About the Book:
From USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews comes a Victorian tale of love and longing in a quaint English village.
A Secret Burden…
After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy—or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.
A Longstanding Love…
As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago.
During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings—or betraying his brother?
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: Fair as a Star (Victorian Romantics Book 1)
Beryl Burnham has just returned from an extended trip to Paris with her aunt, where she was treated to a fabulous new wardrobe, including an exquisite wedding dress by Worth. It’s getting close to the time when she will wed Henry Rivenhall, yet it’s his younger brother, Mark, she comes to visit first. Mark is the curate for their village, and depends on Henry, a baron, for his living. For the last ten years Mark and Beryl have become best friends, but Beryl never realized that Mark feels more than friendship.
Henry is a pragmatic man, who determined that Beryl is the most suitable lady in the village to become his wife. His unromantic proposal was accepted by Beryl, who has no illusions about her future. There is no love or passion between the couple, only a resignation to having a convenient and dutiful marriage. Mark felt he had nothing to offer Beryl, and when she accepted Henry’s proposal, Mark felt that she must love his brother, and worked at keeping his love hidden from her.
Beryl should be on top of the world, but she suffers from a lifelong malady that causes her extreme sadness, even despair, for supposedly no reason. In this time period, the treatment for depression was often cruel and painful. As she struggles with her emotions, she becomes ever closer to Mark, realizing that perhaps, too late in the game, she is marrying the wrong brother.
I would expect a curate to be kind and sympathetic, which Mark is, but his support of Beryl during her battles with depression is breathtaking, totally opposite to his brother’s cavalier attitude. Henry’s total disregard for his brother’s feelings for Beryl, which he’s totally aware of, also paints him in an unflattering light. I truly wondered why Beryl planned a future with this seemingly cold and unfeeling man.
FAIR AS A STAR is another beautifully written story by Mimi Matthews, this time focusing on a subject not often found in a historical romance. Mark is a hero to truly swoon over, as he does all in his power to help Beryl during the rough times. He knows her so well, that he does and says things that others wouldn’t think about. As Beryl comes to realize that she loves Mark, she has to find a way to share a future with the man who will truly be a partner, friend, and lover. I highly recommend FAIR AS A STAR for readers who enjoy a book with heart, emotion, and a sweet and genuine romance. ~Rose