I’ve got a new favorite historical romance author – Mimi Matthews! The stunning cover of “The Work of Art” first drew me in. Inside, the prose proved just as spectacular as the cover.
It’s Spring, 1814, and orphaned Phyllida Satterthwaite’s uncle has kindly arranged to introduce her to London society. He’s also arranged for an introduction to the Duke of Moreland, a wealthy widower scouting for a new wife. It would be a spectacular match. Except that Phillida finds she can’t stomach the self-important, overbearing Duke.
Instead, she finds herself oddly attracted to reclusive Capt. Arthur Heywood, a military veteran injured in both body and spirit. And Arthur, to his chagrin, finds himself equally drawn to the unusual beauty.
The story of their attraction, their plan to foil Phyllida’s marriage to the awful Duke, and the growth of the pair’s unusual relationship made delightful reading. Descriptions never belabored the exquisite period detail, yet were lavish enough to draw you into the scene. Here’s just a tiny taste:
“It didn’t help that her dress left her feeling practically naked. It was a flowing gown of Sardinian blue crepe over a delicate satin slip, with tiny puffed sleeves, and a neckline low enough to expose the swell of her bosom. The modiste had assured her that it was the very height of fashion. The gentlemen at the ball certainly seemed to approve of it.”
The story line is complicated by an unfolding threat to Philly, and the mystery of who’s behind it made the book an unexpected page-turner. I found myself sad to finally reach the end.
Mimi Matthews is a USA Today bestselling author. . . Here’s her delightful author website: https://www.mimimatthews.com, and her Facebook fan page, filled with images of gorgeous Victorian clothing and fun bits of period historical lore: https://www.facebook.com/MimiMatthewsAuthor