A Convenient Fiction

A Convenient Fiction

by Mimi Matthews

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The mysterious Alex Archer returns to England in Book 3 of Mimi Matthews' USA Today bestselling Parish Orphans of Devon series.

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?

Product Details

BN ID: 2940163147700
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Publication date: 10/22/2019
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 9,337
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical non-fiction and proper 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 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.

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A Convenient Fiction 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
MLH438 4 months ago
Alex Archer grew up in parish orphanage and spent his life trying to forget the miserable place. He had carefully crafted a life and background to cover up the truth and, after a life of rootless wandering, decided to settle down. In A Convenient Fiction, the third book in Mimi Matthews' Parish Orphans of Devon series, the fiction of Alex's life comes up against the reality that is Laura Hayes. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books of the series, and Matthews tantalized with references to Alex Archer and definitely does him justice. The writing is wonderful, and the characters are well-developed as Matthews shows us the promise of Alex's future while reconnecting him with his past. Alex coldly sets out to marry heiress Henrietta Talbot to gain an estate that he feels will give him a sense of belonging. When Laura is called in as a chaperone for Henrietta, Alex meets his "water nymph" and is surprised by his reaction. "This was something else. Something new and deeply unsettling. It was awareness. Some variety of recognition." Laura is very perceptive and sees Alex as a both a hero and a villain, with a rawness and vulnerability behind his mask. While Alex thinks that having land will give him a sense of belonging, Laura has the real answer for him. "You don't want land, Alex. What you're looking for is a family." Laura offers her family and marriage to Alex, and he rebuffs her. Later circumstances result in a marriage to save Laura's reputation, and Alex finds where he truly belongs - with Laura. The vicar read the parable of the prodigal son to Alex, and it is analogous to Alex's life. As the vicar explains to him, it's not just a story of repentance and forgiveness but also of homecoming and reconciliation. Alex's life comes full circle when he returns home and reconciles with Justin, Tom and Neville. While the book can be read as a stand alone, you will enjoy it more and better understand the relationships if you read the first two books. I heartily recommend them all! I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
HR-Reader 4 months ago
A beautiful story of Victorian love, redemption, and reconciliation. Readers finally discover what happened to long lost orphan Alex Archer and it is magic. Matthews has outdone herself. This is now my favorite book in the Parish Orphans of Devon series.
georgia1 4 months ago
By chance I found this amazing author and began reading this series with the Matrimonial Advertisement. I also listened to it on audible and I am still thinking about if even now. Mimi Matthews has a true gift with her words that is perfect and speaks to me as a reader. Her characters have such deep emotions and she is able to pull me into the story in a way I feel I am watching a movie unfold ( yes The Parish Orphans of Devon need to be made into a series). My very favorite heroes and heroines are those that are wounded, either in body or mind or in both because seeing them find redemption and happiness is pure joy and Ms Matthews is a master at this plot. She shines again with the story of Alex, one of the Parish Orphans who I truly wondered about in the first story. Alex has been away and now has returned to find a wife. A rich wife to be exact, but as fate would have it, on his way to his friend's home, he meets Laura Hayes. Well he really thought he was rescuing her from drowning, but she really wasn't! Laura is barely making ends meet and she needs a husband to rescue her and her invalid brother. But life is never that easy. Set in the Victorian era, the author has brought the times alive with her historical knowledge and I learned many new facets of that time. The way she brought these two together, slowly let the them get to know each other. I have truly loved every story in this series. They have touched my heart and are not soon forgotten. What I enjoy even more is after reading them is listening to the audible version. Amazing, truly amazing. Lori Dykes
PamReviews 20 days ago
This is the third book in the Parish Orphans of Devon series. Alex is the boy who ran away, leaving the other boys he grew up with in the orphanage. It would be best to read the other books in the series before reading this one. One thing that I appreciated in this book is that neither Alex or Laura, the two main characters, came from aristocratic families. I want to gush about the foreshadowing, and the slow development and reveals that made this book so good, but I'm mostly going to restrain myself. Everything was shown, not told, and the imagery! The book starts out with Alex, the hero, finding Laura suspended in a pond just under the surface of the green water. I could picture it so well - her pale face under the green water .... Undine. Another thing that struck me about this book were how Laura and Alex's circumstances were so opposite, Alex has risen in the world and Laura has fallen. The slow reveal of the change in Laura's family circumstances was so well done - and the change is how she was treated by the neighbors. I felt for her -she was struggling so hard, and everything was against her. The book did drag a little after they left the village but it's still one of the better historical romances I've read this year, and one I want to re-read. 4 1/2 stars rounded to 5.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Lyrical storytelling of the heart, story is about 2people that have been badly betrayed, and need unconditional love, and find it in each other. I love the parish orphans series!
