"Matthews immerses readers in the intricate descriptions of exotic locales and the difficulties of Victorian travel...Fans of the series will enjoy exploring secondary characters' lives and the truly heroic compromises Tom makes to be with the woman he loves." -Library Journal
"As always, Matthews’ attention to historical accuracy is impeccable. From the rigid standards and expectations of Victorian courtship to the siege of Jhansi, she has clearly done her research. Her characters are a refreshing change from the typical genre protagonists; for example, there is 'nothing particularly remarkable about Thomas Finchley,' the author writes. Yet his intellect and unabashed kindness are the stuff of true romance...Strong, smart characters and a daring quest result in a Victorian love story with a charmingly modern sensibility." -Kirkus Reviews
"Perceptive social insights enrich this Victorian romance: into law practices, class and racial prejudice, pressures on women to conform to social conventions, snobbery and the casual assumption of privilege by wealthy and aristocratic elites. The route, by ship, train, and dak cart, is traced in authentic detail. The behavior of the characters is justified by past experience. Jenny and Tom are admirable and their willingness to make sacrifices for each other's happiness wins our sympathy. Strongly recommended." -Historical Novel Society
"Author Mimi Matthews has produced her best writing to date with A MODEST INDEPENDENCE, as it is beautifully written, vivid, emotional, honest, and totally captivating from beginning to the awesome conclusion." -The Romance Reviews, top pick
"A Modest Independence is not only adventurous, but it is also astounding...Matthews is a bright, shining star in historical romance and I look forward to the next installment in the series." -Austenprose
"For fans of sweeping romances with exotic vistas...Jenny Holloway is a powerful female heroine that Jane Austen would be proud of, setting off with an inquisitive mind and a superb sense of exploration...highly recommended for fans of optimistic and adventurous historical romances." -Readers' Favorite
"A masterpiece of historical research and writing, I was spellbound by every sight that our couple see...In one word, this is beautiful." -Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
"From the smallest gestures of thoughtfulness or tenderness right through to the soul-puddling kisses, this story had EVERYTHING I love most about romance." -Fiction Aficionado
"A romance that is wrapped in a soft philosophy: encouraging the reader to go to places--figuratively and emotionally--and mull on the nature of love while gorgeous settings unfurl in a perfectly worded canvas...This is a book to be savoured." -Rachel McMillan, author of the Herringford and Watts mysteries
An independent woman struggles to reconcile love and freedom in this historical romance.
Book 2 of Matthews' (A Holiday by Gaslight, 2018, etc.) Parish Orphans of Devon series picks up with Jenny Holloway and Thomas Finchley, two characters familiar to readers of the first installment. Jenny, a former lady's companion, has been gifted an inheritance and seeks adventure. But her money is controlled by Tom, a talented lawyer who trades in secrets. When Jenny sets out for India in search of a cousin who is presumed dead, Tom is compelled to accompany her. The pair, posing as brother and sister for propriety's sake, embark on a long journey to Delhi. Their time together in close quarters on ships and trains only strengthens their mutual attraction. But Jenny is loath to give up her newfound liberty for a man, even one as kind and unusual as Tom. Though he tries to convince Jenny that he would never infringe on her autonomy, the realities of being a woman in Victorian society weigh heavily against him. The couple's journey across Egypt and India is full of colorful and descriptive prose. Jenny's first taste of spicy curry and the international blend of humanity on the streets of Calcutta firmly situate readers in a striking past. As always, Matthews' attention to historical accuracy is impeccable. From the rigid standards and expectations of Victorian courtship to the siege of Jhansi, she has clearly done her research. Her characters are a refreshing change from the typical genre protagonists; for example, there is "nothing particularly remarkable about Thomas Finchley," the author writes. Yet his intellect and unabashed kindness are the stuff of true romance. As Jenny amusingly observes, a man who can navigate bureaucracy is far more useful than the white knights of penny novels. While Tom's relationship with Jenny remains mostly chaste, Matthews manages to imbue their interactions with an enviable romantic tension.
Strong, smart characters and a daring quest result in a Victorian love story with a charmingly modern sensibility.