Book Review: ‘The Winter Companion’ (Parish Orphans of Devon, 4) by Mimi Matthews

A winter reunion for the orphans brings romance for Neville Cross in Book 4 of Mimi Matthews’ USA Today bestselling Parish Orphans of Devon series.

She Needed to be Seen…

As a lady’s companion, Clara Hartwright never receives much attention from anyone. And that’s precisely how she likes it. With a stormy past, and an unconventional plan for her future, it’s far safer to remain invisible. But when her new employer is invited to a month-long holiday at a remote coastal abbey, Clara discovers that she may not be as invisible as she’d hoped. At least, not as far as one gentleman is concerned.

He Wanted to be Heard…

Neville Cross has always been more comfortable with animals than people. An accident in his youth has left him with a brain injury that affects his speech. Forming the words to speak to his childhood friends is difficult enough. Finding the right things to say to a lovely young lady’s companion seems downright impossible. But Miss Hartwright is no ordinary companion. In fact, there may not be anything ordinary about her at all.

During a bleak Devon winter, two sensitive souls forge an unexpected friendship. But when Clara needs him most, will Neville find the courage to face his fears? Or is saying goodbye to her the most heroic thing he can do?
About Mimi Matthews
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

To learn more, please visit

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘All she’d known was that she wanted nothing more than the formidable safety of his arms.’

Mimi Matthews brings us the last book in her ‘Parish Orphans of Devon’ series and now I am so sad that there aren’t any more books in this series. A friend recommended Mimi Matthews to me last month and I quickly read the first three books in this series and found them absolutely wonderful. This one is Neville Cross’s story. Sweet, strong Neville. We find all four men, former orphans who were treated so despicably by the orphanage director, together for a winter reunion. Justin, Thornhill, Tom Finchley, and Alex Archer are all married happily and Neville feels his life will always be what it is now: living on Justin’s property caring for the horses and animals. He loves the animals and he loves his friends, but deep inside he yearns for more.

Clara Hartwright is at the Thornhill’s for the winter reunion, serving as a companion to Mrs. Bainbridge. Clara wants nothing but to remain invisible in order to keep her stormy past in the past. But she soon discovers that there is something about Neville that she is mightily touched by.

As we watch Neville trying to back away from Clara, fearing he will be frowned upon because of his inability to speak everything on his heart because of a traumatic injury in his youth, we watch love unfold and blossom between these two sensitive souls, it is the most precious thing to behold. I wept several times during the reading of this book. Neville is a most wonderful hero, in this reader’s opinion. His heart is enormous! It’s as if God created these two especially for one another. And Mimi Matthews’ weaving of this tale together is magnificent. I was captivated by her writing, as I was during the first three books in the series. She deftly moves through the story, carrying the reader along feeling every emotion in these characters’ hearts. I dearly wished this series didn’t have to end. I loved every single moment of these books. Well done! Highly recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
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