CJLPM 4 months ago
Third book in this series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel. I have to say, I think this story was perfection! I just loved the characters, the dialogue, the storyline, just... everything. Mimi Matthews has done it again. Superb writer!. Highly recommended.
Bee_Loves_Romance 4 months ago
If you haven't read Mimi Matthews, then you are missing out! Grab this one and go back and grab the other two in the series and then sit anxiously until February to read the final installment. Read all her others books while you wait. Most of her stories are Victorian era, which is a refreshing change from the Regency period. Trains. Gas lights. Telegrams. Full skirts. Interesting, likable characters and a good story. A keeper.
pinkcowlandreads 4 months ago
A historically rich novel with lush landscapes and fascinatingly complex characters. A Convenient Fiction is the third book in the Parish Orphans of Devon series, in which one more of the Devon orphans finds redemption and haleness in his true love. Alec Archer is a fortune hunter on the hunt for a wealthy landed heiress. After working his way up from his pauper beginnings, he now needs a wife to realize his dream of a home of his own. Laura Hayes has been taking care of her invalid brother and weary Aunt since the death of her father. Her brother is finally coming to his age of majority, and they family will finally be able to take control of their former perfume business that has been left in the hands of their solicitor. Will Laura be able to take control of the business and save her family’s legacy? Or will a dashing stranger in their humble village and a seaside romp overturn all of her plans? Mimi Matthews writing is a pure delight! Her sweet story and the rich history she weaves in are a treat for romance and history lovers both. A Convenient Fiction- Parish Orphans of Devon, Book 3 by Mimi Matthews is scheduled to release October 22nd, 2019. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Perfectly Proper Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. #AconvenientFiction #MimiMatthews #NetGalley #pinkcowlandreads
CathyGeha 4 months ago
A Convenient Fiction By Mimi Matthews Parrish Orphans of Devon #3 Perfect in every way – I loved this book! I was swept into the story and really cared about Alex, Laura and Laura’s family. At first I thought Alex was a bit of a scoundrel but what a scoundrel he was...and what a warm tender heart he had lurking beneath! This book made me care and feel and wonder and took me back in time. I learned a bit about swimming in 1860 and as my father had and my brother has interest resuscitation this was a part of the book that reminded me of them. What I liked: * Laura – what a strong, intelligent , caring woman she was with the will to take on so much for those she loved * Alex – I admired his strength and ability to survive then thrive coming from the horrible beginning he was born to. * Edward – Laura’s brother was a man I believe might be in need of a story of his own and do hope the author will write it for him. He seems to have depths that will be interesting to plumb * The vicar – a good man with a rascal of a son. * The way the story was told with the interweaving of the men from the stories in previous books * Wondering if Neville will find true love in a book of his own. What I did not like: * A few people that redeemed themselves in the end * The pain and suffering the orphans went through * Weatherwax...despicable creature – won’t say more but know you will feel the same when you read the book. Did I enjoy this book: Definitely Will I read more in this series: As soon as I can! Thank you to NetGalley and Perfectly Proper Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
Anonymous 4 months ago
Surrey England - 1860 Laura Hayes, age 24, happens to be swimming in the pond near her home when a man jumps in the water and pulls her out thinking that she is drowning. When she assures him she is fine, he leaves. Laura’s father was a perfumer who, when he invested in a large scheme, lost his money. Shortly afterward, he died from scarlett fever. Her brother contracted the disease too, surviving, but left wheelchair bound and sickly. Their mother had passed away when they were very young and they now live with their Aunt Charlotte. Alex Archer is on his way to the vicarage of Talbot’s Wood. His friend, George Wright, son of the parson lives there. Alex is there to meet Miss Henrietta Talbot of Edgington Park. They are scheduled to walk with Henrietta today and her chaperone will be Laura, Henrietta’s friend. When Laura meets Alex, whom she finds very handsome, she realizes he is the man who tried to save her in the pond. Alex has come to Surrey to seek a rich wife and is zeroing in on Henrietta to fit that bill. However, he finds her to be spoiled and flighty. It seems that she’s more interested in George. Alex learns that Laura’s odious solicitor wants to maintain control of their money when her brother turns 21 soon because the man insists that the young man is too frail to handle the job. Now, Laura needs to get another solicitor to fight him if possible. Alex’s past is a sad one and one that he does not want to admit to. But he is taken with Laura and she with him. They agree to marry and Laura understands that he may leave her at any time as he has a hard time with commitment. But will he? And will their marriage be a happy one? Oh, my goodness! I loved, loved. loved this book! Mimi Matthews is a fabulous author and her books are the best. Don’t miss this one! Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Vesper1931 4 months ago
