verges on being a tad saucy at times, then grab yourself a copy of this one.  Highly recommended.

This review refers to an e-galley read through NetGalley, courtesy of Smith Publicity. All opinions ex
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: The Matrimonial Advertisement - Matthews - 4 stars 1 12 Mar 20, 2019 04:50PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Miss Lockharte's Letters
  • Highlander Undone
  • Summer Campaign
  • A Gift for Guile (The Thief Takers, #2)
  • Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless, #4)
  • The Parfit Knight (Rockliffe, #1)
  • Dangerous Seduction (Nemesis, Unlimited, #2)
  • Elyza
  • The Scandalous Mackenzies: The Untamed Mackenzie and Scandal and the Duchess
  • The Duke of Olympia Meets His Match (Emmaline Truelove, #0.5)
  • A Proper Companion (Ladies in Waiting, #1)
  • In for a Penny
  • Dark Obsession (Blackheath Moor #1)
  • Shades of the Past
  • Entwined (The Ten, #1)
  • What Happened at Midnight
  • Wishes in the Wind
  • The Dark Affair (Mad Passions, #3)
See similar books…
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical non-fiction and 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 weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resi ...more

Other books in the series

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