A Holiday by Gaslight

A Holiday by Gaslight

A Courtship of Convenience Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things. A Last Chance for...

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Title:A Holiday by Gaslight
Author:Mimi Matthews
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Holiday by Gaslight Reviews

  • Mellie Antoinete

    ****#earc thanks to #netgalley in exchange for a fair review***

    This! This novella! ♥ ♥ ♥. Reading stories like this makes me appreciate what netgalley brings to the literary community - access to new, talented authors anxiously introducing new works into the reading world in the hopes your eyes will catch on that beautiful cover long enough to read the summary and hit request. (Boy, sounds a lot like eHarmony for books!!). Do it! Request this book! It’s a lovely holiday fling in the Dorsetshire

    ****#earc thanks to #netgalley in exchange for a fair review***

    This! This novella! ♥️ ♥️ ♥️. Reading stories like this makes me appreciate what netgalley brings to the literary community - access to new, talented authors anxiously introducing new works into the reading world in the hopes your eyes will catch on that beautiful cover long enough to read the summary and hit request. (Boy, sounds a lot like eHarmony for books!!). Do it! Request this book! It’s a lovely holiday fling in the Dorsetshire English countryside.

  • Amy Bruno

    After having read The Matrimonial Advertisement recently, I knew I needed another Mimi Matthews book STAT! Lucky for me Mimi released her novella, A Holiday by Gaslight, and happier I could not be to dive in.

    When you read a Mimi Matthews book it's a given that you're going to get a fabulous story line, characters that will charm your socks off, and a sweet romance that will make you believe in love again. When it comes to romances in books I'm a pretty tough critic, but Mimi can write love bette

    After having read The Matrimonial Advertisement recently, I knew I needed another Mimi Matthews book STAT! Lucky for me Mimi released her novella, A Holiday by Gaslight, and happier I could not be to dive in.

    When you read a Mimi Matthews book it's a given that you're going to get a fabulous story line, characters that will charm your socks off, and a sweet romance that will make you believe in love again. When it comes to romances in books I'm a pretty tough critic, but Mimi can write love better than anyone. Sophie and Edward are fabulous, and I loved how honest they were with each other, and watching their love grow was a lot of fun.

    With A Holiday by Gaslight I was smitten the instant I started reading. That's how good Mimi is. She grabs you at the get go and doesn't let go until you breathlessly reach the end (no matter how much you don't want it to end).

    So, grab a soft, warm blanket and a hot cup of tea or cocoa, and settle in for a holiday treat! It can be easily read in one sitting because, well, trust me when I say, you won't want to put it down.

    If you're a fan of Georgette Heyer, or you love sweet historical romances, then I highly, highly recommend A Holiday By Gaslight, as well as Mimi's other novels. She is fast becoming one of my favorite writers. I will happily buy any book that she releases and know that I will have hours of enjoyment ahead of me!

  • OLT

    (4.5 stars) Most HR Christmas novellas written in recent years are worthy neither of the H (historical) nor the R (romance) of the genre. They should instead be classified as AL for Anachronistic Lustfests. Some authors, such as Anna Campbell, used to write some good holiday fare but her last few Christmas novellas have been tailored to readers who like a little bit of hackneyed plot with a lot of lusty thoughts and pages of sex. For my Christmas reading fix, I have to reread my old Mary Balogh,

    (4.5 stars) Most HR Christmas novellas written in recent years are worthy neither of the H (historical) nor the R (romance) of the genre. They should instead be classified as AL for Anachronistic Lustfests. Some authors, such as Anna Campbell, used to write some good holiday fare but her last few Christmas novellas have been tailored to readers who like a little bit of hackneyed plot with a lot of lusty thoughts and pages of sex. For my Christmas reading fix, I have to reread my old Mary Balogh, Carla Kelly, Marian Devon and Barbara Metzger holiday stories.

    But now we have Mimi Matthews to counteract those authors of wallpaper mistoricals. She's the real deal as far as historical accuracy. Just check out her nonfiction works, A VICTORIAN LADY'S GUIDE TO FASHION AND BEAUTY and THE PUG WHO BIT NAPOLEON, or follow her blog, and you'll see the amount of research this author does.

    So that establishes her bona fides as far as history goes. Now, how about the romance? Yes, indeed, it's there. And it's the kind I like: real romance, the warm and fuzzy, tasteful, classy version of love between a man and a woman. Love that develops realistically and thoughtfully without losing any of the romance. You can feel the sexual attraction between Matthews' Hs and hs without the need for all those tented trousers and lustful thoughts.

    This little Victorian Christmas novella was a real treat. Our heroine, Sophie Appersett, is the daughter of a spendthrift baronet, Sir William, who puts all his money into modernization of Appersett House in Derbyshire and into his comfortable lifestyle. The money has dried up long ago but his spending goes on. He and Sophie's sister Emily make no sacrifices and it's up to Sophie and her mother to make ends meet.

    Sir William has even used up Sophie's dowry to have their Derbyshire home fitted for gas, a very expensive and really unnecessary undertaking. So it seemed an answer from heaven when wealthy manufactory owner Edward Sharpe became interested in Sophie and asked permission to court her. After all, he's so wealthy he wouldn't even mind the lack of a dowry.

