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The Lost Letter

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  772 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
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?

Society beauty Sylvia Stafford is far too pragmatic to pine. When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and a
Paperback, 201 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Perfectly Proper Press
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Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Check out all of my reviews at:

THE LOST LETTER: A VICTORIAN ROMANCE by Mimi Matthews is a beautifully written historical romance set in the Victorian era. The story flows between the hero and heroine, past and present, as they are given a second chance at love. The story is captivating and only a little longer than a novella. I just kept turning the pages and was done before I knew it in just one sitting.

Sylvia Stafford was the beautiful and charming daughter of
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian

2.5 stars

I have a soft spot for Beauty and the Beast type of stories. This one started very promising but ended up being somewhat disappointing.

The story is well-researched with careful attention to customs and behaviors of historical times. It is always gratifying for me when authors treat their historical romances as historical and not as “dressed up” contemporary ones. The writing flowed nicely and I especially liked the way the hero declared his love at the end. It was very romantic.

But, bu
Frankie Reviews
My, oh, my! This is absolutely remarkable!

Everyone who has read my reviews before will know how much I love my heroes to be trouble and vulnerable and wanting a strong women to help them back to happiness and this is just that, this is truly breath-taking and I loved every single moment of it, and I will apologize now if I start rambling on, but this is really something special and I have so much I want to say about it.

I have read a lot of Mimi Matthews’ blog posts and I have always hugely enjoy
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
True historical romance-
I think the historical romance books become a little addicting overtime. They seem to have many of the same components: the blushing virgin, a cranky beau, a misunderstanding, and finally the declaration. It’s what the author does with this traditional system that makes all the difference.

Mimi Matthews has crafted a unique plot with some pretty traditional elements along a twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast story. While the story is a bit shorter
Deanne Patterson
This was essentially a beauty and the beast retelling set in Victorian England. Sylvia Stafford is feeling so ashamed in life. Several years ago her gambler father killed himself. The party invitations dried up for this society miss and the beau have all disappeared,after all who wants to be associated with her. Her father's death leads her to the discovery of debts he has. Not having time to feel sorry for herself she must get a job to support herself. She is now the governess of two sweet litt ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.
*minor edits*

A compulsively readable story and lovely writing but was left feeling underwhelmed overall.

To me, it didn't really feel like a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Yes some of the elements were there but nothing that stood out for me really.

Some things felt rushed and others were not really expanded on much. We get hints at some things but not enough to really connect with everyone.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Dear Reader,

There was something very special about this book and I must admit that I absolutely loved it!!!

Perhaps it was the second chance romance aspect that pulled at my heartstrings or maybe it was Sylvia's reduced circumstances and her humble acceptance of such when faced with exceptional consequences at the hands of another.

Perhaps it was the strength of a love that refused to wither despite the Machiavellian type efforts at play by a known and trusted figure.

It may have been the pain,e
That was fun, but it ended all too quickly - I wanted more and maybe a comeuppance or two? Oh well, a very nice romance (clean, just some kisses). A misunderstanding that isn't too much that I'd want to scream for them to talk to each other (they did). And a nice twist on the beauty and the beast theme.

Digital copy obtained via library loan.
THIS is just the kind of historical romance I like! Engaging story, likeable characters, unrequited love, delicious tension between the principals, believable dialog, misunderstandings but no cheap contrivances, and swoonworthy happily-ever-after. This story has shades of the beloved classic “Beauty and the Beast”—I enjoyed this love story very much!
Dana Michael
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So romantic

This has got to be one of the most romantic books I have ever read in my life.. It has a Beauty and Beast vibe that I totally love. Y'all that kiss! That letter! Swoon!
I recommend this book to all romance lovers and historical fiction readers. There are some mild curse words for sensitive readers.
Sonya Heaney
This blog post addresses some of the things I discuss in this review - especially my questions about why such a good book isn't with a big publishing house. Basically: there's no sex, and publishers insist on it. Ugh.

I had no idea what to expect from this one. Small, unknown publisher, and a cover - while I love it for all the Victorian feelings, and wish more covers looked like this - that didn’t line up with my idea of a historical romance cover.

However, I LOVED this book. I really, really enj
"Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"
What a wonderful well written story! It was a pleasure to read it, a real page-turner, I’ve read it in one setting.
It has some of my favorite tropes and themes – the wounded hero, the second chance romance – and it’s all so well crafted and perfect.
But I think what captivated me the most was the process of bringing back together these two very lonely people who loved each other but had both resigned themselves to live alone and even
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow just wow! 5 glorious stars! I can not say enough about how much I loved this story. I’ve been smiling for a full hour because of it.
The year is not over yet, but I’m pretty sure this my favorite historical romance of 2017. The chemistry was extra special and I loved all the character development. This was so GOOD! Thank you Mary for bringing another great book to me.
A short novel (160 pages long), but so well written. I am starting immediately the next romance from this author.
Brittain *The Baddest Female*
This book was just everything I love in literature. A Beauty and the Beast theme, a lost connection, separated lovers that have to learn each other again, misunderstandings, rags to riches...and yet this book still didn't feel crowded.

Just lovely, in my opinion.
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
I loved this tender, emotional and romantic debut novel from Mimi Matthews which features a second chance story, one of my favorite themes.

Colonel Sebastian Conrad followed the career expected of all the second sons of the Earls of Radcliffe and became a soldier. Orderly, disciplined and rather serious, life as a career cavalry officer suited Sebastian perfectly. While on leave in London, he accepts an invitation to a musical evening where he is captivated by the lovely Sylvia Stafford.

