Welcome to the stop on blog tour for a beautiful historical romance set in Victorian England – The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon #4) by Mimi Matthews 🙂 You will find in this post details about the book, author, my review, a link for giveaway (however, it’s for US only) and the tour schedule.
Title: The Winter Companion
Author: Mimi Matthews
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon #4
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
A winter reunion for the orphans brings romance for Neville Cross in Book 4 of Mimi Matthews’ USA Today bestselling Parish Orphans of Devon series.
She Needed to be Seen…
As a lady’s companion, Clara Hartwright never receives much attention from anyone. And that’s precisely how she likes it. With a stormy past, and an unconventional plan for her future, it’s far safer to remain invisible. But when her new employer is invited to a month-long holiday at a remote coastal abbey, Clara discovers that she may not be as invisible as she’d hoped. At least, not as far as one gentleman is concerned.
He Wanted to be Heard…
Neville Cross has always been more comfortable with animals than people. An accident in his youth has left him with a brain injury that affects his speech. Forming the words to speak to his childhood friends is difficult enough. Finding the right things to say to a lovely young lady’s companion seems downright impossible. But Miss Hartwright is no ordinary companion. In fact, there may not be anything ordinary about her at all.
During a bleak Devon winter, two sensitive souls forge an unexpected friendship. But when Clara needs him most, will Neville find the courage to face his fears? Or is saying goodbye to her the most heroic thing he can do?
Add it to GOODREADS
Praise for the Parish Orphans of Devon series
“For this impressive Victorian romance, Matthews crafts a tale that sparkles with chemistry and impresses with strong character development… an excellent series launch that will appeal to fans of Loretta Chase and Stephanie Laurens.” -Publishers Weekly (The Matrimonial Advertisement)
“Matthews has a knack for creating slow-building chemistry and an intriguing plot with a social history twist.” -Library Journal (The Matrimonial Advertisement)
“As always, Matthews’ attention to historical accuracy is impeccable.” -Kirkus Reviews (A Modest Independence)
“Mimi Matthews is an exceptional story-teller.” -Passages to the Past (The Matrimonial Advertisement)
“Matthews is a bright, shining star in historical romance…” -Austenprose (A Modest Independence)
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Matrimonial Advertisement) 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.
Title: The Winter Companion
Author: Mimi Matthews
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon #4
Publication Year: 2020
Genres: Historical, Romance
Source: eARC via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Rating: 4.25 Stars
Recommendation: Recommended for everyone who enjoys romance or historical fiction. It’s perfect for historical romance readers.
I knew I loved The Winter Companion but now that I’m rereading my highlighted passages, I’m just blown away at how beautiful, heart-warming and sweet this book actually was. Sadly, I can’t share some my favourite quotes due to spoilers but I’ll try my best to show you how remarkably cute and swoon worthy this romance can be.
He had the queerest feeling that he was the only one who was privileged to see just how beautiful she was. As if it were a secret, locked up tight, to which only he held the key.
Parish Orphans of Devon is a four book series about four friends – Justin, Alex, Tom and Neville, who grew up together in orphanage. Each book in the series tells a story of one of them with glimpses from their past while we follow their lives as adults. I loved all four books and this last one was a wonderful ending to this heart-felt story of four friends.
Neville was sorry, too.
But one couldn’t build a life on regret.
“Don’t worry about the people,” Alex said. “You’ll intimidate most of them. You won’t have to say a word.”
“Silence is a powerful weapon,” Justin said.
“Especially,” Tom added, “when paired with a steely gaze, and fists the size of dinner plates.”
Neville’s mouth quirked. He’d never engaged in fisticuffs with anyone in his life. No one had yet challenged him. And if they did…
He supposed he could manage to fight, if it was Clara he was fighting for.
The Winter Companion is Neville’s story, who after an accident in childhood had difficulties speaking and expressing his thoughts and feelings. He is so very kind, loyal and insecure, but at the same time strong and honorable.
Clara’s feelings meant more than his pride. More, even, than his fears and insecurities. She was that important to him. He’d be damned if he let her leave here believing he didn’t care. That it hadn’t been the sacrifice of his life to let her go.
However, the story is told from dual POV, so our second protagonist is Neville’s love interest – Clara. She was in a way an unconventionally thinking lady for that time period. She was intellectual, strong and responsible, but at the same time naive, caring and romantic in her heart.
It was a terrible thing to be alone in the world. To be dismissed and discarded. To never belong anywhere. What was a dog to do in his old age if no one wanted him? More to the point, what was a woman to do?
I enjoyed Neville and Clara’s interactions and romance – so sweet, innocent and adorable, perfect for historical romance set in Victorian England. Mimi Matthews definitely knows how to write a romance that makes you swoon. However, this story wasn’t only about romance but it was also about dreams, identity and courage to acknowledge your dreams and fight for them.
“I don’t have any difficulty understanding you.”
His eyes met hers. “You are different.”
The butterflies in her stomach fluttered to life. She was acutely reminded that only yesterday he’d called her beautiful. It was a precious jewel of a compliment. One she’d immediately locked away in her heart. In the coming years, she could take it out again whenever she was feeling plain and invisible. She could remind herself that once a handsome gentleman had called her beautiful, and meant it.
No one had ever done so before.
“On the contrary,” she said. “I’m exceedingly ordinary. Ask anyone.”
“I don’t need to ask. I can judge for myself.”
I liked all of the characters in this book and the whole series because they felt like real people with their flaws, weaknesses and strengths. I just couldn’t stop myself from rooting for them because you could feel their hearts and emotions deep within. The characters are complex and we see them grow and change in a way that just makes them relatable. I was invested in their lives and happiness, as I was connected to them in a way that I could feel their pain and joy and everything in-between.
In order to help Clara – to win Clara – he would have to face his fears. To summon his courage, and strike out on his own. Like one of those Arthurian knights she spoke of, embarking on a quest.
One of my favourite things about this last installment was that we finally got to see all four childhood friends together, and those moments just made me smile and tear-up at the same time. Their connection and friendship was deep an unbreakable. I recommend to read the first three books in this series first as that will make bigger impact for this story, it will make you appreciate so much more every scene in this book with all four of them together.
But such hardships hadn’t mattered overmuch. Not when he’d had Justin, Alex, and Tom to rely on. They’d been his friends. His family.
This was a beautifully written book, with real people, and with powerful and emotional story. It had character development and growth, well painted and atmospheric setting, and historical accuracy was just cherry on the top. This book was well balanced and showed the positive and negative side of life in Victorian England, its society and culture of those time.
He knew now that no amount of time would be enough. Not hours. Not days. It would have to be more than that. It would have to be forever.
I must admit that The Winter Companion didn’t have the angst and fire that I usually like in my romance, it was a bit on slower side than I prefer, however, this story made me smile and cry and feel so much love that I appreciated every moment with this wonderful series and characters. I really hope that we will get some novellas and novels with stories about their children because I would love to meet all four couples again in near future.
The past weeks with you have been the brightest period of my memory. I shall treasure them always.
I’m great-full to Mimi Matthews for bringing to life Victorian England in very accurate and realistic manner with incredibly sweet and fulfilling romance stories that make you fall in love with her writing, characters and setting. Because she knows how to touch your heart in a way that makes you forget about the rest of the world while you experience the lives of her characters.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
GIVEAWAY (US only) – a signed copy of The Winter Companion (ends February 18th) > enter HERE
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 17
Review at Robin Loves Reading
Tuesday, February 18
Review at The Lit Bitch
Thank you for visiting this stop of the blog tour and please check out the other ones as well 😉
Lady of Bookland