Are you ready to be one of the first to get an exclusive look at Mimi Matthews’ next novel? Fair As A Star is a Victorian romance that follows Beryl Burnham during the summer leading up to her wedding, but instead of spending her days with her husband-to-be, she can’t seem to stay away from Mark Rivenhall, his brother. We Are Bookish has an exclusive reveal of the cover, but first, read our mini-interview with the author.
Tell us about your book cover! What was the cover design process like for you?
The cover for Fair as a Star was designed by the brilliant James Egan. He does the covers for all my romance novels, so I like to think he has a pretty good idea of my general tastes and aesthetic. I sent him a lot of information about the story, and the importance of having a cover that conveyed both the dark and the light aspects to my heroine, who is battling clinical depression. I wanted something beautiful and a little dreamy, but with a solemn undertone.
James really hit it out of the park with this design. I love the colors and the typography, the woodsy floral background, and how the heroine herself is cast half in shadow. To me, the whole composition gives an immediate sense of the story.
What inspired you to write Fair As A Star?
I know so many women who deal with depression, myself included. I wanted to show a Victorian heroine coming to terms with her own clinical depression in an era that didn’t really understand it—to show how she might cope, and what a happily-ever-after might look like for her. I also wanted to write a clergyman hero who was turning himself inside out with unrequited love for the heroine. A man who was willing to help her—to stand by her—even if he couldn’t have her for himself.
In three words, what can readers expect from Fair As A Star?
Longing. Compassion. Animals.
Do you judge books by their covers? What’s your favorite cover of all-time?
It’s hard not to be drawn in by a gorgeous cover. I love my own best, of course, but for historical novels it’s pretty hard to beat the covers for Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series. They’re sparkly, spooky Victorian perfection.
What books do you recommend we pick up while we wait for Fair As A Star to hit shelves on July 14?
I just read Bear No Malice by Clarissa Harwood and absolutely loved it. Lately, I’m also really enjoying historical novels with a touch of mystery, magic, or the supernatural. For these themes, I recommend books by Deanna Raybourn, Emily Larkin, and Gail Carriger.
Now, let’s get our first peek at Fair As A Star!
Here’s the official summary for Fair As A Star:
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?
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and her articles on Victorian history have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.