With her
Tracy DeNeal
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sebastian and Sylvia

What a lovely story! I've read stories about lost letters before, but this one is my most favorite. Why? The meddling matchmaking sister, Julia, made this a unique story that will go on my keeper shelf. It will be frequently revisited with fondness.

Sylvia Stafford, the only daughter to a profligate baronet, once met a gruff Army colonel, a second son to an earl, who stole her heart before being shipped off to India to serve. Three years have passed since she said goodbye to
Patricia Morgan
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the storyline and the characters in this book. The characters were well developed and the storyline so believable.
Sylvia was the daughter of a Baron and a diamond of the 1st water. She had many suitors. But the one she fell in love with was the 2nd son of an Earl, a Colonel in the Calvary.
Sebastian first sees Sylvia at a musical, where she sings like an angel. He arranges an introduction and proceeds to fall head over heels in love. Syria feels the same way. But Sebastian ha
Candy Briggs
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Matthews is a first time author for me and I thoroughly loved it. Sylvia is the daughter of a baronet. Her father was addicted to gambling and had lost it all, he committed suicide. She became a governess, it was all that was left to her. Sebastion Conrad was a soldier and had been grievously wounded and never left his estate.
This was an amazing story and so full of heart. The pain, the two went thru both emotionally and physically was astounding. The story's descriptions were so good and th
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of Mimi Matthew's novel The Lost Letter: A Victorian Romance tells you what to expect. It is a romance novel set in the Victorian Age in which a lost letter leads to the separation of true love. Each believes they have been rejected by the other.

I have been reading Mimi Matthew's blog ( for several years. It has high style, great writing, deep research on subjects relating to Victorian Age literature, history, and romance. I pre-ordered The Lost Lette
Regan Walker
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: victorian
To Love a Scarred Hero

A worthy debut historical romance set in Victorian England in 1860. It’s the story of Miss Sylvia Stafford, daughter of a baronet and a sought after beauty in her first season. But when her father committed suicide, she is cut by her friends and forced to become a governess. Silvia is happy in her work but misses the life she had.

One day, the sister of the man she once loved, a colonel serving in India, shows up to plead with Silvia to come to visit her brother to save him
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Refreshing Beauty and the Beast story of true love gone astray.

Sylvia Stafford, once a society diamond of the first water is left impoverished and shunned when her high rolling father takes his own life. She finds sustenance and a certain amount of peace as a governess with a kindly merchant's wife.
Unexpectedly coming into an earldom, Colonel Sebastian Conrad, badly scarred and emotionally tortured from the terror that was the Sepoy Rebellion, has withdrawn from any form of society, to his esta
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has been recommended to me by my dear friend Flora, and if she says that she loved it, then I trust her completely and can't wait to read it for myself!

I have finished reading this book and I happily leave the 5 stars rate!!

First I want to thank the author, Ms Mimi Matthews, who was so kind as to send me a signed copy, which I will always hold dear! Thank you so much!
And thank you Flora for making it happen!

Now on to the real review.

My only complaint would be that I wished that this b
Susan Thomas
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
New author to me and I thought it was very well written. I enjoyed the second chance plot with well developed characters and lovely dialogue. I couldn't put it down.
I received an ARC copy of this book from netgalley.
Roses R Blue
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars as reviewed at Roses Are Blue:

Colonel Sebastian Conrad is a soldier - that's his life, and it's what he knows. Although he's the second son of an earl, he doesn't spend time in society, but when a friend invites him to a musical event, he accepts to be courteous. When he spots a beautiful young lady, and hears her lovely singing, he's captivated in spite of himself. She's surrounded by friends and beaus, so Sebastian has no expectation that she'll even notice him
Amy ~ Love At 1st Read
I’m not much of risk taker when it comes to reading. I tend to stick to my tried and true favorite authors. But every once in a while, I get the courage to push the envelope a bit and pick an author I haven’t read. In this case, it paid off in spades and I now have a new author to add to my tried and true list.

Sylvia Stafford had expected to marry once. During her season, she’d had several suitors. One she’d especially considered herself in love with. A dashing cavalry officer. But her father,
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for historical fiction, romance, and the Victorian period. I read this book in one sitting, clutching my tea in one hand and my kindle in the other. The characters Sylvia, Sebastian, Julia, and Milson are complex, flawed, entertaining, yet wonderfully unpredictable. The plot is a lovely mixture of what felt like to me Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice and just a tiny touch of Emma, but in the 1860's) and Beauty and the Beast. It was witty and emotional. While the novel as a whole wa ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sylvia Stafford’s life was turned upside down when the man she loved went off to fight in India & never replied to the letters she wrote, then her gamester killed himself leaving her destitute and alone. She 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 two years later a mysterious visitor convinces her to temporarily return to her former life and her former love.

Elizabeth Lloyd
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here is a classic tale of love lost and ensuing misfortune. Paralleling the situation in the tale of Beauty and the Beast, the heroine, Sylvia Stafford finds herself in a stately manor house where the Earl of Radcliffe, badly injured in the Indian rebellion, hides himself away from society so no-one can see his facial scars.

But Miss Stafford had originally met the Earl 3 years earlier in London, when he was Colonel Sebastian Conrad. There had been flirtation, the exchange of kisses and he had ta
Jenny Buchta
First off, this was a very quick read. With that being said, it reads like it's missing the first half of the book. The story starts after all of the "action" has occurred. The main character has already experienced destitution and degradation. Her beau has already suffered through a war. There was so much opportunity, but unfortunately the story begins after all the good stuff has happened. I hope that maybe the author will return to this title and add in the meat of the story - the first part. ...more
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Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady's Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Lost Letter) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her ...more