Review: In Which Matilda Halifax Learns the Value of Restraint by Alexandra Vasti

In Which Matilda Halifax Learns the Value of Restraint
In Which Matilda Halifax Learns the Value of Restraint
Alexandra Vasti
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: January 23, 2023
Series or Standalone: Halifax Hellions #2
Links: GoodreadsStoryGraphAlexandra Vasti’s Website
Rating: 5 Stars


CW: BDSM elements (spanking/restraints); references to sexual assault; infidelity; death of a spouse

If there were a perfect novella, In Which Matilda Halifax Learns the Value of Restraint would be it (and I am tough on novellas, so that is high praise!). I loved this one so much as everything from the romance to the characters captured my heart. I could seriously read a whole book about Christian and Matilda. I loved them so much!

Matilda Halifax and her twin sister have always been the most scandalous ladies in London. But by accidentally selling erotic drawings of the notorious, brooding Marquess of Ashford, she may have ended up over her head. Since Christian de Bord, Lord Ashford, was accused of murdering his wife, he’s withdrawn from society and determined to protect his younger sister Bea from the gossip. But when his face appears in a salacious pamphlet, he’s thrust back into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Matilda is determined to make things right, even if that means stepping in as Bea’s new painting teacher and being stuck in a carriage with Christian and his scowls for days on end. But it takes a Halifax Hellion to turn Christian’s life upside down and show him that love may be worth the risk.

Hello, Christian, my new book boyfriend. My god, I loved this man from the moment he showed up on the page. This poor, broken man needs love so much. Everyone thinks he’s a monster, but he’s a man that’s been hurt badly by someone close to him. I liked that he has a wicked side and isn’t ashamed of it. He also clearly cares deeply for his sister, even if he doesn’t know how to express it adequately. Watching him go soft around Matilda was my favorite as he tries to be so gruff and tough, but he cannot say no to Matilda no matter how much he thinks he should.

If I had to choose a Halifax Hellion to be friends with, I would choose Matilda. I connected with her instantly (and maybe I loved her a little more as she’s a vegetarian like me). She feels quieter and more reserved than her sister, and she’s incredibly empathetic as she puts others before herself. But she’s also bold, courageous, and confident. She’s very emotionally complex, and I loved that about her.

The romance in this novella is absolute fire and my favorite part. From Matilda and Christian’s first meeting, the chemistry is there, and the sparks jump off the page whenever they’re around each other. I loved watching them circle each other and struggle to fight the feelings that were bubbling to the surface. This was the perfect age-gap romance for me as I liked that Christian was a bit older in their relationship and appreciated that the power dynamics were very balanced. I also adored Vasti’s spin on the only one-bed trope involving a very pissed-off wet cat named Angelica Kauffman (a true scene stealer).

Also, this book was so SEXY. I think this might be the sexiest novella I’ve ever read, as Vasti definitely one-upped herself with the sex scenes in this. For a novella that is less than 200 pages, it gives us multiple sexy scenes, including some with light bondage, that deliver the heat!

I truly adore Vasti’s writing style, as her character have such distinct voices they feel like they jump off the page. The dual POV helped ratchet up the sexual tension and move the story along. I also loved how Vasti weaves humor into her stories. Both with this novella and Margo’s novella, I found myself giggling at a witty turn of phrase and a funny situation her characters would get into.

I could go on and on about this novella, which is impressive as it’s only around 150 pages! I definitely think this is one of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year, and I cannot wait to check out Vasti’s debut novel Ne’er Duke Well coming out from St. Martin’s Press in 2024.

If you’re looking for a sexy, romantic historical romance, In Which Matilda Halifax Learns the Value of Restraint is the perfect story. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE? All you have to do is sign up for Alexandra’s newsletter, and you’ll get this novella along with In Which Margo Halifax Earns Her Shocking Reputation. Sign up here:

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