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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
If you enjoy Victorian-era romances with engaging characters and a well-paced narrative, The Winter Companion (Book 4 of the Parish Orphans of Devon series) by Mimi Matthews is for you. Where better to introduce a tall, blond and handsome though speech-impeded “Sir Galahad” to a petite beauty with a somewhat controversial past and plans for an unconventional future than a remote mansion on the Devon coast in the middle of a cold and wet winter? Both are immediately taken with each other, though their first meeting wasn’t in a very romantic setting. But Clara, a lady’s companion who carries a family burden, will see past Neville’s insecurities and impediment. When Clara must suddenly leave with no expectation of ever returning, will Neville let her go?
In The Winter Companion, Mimi Matthews builds on the bonds between characters established in the earlier books in her Parish Orphans series while enabling it to stand perfectly alone. Be warned: reading this book may instill in you an immediate desire to read the others. Matthews is a skilled storyteller who creates scenes through vivid description, allowing readers to experience not just the sights and sounds of the setting but also the inner workings of the protagonists. This is a character and dialog-driven narrative. I found Clara easy to like even though there was a mystery about her past life and the packets stuffed with papers that arrive at the mansion for her. She challenges the limitations on the women of her day. Neville’s character is drawn with sensitivity and insight. An entertaining read.