    So Ned and Sophie spend a month or two courting and walking out together, but Ned is so reserved and uncommunicative when they are together that Sophie decides they won't suit and breaks off the relationship. But after discussion with her mother, she decides to give the relationship another try by inviting him and his family to spend Christmas with the Appersett family at their newly gaslit residence in Derbyshire.

    That's the basic story. One of those "falling into love after the relationship has been called off" romances. I've read a few before but this one is my favorite. What gives this that extra something is (1) the really lovely reboot of the couple's courtship, and (2) all the very interesting historical tidbits included. There are references to Darwin and adaptation, the country's reaction to the death of Prince Albert, Christmas customs, and fashion and make-up. One particularly fun thing I learned was what women used as hairspray in 1861.

    This was an entertaining read with a great romance. There are also lots of interesting secondary characters, some of whom you will like, many you will dislike, and others you will learn to understand and accept, all of these very well developed for a novella. And, I mustn't forget: This is a twofer romance. There's a romance also for two of the secondary characters.

    I'm so glad we now have Mimi Matthews as a new historical romance author. I was about to give up on the genre. But as long as she and my old standbys such as Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran, Jayne Fresina, Stella Riley, and Lucinda Brant continue to write, I'll still be reading.

  • Carrie

    Can anyone guess what made me pick up this lovely little historical Christmas romance? If you guessed the stunning cover then you would be very much correct. And I know they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but I always hope when I catch one like this that it does live up to it’s beauty.

    Sophie Appersett comes from an upper class family however Sophie’s father has overspent the family fortune upgrading with the inventions of the times. Who could resist gas lines to your own homes or running w

    Can anyone guess what made me pick up this lovely little historical Christmas romance? If you guessed the stunning cover then you would be very much correct. And I know they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but I always hope when I catch one like this that it does live up to it’s beauty.

    Sophie Appersett comes from an upper class family however Sophie’s father has overspent the family fortune upgrading with the inventions of the times. Who could resist gas lines to your own homes or running water in a time it was barely imaginable? Well, the progress made cost quite the sum so Sophie knows she needs to marry into wealth.

    Mr. Edward Sharpe is not of Sophie’s family’s class but a tradesman who came from poorer background. Ned however could be the answer to Sophie’s dilemma however the two don’t suite during their two month courtship but just as Sophie is calling it off she begins to wonder if she shouldn’t give him another chance to win her heart.

    A Holiday By Gaslight was a sweet romance that really incorporated the progress of the late 19th century into the story setting the stage. The couple was very likable once they began to really show their own personalities to one another with Sophie being quite a strong minded woman for her time. This being a novella it was a pretty short story but the author did pack a lovely romance onto it’s pages that I do think historical readers will enjoy.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Dianne

    Do you see that cover? The beauty and atmosphere perfectly showcases the romance inside!

    Like any dutiful, Victorian era daughter, Sophie is willing to marry for the financial assistance her family needs, but the handsome Edward Sharpe is too grim, too serious and too quiet for her. Sophie does what any strong-willed young lady would do, she breaks off their courtship, but was that a wise decision? Could there be more to Edward than she gave him credit for? Did she even give him a chance?

    A simple

    Do you see that cover? The beauty and atmosphere perfectly showcases the romance inside!

    Like any dutiful, Victorian era daughter, Sophie is willing to marry for the financial assistance her family needs, but the handsome Edward Sharpe is too grim, too serious and too quiet for her. Sophie does what any strong-willed young lady would do, she breaks off their courtship, but was that a wise decision? Could there be more to Edward than she gave him credit for? Did she even give him a chance?

    A simple, and sweet tale of romance with all of the feeling of the Victorian era, with the addition of a young woman far ahead of her time and a man looking for more than a simpering damsel. Maybe all Sophie needed to do was be herself and the real Edward would come out, too!

    by Mimi Matthews is a feel good, yet sweet romance just in time for the holidays!

    I received a complimentary ARC edition from Perfectly Proper Press!

    Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press (November 13, 2018)

    Publication Date: November 13, 2018

    Genre: Historical Holiday Romance

    Print Length: 147 pages

    Available from:

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  • Erin

    I woke up to snow this October 20th morning and decided to turn to this Christmas novella. Well, Sophie and Ned won me over and I was highly entertained. I picked up on the Elizabeth Gaskell

    undertones which the author acknowledges in her afterword. This little gem is soon leaving NetGalley. Type fast to request!

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    When I saw that gorgeous cover, I wondered if the words inside would suit, and I’m thrilled to report they did. A Holiday by Gaslight is a delightful Victorian novella perfect for the holidays.

    It’s no secret during Victorian times one had to marry within her class, and not doing so came with some risks. So is the story of industrious Sophie Appersett as she is courted by Mr. Edward Sharpe. Sophie’s baggage is that, while her family is titled a

    ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    When I saw that gorgeous cover, I wondered if the words inside would suit, and I’m thrilled to report they did. A Holiday by Gaslight is a delightful Victorian novella perfect for the holidays.

