From the publisher: 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 Mimi Matthews’s sequel to her critically acclaimed novels The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim.
Return to Satterthwaite Court is an unexpected sequel by Mimi Matthews. She wrote two romance novels set in Somerset, England that took place in the same decade. She hadn’t intended to write a series – then she got the idea to write a novel set 20 years later involving the children of the original pairs. For fans of The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim, this is a fun chance to revisit two charming couples with complicated (and even scandalous) courtships.
I got about a quarter of the way into Return to Satterthwaite Court before I decided I needed to set it aside and reread The Work of Art. After I finished that book, I read another quarter of Satterthwaite Court and decided I needed to reread Gentleman Jim. Both were as good as I remembered.
Return to Satterthwaite Court is sweet and satisfying, but considerably less fraught than the first two books. There just really are (spoiler) no obstacles to a happily-ever-after for Kate Beresford and Charles Heywood. She’s a little wild; he’s a little staid, with a touch of trauma from his service in the Navy. The title of the book itself is a spoiler, as the lost family estate of Satterthwaite Court plays a large part in the plot. The book opens with a delightful scene involving a stray dog that is a nod to Georgette Heyer. Dogs and other animals can really brighten up the plots of historical romance, and Matthews does a good job modeling the incomparable Heyer. I also enjoyed her Author’s Note containing additional historical information about some of the things that happen in the book.
The heroine of The Work of Art is known for having one blue eye and one brown eye, and in Return to Satterthwaite Court, her daughter is revealed as having the same. This seemed an unnecessary addition; heterochromia is extremely rare and it’s a condition that is unlikely to be passed down to a child. It certainly didn’t seem necessary for the child to have the same arresting physical characteristic as her parent. But that’s a minor complaint.
Now that one sequel has been written, it’s clear that a number of young people introduced in this novel have romance awaiting them in future books. I’ll read them all.
I was given a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The book is scheduled to be published April 11, and the Galesburg Public Library will own it. The library already owns the first two books.