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Review: APPOINTMENT IN BATH by Mimi Matthews

Updated: Jan 17


A chance meeting between the sheltered daughter and the forward-thinking son of rival Victorian families sparks a forbidden romance in USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews’s fourth book in her acclaimed Somerset Stories series.

Shy and stammering Meg Burton-Smythe has spent the whole of her life living on the fringes of local society. She’s more comfortable with her daydreams than she is with people. But when a dashing, golden-haired hero rides to her rescue one morning, she dares to hope that her dreams might finally come true. There’s only one problem: her handsome rescuer is the son of her father’s sworn enemy.

Ivo Beresford doesn’t believe in clinging to the past. Freshly returned from a lengthy grand tour, he’s looking to the future, eager to spearhead the building of a new railway extension in Somersetshire. But an unexpected encounter with Meg Burton-Smythe, the isolated only daughter of his parents’ oldest foe, sets the past and the future colliding.

REVIEW by Christina Boyd

When shy Meg Burton-Smythe falls from her horse and is rescued by a handsome and charming gentleman, she recognizes him at once as a son of her father’s sworn enemy. Ivo Beresford, a forward-thinking bespectacled gallant, has no time for old family grudges and begins a friendship with her.

It is why we're in this middle. All this emphasis on tradition at the expense of progress. One is supposed to keep doing something just because it's what's always been done. It's mindlessness. ~Chapter 2.

Of course, romantic feelings brew and life becomes complicated.

Meg privately cursed her terrible luck. It was bad enough that the gentleman coming to her aid should be gorgeous beyond imagination, but a member of a family as abhorrent to her own family as the Montagues ever were to the Capulets. ~Chapter 1.

Doomed Romeo and Juliet may be a tale as old as time, but Ivo and Meg’s spirited romance is a positive, refreshing spin of a classic trope. The reimagined plot is page-turner worthy. Ivo and Meg’s chemistry verily crackles. My only complaint is the novel ends too quickly. In the words of Jane Austen: “If a book is well written, I always find it too short.”

Appointment in Bath is another page-turning installment in Mimi Matthews’s oeuvre of happily-ever-after historical romance. The "Somerset Stories" series is not to be missed!


Mimi Matthews is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. Her critically acclaimed works include The Siren of Sussex, a 2023 RUSA Reading List shortlist pick for Best Romance; 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 and a 2021 Daphne du Maurier Award nominee.

Mimi’s novels have received starred reviews in Publishers WeeklyLibrary JournalBooklistKirkus, and Shelf Awareness,and have been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Oprah Daily, NPR, PopSugar, Goop, BookPage, Book Riot, and BuzzFeed. They have been translated into seven languages.

When not writing historical romance, Mimi authors nonfiction books and articles on all aspects of nineteenth century history—from animals, art, and etiquette to fashion, beauty, feminism, and law. Her nonfiction history books (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beautyand The Pug Who Bit Napoleon) are published by Pen and Sword Books UK. Her articles are available at various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and can also be found 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.


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