Sunday, December 1, 2019

Book Review: A Holiday By Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

Author: Mimi Matthews
Narrator: Alex Wyndham
Series: N/A
Audience:  +18
Genre: Historical Romance, Christmas Romance
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Release Date: November 13th 2018
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC from Netgalley and Perfectly Proper Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

The first thing that caught my eye was the cover. How could I ignore it, when it's so pretty? The next thing that made me want to read this book was the fact that it was not only a Christmas story, but a historical romance one. So basically you have the two best things in the world put together. I've never read Mimi Matthews before, but I absolutely loved this introduction into her world and I believe I shall dive into her backlist in the upcoming year.

The book opens with Sophie breaking up with Edward, and then realizing she has to invite him to spend Christmas at her family's house. Sophie wants to marry for love, but at the same time she knows that because of her father's very eccentric life style she needs to marry someone rich to maybe give her sister the chance to marry with whomever she chooses. I really liked Sophie. She was a very smart young lady, and very daring. She was also very loving, and she really wanted what was best for her sister. I was mad on her behalf, because she really got the worst father possible. Her dad was much more interested in making people believe he was rich, cultured, and deserving of his title, and he would do anything to make that happen, even spending his daughters' dowries, with no thought as to what that would mean for their futures. He wanted to have the most modern house, the most modern appliances, and if that meant making a very bad impression to his potential soon-to-be son in law the so be it. I honestly hated the guy and felt sorry for his wife, as well as his daughters.

Edward was exactly what I pictured he would be. He was quiet, a little bit distant, very guarded about his feelings, especially with people he didn't know. But once I got to meet him, I realized there was a charm to him that was almost irresistible. I really enjoyed his relationship with Sophie, I liked seeing them get to know each other properly. And I liked their courtship, I thought it was very sweet.

This book reminded me in some ways of Pride and Prejudice. I was actually flooding Haley's DMs (The Caffeinated Reader) while I was reading this book, and at one point I told her that for some reason Sophie's younger sister reminded me a bit of Lydia Bennet, but without the idiot money-hungry future husband of hers. No, Edward's friend was quite nice and a gentleman. I quite liked him. The book also had a Dickensian feel to it, which I also loved. Basically I loved everything about this story. I did have a big issue with Sophie's father, like I said.

The book was rather short, with only 175 pages (or 4 hrs and 4 mins for those of you wanting to listen to this book in audio version). I actually took advantage of my Audible Escape membership and listened to this book while working one afternoon and I absolutely adored the the narration. The narrator, Alex Wyndham, did a fantastic job at bringing the characters to life.

All in all, the perfect story to get you in the holiday spirit.

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