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A Convenient Fiction

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Convenient Fiction (2019) Mimi Matthews

Set in England in 1860

Laura Hayes father died three years earlier of the same fever that crippled her brother and left her weakened but also in charge of her family–but with few resources to do so, since their properties were left to be managed by a lawyer–one who has been pushing Laura to sell the lands and properties.

Alex Archer fled England for the continent years ago, and spent his time learning how to become a card sharp and a scoundrel. Now he is using those skills to try and find a landed bride, an the stability he lacked growing up in an orphanage.

I very much enjoyed the first two books in this series. Helena and Justin were complex and complicated, and we got to know both Tom and Jenny in the first book and wanted things to work out for them. In this book, Laura and Alex are new, and Alex in particular is a cypher. We’re told his a chameleon, but I had a hard time really feeling for him, mostly because he’s quest didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. He’s a fortune hunter in search of land and property, but he already has to money to purchase those things.

“Land is the only thing that gives a man a sense of connection. Of meaning. Unless he has it, he never truly belongs anywhere.”

“Is that what you’re searching for? A sense of belonging?”

A lump formed in his throat. She made it sound so simple. As if he might have found it anywhere. “I suppose I am.”

Something in her expression softened. “You don’t want land, Alex. What you’re looking for is a family.”

Great. That’s precisely what he wants! Except he doesn’t really see it.

Also, he doesn’t really make it clear to Laura that he doesn’t need a fortune, that he has enough. We’re supposed to believe he’s a fortune hunter, but in the second part of the book he seems to have plenty of money. Sure, he doesn’t have the antecedents for society, but that’s not really what he wants.

Laura as a little more clear to me. She was struggling to keep her family together and would do anything for her brother and aunt. A little more complicated was her friend Hen, who for most of the book didn’t act at all like a friend. Except at the very end.

I had the feeling that the author didn’t quite know what to do with Alex–how to redeem him from his past. Hen ended up being a far worse person than Alex. Possibly it’s because she hadn’t spent any time with either character to develop them the way Justin and Tom and Helena and Jenny were.

I’m hoping the fourth book is stronger. Especially since the hero is the most damaged of the four men.

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Rating: 6/10

Categories: British, Historical, Romance     Comments (0)    



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