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Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite
The Work of Art: A Regency Romance by Mimi Matthews is a historical novel set in the early 19th century. Miss Phyllida Satterthwaite grew up on an estate in rural Devonshire with her grandfather. However, since his death she has been forced from a home she loves to live with relatives in London. Here she is shy and out of her depth, not being used to the flashy gowns and sophisticated conversation. Phyllida, an uncommon beauty, falls prey to a brute of a man called the Duke of Moreland. The Duke collects unique treasures and always gets what he wants. Having set his sights on this young innocent, he makes it very plain that she must acquiesce to his demands. What is she to do? Is there anyone she can trust to help her escape what is turning out to be a forced marriage?
Mimi Matthews pens a thrilling novel of a young lady at the mercy of distant relations who do not have her best interests at heart. This is a captivating story where genteel manners and fashionable finery are the order of the day for the ladies. The gentlemen, who may occasionally be villainous, never fail to be dashing. This era is one of my favorites and the story contains lovely phrases such as 'the gossiping tabbies of the ton'. I fell in love with the honorable cavalry officer called Captain Heywood who comes to the rescue of our young heroine. He provides a satisfyingly complex and principled hero to the vulnerable young Phyllida. The Work of Art is a deliciously enchanting novel which was a delight to read. Those who like period romance will enjoy this book.