From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:
A reckless Victorian heiress sets her sights on a dashing ex-naval lieutenant, determined to win his heart as the two of them embark on a quest to solve a decades-old mystery in USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews’s sequel to her critically acclaimed novels The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim.
Lieutenant Charles Heywood has had his fill of adventure. Battle-weary and disillusioned, he returns to England, resolved to settle down to a quiet, uneventful life on an estate of his own. But arranging to purchase the property he desires is more difficult than Charles ever imagined. The place is mired in secrets, some of which may prove deadly. If he’s going to unravel them, he’ll need the assistance of someone as daring as he is.
At only twenty, Lady Katherine Beresford has already earned a scandalous reputation. As skilled with pistols as she is on horseback, she’s never met an obstacle she can’t surmount—or a man she can’t win. That is, until she encounters the infuriatingly somber Lieutenant Heywood. But Kate refuses to be deterred by the raven-haired soldier’s strong, silent facade. After all, faint heart never won handsome gentleman.
From the wilds of rural Somersetshire to the glittering ballrooms of early-Victorian London, Charles and Kate embark on a cross-country quest to solve a decades’ old mystery. Will the greatest danger be to their hearts—or to their lives?
Everything I have read by Mimi Matthews has charmed me to the bone. Her characters, plots, humor, romance, and historical details are dazzling.
Upping Her Game
It’s hard to top that pinnacle of perfection that I have placed her upon. Yet, the description of Return to Satterthwaite Court gave me a hint that she was upping her game. Two of the children of her previous Regency-era couples from Gentleman Jim and A Work of Art would meet by chance in Victorian-era London. Lady Katherine Beresford (Kate) and Lieutenant Charles Heywood’s “meet cute” is hilarious and endearing, setting the tone, style, and quality of the story from the get-go.
A Spunky Heroine
Mathews has created a very progressive and spunky heroine who knows what she wants and passionately pursues Lt. Heywood despite social decorum, and against all odds.
In turn, Lt. Heywood wants none of it. He has recently resigned from the Royal Navy under a cloud of scandal. Disillusioned, he is ready to put his adventurous life aside, acquire an estate, and settle down to a quiet life in the country. Lady Beresford’s bold pursuit of his attentions are unwelcome, and unnerving to him.
How could these two people at odds with each other end up together? That is the hook of the story that draws the reader in and keeps us turning pages, along with a family mystery that they eventually join forces to uncover.
Amusing and Endearing Characters
In her usual brilliant narrative style, we experience the slow-burn romance of Kate and Charles, the divergent personalities in the two families, their country estates, and of course the many dogs, cats, and horses that characteristically populate Matthews’ novels. I would be remiss if I did not mention the glorious descriptions of the clothing as well.
United by Chance, and Love
What places this story above Matthews’ other bestselling novels is the unique moxie of its heroine, the spikey banter between its principal characters, and the brilliant craftsmanship of combining families from two pervious stand-alone novels and uniting them by chance, and love, into a series. Not only is it clever, it is also a marketing boon. I have not seen this done before and I am certain that many historical romance authors will take heed and rinse and repeat with alacrity. If so, dear reader, we are the happy winners.
Wow. Just wow!
Those who enjoy raillery and romance get ready to spar & swoon with Kate & Charles!
5 out of 5 Stars
- The Return to Satterthwaite Court: Somerset Stories (Book 3), by Mimi Matthews
- Perfectly Proper Press (April 11, 2023)
- Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook (298)
- ISBN: 978-1736080245
- Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian Romance
AMAZON | PUBLISHER | ADD TO GOODREADS
We received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Cover image courtesy of Perfectly Proper Press © 2023; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2023, austenprose.com, an Amazon affiliate.
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Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story!! ❤️
LikeLiked by 1 person
Love this review! I haven’t read Gentleman Jim or A Work of Art yet, but I’m eager to read them both so I continue the series! The books I have read by Mimi Matthews have all be fabulous.
Oh yes, this will definitely be a ‘when not if’ read. Enjoyed the review, Laurel Ann!
Hello, cup of tea in hand, I began reading this delightful novel.
Hmmm, disreputable mongrel cur rescue, impressing a key character, dog is named Odysseus…rang a faint bell. The particulars are different, but there are little hints of Georgette Heyer’s Arabella present (in that novel the mongrel is named Ulysses).
I must read on!
Thanks for bringing the book to our attention.
Sincerely, Laurie Power