    It’s no secret during Victorian times one had to marry within her class, and not doing so came with some risks. So is the story of industrious Sophie Appersett as she is courted by Mr. Edward Sharpe. Sophie’s baggage is that, while her family is titled and accepted as upper class, her father has lost the family fortune with carelessness trying to keep up with the newest technology.

    Mr. Sharpe’s baggage is that he is not titled and is a new money merchant, but he seeks to climb socially, and a marriage to Sophie would enable that.

    But do these two even like each other? And at a time when people were beginning to make “love matches,” would Sophie and Ned find one with each other?

    A Holiday by Gaslight is an atmospheric, well-told, sweet Victorian romance. It’s also a spirited read for this time of year, transporting you to to the charms of the holidays in 19th century England. There are some fun North and South/Elizabeth Gaskell references and a well-developed historical backdrop. I highly recommend this delightful novella, and I plan to check out other works from Mimi Matthews.

    Thank you to HFVBT for the invitation to read and review A Holiday by Gaslight and to the author for the book. All opinions are my own.

    My reviews can also be found on my blog:

  • Sophia

    I had to chuckle when I finished this lovely, sweet Victorian historical romance because from the beginning I got a North & South vibe from it (and I do love that classic by Elizabeth Gaskell) and, there, in the author's end remarks, she mentioned putting several N&S Easter eggs into the story. This reader was certainly delighted by the story and its tribute to a classic.

    A Holiday By Gaslight was a lovely and swiftly read class difference romance that took place at a holiday country esta

    I had to chuckle when I finished this lovely, sweet Victorian historical romance because from the beginning I got a North & South vibe from it (and I do love that classic by Elizabeth Gaskell) and, there, in the author's end remarks, she mentioned putting several N&S Easter eggs into the story. This reader was certainly delighted by the story and its tribute to a classic.

    A Holiday By Gaslight was a lovely and swiftly read class difference romance that took place at a holiday country estate party. It begins with the heroine, Sophie Appersett, jilting the hero, Edward Sharpe, because she wasn't feeling the courtship. Edward is a wall of cold correctness in her eyes and she is only willing to do her duty just so far. But, when she gives him another chance, she discovers that still waters run deep and she hadn't taken into consideration how difficult it was for him to balance acting the part of a gentleman was for a man brought up in the working class and being made to feel it constantly or that she might have been hasty about what she really wanted and needed in a husband when she sees him around her family and guests. She also never realized that Mr. Sharpe never did see courting her in the same light she saw it.

    The story is a novella-length so it does get right to the heart of matters. Sophie has cold feet when she thinks she can't do her duty and marry a hard, cold man even if she disappoints her family's expectation of Edward Sharpe's wealth. This is the turning point for her. She has done her duty all her life, but she wants something more when she thinks of leaving her home and placing herself in the hands of a husband she feels is a stranger. I enjoyed her journey of getting to know Ned while seeing her family and herself more clearly especially through his eyes.

    I felt Ned's pain from the moment Sophie dumps him. He tried so hard to be what he thought she wanted and was afraid, with reason, to show her his plain unvarnished self. The author really did a good job of bringing out the development of a romance set in a class difference of that time. I wanted to thump Sophie's father who was a snobbish wastrel and utterly selfish. Sophie was caught between being part of her class and her family, but having an awareness of its shortcomings.

    The romance was lovely against the backdrop of a Victorian Christmas on a country estate. Holiday activities abounded as Ned and Sophie sought to get to know each other, navigate their families, and tackle all the misunderstandings. There was some humor, sweet times under the mistletoe, and tender romance. I enjoyed my first time reading the author's work and will definitely look for more of her Victorian historical romances.

    I rec'd this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  • Tina

    3.5 stars

    I saw the cover of this book and knew instantly I wanted to read it. I read the blurb and the Victorian Christmas story intrigued me. It's a novella so the book is pretty short and easy to read. It's a cute novel and very light hearted to read for the holiday season. The writing was nice and I enjoyed the odd references to popular Victorian people of the time.

    Sophie is a Baronet's daughter. Her family is in need of money to fund her country estate. Her father has used her dowry so he co

    3.5 stars

    I saw the cover of this book and knew instantly I wanted to read it. I read the blurb and the Victorian Christmas story intrigued me. It's a novella so the book is pretty short and easy to read. It's a cute novel and very light hearted to read for the holiday season. The writing was nice and I enjoyed the odd references to popular Victorian people of the time.

    Sophie is a Baronet's daughter. Her family is in need of money to fund her country estate. Her father has used her dowry so he could equip the estate with gaslight, something that is very new and costly. He proposes that she marry a wealthy tradesman to help out the family financially. Sophie and Ned don't seem to have much in common. Sophie's family plans to have an elaborate Christmas party to show-off the gaslight. Will Ned and Sophie fall in love over the Christmas holidays? The story was sweet and nicely written if a bit too quickly wrapped up.

    I'd like to thank NetGalley and the author and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read this Advanced Reader Copy.

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