Review: A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

Posted December 9, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Holiday Delight, Reviews, Sweet Delight / 18 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews
A Holiday by Gaslight

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: Historical Romance, Holiday Romance
Published by Perfectly Proper Press
Released on November 13, 2018
Pages: 147
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

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.

A Holiday by Gaslight had more than a whiff of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South to it.  I loved this classic when I read it, but for once, it was the film adaption that I preferred.  This was my first time seeing Richard Armitage act.  Swooned so much.  But, it wasn’t just the leading male actor.  So many bits both of the storyline and the visual setting pulled me in.  It is embarrassing how many times I have watched that movie.  I think it is my all-time favorite period drama (and for those who know my fanatical love of Jane Austen, you know that is saying a lot).  Much of that movie is set in the winter months so I include it in my holiday movie watch list each year.  If you haven’t, you really should because *cough* RA *cough*.  Do you have a favorite classic Christmas/holiday/winter movie?


Romance Roundabout #365 HR
New Release #186
HoHoHoRAT #2


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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3 years ago

It looks good there and I love the cover a lot!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

It was a sweet and heartwarming story. Oh yes, gorgeous cover, Melliane! 🙂

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

That sounds like it was really good and the characters had depth which really adds to a story line. I love the dress she’s wearing on the cover.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, the attention to the character development was a big hit with me. Me, too, about the dress. 🙂

3 years ago

I also enjoyed this book, and have read three other books by this author and enjoyed.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  vesper

That is good to know about enjoying the other books. I do plan on to pick up some more of her books, Vesper.

3 years ago

I like the idea of a historical romance set around Christmas time, you don’t see that as often. And how fun you recognized those hints to that classic story and it turned out the author put those in on purpose. That sounds interesting how it starts with the heroine dumping the hero and then how the romance develops form there onward. Sounds like it has a good romance and character development even for a shorter read. The Christmas movie I’ve seen most often is probably Home Alone. I actually rarely rewatch movies and I think I’ve seen most of the… Read more »

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Agreed, Lola! I get holiday romances now and then in regular series I read, but a standalone holiday romance like this is rarer. It was fun seeing the hints of North & South crop up. Yes, it was interesting to see the romance develop out of a rejection like that.

Home Alone!! I enjoyed that one. I watched the second one, but not any after that. I do rewatch Christmas movies, but usually while I’m going about another task so it makes good background company.

Michelle @Because Reading

I still totally love this cover and I am so glad you enjoyed it!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yes, that cover is what caught my attention first when I was considering this one for a read. 🙂

3 years ago

This one has the most gorgeous cover. It sounds emotional and I might like this one, even though I don’t read much historical. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Anne – Books of My Heart

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Northwoman

It has a nice pent up quality to it so one isn’t overrun with overwrought feelings. It’s simmering under the surface until the end. I liked it as a change up to the usual romance.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I love the sound of this one! I didn’t read North and South but I watched the 2004 movie version with Richard Armitage and loved it! The fact that it’s a novella makes it easier to squeeze in when I have a ton of ARCs to complete. Wonderful review, Sophia Rose!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Oh yay! Another N&S and Richard Armitage fan. 🙂 Yep, novella-length was perfect for my needs in the busy season, too. Hope you like it when you get the chance, Rachel.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Now i want to find all of the Easter eggs hidden within!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

LOL! The N&S Easter Eggs are prevalent and almost from the first page. 🙂 It was fun to see them. I craved seeing a Richard Armitage movie after reading this one. 🙂

herding cats
3 years ago

Oh that cover is gorgeous! Poor guy. It’s nice they worked it out but goodness yeah I can see feeling for both of them in that situation.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  herding cats

Yes, this is a book that I would totally buy the print version just to have that cover on my shelf. 🙂
They were a sweet pair and I loved seeing them struggle and get through their differences.