Publisher and Publication Date: Perfectly Proper Press. November 10, 2020.
Genre: General fiction, Historical fiction, Historical romance, Regency romance.
Source: I received a complimentary eBook copy from NetGalley and Perfectly Proper Press. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of proper Regency period romance stories.
Rating: Very good.
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. Her next romance, The Siren of Sussex, will be out in 2022 from Berkley/Penguin Random House.
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She Couldn’t Forget…
Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nick is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nick escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nick never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.
He Wouldn’t Forgive…
After years spent on the continent, John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare has finally come home to England. Tall, blond, and dangerous, he’s on a mission to restore his family’s honor. If he can mete out a bit of revenge along the way, so much the better. But he hasn’t reckoned for Maggie Honeywell. She’s bold and beautiful–and entirely convinced he’s someone else.
As danger closes in, St. Clare is torn between love and vengeance. Will he
sacrifice one to gain other? Or, with a little daring, will he find a way to have them both?
The setting is England.
In the first part of the story, the time period is the spring of 1807. The second part of the story is 1817.
I love to dissect characters in a story. I peel apart their (at first) shown personality from what their words and behavior continue to display. I observe them as if I am in the same room.
Some questions I ask:
Do they reveal the same personality to all the other characters?
Is this person trustworthy?
What is their mission or agenda?
Are they hiding something?
What are their fears and insecurities?
John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare is a fascinating character. He is entertaining to read and picture in my mind. His masculinity, energy, and sex appeal made my heart flutter.
The story reveals St. Clare and there is pleasure in the conclusion.
I’m not as impressed with the female lead. In the first part of the story she is a tiger. She has a strong personality. The second part of the story she looks weak and has become weak in personality, or has she matured? I understand the reasons behind her dramatic change. I also see the polar difference in the love duo: his strength and masculinity versus her petite nature. Their traits are also magnified because of one another. There are moments when she rises to the occasion, but she is not like the first part of the story.
They are a passionate duo. They are a formidable couple because of their passion and great love. I love their chemistry. It is reflected brilliantly.
Gentleman Jim reflects strongly the society and culture of how females were treated in the Romantic period. Females who had a lover or was suspected of impropriety. Females were to respect, honor, and obey their father and his wishes, or their guardian.
People didn’t always marry for love. The marriages were arranged by family. People married in their own economic class. And, behind the marriage was financial gain. What did the marriage bring financially to the couple, especially the man? It was a blessing when the arranged marriage brought happiness and love.