Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com
Noelle has been reading The Viscount And The Vicar’s Daughter by Mimi Matthews
The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter – A Victorian Romance – is a tender and sweet romance novel. It is not the first by this author, who has clearly developed her style. Romance is not a genre I truly appreciate, but the historical aspect appealed, and I was not disappointed.
Tristan Sinclair, Viscount St. Ashton, is wallowing in melancholy and decides to attend a Christmas house party in wilds of Yorkshire, hosted by a woman renowned for her orgiastic feasts. He has admitted to himself that after years of debauchery and spending, he has hit rock bottom. What does he have to lose?
On his way there, he is distracted by the sobbing of a woman in the woods and discovers Valentine March, a prim and upright vicar’s daughter who has come on hard times. With the death of her father, she has had to find employment and is currently a companion to Lady Brightwell, an old crone with a vicious temper and pension for abusing and discarding companions.
Tristan discovers he has fallen in love with Valentine at first sight, and she is initially attracted to him – until she learns that he is a most infamous rake. Tristan pursues her with charm, wit and warmth, and not surprisingly, she eventually surrenders. But theirs is a doomed relationship, a scandalous liaison in a house of poor repute between a wealthy lord with a repugnant reputation and a woman not only from a poor background, but also born on the other side of the blanket. Her mother was pregnant with another man’s child when the vicar, out of the kindness of his heart, married her.
There is more to Valentine’s background than meets the eye, and it is not clear whether their fragile romance will survive the continuing revelations of their true characters and the outside pressures brought to bear by virtually everyone around them.
This is truly a romance in every sense of the genre. The characters are colorfully fleshed out, the dialogue is believable and witty. Ms. Matthews has created a believable Victorian world from her studies of 19th century style, fashion and history. The historical detail is just enough to set the scene but does not overwhelm. I was not surprised to find the typical romantic themes permeating the story. Even with my limited (but growing) background in romance literature, I find they can be over-used, and their predictability of outcome can create a sense of ennui. However, this author has managed to infuse a freshness in these tropes and keeps the story moving at a good pace, so that the reader keeps turning the pages.
I am certain fans of this genre will find The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter a satisfying read.
England, 1861. A world-weary rake and a prim vicar’s daughter are thrown together during a holiday house party. Will they discover there’s more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?
A WORLD-WEARY RAKE
After years of unbridled debauchery, Tristan Sinclair, Viscount St. Ashton has hit proverbial rock bottom. Seeking to escape his melancholy, he takes refuge at one of Victorian society’s most notorious house parties. As the Christmas season approaches, he prepares to settle in for a month of heavy drinking…until an unexpected encounter changes his plans—and threatens his heart.
A PRIM VICAR’S DAUGHTER
Valentine March is not the drab little spinster she appears to be. When her new job as a lady’s companion lands her smack in the middle of Yorkshire with England’s most infamous rake, she resolves to keep her head down and her eyes fixed firmly on her future—a future which most definitely does not include a sinfully handsome viscount.
A MATCH MADE IN SCANDAL
A friendship is impossible. An affair out of the question. But when one reckless act binds them together, will two star-crossed souls discover there’s more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?
Mimi Matthews is the author of The Pug Who Bit Napoleon: Animal Tales of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Pen & Sword Books, November 2017) and A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty (Pen & Sword Books, July 2018). 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. When not writing historical non-fiction, Mimi authors exquisitely proper Victorian romance novels with dark, brooding heroes and intelligent, pragmatic heroines. Her debut Victorian romance The Lost Letter was released in September 2017.
Great review, Noelle. It can be tricky to review romance, as what those of us who are not big fans of the genre might find annoying, could be what makes it attractive to those who love it.