A Secret Burden… After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy—or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes. A Longstanding Love… As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago. During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings—or betraying his brother?
Review by Christina Boyd: I adore Mimi Matthews’ writing and storytelling style. There really isn’t any hurdle she can’t overcome in her tales—from heroes with facial scars, physical or mental disabilities, differences in social standing, to the differences in races—so I was not surprised she would tackle a story with a heroine battling depression, in an era when depression carried a frightening stigma and might even land one in a dangerous mental asylum. In Matthews’ latest novella, “Fair as a Star”, she addresses depression honestly—and creates a gorgeous love story, and an unlikely happily-ever-after is achieved! From the first pages to the last, I was cheering for Beryl, closing the book with a contented heart and most satisfying resolution for all. Brava! Five stars for “Fair as a Star.”