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Publisher's Summary

"Matthews weaves suspense and mystery within an absorbing love story. Readers will be hard put to set this one down before the end." (Library Journal, starred review) 

An Uncommon Beauty....

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland - a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help. 

An Unlikely Hero....

Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name. 

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her - and her heart - in more danger than ever?

©2019 Mimi Matthews (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Work of Art

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Best!!!

Perfection. Yes, that describes this story of the heart that won me over quickly. This is the third story by this author I have read and listened to in audible and I truly did not think it could top the others. But I am beginning to understand her writing has so much depth in her characters and insight into the emotions she builds on, I will always read her stories going forward! The narration of Alex Wyndham just brings the characters alive, with all of the angst, emotions and love that makes him one of my very favorite narrators. I could listen to him endlessly. A lady that needs saving from a marriage to an evil man and a hero who at first thinks he is not good enough for anyone. A washed up wounded soldier who could not possible come to the aid of a lady. But oh, he does and an amazing friendship develops which smoothly falls into a romance for the heart. A stunning, emotional dance filled with suspense, a marriage of convenience and a sigh worthy couple that exhibit all that is good in matters of the heart. I highly recommend this book and am listening to every audible by Mimi Matthews.

17 people found this helpful

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The Work of Art

Loved it. Listened to it twice in 3 days. Alex Wyndham is my favorite narrator.

10 people found this helpful

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Great Listen!

I liked Phyllida from the beginning. She did seem a bit naive about a few things but she was used to country life and not that of London. I did not care for her uncle at all, nor her cousin Elizabeth. Phyllida has such a big heart and feels things deeply. I loved how she helped Captain Heywood without anyone noticing. I really liked Captain Heywood! He is a great hero, perhaps a bit too protective at times but his heart was in the right place. The communication between the characters was excellent. This author writes great communication and great kisses. There are many fun little moments between Heywood and Philly, I loved the last page.

8 people found this helpful

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A Classic in the Making

Wonderful story with perfect narration. This audiobook is a permanent entry on my "go-to" list.

7 people found this helpful

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Melancholy romance

This is was a well written story with characters that have depth. It is like Georgette Heyer minus the comedic relief. I thought this story was kinda sad- melancholy like. I thought it could have been helped with some humor. Both of the main characters are so serious. The story did keep my attention and there were some surprises along the way, I definitely wanted to know what happened next. The narration was ok. He gave the male lead a hoarse whisper which was a bit odd and the way he read the female lead was also bit odd. It had an odd melodic staccato. Overall good and would read books by this same author.

6 people found this helpful

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My heart is a flutter!

Absolutely loved this - especially the open communication amongst the protagonists. Really, it gets “roll your eyes” irritating when there’s so much miscommunication in many of historical romances these days, this is so very refreshing and has the feel of an Austin novel. As for the narrator, he was amazing when he spoke/performed as the characters (especially the deep rasp of the hero) but was slightly monotonous when he was - well - narrating, but a solid performance over all.

5 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Great, intriguing plot, wonderful love story, strong but feminine heroine, fabulous narration! This novel was thoroughly enjoyable!

5 people found this helpful

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Decent Story, Annoying Narration

The story was good for the most part, but I found the narrator extremely distracting. He has a way of making everything he says sound like a question.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Original premise but could be better...

The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews is her first standalone Regency romance novel, and it is the fourth book I’ve read from this author. I’m thrilled to have discovered MM’s books, she’s a good writer, good storyteller, and most importantly, she writes accurate and well-researched historical romances. For some reason, in the last few months, I keep stumbling upon poorly research HR novels, and when I say the struggle has been real, I mean the struggle has been real. So, it’s always a pleasure to pick up one of MM’s book. Now, I wanted to give this book four stars, but there were a couple of things that bothered me, which brought the score down to 3.5 stars, and I decided to round down. The Highlights I loved the premise for this book, it’s very original in the historical romance genre (I’ve seen somewhat similar concepts in thrillers, but this is pretty original). Which made the first third of this book the strongest part of the whole book. There was a real sense of danger, of fear – whether or not Philly would be able to get away – and the development of the main couple was handled very well. It also gave strong villains/antagonists to the story, they weren’t mustache-twirling, but they were to be feared, which is what you want from a good villain. I found the development of the MC to be realistic, with a mostly organic progression to their feeling for each other. It wasn’t perfect; I wished she’d allowed them to be married a few weeks, without having them be in love with each other, to allow for a stronger development of their feeling (time/nearness). However, that didn’t hurt their relationship development for me; it just would have made it stronger, IMHO. One of the things I enjoy in romance is having the couple marry early on in the books. Seeing the development of their relationship after marriage is less common than having the marriage be the HEA. Still, I think it can sometimes be more fulfilling to see a couple work at their relationship after marriage. This helps us know that they’re going to be okay after all is said and done because they’ve worked through one of the big hurdles to staying happily married. The Lowlights There aren’t too many lowlights, but rarely is a book perfect. It didn’t bother me too much, but I wished that MM had taken the concept of “The Collector” and explored it to its full potential. If you’re going to create strong villains/antagonists that have realistic motivations, don’t abandon them a third of the way through the book. Yes, they are part of the story throughout, but really, we were done with them after Philly and Arthur got married. Maybe it’s just me, but I say embrace the villains/antagonist – don’t be afraid to be “predictable” because if done well, even a predictable story can be great. The fake-out was okay, but it didn’t do much for me. The other thing that bothered me is the concept – used WAY too often in romance – that if you’re good, you’re stupid. Now, a lot of good people might be naïve, and that is perfectly okay, and it makes sense, but being good doesn’t make you stupid, and it certainly shouldn’t make you blind to the malice of others. Being good is a choice you make, and most of the time, you make it knowing full well there are a lot of shitty people out there. Also, wanting to see the best in people should have their limits. I’m speaking of the heroine here, of course, heroes rarely are stupid or naïve. Conclusion The Work of Art is an original, well-told historical romance that I believe most romance lovers would enjoy. MM has a fresh perspective, and I hope she continues to explore different themes with her stories. Audiobook Note I don’t like Alex Wyndham’s voice, and I wish he weren’t the narrator of most of MM’s books. He has a strange cadence to his voice, which makes it sound like every sentence ends with a question. Also, most of the voices sound like he’s doing them in a whisper. But I didn’t take any stars away from MM’s story because of the narrator. Thankfully audible allows us to give separate stars for performance and story.

