She Needed A Husband…
It’s been three years since Laura Hayes’s father died, leaving her and her invalid brother to subsist on the income from the family’s failing perfume business. But time is swiftly running out. What she needs is a husband, and fast. A noble gentleman who can rescue them all from penury. When a mysterious stranger arrives in the village, he seems a perfect candidate. But Alex Archer is no hero. In fact, he just might be the opposite.
He Wanted a Fortune…
Alex has no tolerance for sentiment. He’s returned to England for one reason only: to find a wealthy wife. A country-bred heiress in Surrey seems the perfect target. But somewhere between the village railway station and the manor house his mercenary plan begins to unravel. And it’s all the fault of Laura Hayes–a lady as unsuitable as she is enchanting.
From the beaches of Margate to the lavender fields of Provence, a grudging friendship slowly blossoms into something more. But when scandal threatens, can a man who has spent his entire life playing the villain, finally become a hero? Or will the lure of easy riches once again outweigh the demands of his heart?
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife,” but for Alex Archer the opposite is true. He has come to Surrey in search of an heiress. Such a man doesn’t sound like a hero, but Alex has hidden depths. He is one of a group of boys from an orphanage who grew up to achieve success but in his case his life has not given him happiness.
Laura had a happy childhood but after her father’s death, she and her sickly brother have a limited income, maintaining respectability while submitting to the patronising charity of local heiress, Henrietta. Laura is a capable, determined woman. She does her best to extricate the family’s once successful perfume business from a wily solicitor but her position as a single woman means she has little power.
The tumultuous relationship which develops between Alex and Laura promises no happy ending, since each aim for a different conclusion to their problems but their conversation and interaction is fascinating to read. We come to realise that such independent thinkers are well matched, but fate seems to be against them.
For those who have read the previous books in this series, there is an interesting meeting with the other parish orphans, but it is not necessary to have read those books first. The books of Mimi Matthews are unique. Although historical romances they do not follow the usual template. With a nod to Jane Austen, these frank, determined heroines break down their heroes’ reserve causing the men to admit their true feelings. There is an immediacy about this story which makes easy reading for a modern reader. Another delightful book by this talented, knowledgeable author.
A Convenient Fiction can be found on Amazon UK
My review of The Matrimonial Advertisement Parish Orphans of Devon Book 1