“Fair as a Star” is the latest Victorian romance by Mimi Matthews. It tells the story of Beryl Burnham and two brothers who both want Beryl but for very different reasons.
The book begins with Beryl returning from a year-long sojourn to Paris with her aunt. She returns to pick up where her life left off. That includes her engagement to Sir Henry Rivenhall. Once she becomes Lady Rivenhall, she and her family will want for nothing — money, title, position all come with the marriage. It’s a perfect arrangement … or is it? Beryl and Henry are marrying for all the wrong reasons. Duty and family, while on paper look good, are not the makings of a happy marriage.
Especially when Beryl loves someone else. Mark Rivenhall is Henry’s younger brother and the village curate, soon to be the vicar. Mark is Beryl’s dearest friend and confidant who has loved her for years, but is unable to profess this because of her engagement to his brother.
Once settled, Beryl begins her social life once again. She’s aware that the village is full of rumors about why she fled for Paris, but decides to not let them get to her. She joins the women’s committee at church, planning a festival,and visiting the sick.
On the outside, she appears to be happy and content, the excited bride. Who wouldn’t be excited when your wedding gown was being made by THE Charles Fredrick Worth?
Beryl spends the rest of her time trying to keep her baby sister out of trouble with Henry. The two have a tumultuous relationship that comes to a heated disagreement over a prize horse.
Beryl’s trip to Paris was under mysterious circumstances that no one outside of her mother, aunt and doctor know about. Or so she thinks.
When confronted with the knowledge of the secret by Henry, Beryl sees him and their upcoming marriage in a whole new light. Especially after he confesses what his cure is for her condition once they are married.
However, when you’ve been raised to put your families financial security above all else, can you just walk away?
This is the second book by Mimi that I’ve read and I’ve not been disappointed. You can tell she’s done her homework and this results in believable characters, plots, locations and, of course, fashions. If you love historical romance, you’ll love this book.
It’s the first in a series and I’m hoping to read Winnifred’s story next. I’m hoping I know who she ends up with, and can’t wait to see if I’m right