August 1860 Surrey. Three years have passed since Laura Hayes’s father died. Her invalid brother and Laura having to survive on the income from her father's failing perfume business. Their business affairs managed by solicitor Weatherwax Alex Archer wants to marry for the land an heiress can provide and maneuvers George Wright, vicar's son, into an introduction to Henrietta Talbot, his lifelong friend and neighbour. But what of Archers' troubled past which started at the orphanage in North Devon. Although the third in the series, it is easily read as a standalone story, though I would recommend the first two books as they are both an enjoyable read. A delightful, well-written romance story, with such a group of likeable well-portrayed characters.
Pokeybooboo 4 months ago
A Convenient Fiction is the third book of The Parish Orphans of Devon series by Mimi Matthews. The first book I read by this author was The Matrimonial Advertisement, the first of this series. I was totally blown away by that story. I thought at the time that there was no way that Ms. Matthews could write a better book than that; I was dead wrong. Each book after that kept getting better and better, I swear they did. And considering I gave the first book 5 stars, that is saying a lot. Mary Balogh and Grace Burrowes have always been the epitome of historical romance writers to me. Ladies, please scooch over a bit and make room for Mimi Matthews on your exalted pedestal. That’s not hyperbole; I love her writing that much. If you haven’t read the first two books of the series, you won’t be lost. However, I suggest that you read them first. Having a bit of background on the dynamics of the orphans adds so much to the “feels” in the story. Alex Archer was the boy who ran from England as far and fast as he could when the opportunity arose. He’s back, looking for an heiress to marry. It’s not the money he wants, but land; he feels that it will give him a sense of belonging. On the way to meet his possible heiress, he spies a young woman in a pond whom he believes is drowning. He “rescues” her, only to find out she doesn’t need rescuing. The young woman is Laura Hayes, the daughter of a deceased perfumer, who is not anywhere close to being an heiress. Yet he is totally drawn to her. Read the book blurb to read more of the story synopsis; I’d rather talk about the emotions. Yes, those pesky uncontrollable emotions that can make or break a romance novel. Laura is overwhelmed in life, with no one to really lean on. Her deceased father left his business in a shambles, with barely any money to keep her family afloat. She basically has to beg his solicitor to give the family funds to live on. Her younger brother was crippled from a fever. Her aunt who has heart issues also lives with them. Laura cares for them all. All she desires is to get the business running again…and to swim in the ocean. Alex, on the other hand, fears the ocean. He’s made money from gambling and is by no means destitute, but he wants land. Alex hides a lot from Laura; you can easily see that he is unhappy with his past actions and doesn’t believe he deserves love. He wants to protect Laura from what he’s done and endured in order to survive. Oh, their interactions touched my heart and boy, did I cry! I think I cried though the last third of the book. My heart hurt for Alex. He was seeking absolution; would he get what he desired? This is a book you can share with your mother and grandmother. Physical intimacies are behind closed doors; it’s the beautiful writing that makes you feel their attraction and need for each other. I’ve said this before about this author’s writing – you don’t realize until after you’ve finished the book and your face is puffy from crying that there wasn’t any sex. The story just sweeps you away. ~Sigh~ I want more! The fourth orphan’s story can’t come out quickly enough for me. Actually, ANY book by Ms. Matthews can’t come out quickly enough for me! I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
SarahM-M 4 months ago
