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Mimi Matthews never disappoints. Her writing offers rich views about delicate circumstances. Mimi includes all the love and sweet romance you want. The Siren of Sussex has it all, delivering a realistic look at Britain in the 19th century. Blatant racism and classism included.

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  • Title: The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London – Book 1)
  • Author: Mimi Matthews
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishers on January 11, 2022
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Pages: 432
  • Formats Available: Paperback, Audio, & Digital
  • Rating: 4/5

Trigger Warnings: Racism

Many thanks to Mimi Matthews and Berkley Publishers for providing me with a digital copy of The Siren of Sussex with a request for an honest review. Thanks also to Austenprose PR for inviting me on this tour and providing me with the materials for this post.

About The Siren of Sussex

Victorian high society’s most daring equestrienne finds love and an unexpected ally in her fight for independence in the strong arms of London’s most sought after and devastatingly handsome half-Indian tailor.

Evelyn Maltravers understands exactly how little she’s worth on the marriage mart. As an incurable bluestocking from a family tumbling swiftly toward ruin, she knows she’ll never make a match in a ballroom. Her only hope is to distinguish herself by making the biggest splash in the one sphere she excels: on horseback. In haute couture. But to truly capture London’s attention she’ll need a habit-maker who’s not afraid to take risks with his designs—and with his heart.

Half-Indian tailor Ahmad Malik has always had a talent for making women beautiful, inching his way toward recognition by designing riding habits for Rotten Row’s infamous Pretty Horsebreakers—but no one compares to Evelyn. Her unbridled spirit enchants him, awakening a depth of feeling he never thought possible.

But pushing boundaries comes at a cost and not everyone is pleased to welcome Evelyn and Ahmad into fashionable ociety. With obstacles spanning between them, the indomitable pair must decide which hurdles they can jump and what matters most: making their mark or following their hearts?https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-siren-of-sussex-by-mimi-matthews

Blurb Provided by Austenprose PR for Tour Use

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Order The Siren of Sussex NowAmazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Bookshop | Bookbub


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My Review

Evelyn enjoys being with her horse more than anything in the world. Unfortunately, Evie’s older sister runs off and shirks her familial duty. Thus, leaving the job to Evelyn. This newfound duty forces Evie to form a plan to find a husband. One that offers her sisters a chance at making their own matches. This plan includes showing up on Rotten Row in the most splendid riding habit imaginable. And to do that, she needs a special tailor for the job. Ahmad Malik is nothing like she expected to find in a tailor, but that doesn’t stop her from ordering her new habit. A bond forms between creator and muse, but will this bond tear Evelyn’s life apart?

Characters

I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved Evie. She is strong, spunky, and too down on herself. She thinks the only way a man will notice her is from her riding skill, which is a silly notion. Women tend to have those thoughts, making Evie feel like a real person. Evie made great friends, and the women’s rapport speaks volumes. Each friend offers something the others don’t. These offerings make them unique and special.

Ahmad took a little getting used to. His stern demeanor makes him feel offputting. But, I understand why he acts this way, which allows me to forgive his faults. He refuses to allow Evie to endure one day of humiliation or sadness in his arms. So, he acts in ways that make me angry even though I admire him for putting Evie’s feelings first. Like a typical man, though, he thinks he knows what’s best for her without giving her an inch to put forth her thoughts.

Setting

I am always thrilled to return to Mayfair. This section of London makes me wish for times long gone when I could live and dream in such grandeur and beauty. I would love to ride down Rotten Row on my noble steed. One visit to Grosvenor Square would sate me my whole life through. And, no one gives you London the same way Mimi Matthews does. She gives us the grandness of Mayfair, but she also journeys to the East End full of rank smells and rowdy men. Mimi makes me feel I know London even though I’ve barely been out of my home state of Indiana, let alone out of the country. It’s nice to travel with other readers.

Further Thoughts

Mimi usually gives me everything I could ask for in a book and more. That is also true this time around, though I did feel a bit confused. This book is the first of the series but felt like the second or third. The background information dribbles out, but in a way that I found wanting. I wanted to know so much more about what felt like hints. I am sure that more will come out in the later novels, but this was a tiny bit of a let-down.

Wrapping Up

I award The Siren of Sussex 4 out of 5 stars. It was so much fun learning about middle-class London through Ahmad. To see life through the eyes of mixed heritage left me wanting so much more. If you get the chance, pick this one up. Interestingly, I did not cry at this one but loved it all the same.

4 Star Review


About the Author – Mimi Matthews

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USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus, 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.

Author’s Contact Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Bookbub | Goodreads


The Siren of Sussex Author Giveaway!

Mimi has generously offered a fabulous giveaway package that book tour participants can add to their posts and on social media. Here are the details:

Terms & Conditions: Giveaway hosted by Mimi Matthews. No Purchase Necessary. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Open to US residents only. Void where prohibited.

The Giveaway Package:

  • 1 winner (selected at random by Rafflecopter) receives the following:
  • Signed print copy of The Siren of Sussex
  • Horse scarf
  • Pewter sidesaddle brooch (made in Sussex, England!)
  • The Siren of Sussex tote bag
  • Three candles in scents: Fresh Hay, New Saddle, and Winter Ride
  • Box of Ahmad Tea (60 count, assorted flavors)
  • The Siren of Sussex bookmark

The giveaway is open from 12:01 am Pacific time 1/4/22 until 11:59 pm Pacific time on 2/7/22.

The winner will be announced on Mimi’s blog – mimimatthews.com – at 8:00 pm Pacific time on 2/8/22.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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