The Work of Art: A Regency Romance

Written by Mimi Matthews
Review by Ray Thompson

When her grandfather dies, Phyllida Satterthwaite’s fate falls into the hands of his male heir, a distant cousin. Unfortunately, for personal financial reasons her ‘uncle’ insists she marry the Duke of Moreland. An avid collector of anything rare and valuable, Moreland is impressed by her beauty and distinctive eye coloring, but he is cold and cruel. Philly, who has a sensitive and compassionate nature, refuses, but under severe pressure to comply, she turns for help to the only person in London who has offered sincere friendship, Captain Arthur Heywood. Though a recluse since being seriously wounded in the Peninsular War, he proposes marriage as an escape and the pair elope.

There is mystery involved. Someone is trying to kill Philly, but who? The duke? The uncle? A poacher? When his identity is finally revealed, it is satisfyingly unexpected, and though his motives seem somewhat unconvincing, the minds of murderers can be twisted. The main storyline, however, is the development of a loving relationship between Philly and Arthur. Despite hindrances that arise from misunderstandings, what starts as mutual gratitude, hers for his rescue, his for her unfailing kindness, moves steadily to true devotion. Strongly recommended.