- Family Life
♥ Blurb ♥
She Wanted Sanctuary…
Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means travelling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill—though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome—is anything but a romantic hero.
He Needed Redemption…
Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household—and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.
Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?
Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Lost Letter) 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.
♥ Character Spotlight♥
- How do your characters begin in your writing process? Do you have an incline for a name or you know how you want them to look?
- My stories always start with one disconnected scene. It’s usually something I’ve imagined in isolation. I end up building the whole book around that scene. In The Matrimonial Advertisement, that scene was the one where the heroine falls over the edge of a cliff.
- How do you choose your names?
- I try to choose classic names that are historically appropriate. I also often slip in some reference to a relevant favourite novel. For instance, in The Matrimonial Advertisement, the villain’s last name is Glyde (from The Woman in White) and the coachman’s last name is Danvers (from Rebecca).
- Which character is your favourite to write?
- I really like to write tortured heroes. I also like to write strong women who triumph in difficult circumstances.
- Which character is the hardest to write?
- Secondary characters are a little difficult. I want them to be compelling and fully realized, but I have to be careful they don’t steal the spotlight away from the main characters. Especially in a book that’s the first in a series.
- Are any of your characters based on a real-life person?
- Not exactly. However, in this book, many of the characters and situations were inspired by real life events in the Victorian era.
- Lastly, if you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would you pick and why?
- Probably the hero, Justin Thornhill. I’d want him to tell me all about his time in India—and in the orphanage, too.
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