Gentleman Jim was the first book I’ve read from Mimi Matthews and I can only wonder why I have never read anything from her before. From the moment I started reading this book I couldn’t stop, and when I got to the end of it, I couldn’t let go of the feeling of loss for not being in the company of its characters anymore. That is how addictive Gentleman Jim is!
This regency romance focuses on the lives of Margaret Honeywell, loving daughter and heiress to an estate called Beasley Park, and Viscount St. Clare, a mysterious nobleman who has a striking resemblance to Nicholas Seaton, a boy who used to be a groom in Margaret’s estate and her long lost soulmate. The first chapter will reveal us the relationship between Margaret and Nicholas and explain why he fled the estate promising to return to her one day, but after that brief introduction, the story moves forward 10 years and we will find Margaret in a very different situation. It is then that she meets Viscount St. Clare and her life takes an unexpected turn.
It is hard to tell what I loved the most in this book because I honestly loved everything about it. Mimi Matthews is a natural storyteller and her writing is compelling and addictive. She has the ability to make the reader feel he is in the middle of the story with the characters, to feel their sorrows and share their hopes, and the connection the reader establishes with these characters makes this an irresistible story. The original plot, which uses some elements of The Count of Monte Cristo, one of my all-time favourite books, was also one of the highlights in the book. Gentleman Jim is action packed, full of adventure, mystery and romance. The parallel between Edmund Dantes and Viscount St. Clare was an exciting detail, and the revenge theme in it made me love to hate Frederick Burton-Smythe.
The romance between Margaret Honeywell and Viscount St. Clare was absolutely perfect. The book had several intense and magical scenes that demonstrated exactly how powerful and special their feelings for one another were. Their relationship is not merely full of passion, but also based on a true and trusting friendship. I particularly liked to see this pair getting together to fight the adversities against them instead of fighting misunderstandings between them. Their trust and faith in one another, along with their reactions to the trials their relationship faced, was inspiring and endearing.
The original characters in Gentleman Jim are another reason that explains why this book is so enthralling. Margaret Honeywell is the perfect heroine, “she is tiny but fierce”, brave, loyal and witty. I loved to see her challenging Fred, taking matters in her own hands and following the clues to prove Nicholas true parentage. She is not unrealistically perfect and has her own problems to face, but she was always daring and unafraid to challenge society’s conventions. Even though I loved Miss Honeywell, Viscount St. Clare is the character with whom the reader will fall in love. I found myself sighing and I believe that if I ever met him I would swoon. He is handsome, mysterious, full of charm, self-confident, with a strength of spirit that is irresistible and the cherry on top of the cake is that deep down he has a hidden fragility. He feels he has never really been loved or belonged somewhere so he needs to be reassured of his value. In my perspective, all these elements constitute the perfect receipt for a romantic hero.
Gentleman Jim is an exhilarating story that I cannot recommend enough. Readers won’t regret reading this book and will only wish they could prolong their time in this setting and with these characters. Mimi Matthews is certainly an author I have to keep reading.
You can find Gentleman Jim at:
and on Audible