Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews



Society beauty Sylvia Stafford is far too pragmatic to pine. When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and alone, she finds work as a governess in a merchant's household in Cheapside. Isolated from the fashionable acquaintance of her youth, she resigns herself to lonely spinsterhood until a mysterious visitor convinces her to temporarily return to her former life--and her former love.


Colonel Sebastian Conrad is no longer the dashing cavalry officer Sylvia once fell in love with. Badly scarred during the Sepoy Rebellion, he has withdrawn to his estate in rural Hertfordshire where he lives in near complete seclusion. Brooding and tormented, he cares nothing for the earldom he has inherited--and even less for the faithless beauty who rejected him three years before.


A week together in the remote Victorian countryside is the last thing either of them ever wanted. But when fate intervenes to reunite them, will a beastly earl and an impoverished beauty finally find their happily-ever-after? Or are some fairy-tale endings simply not meant to be?

My Review: 4.5 Stars

My all time favorite retelling is Beauty and the Beast. When I discovered that Ms. Matthews had said retelling, I couldn't wait to read it. 

I adored Sylvia. She's a very likable character. Her life was turned upside down after her father's death and instead of wallowing in grief, she did whatever was necessary to get her life back on track. Some times were harder than others, but for the most part she was happy and content with the new life she had created for herself. 

Sebastian was the perfect broody, cynical beast you come to expect in these stories. And, as I usually do with the beastly characters, I fell in love with him quickly. His life had also been turned upside down upon his return from India. Not only did he have his injuries to deal with, but he had also become the new Earl of Radcliffe after the deaths of his father and brother. 

Seeing Sylvia and Sebastian being reunited and watching them mend their relationship was beautiful. Both of them were willing to do whatever it took to make the other happy, even if that meant Sebastian having to step outside of his comfort zone. They were perfect for each other and I really enjoyed their story.

The only thing that was missing for me was an epilogue. I know.. I know.. I always want an epilogue. But I really, really wanted a bit more of their story. I wanted to see everything come together with my own eyes rather than my imagination.

I have to tell you that I am so glad a few of my bookish friends were insistent on my reading Ms. Matthews books. She was quickly added to my favorite authors list as well as my auto-buy list. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next! 

And of course I can't forget my casting. I'm really loving it. What do you guys think?

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews


An Uncommon Beauty...

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it's caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland--a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke's clutches, she's going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero...

Captain Arthur Heywood's days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her--and her heart--in more danger than ever?

My Review: 5 Stars

I should have known that the moment I started reading The Work of Art, I would not want to do anything else until I finished it. 

From the very first page I was swept away to London living my life right along side Philly. Oh how I adored her! She was kind, gentle, always looked for the good in others, was quick to forgive and was the ray of sunshine in everyone's life. What I loved the most about her was, she didn't see herself as any special person, nor did she think that she was beautiful. She was just Philly. She was brought up to believe that what's on the outside does not matter, it's what's on the inside that counts the most. 

And what's an amazing heroine without an equally amazing hero? Arthur is not your typical hero. I quickly fell in love with him as well. He was quiet and broody but when it came to Philly he was fierce and protective. He was determined to keep her safe no matter what. There were times when he struggled with whether or not he'd be able to protect her, but when the person you're in love with is in danger, nothing will hold you back from being who and what they need.

I loved the relationship between Arthur and Philly. There was a connection between them that only grew stronger the more they got to know each other. Watching their relationship grow from friendship into something more was beautiful. These two were absolutely perfect together.

The only thing I felt was missing was an epilogue. There were one or two things that I personally didn't feel were resolved. But then again, I'm selfish and when I read an amazing book, I never want it to end!

Whenever I read one of Ms. Matthews books I know I'm going to feel all the feels. She is an amazing author and I can't wait to read more books by her!

I'm not going to lie.. this casting was hard! But I love it! What do you think?