#BookReview: RETURN TO SATTERTHWAITE COURT by Mimi Matthews @MimiMatthewsEsq

Publication: 11th April 2023 – Perfectly Proper Press

A reckless Victorian heiress sets her sights on a dashing ex-naval lieutenant, determined to win his heart as the two of them embark on a quest to solve a decades-old mystery in USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews’s sequel to her critically acclaimed novels The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim.

Lieutenant Charles Heywood has had his fill of adventure. Battle-weary and disillusioned, he returns to England, resolved to settle down to a quiet, uneventful life on an estate of his own. But arranging to purchase the property he desires is more difficult than Charles ever imagined. The place is mired in secrets, some of which may prove deadly. If he’s going to unravel them, he’ll need the assistance of someone as daring as he is.

At only twenty, Lady Katherine Beresford has already earned a scandalous reputation. As skilled with pistols as she is on horseback, she’s never met an obstacle she can’t surmount-or a man she can’t win. That is, until she encounters the infuriatingly somber Lieutenant Heywood. But Kate refuses to be deterred by the raven-haired soldier’s strong, silent facade. After all, faint heart never won handsome gentleman.

From the wilds of rural Somersetshire to the glittering ballrooms of early-Victorian London, Charles and Kate embark on a cross-country quest to solve a decades’ old mystery. Will the greatest danger be to their hearts-or to their lives?


In the last couple years, I have been reading quite a few historical romance novels and Mimi Matthews is one of my favourite authors. I love her writing style that keeps me engrossed in the pages of the story and I love her protagonists from the very beginning.

Return to Satterthwaite Court is the third book in the Somerset Stories series, but it can also be easily read as a stand-alone. Set a couple of decades after the events of the first two books, we see again the protagonists from The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim and we are introduced to their children.

Lieutenant Charles Heywood has chosen a career in the Navy, against the wishes of his family, especially his father. But, after eight years, he’s become disillusioned with it and its politics, and he returns to England to settle down, possibly somewhere near his family in Somerset. Lady Katherine Beresford has had an unsuccessful first season in London, mostly because men, while they find her beautiful, are looking for a dutiful and obedient wife and she’s definitely not that. Kate is convinced she’ll never find a man that meets her expectations, a hero, a man of noble character and firm convictions, until she meets Charles Heywood. Their meeting on a London street involves a vivacious dog and a bite on the hand, but Kate is instantly fascinated by the Navy hero and she’s determined to find out more about him. And when Charles receives a mysterious letter involving a secret and the sale of a house, Kate helps him to uncover the truth.

I loved all the books in the Somerset Stories series, but I think that Return to Satterthwaite Court is my favourite so far. I was thrilled to see the return of the protagonists of The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim, but I was much more excited about Charles and Kate’s story. I adored these two characters from the very beginning and I was so engrossed in their lives that I found it very difficult to put the book down. Charles is the silent, strong, sulking hero who, initially, may appear rude, while Kate is fierce, smart, and determined to get what she wants, including choosing a husband of her own free will. 

Entertaining, immersive, and beautifully written, Return to Satterthwaite Court is one of those books that will stay on my mind for a very long time thanks to a cast of amazing characters, lots of animals, and a beautiful romance and I already can’t wait to read the sequel, Appointment in Bath, of which we already got quite an interesting glimpse.

A huge thank you to Mimi Matthews and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this beautiful novel.

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances, including Fair as a Star, a Library Journal Best Romance of 2020; Gentleman Jim, a Kirkus Best Book of 2020; and The Work of Art, winner of the 2020 HOLT Medallion. Mimi’s novels have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, and Shelf Awareness, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine.

In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. To learn more, please visit www.MimiMatthews.com

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