I am coming back to an author that has quickly become a favorite of mine, Mimi Matthews. I have read several of her books and have been impressed with her writing. The words just come together and create an engaging story to read. The Work of Art is another well done story that left me wanting my own Captain Heywood.
Phyllida Satterthwaite lived a sheltered life with her grandparents but when they were both taken away from her, her life was quickly turned upside down. A distant male cousin will come and take her to his household which he will present her to the ton. Philly will realize that her cousin has his own agenda and she would have to do what she must. Philly will be shocked to find help from Captain Arthur Heywood.
Captain Arthur Heywood had been to battle and came back but injured. He was a shell of the man he had been but Philly will have him live again. When he sees her fighting to not be trapped he offers his service and his life will forever be changed because of her.
I really loved this story. Philly was a compassionate woman who was sheltered but had a good heart. Her love of dogs was heartwarming. She did not pity Arthur as some would have done, she found a friendship with him and when all was almost lost for herself she did not ask him for help for herself, but for her animals. I loved Arthur, he was a broken man but not that broken. He just thought it would be easier to not care, but he changed and I liked that it was a subtle change. Not an overnight change.
These were two characters who were very similar and brought out the best in each other. The mystery behind the letter and the danger to Philly had left me questioning who the villain was in the book. There were several options. I had not guessed the villain, but they were on my list of possibilities.
I am looking forward to my next Mimi Matthews books, A Holiday By Gaslight.
Miss Mary Whitsun will be stopped at the bookstore by a man who thought she was his fiancee, Lady Johanna Albright. She will be told that she was the missing twin of the Albrights. Mary will immediately be taught all that it meant to be a lady and will learn that with this came a fiancee, Viscount Blackwell.
Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell was to marry the oldest daughter of the Albrights. It would have been Cecilia but she was never found, he was told to marry Johanna whom he thought as a sister. Now with Mary, he believes that she is the missing twin and Henry finds himself wanting Mary from the moment they interacted.
Once Upon a Maiden Lane is the third story from the Maiden Lane Novella series by Elizabeth Hoyt. I really loved this novella. It was really well done and it was fun that Mary Whitsun was the main character. She was always in the background.
Mary’s character was wonderful. She is a servant but really more of a friend to Lady Caire since she grew up in their orphanage. I liked that Mary was strong in her character. She did not back down but you knew that with everything that was happening it was overwhelming. She will be up to the challenge especially as she gets to know Henry more every time he stops by. Henry’s character was charming and smiled at the right times. I liked that he had to work at getting Mary to like him. I also liked that true feelings started to form.
There is a twist that is a little sad but with that twist comes an opportunity to change the situation and make a new future, which I really loved.
Now, I keep reading that this is the last book of the series for Maiden Lane. Don’t know if it is true. If it is then this was a great ending to the whole series.
Hardy Cates was a self made man and always wanted more and he did all he could to get it. Then he found a woman, Haven. She was a woman he could not get but with her divorce Hardy was going to go after the woman he wanted.
Haven Travis had thought she married for love but she had been wrong. Now with a broken marriage behind her Haven will try to get her life together. She wasn’t expecting Hardy to come into her life.
Blue Eyed Devil is the second book to the series Travises by Lisa Kleypas. After I had finished the first book I was apprehensive about reading this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this book. I picked up the book and kept reading from start to finish.
Hardy’s character was much better in his own story. I liked that there was no flirtation between him and Liberty. I didn’t want his pursuing of Haven to be tainted by that. I felt that he had matured some and wasn’t as cruel. Though he was still certainly rough around the edges and that will certainly help when he is needed by Haven. Now Haven’s character was the one that truly drew me into the book. I was drawn to her because of the mistake she made and cringed every time she was hurt. What I liked was she finally got the courage and changed what needed to be changed. She took her life back.
The villain is clearly Nick, Haven’s ex, who is a piece of work. He is an abusive man who wants only to have someone to beat down on. The other villain was Vanessa who seemed to be cut from the same cloth as Nick. I wouldn’t lie, I was pretty happy that there was some justice for their cruelty.
I am reading the third book next, Smooth Talking Stranger.
Kate Battista is the family member who does everything for her family. She wants out but doesn’t really know how or what she would do when that happened. Kate will be blindsided when her father wants her to marry his coworker, so the coworker can stay in the country.
Vinegar Girl is a novel by Anne Tyler is a modern version of The Taming of the Shrew. First off I liked this book but it was a gradual like. I did not open this book and begin to read loving it. In fact I was wondering what the big deal was about the book. My cousin loved it and I was giving her the benefit of the doubt. I found myself slowing being pulled into the story. It was a story that charmed me and I found myself really enjoying the book as I turned the last page.
