Book Review: “Return to Satterthwaite Court” by Mimi Matthews

My love for Mimi Matthews and her stories knows no bounds. She has catapulted to the top of my list of all-time favorite authors. She does the historical romance genre SO WELL and stands out with her Regency and Victorian depictions in a sea of other books with those settings. Her new novel that’s out today (!!!) is an indie-released story that links two of her previous novels with a new generation and a story world that’s (excitingly) set to continue on.

Return to Satterthwaite Court is the third book in her Somerset Stories series, uniting the children of the main couples of the previous two epics, The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim.

About the Book

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?

Goodreads | Amazon


Satterthwaite Court is truly a return to a favorite story world, now fully in the Victorian era, with a new generation stirring up adventure. It matches the adult children of beloved characters in a heart-stirring romance that unearths the past and thematically explores honor and commitment.

From the destined meet-cute involving a scrappy dog (appropriately so for the son of Philly from The Work of Art), Charles Heywood and Kate Beresford have a certain magnetic connection. It’s delightful seeing Charles’s world shaken by the prospect of an assertive, attractive female. His honorable nature is adorable and makes him appear almost grumpy, but in truth he is just reserved and careful with expressing himself. And, Kate holds her own as a forward-thinking woman who has a spark of adventure making her more suited to her country life than the high society of London. It’s enjoyable to see her wonderfully comfortable with her family (her brothers are endearing) and how her mother has passed on certain daring skills.

The whole story has nods to the previous two books, so I highly recommend reading Gentleman Jim and The Work of Art first to appreciate the entire story world. 

Thank you to the publisher for providing an early review copy. This is my honest review — and I have happily purchased a copy for my shelves!

Book & Film Pairings, Edition 5

Welcome to another post where I pair books and films with similar themes or content! Today’s post features an absolute FAVORITE Victorian miniseries and three books with similar themes or settings. I’m talking about North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and the ultimate BBC miniseries adaptation from 2004 starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe.

Like the novel by Gaskell, each of these books I’ve chosen have an English setting, romance thread, and similarities to the classic, yet I would recommend them as unique stories with vibrant characters of their own.

North and South 2004. Drama, love, & social commentary in my favorite miniseries.

North and South series by BBC, original novel by Elizabeth Gaskell

This work contrasts society, economics, and family bonds through the eyes of its hero and heroine. More than just a romance, I appreciate how the novel and series dive deeper into social problems of the times and the difference one person, or one business owner, can make in the lives of even a small group of people. The romance progresses slowly as outside factors bring the hero and heroine together, begrudgingly at times, then to finally see through each other’s eyes the world around them. I especially love the book’s POV of Mr. Thornton, as I feel he is better understood in that context than his brooding persona in the series.

Isabelle and Alexander by Rebecca Anderson

This Victorian story is mostly set in Manchester and its hero is the owner of a successful cotton mill, much like Mr. Thornton. The backgrounds and contrasts of the protagonists are similar, too, but beyond that, it paints a poignant story of healing and purpose. The couple are married for most of the story, so that makes for emotional glimpses into their life and challenges, and, a unexpectedly sweet romance.

Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind by Carla Kelly

This Regency story has parallels in the name “Milton” and in the societal clash of the hero and heroine. Like Margaret of N&S, Miss Milton has a demanding family that pulls her in many directions. My favorite aspect of this story is how her friendship with the hero is very encouraging. She learns courage and standing up for herself as the story progresses yet doesn’t waver from her initial character.

A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

A Holiday by Gaslight cover

I couldn’t leave this last Christmas novella off the list! A Holiday by Gaslight ticks all the boxes for a Victorian Christmas story: decorating the country estate, plenty of mistletoe, a cozy library, and a sparkling romance. The initial misconceptions of the hero and heroine are nods to N&S, as are the ways they find common values and intellect once they look past superficiality. Author Mimi Matthews is a pro and this novella is a fantastic introduction to her stories!

Are you a fan of North and South? Do you have book recommendations similar to this classic? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!