Join me today for a review of The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews! This is the final novel of her backlist that I had not previously read, so it was fun to see her range in creating complex and unique characters once again. The swoony romance was just the icing on top 😉
A PROUD BEAUTY
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.
A SCARRED BEAST
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 Badly scarred during the Sepoy Rebellion, he has withdrawn to his estate in rural Hertfordshire where he lives in near complete seclusion.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 SECOND CHANCE
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?
The Lost Letter is a sweet romance with just a few “Beauty and the Beast” elements and a charming story of second chances. I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook of this novel, though I do confess to going back and forth to my ebook and highlighting my favorite parts!
This is a second chance or reuniting romance between Sebastian and Sylvia, a trope that can be done beautifully — and it IS! I was intrigued with their history, hanging on every word of their exchanges, and delighted by Sebastian’s meddling sister, Julia, on more than one occasion. I appreciated the way a few moments of misunderstanding were handled through the plot, propelling the characters past such hurdles realistically and smartly.
The Lost Letter also delves deeper into themes of acceptance and worth vs. appearance (both in a societal manner and superficial beauty/handsomeness). Its Victorian setting and expectations are the perfect backdrop for teaching these lessons to Sebastian and Sylvia. And oh, when Sylvia and Sebastian are on the page together, their romantic chemistry shines! It was delightful – and humorous, in one library-related scene – to see the way they found their way back to each other as matured individuals.
If you’re a die hard fan of Mimi’s already, visit Mimi Matthews’ website and sign up for her newsletter for exclusive content, like sneak peaks and the just-released epilogue for The Lost Letter.