Kate’s character was a woman who wanted out of her situation but like a dutiful daughter she did what she needed to do. I liked that Kate had a sarcastic side and she will finally stand up to those around her at least some of the time. Personally I wasn’t really sure if her father’s coworker would be a good match. He seemed a little strange and I didn’t like he was going along with the plan but as the story went on I really ended up liking them as a couple. They balanced each other out.
I thought that the father was hopeless but he was a good man. Then there was Bunny who was a spoiled child and going after whatever she wanted. I really don’t think Bunny learns anything at the end of the book, but I was okay with that as I was just happy Kate and Pyotr got their happy ending.
I had only just recently heard about the short story of Lady Susan and the reason I heard about it was because my cousin had seen the movie Love & Friendship, which is Lady Susan in movie form. Well, needless to say when I heard about this story I immediately went to Amazon and found that it was free but I waited to read it until I was done with all of Jane Austen’s novels.
So, this book is about a woman, Lady Susan, who is going through town and finding mischief along the way.
I really liked this short story. It flowed really well once I got into the writing. What was different about this story was the format. The story was written in letter form. This kept my interest as I kept wanting to read what was happening with Lady Susan and what she was doing around town. Lady Susan’s character was an interesting character. She was more of a villain type than all other heroines in Austen. She was very much all about herself and her needs. Those needs did not extend to her daughter. I got the distinct impression that she didn’t really care for her daughter. Based on how she treated her daughter, she would certainly never earn any mother of the year rewards. What also made her different from other Jane Austen female leads was that she was the one pursuing the man but the man was younger and of course wealthy.
What bugged me about the story was that there was no inner thoughts from these characters. I wanted to know what Lady Susan thought or her daughter. I wanted more of a background of these characters. Though I suppose that would come if this story was longer and in a different format. This didn’t bug me to the point of not wanting to read the story but it made me wonder.
Well, I have finished with reading Jane Austen. I have a couple other books related to the story of Pride & Prejudice that I am thinking about reading.
I decided the next book I wanted to try was Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. This one has been a favorite of mine with the movie.
Mansfield Park is about a young girl, Fanny Price, moving to her relatives home who are much more wealthy than her own. The story will be about her life at Mansfield Park from a young girl to a grown woman, and the obstacles she faced while she lived there.
I liked the book. I will be honest that it took me some time to get through some of the parts. I felt there was a little too much detail on some of the everyday things that went on in life. From book to movie this to me felt very different but that was only with the detail. The movie told the same story but things were shortened or switched slightly around. It would have been a very long movie if all of the parts in the book were put into the movie. I think it was a good thing that I had seen the movie before reading this book because at times I felt that I was a little lost with all the detail. You can certainly understand what is happening but as I said before it is long in certain parts.
I will say that you got to know the characters a lot more in the book. Though in the movie you got to see how these characters acted but no that much on the childhood, so that part I thought gave some good insight.
For the next book by Jane Austen I am going to read Sense and Sensibility.
Helen Ravenel was a sheltered young woman who will be awakened by Rhys. He will bring out the passionate woman that is inside Helen, a passion that had been suppressed. Though Helen will find trouble in paradise when the secret she is holding could tear apart her relationship with Rhys.
Rhys Winterborne was an ambitious man who wanted more than he had grown up with. He will succeed in business but he wanted more, he wanted Helen. Rhys will do what he can to get Helen.
Marrying Winterborne is a novel by Lisa Kleypas. This is the second book to the series Ravenels. I liked the first book to this series but I loved this one. Lisa Kleypas has a formula for how her characters are and it really works. I was drawn into this book a lot quicker than the first and it really was because Helen and Rhys story was already being told in the previous story. Their interaction intrigued me and I wanted to know how they would end up together.
Helen was shy and quiet. She did not raise her voice and was often overlooked when her opinion was being addressed. I liked that Helen did not stay that way. Because of Rhys, she was able to have authority and have her opinions be heard. Rhys is a hard man and from appearances he seemed very cruel but his character surprised me. I liked that he had a soft side especially when he was dealing with Helen later on in the book.
There is a secret that Helen has carried for years that will come out. I figured I knew how everyone would react but I think Rhys reaction surprised me.
The third book will be coming out in February 2017 and I am excited to read it because it will be about Gabriel, who is the child from Evie and Sebastian in the book The Devil in Winter.