Matthews, Mimi. Gentleman Jim. [California]: Perfectly Proper Press, 2020.
ISBN-13: 978-1733056960 | $3.99 USD | 376 pages | Regency Romance
From USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews comes a swashbuckling tale of Regency era romance and revenge.
“One of the most highly anticipated books of the fall historical romance lineup.” –Austenprose
She Couldn’t Forget…
Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nicholas is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nicholas escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nicholas never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.
He Wouldn’t Forgive…
After years spent on the continent, John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare has finally come home to England. Tall, blond, and dangerous, he’s on a mission to restore his family’s honor. If he can mete out a bit of revenge along the way, so much the better. But he hasn’t reckoned for Maggie Honeywell. She’s bold and beautiful–and entirely convinced he’s someone else.
As danger closes in, St. Clare is torn between love and vengeance. Will he sacrifice one to gain other? Or, with a little daring, will he find a way to have them both?
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Gentleman Jim is very different tonally from the previous Mimi Matthews book I read, and I found myself surprised by how much I still enjoyed it. While it still being on the sweet side in terms of steam level was a given, I was concerned about the parallels being drawn to works like The Count of Monte Cristo, and the subheading denoting the story one of “romance and revenge.” Revenge plots have never been my thing, and they almost always reflect badly on the “hero.”
But I need not have worried, as Matthews deftly handles these themes, while also managing to make it a believable sweet romance (although this is probably her most sensual, without being super-explicit). Nicholas/John is at heart a good person and he never fully loses that, even as he seeks vengeance against those who wronged him. There’s also a delightful mystery surrounding his circumstances and double identity, and I love the way that was conveyed.
Maggie is also a wonderful heroine, constantly fighting for her own happiness. I loved her unfailing belief in Nicholas also being John, even as he tries to deny it.
With lots of twists and turns, this is a compelling story that had me swept up in the sense of adventure and intrigue. It’s a delightful addition to Matthews’ catalog, and perhaps the one that will have the most broad appeal among historical romance readers.
Mimi Matthews is the author of The Pug Who Bit Napoleon and A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty. She researches and writes on all aspects of nineteenth century history—from animals, art, and etiquette to fashion, beauty, feminism, and law. Her articles have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and can also be found at BUST Magazine.
Mimi’s writing and research have been referenced in such diverse web and print publications as Smithsonian Magazine, The Paris Review, The Journal of Civil War Medicine, and Apartment Therapy. Her work is frequently used in high school and college classrooms as part of an English or History curriculum.
When not writing historical nonfiction, Mimi is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of proper historical romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. Her debut Victorian romance was released in September 2017.
In her other life, Mimi is an attorney with both a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She resides in California with her family—which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.