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 society. 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?
“…a tender and swoon worthy interracial, cross-class romance in Victorian London…Readers will delight in this paean to women’s fashion and horseback riding.”— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Matthews brings the Victorian era to vivid life with meticulously researched details and an impossible romance made believable and memorable.”— Booklist, starred review
“Matthews deftly underscores racial and gender discrimination in Victorian London in this excellent start to ‘The Belles of London’ series; rather than overshadowing, it propels the romance. Romance aficionados who love fashion and animals will delight in this tender romance and will be excited to see Evelyn’s friends in future installments.” — Library Journal, starred review
“Unflinching, tender, and moving, the delicately crafted The Siren of Sussex might just be my favourite work from Mimi Matthews; it certainly is one of my favourite historical romance reads this year.”— Evie Dunmore, USA Today bestselling author of Portrait of a Scotsman
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.
Wow this was such a fantastic book. There were so many wonderful elements to this book and this is my first Mimi Matthews book, I didn’t know what to expect, only that it was sent in Victorian England. And that the main character liked horses (from the cover) but there’s a lot more to Evelyn, Evie, than that! She’s strong and independent and loyal to her family. She meets some great friends and I can’t wait to read their stories.
Evelyn is 23 and having her first season in London, there’s a bit of a scandal to her name from a sibling and she’s hoping to make a splash with her horsewomanship and finds a tailor to fashion a fetching riding habit. Little did Evelyn and Ahmad know how this moment would change their lives!
Ahmad has had a hard life, half English and half Indian and an orphan, he doesn’t really fit anywhere but he’s sacrificed and pressed on to support his cousin and himself and he has high hopes of owning his own dress shop. He just needs someone in high society to see his designs. He approaches Evelyn for a partnership, a friendship, because anything else would be a scandal.
I loved the depth of characters and more insight to the diversity of London and how it must have been like that for others. As its said in the book, its not fair. Especially when something like birth isn’t your choice, it just happens. And like Ahmed, you make do and readjust your dreams and expectations.
I was swept up in the spiritualists in this book because I had never read anything with that. That added a fun element to the story and I’m glad it get Evelyn to spend some time with her uncle.
Thank you to the publishers for an advance copy of this book. These are my own opinions. I had heard a lot of readers exclaim their love for Mimi Matthews book and lots of excitement for this release and there is good reason for it! I can’t wait to read more of her work.
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
-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 11:59pm 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.
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Jan 10 Cogitations and Meditations (Review)
Jan 10 Heidi Reads (Review)
Jan 10 Reading is My Superpower (Review)
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Jan 14 History Lizzie (Review)
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Jan 14 My Bookish Bliss (Review)
Jan 15 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)
Jan 15 Books and Socks Rock (Review)
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Jan 18 The Calico Critic (Review)
Jan 18 Nerd by Nature (Review)
Jan 18 Bobs & Books (Review)
Jan 19 The Secret Victorianist (Review)
Jan 19 Savvy Verse & Wit (Interview)
Jan 19 Captivated Reading (Review)
Jan 20 Vesper’s Place (Review)
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Jan 22 Red Headed Book Lady (Review)
Jan 23 Inkwell Inspirations (Review)
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Jan 24 Jocelyne Reads Romance (Review)
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Jan 24 Lady with a Quill (Review)
Jan 24 From Pemberley to Milton (Review)
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