Title: The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart: Proper Romance Victorian
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Mystery/Suspense, Inspirational Fiction
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (September 7, 2021)
Length: 336 pages
Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook
About the Book
Amelie Hampton is a hopeless romantic, which makes her the perfect columnist to answer lonely heart letters in The Marriage Gazette. When Amelie plays matchmaker with two anonymous lonely hearts, she also decides to secretly observe the couple’s blind date. To her surprise, the man who appears for the rendezvous is Harold Radcliffe―a grieving widower and a member of Amelie’s book club.
Police detective Michael Baker has been struggling ever since his best friend and brother-in-law died in the line of fire. Because he knows the dangers of his job, he has vowed never to marry and subject a wife and family to the uncertainty of his profession. But when he meets Miss Hampton, he is captured by her innocence, beauty, and her quick mind.
When a woman’s body is pulled from the river, Michael suspects the woman’s husband―Harold Radcliffe―of foul play. Amelie refuses to believe that Harold is capable of such violence but agrees to help, imagining it will be like one of her favorite mystery novels. Her social connections and clever observations prove an asset to the case, and Amelie is determined to prove Mr. Radcliffe’s innocence. But the more time Amelie and Michael spend together, the more they trust each other, and the more they realize they are a good team, maybe the perfect match.
They also realize that Mr. Radcliffe is hiding more than one secret, and when his attention turns toward Amelie, Michael knows he must put an end to this case before the woman he loves comes to harm.
About the Author
Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of fifteen published novels and numerous novellas, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005, her work won the Utah Best of State award, and she received a Whitney Award for My Fair Gentleman. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel, and research and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.
I think I was expecting the romance in this novel but I did not expect the amount of suspense, which was such a delightful addition to the story! The mystery kept me guessing the entire novel. The last few chapters in particular were very hard to put down. The plot was well written, and I also found myself greatly enjoying the characters. Amelie and Detective Barker have great chemistry together but the growth and development of them individually is also commendable. Their relationship is the perfect blend of sweet romance with the natural companionship often found with these romances. The secondary characters were also a delight to read. Overall, the story is clean and easy to read. I recommend it to those who enjoy Victorian romance novels with a bit of a suspenseful twist.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.