I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
The Lost Letter: A Victorian Romance
England, 1860. An impoverished Victorian beauty is unexpectedly reunited with the now beastly earl who once broke her heart. Will they finally find their happily ever after? Or are some fairy-tale endings simply not meant to be?
A PROUD BEAUTY
When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and alone, society beauty Sylvia Stafford 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 Badly scarred during the Sepoy Rebellion, he has withdrawn to his estate in rural Hertfordshire where he lives in near complete seclusion.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?
I love a good romance with imperfect characters. In The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews, our hero, Sebastian, is less than perfect. This is a story of missed communications and love lost and found again.
In the same vein as Mary Balogh, Mimi Matthews writes of a hero who is severely wounded and facially disfigured. The true underdog when it comes to romances, is a hero who has fallen and who has lost all hope. Sebastian’s wounds changes his outlook on life. He comes back from war a changed man physically and socially. Due to his scars, he holes himself in his estate and does not leave. It’s only because of a meddlesome sister that both Sebastian’s and Sylvia’s lives change.
There was a sort of Beauty and the Beast theme to this story. Throw in a few grudges and judgemental attitudes and we have a story that kind of kept me guessing. Sebastian was horrid. One might understand his feelings but he purposefully goaded Sylvia with insults just to see her reaction. I thought it petty and selfish. All because he thought that she shunned him after he left for the war. Sylvia could have done those things too because she believed that he shunned her as well, but she never sunk that low.
Crossed wires and lost letters are the crux of the issue between Sebastian and Sylvia. She might have loved him, but I don’t think I would have put up with his meanness. But then again, he’s a wounded soul, so there must be some sort of redemption, right? Well, that’s what kept me invested in this story.
Sylvia was actually good for Sebastian. When he finally realizes his pompousness was all for naught, it was as if he became human again. He was still insecure enough to jump to conclusions and that of course, led to kinks in the romance, but I was glad that he had the support system from his family and valet.
This was a short, drama packed read. Even though it wasn’t off the rails romantic, it seemed more realistic and focused on human nature. This was the first book by Mimi Matthews that I’ve read and I must say that I enjoyed the writing style. Her flawed characters really take great shape in this story.