~ About the Book ~
Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.
A Last Chance for Love
But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.
Genre: Historical Romance (General Market)
Release date: 13 November 2018
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
~ Excerpt ~
Sophia Appersett was a baronet’s daughter. A member of polite society whose family boasted a bloodline that could be traced back to the court of Henry VIII. What better lady with whom to align his fortunes?
He was all of one and thirty and had been contemplating marriage for the past year at least. But he’d never actually wanted to marry until he laid his eyes on Miss Appersett. Within ten minutes of meeting her, he’d pictured her on his arm as he attended the entertainments of the season. Within a month, he’d envisioned her presiding over his house and warming his bed. His wife. Mrs. Sophia Sharpe, daughter of Sir William of Appersett House.
Setting his plan in motion had taken no effort at all. Sir William was practically a bankrupt. His only asset, besides his famous estate in Derbyshire, was the vast beauty possessed by his two daughters. He and his wife had brought Miss Appersett and her younger sister, Emily, to London with the hopes of finding them rich husbands.
And Ned was rich, for all the good it had done him.
He sat down behind his desk and resumed reading his reports. He might as well have attempted to read a document written in ancient Greek. He couldn’t focus. Couldn’t rid his mind of the sound of Miss Appersett’s quiet voice uttering those five fateful words.
We simply do not suit.
~ Review ~
I discovered Mimi Matthews when a friend gushed about her recent release, A Matrimonial Advertisement. I read it straight away and loved it so much that I searched for her other books and found this little gem of a Christmas novella was soon to release. And here it is. Yipeee! And it was every bit as good as I was hoping it would be.
I still have some of Ms Matthews’ backlist to read (and make no mistake; I will definitely be reading them) so I’m only going by the two novels I’ve read so far, but one of the things that hooked me right from the start was the fact that her characters don’t have that glossy patina that so many romance novel characters have.
And her heroes! They’re they kind of men that don’t always present in the best light on first meeting—often taciturn and even a little forbidding—but if you take the time to mine their characters, you’ll find the mother lode of all the most important hero qualities: integrity, sincerity, protectiveness, and deep affection. In Edward Sharpe’s own words: “I’m not a man given to great expressions of emotion. It’s not how I was raised. It’s not how I’ve lived my life. But I do feel things deeply. I may not always show it, but I do.”
It certainly didn’t hurt that this novella also had several winks, nudges, and nods to Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. If you love John Thornton, then you are likely to be very well pleased with Edward Sharpe.
To put it simply, this was a thoroughly satisfying Christmas novella for this history lover.
I received a copy of this novel from via Netgalley. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
*NOTE* Although this is a clean read, this novel is not Christian fiction. Some readers may wish to be advised that there are a few instances where the Lord’s name used as an exclamation in this novel.
~ About the Author ~
Mimi Matthews writes both historical non-fiction and traditional 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 resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.