ROMANCE
The Work of Art
Perfectly Proper. Jul. 2019. 390p. ebk. ISBN 9781733056908. $3.99; Jun. 2019. pap. ISBN 9781733056915. $16.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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After losing her grandfather, Phyllida Satterthwaite’s uncle treats her to one Season in London to find a suitable husband. Her unique looks quickly make her the talk of the town, but Philly discovers her uncle’s generosity is nothing more than a plan to wed her to the highest bidder, the cruel Duke of Moreland, a collector of rarities, who sees Phyllida as yet another work of art he must possess. Capt. Arthur Heywood, a wounded war veteran touched by Philly’s kindness toward him, concocts a plan to thwart the duke by marrying her first and spiriting her away to his country estate. Unfortunately, strange things begin happening in the country that place Philly in danger. While Arthur is frustrated with his disability and desperate to protect Philly, she is patient and caring (her concern for animals is another endearing quality), and their tender affection builds into a genuine love that will melt readers’ hearts.
VERDICT In her sixth historical romance, Matthews (The Pug Who Bit Napoleon; A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty) weaves suspense and mystery within an absorbing love story. Readers will be hard put to set this one down before the end. Highly recommended to historical romance and/or mystery buffs and especially animal lovers.

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