After the death of her father, Laura has served as head of the family and kept them afloat through careful planning and sheer determination. Now that her brother is about to turn 21, and legally able to take charge of the family's former business things should be taking a turn for the better. But when legal troubles prevent this from this from going through, Laura must look for an alternative if she hopes to keep her family from destitution. The altenative available to her? Marriage. Alex Archer has come to Surrey to catch himself a country heiress and he has his eyes set on Henrietta. He wasn't counting on the presence of Laura though, there to act as Henrietta's chaperone, nor was he counting on his attraction to her. He'll need to push her and her troubles far from his mind if he hopes to move forward with his plan to woo Henrietta. But try as he might he finds himself drawn to her again and again. Will he give up on his mercenary plan and stop fighting the attraction? Will he let Laura into his heart and stop playing the villain? ________________________________ First just let me say that the cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous and I am in love with it. This is the third book in Mimi Matthews' Parish Orphans of Devon series. Although it is not entirely necessary for you to have read the other books in this series before reading this one, I would recommend it. Any information necessary to a full undertanding of the background of events are detailed by the author as you read. But to get the full impact of the relationship of these four childhood friends and why the seperation weighs so heavily you should read the previous two books. I think it makes the reading of this book all the more powerful. I adored Alex, he's so damaged and flawed and not nearly the villain that he imagines himself to be. Getting to read about his vulnerabilities, with regards to both his past and future really endeared his character to me. Laura had such a quiet strength that I really respected in her, but it was also her weakness. I enjoyed following her character as she learns to face the toubles of life with the help of those around her instead of always carrying the weight of everything on her own shoulders. With her independent, take action nature I'm sure her and Jenny will be great friends in no time. Laura just has such a mix of strength and vulnerability, which is why I think her and Alex are so sweet togther, they have such a great balance together. Plus I ADORE a couple in a historical romance that aren't constantly hiding, that actually communicate their feelings with one another. Yes, please! That way were not trapped in a revolving door of misunderstandings. I enjoyed this book so much and had a hard time putting it down. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, because I want to learn more about Neville. But I am a little sad that it'll be the last in the series because I've enjoyed it so much. I recommend this book and the series. If you've read any Mimi Matthews books before, then you already know this one will be great. If you aren't familiar with her book though, I recommend them to anyone who loves a good historical romance. This is a clean romance, intimacy is eluded to but does not go into detail. _____ I would like to thank NetGalley and Perfectly Proper Press for sharing an eARC of A Convenient Fiction by Mimi Matthews with me for reviewing purposes. This is my honest review.
bmrawlins 4 months ago
The Parish Orphans of Devon has been such a fun series and book 3, A Convenient Fiction, may well be my favorite. This series is full of strong, lovely characters with witty personalities and charm. There are some updates on previous orphans we have meet as stories intersect and come to light. In this tale, we meet Laura and Alex. Alex has been a fighter his whole life and believes himself to be a villain. What happens when a villain meets a sea nymph? Magic. Laura and Alex create a magical love story as they both learn to trust their heart and perhaps, one another. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own gladly given.
TheCompulsiveReader7 4 months ago
(4.5 stars) – A story of redemption! [This is Book 3 in the Parish Orphans of Devon series. It can be read as a standalone] Technically, this is an enemies-to-lovers trope as well as a bit of a marriage of convenience one. But at its heart, it’s my favorite – a story of redemption! Alex & Laura enjoy an unusual meet-cute that is quite entertaining. It leaves them somewhat annoyed with each other. Circumstances lead them to spend time together - Alex has come to court Miss Talbot for whom Laura is acting as chaperone, & in their repeated forced proximity, they begin to know each other better. Still to very mixed feelings though. Alex has given himself up as a soul beyond redemption, and has devoted himself to achieving a material match to acquire an estate, but Laura unwittingly keeps reminding him that his heart is still beating no matter how much he tries to ignore it. He sees himself as a scoundrel – and so does Laura – but she also sees the hero within him. She helps him realize that his past doesn’t have to define him – he can choose a new course. As Alex’s past begins to catch up with him, though, he has to decide whether to keep running or finally face it. And it is brutally painful. My heart broke for him. Those who have read the previous books will finally have their questions answered. I loved Alex & Laura. Alex is like a broody Rhett Butler, and Laura is rather like a livelier version of Elinor from “Sense and Sensibility”. Their story, though the courting of Miss Talbot felt a bit insipid at times, had me completely engaged from beginning to end. The secondary characters were surprisingly well rounded, too. Henrietta was a surprise. And of course, seeing several of the lead characters from the other books was absolutely icing on the cake. This will be on my “Best of 2019” list along with Mimi Matthews’s “The Work of Art”! *Clean romance level: passionate kisses, marital intimacy takes place but discreetly & without graphic detail. *Religion: only topical to setting, use of the Lord’s Name in vain in typical Regency expressions (By G*d,for G*d’s sake, etc) but not cursing at least *Language: a dozen or so “d*mn”s + a” h*ll” or two