A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Dover, # 1)
By: Mimi Matthews
Publication: October 22nd 2019 by Perfectly Proper Press
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Source: Personal Kindle Library (Christmas Gift)
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Goodreads description--She Needed a Husband...
It’s been three years since Laura’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?
The description of this one is a bit deceiving. Laura's father did pass away three years ago and his will does state a provision for Laura's husband to receive half of the perfume company if she married by her 25th birthday (which is coming up quickly), but she assumed this is out of the realm of possibility so she's not pursuing Alex in the hopes of saving the family business as the description implies. At the same time, Alex is attempting to marry an heiress, and while that does appear to make him a fortune hunter, what he really wants is property which is hard to come by except through the gentry. So again, deceiving.
Alex is used to being a villain. He struggles with his actions as a teenager when he fought Tom and ran off with the stash of jewels and money they stumbled upon. He's made his fortune by taking advantage of others. But he finds himself being a rescuer time and again from the moment he meets Laura. I sometimes wondered how he could continue his path of pursuing Henrietta when he knew it wasn't her fortune he was after.
I appreciated Laura's attitude. She did what she had to do to keep her family going. She stepped up and took control of the family affairs. She was easy to like.
I was sure that I was going to hate Henrietta. And especially when she and Laura had their fight, I expected worse from her so I'm glad that she turned out to be nicer and more of a true friend to Laura than I originally thought.
The reunion of the 4 friends was a little emotional and one of the things that I looked forward to the most through the whole book.
-There was nothing magical about being in love with someone. It didn’t cure every ill or solve every problem. It was simply a feeling. An infinitely precious feeling. Deeper than friendship. More meaningful than mere attraction. But it wasn’t a panacea. Real relationships were built on more than love. They were constructed with hard work, dedication, and patience. With honesty and mutual respect.
A Convenient Fiction was much more enjoyable for me than the previous book in the series, A Modest Independence. I liked Alex and Laura. Their conflict to overcome, the reunion of the four friends...all of it was great. I can't wait for Neville's story. A Convenient Fiction gets 4 Stars. Have you read A Convenient Fiction? What did you think? Let me know!