Book Review — The Siren of Sussex

28 Jan

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



Fans of historical romance fiction will love Mimi Matthews’ latest book, The Siren of Sussex. This sizzling novel set in Victorian England features two unlikely main characters. Crossing class and race, Ahmad Malik and Evelyn Maltreavers are two to root for. The unconventional relationship may not raise eyebrows today, but was taboo in the 1800s. To say the two had chemistry from the start is an understatement. 😉 While overall a clean read, the tension between the two will have romance readers swooning. (Please note: that this book is targeted towards a general market reader.) Matthews does a great job of placing the reader into the time and place of mid-19th century England. Historical details are evidence of thorough research. The culture and mores of the time ring true. All aspects of society are covered — from brothel to tradesmen to Mayfair drawing rooms. Adding the world of fashion and the Victorian’s interest in spiritualism ramped up my interest.

If you are already a Mimi Matthews fan, you will enjoy her latest with cameos of characters from previous novels. If you haven’t read anything by Matthews, but are a dedicated historical romance reader, you definitely need to check this one out.

Audience: adults.

(I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


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. 

You can find Mimi at the following sites:




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 11:59pm Pacific time on 2/7/22.

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

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

One Response to “Book Review — The Siren of Sussex”

  1. Laurel Ann Nattress January 30, 2022 at 7:56 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Beckie. Mimi is such a gifted writer. I also enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the second book in the series, The Belle of Belgrave Square in October.

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