16 February 2018

A Discovering Diamonds review of The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews

AMAZON UK £2.99 £7.06
AMAZON US $3.14 $8.99 
AMAZON CA $11.30

Romance / family drama
Victorian era

Sebastian Conrad, recently elevated to Earl of Radcliff, is an angry, bitter man. Not only has he been horribly injured in the wars in India, but he has yet to get over the cold-hearted beauty who broke his heart.

Sylvia Stafford could have been angry and bitter. After her father’s suicide, she was left destitute, was totally shunned by polite society, and is now reduced to working as a governess. Plus, of course, there’s the matter of the handsome young officer she so loved but who didn’t return even one of her many letters.

Where Sebastian has buried himself in the countryside, Sylvia is making the best of life, having therefore achieved an element of contentment, if not happiness in her new life. And then, one day, a certain Viscountess Harker comes looking for her, convinced that Sylvia is the only person who can somehow break through her brother Sebastian’s self-imposed isolation and anger.

What follows is a classic romance. Sebastian battles a turmoil of conflicting feelings at the sight of Sylvia: bitterness, love, hope, anger. He lashes out, she is hurt, he is desperate at hurting her, apologises, lashes out again. Truth be told, Lady Harker’s plan is not exactly working out as she has planned. What ultimately happens I leave to readers to find out for themselves.

Sylvia and Sebastian are both engaging characters. The Victorian setting is well presented as is the vulnerability of the society girl turned persona non grata when her baronet father dies with huge unsettled debts. The prose is well-written, the dialogue adequately full of innuendos and misunderstandings. Now and then, POV slips, with Sylvia’s eyes filling with understanding while the narrative is being told in her POV. All in all, The Lost Letter is an entertaining read, adequate for all those who like to escape the here and now for an hour or so, preferably before a crackling fire and with a cup of tea at their side.

© Anna Belfrage

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