3 people found this helpful

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Woah! Misunderstandings are nonstarters!

Surprisingly sweet. And a couple that openly talks about what’s troubling them and addressed the misunderstanding without wallowing in misery? What a novel concept .

3 people found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 05-17-20

Lovely story

When I first started to listen to this I thought that I wouldn't like it. The narrators voice was a bit 'breathy'. I read the other reviews and decide to go on with the book. I am so glad I did, I got used to the narrator and even came to love his voice.The story was a lovely romance, not in the usual way, and the ending was a surprise. I have never listened to this authors work before but will search out another title to listen too. I have been listening to 'heavy' books lately so this was a pleasant change.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Julia
  • 02-29-20

First Class performance, ok story

I would have given for 4 stars for the story if the heroine would not have been so incredibly stupid at the end. Alex Wyndham is a great narrator! I actually choose this book while searching by narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 11-20-19

Good story

Good story which kept me guessing. It flagged a bit at 3/4s but the characters kept me interested.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Angela Whitear
  • 02-01-20

A new author

This is the first book I have listened to by this author and I couldn’t put it down.I had never heard Alex Wyndham read before and I warmed to him as the book progressed. I shall certainly look for another book by Mimi A

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  • sammie
  • 01-29-20

A slow start but gets better.....🙂

Although I enjoyed this book it did take awhile before it peaked my interest, it is worth a listen if you like the author....xx

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  • Hkerr
  • 01-14-20

A most enjoyable book

I originally bought the kindle version last year and enjoyed the story so much that I wanted to try the audio book. Alex Wyndham was an excellent narrator, simply brilliant. He brought the story and characters to life with such passion. I read a lot, mostly regency romance and Mimi Matthews is one of my favourite authors.

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  • Morgan Window
  • 12-01-19

Such a wonderful saving of love and mystery

Never sure if or who the villain is, you subtly fear the passionate love that the two main characters have for one another is constantly being threatened. Whether it be through Arthur’s protectiveness of Philly or the other sinister men who want her I was guessing till the very end. I don’t think I’ve encountered two characters I liked more really. Philly is sweet, true, and humble and Arthur is strong of will, honorable and kind. It is such a sweet and real love story. Matthews weaves together an excellent story of possession and love, mystery and intrigue, and depicts two characters to perfection and Wyndham brings it to life impeccably (as he always does). Truly Philly’s voice is so feminine and gentle, it’s hard to leave it isn’t a ladies! Highly recommend and can’t wait for more Matthews x Wyndham collabs. More more more!

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  • Book addict
  • 12-08-19

Really enjoyed this

I don’t listen to many historical romances because they’re usually a bit rubbish, but thought I’d give this one a go. So glad I did! It’s brilliant! Only one small niggle about how the plot goes towards the end, but it’s not enough for me to mark it down. The subtleties and romance were so well done that it felt really genuine. It doesn’t have sex scenes, but the book doesn’t really need them. You still feel the attraction and building closeness with those scenes off page. Well worth a listen.

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  • Ros H.
  • 12-06-19

Keeps you Guessing

This was a lovely book. The story of a girl who is being forced into a marriage by her evil conniving uncle. She is rescued by a man who has lots of issues. But with her help and their love they start to make a life for themselves. This book keeps you guessing till the end to who the villain is that is out to get Philly. Loved this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-29-20

Beautiful regency romance

I was reluctant to listen to this one, I seem to get caught up on the odd bad review, one in particular said the storyline was dull, however, after reading the Parish orphan series I couldn't resist giving this one the benefit of the doubt. I'm so glad I did. It was refreshing in the fact the two main characters are honest about their feeling for each other from the start, none the misguided assumptions and misunderstands, which seem to go on a bit in books like this. I loved that it was all out in the open from the start and then their relationship just grew from there. There were some twists and turns along the way and an ending I didn't expect or suspect, this was a nice change too. This was a beautiful feel good romance, I'm loving every book I've read of Mimi Matthews so far, going to look for others now. The narration was perfect, Alex Wyndham has done a wonderful job of all the Mimi Matthews I've listened to so far.

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  • Rhonwyn Rasmanis
  • 07-08-20

a plot... that's all it was. no more mimi for m

a plot... that's all it was. no more mimi for me. how about locating some Norman Lindsay comedy/romances?

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  • RomanticFool
  • 06-03-20

Thoroughly Enjoyed

Wow, it's been a long time since I listened to a book that I enjoyed as much as this one. I loved the slow build and character development. Narration was very good as well. I can definitely recommend this book.