Hello, yes here we are again with another Mimi Matthews book because I love her writing so much! This time it’s As Fair As a Star, the first book in the Victorian Romantics series, and it’s so good.
A complicated heroine, a caring vicar, a loud dog (lol), and feelings that neither one knows exactly what to do with. What more could you want?
As you scroll through, check out the synopsis, my review, a little about the author, and definitely make sure enter the giveaway!
FAIR AS A STAR BY MIMI MATTHEWS
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Perfectly Proper Press
Series: Victorian Romantics, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance
A Secret Burden…
After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy—or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.
A Longstanding Love…
As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago.
During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings—or betraying his brother?
Heroines with depression!! I would like more, please! This is something very lacking in historical fiction and particularly in historical romance. Any mental illness is hard to find which makes Fair As a Star even more special to me.
Beryl is back after being away for a year due to her melancholy. She had a nice time, but it wasn’t enough to cure her of this darkness she feels. No one can figure out why she feels so down and the doctor who has seen her suggested treatments that she’s not willing to put herself through (you can probably imagine).
But now that she’s back, she needs to at least try to put on a happy face because she’s soon to be married to the rich Henry Rivenhall who proposed before she left.
Since they’re getting married, Henry has to be understanding and accepting of Beryl’s depression, right?
That would be his brother and the man Beryl is actually in love with, Mark Rivenhall, the village curate. He’s kind and caring and while he might not necessarily understand Beryl’s melancholy completely, he tries to learn and understand as best he can (please take this moment to swoon).
So why aren’t these two together?
- Henry proposed first.
- THEY HAVEN’T TOLD EACH OTHER HOW THEY FEEL
- Beryl feels a sense of obligation to her family to marry Henry. He’s rich af and they don’t have a ton of money
Mark doesn’t even know the reason she left until she breaks down in front of him and reveals all. That’s when he goes to his friend, Dr. Black, and asks if there’s any cure. There isn’t, but there are some things people can do to alleviate some of the darkness.
With that knowledge in hand, he tries to take a bit of the weight of depression off of Beryl’s shoulders.
And while Beryl knows her mind more than anyone, she’s also not helping it by secretly looking at a pamphlet that the old local doctor gave her. Let’s just say it has “treatments” for depression that would do nothing but traumatize the patient. Is this counter-intuitive? Yes, but omg, the awful stuff I’ve read/watched in a depressive episode…#relatable.
Mark’s suggestions don’t miraculously change her but they help a little. And with his help, her own exploration of her thoughts, AND A NEW DOG!! (Ernest), Beryl is able to feel a little bit more like herself and finally, stick up for what she really wants.
Oh I loved these two so much! There’s a scene where Beryl is sitting in a hidden area outside crying and…I HAVE BEEN THERE, BERYL. But in her case, Mark finds her and that’s when he learns all about what’s been going on in her head.
There’s also the churchyard where a lot happens that has nothing to do with religion lol. *wink wink*
Besides, Beryl and Mark, I also LOVED Winnie, Beryl’s sister. She does not like Dr. Black but her dislike might be hiding other feelings…. I suspect she might be the heroine in the next book in this series, but we’ll have to wait and see.
I’m giving Fair As a Star 4 out of 5 stars. If you’re a historical romance fan or have been looking for a historical fiction book featuring a character with depression, please check this out!
Fair As a Star by Mimi Matthews is available now!
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 14
Review at Passages to the Past
Thursday, July 16
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Friday, July 17
Review at View from the Birdhouse
Saturday, July 18
Review at The Green Mockingbird
Sunday, July 19
Review at Robin Loves Reading
Monday, July 20
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Tuesday, July 21
Review at Book Bustle
Wednesday, July 22
Review at Bookish Rantings
Thursday, July 23
Review at Heidi Reads
Friday, July 24
Review at The Lit Bitch
Saturday, July 25
Feature at What Is That Book About
Monday, July 27
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Tuesday, July 28
Review at Donna’s Book Blog