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A Holiday By Gaslight

Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Holiday By Gaslight (2018) Mimi Matthews

A Holiday By GaslightSet in England in 1861.

Sophie Appersett has decided that although Mr Edward Sharpe is handsome as well as wealthy, they do not suit. After months, she still knows nothing about him, other than that he and his best friend made their money in an investment that paid off.

He’s told her nothing about himself, and asked little about her, so she asks to end the courtship.

Unfortuantely, Edward Sharpe isn’t actually disinterested. He just has no idea how to woo a lady. He’s followed all the rules laid down by the Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette but them seem to have led him astray.

Unfortunately, Sophie’s father has been hoping she and her sister Emily will make good matches, for he has plans for continued improvements to their home–even if it seemingly impoverishes the family.

As with other of Mimi Matthews’ books there are no bad guys. There are people making poor choices, and doing things for reasons that might not make sense to others, but are still valid choices. It’s one of the things I particularly like about her stories.

I still, however, don’t like the father. I eventually understand why he behaves as he does, but I don’t like it and I really don’t approve of it.

A little easier to understand were Edward’s parents.

It troubled Ned how readily they assumed they’d have no place in his life once he married. As if he would sacrifice his own mother and father on the altar of social acceptance.

They’re in a strange world, much of which makes no sense to them, yet they want the best for their son, which ends up making things difficult.

Which makes it all-in-all a lovely story. There were surprises, and although there was a bit or moralizing, it was deserved by the person who received it. And it was light and fun and not at all angsty.

“Did you shoot anything this morning?”

He extended his hand to help her up into the sleigh. “Does a tree branch count?”

She smiled, settling her skirts around her as Ned climbed into the sleigh at her side. “So little experience and already as skillful as my father.”

I think what I appreciate most about these stories is they try to match the mores of the time period while not being too distressing to a modern sensibility. Women are chattel here, and do not have rights, yet for all his faults, Sophie’s father is not going to force her to marry someone rich so he can continue his projects.

Also, I loved this cover. It’s beautiful and actually manages to match scenes in the book. Good job!

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Rating: 7.5/10

Written by Michelle     Categories: British, Covers, Female, Historical, Romance     Comments (0)    

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