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Mary Fran and Matthew: A Novella (MacGregor Book 0)

Mary Fran and Matthew: A Novella (MacGregor Book 0) [Kindle Edition]

Grace Burrowes
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Matthew Daniels is an English colonel who has been sent home from the Crimea in disgrace. Mary Frances MacGregor is a Scottish widow who loathes everything about the English military, and yet both Mary Fran and Matthew know more than they want to about being lonely and isolated, even amid family. They yearn to understand each other too, but old secrets and divided family loyalties threaten to cost them their chance at shared happiness.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 274 KB
  • Print Length: 75 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (2 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,761 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I started writing as an antidote to empty nest and soon found it an antidote to life in general. I am the sixth out of seven children, and was raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life I spent a lot of time reading romance novels and practicing the piano. My first career was as a technical writer and editor in the Washington, DC, area, a busy profession that nonetheless left enough time to read a lot of romance novels.

It also left enough time to grab a law degree through an evening program, produce Beloved Offspring (only one, but she is a lion), and eventually move to the lovely Maryland countryside.

While reading yet still more romance novels (there is a trend here) I opened a law practice, acquired a master's degree in Conflict Transformation (I had a teenage daughter by then) and started thinking about writing.... romance novels. This aim was realized when Beloved Offspring struck out into the Big World. ("Mom, why doesn't anybody tell you being a grown-up is hard?")

I eventually got up the courage to start pitching manuscripts to agents and editors. The query letter that resulted in "the call" started out: "I am the buffoon in the bar at the writer's retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing--and if that doesn't narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought." (The dear lady bought the book anyway.)

You can contact me though email at or through my website at

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short read but a happy one 3 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Grace Burrows and I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. It is as entertaining as her other novels and moves along at quite a fast clip. "Once Upon a Tartan" also features the main characters and I read it before I read "Mary Fran and Matthew", it didn't really matter as they could be read in isolation but, nevertheless, whichever way round you read them if haven't read this Novella you are in for a treat. If you have never read Ms Burrows and you like Regency/Victorian romances then you are missing a feast. I would definitely recommend this and all her novels.- read and enjoy!!!
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Format:Kindle Edition
Mary Fran and Matthew were introduced to us in "The Bridegroom Wore Plaid" wherein Matthew and his family were the guests of the MacGregor family at their home in Scotland. Mary Fran is a widow and has a sweet little daughter named Fiona (Fee). Mary Fran's family - the MacGregors - take in guests at their home in Scotland, the family seat of the earldom, because they need the extra money in order to keep their family and clan solvent.

Although Matthew has accompanied his family to the MacGregor home for the purpose of acquainting one of his sisters with Ian MacGregor, current earl and clan chief, in the hopes that a betrothal will be forthcoming, Matthew unexpectedly finds a romantic interest in the lovely Mary Fran who is responsible for overseeing the MacGregor home. Mary Fran has a "less than happy" past, having been severely compromised by her former husband and thereby drawn into a marriage she didn't want. However, sweet little Fiona is the result so Mary Fran plugs bravely along, accepting her role as chatelaine and the beloved sister at the home of her four huge, handsome, Scottish brothers.

Matthew is also lonely, a widower, and has apparently left a military career with a major blemish on his record. This part is a mystery because he comes across as being a very honorable man, so the reader wonders exactly what could have caused this blemish. The fact that Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort, Albert, live nearby at Balmoral serves to add to the storyline and in fact, to the mysterious past of Matthew.

Although this book is a novella, there are enough pages to develop this sweet story which was a "behind the scenes" romance in "the Bridegroom Wore Plaid." It was nice to get the details of this romance - a great read for one of my favorite times of the day - those couple of hours of quiet time before dropping off to sleep.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Family saga 13 Jun 2014
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The story about Mary Fran and Mathews courtship, already hinted at previously, was good but the reasoning was flimsy in regard to the Grandfather's motivation. It seemed to me to be unrealistic for a man whose whole previous behaviour was that of a unmitigated bully was going to turn into a reasonable parent merely because his wife returned. On the other hand the pivotal incident with the fox cub was a good touch. All in all, a lovely series, as per usual with this author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER HIT FOR THIS AUTHOR! A MUST READ! 29 July 2013
By April A. Renn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
MARY FRAN AND MATTHEW by Grace Burrowes is a delightful Scottish Victorian Historical Romance. A Novella. #1.5 in the "MacGregor" Trilogy. And features the MacGregor's sister, Lady Mary Frances MacGregor Flinn, a Scottish widow who hates the English military and Matthew Daniels,an English Colonel who is reported to left the military in disgrace,and who is also part Scottish. A quick read! Faced paced and ties up some lose ends from "The Bridegroom Wore Plaid". A very intense but sweet story filled with secrets,passion and love. Secrets revealed,passion ignites and love burns turn and hot. It is only 75 pages, but a lot is packed into those 75 pages! A must read! Another hit for author Grace Burrowes. She is a constant storyteller,her stories are passionate,charming, engaging, and her characters realistic. I am looking forward to more of the MacGregor Brothers. Personal buy.



REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, but confusing, story 5 July 2013
By Lady Wesley - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Colonel Matthew Daniels, heir to the baronies of Altsax and Gribbony, has accompanied his father, sisters, aunt and cousin to Castle Balfour in Aberdeenshire, where they are guests of the Earl of Balfour and his family. The purpose of the trip is to arrange a marriage between the cash-strapped earl and Matthew's heiress sister. That's the main plot in The Bridegroom Wore Plaid, the first installment of the MacGregor Trilogy. From that book, we already know that Matthew and Mary Fran fall in love and get married, but since they are secondary characters we don't get the whole story. This novella gives us the details.

Matthew is a true gentleman, unlike his vulgar father, and has until recently served in Her Majesty's cavalry in the Crimea (pre-war). Mary Fran, widow of an English officer, has a strong dislike of all things English. Matthew is immediately attracted to her and she, reluctantly, to him. But Matthew has shameful secrets, something having to do with his military service, and does not consider himself a worthy prospective husband for the daughter of an earl. Mary Fran is not really seeking a husband, however; she is content to enjoy herself in Matthew's arms as a distraction from the burdens of raising her precocious daughter, Fiona, and running the castle as a sort of hotel for wealthy visitors who want to bask in their proximity to Balmoral, which is the neighboring estate. As in the first book, Prince Albert has a cameo role, and Queen Victoria is an off-screen character.

I think that this book suffers from the problem that affects many novellas: there is very limited space to tell the story. Here, that situation is complicated by the large number of secondary characters who pop up and then disappear. Even though I had recently read the previous book, I found this one confusing. And even though Grace Burrowes has a wonderful talent for telling a story and creating memorable characters, I just didn't find that to be the case here. The details of Matthew's scandal and Mary Fran's first marriage left me with many unanswered questions, but to discuss them here would be too spoilerish.

If you liked The Bridegroom Wore Plaid, as I did, you'll probably enjoy reading this novella, but in my opinion it just isn't as good as the stories that Burrowes usually publishes. There is a nice set-up for the next novel, Once Upon a Tartan, where Matthew's younger sister is looking after Fiona when the girl's paternal uncle arrives to take her back to her English family. Complications ensue.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Fran and Matthew's story 2 July 2013
By M. Eddy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely well-written novella that provides the backstory for Mary Fran and Matthew, two characters from The Bridegroom Wore Plaid. Mary Fran and Matthew come together as two wounded people, who must learn to trust one another and overcome the difficulties in their distinct pasts. Grace has done it again, with a tale that makes one look forward to the next installment of the MacGregor series.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, intense but sweet. 2 July 2013
By Moon Cat - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lady Mary Frances MacGreggor has a scandal in her past as does former Cornel Matthew, son of Baron Altsax. Can these two lonely people find happiness and love. Looks like there are some real problems. A lovely short story that feeds into the novel "Once Upon A Plaid" which is the story of Ian MacGreggor, current Earl, and brother of Lady Mary Frances. Both are excellent reads, Grace Burrows maintains her high quality of writing. I will happily read anything she writes.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Novella 3 July 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I spend a large amount of time with Grace Burrowes. My luck was finding The Heir, and Grace Burrowes' world opened up from there. Honestly, I reread each offering with great enjoyment and have her newest Beckman waiting for a special lazy day starting tomorrow. Mary Fran and Matthew were introduced in their siblings book and I had a good understanding of this storyline which made a perfect short just before my bedtime. A pleasant night made better by Grace Burrowes.
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