Historical Romance Book Review: The Siren of Sussex

About the Book

Title: The Siren of Sussex:  

Series: Belles of London (Book 1) 

Author: Mimi Matthews 

Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction 

Publisher: Berkley Romance  

Release Date: January 11, 2022 

Length: (432) pages 

Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook  

Tour Dates: January 10-30, 2022

Purchase Links

Publisher's Book Description

“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?”

Advance Praise

“…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

My Review

The Siren of Sussex, by Mimi Matthews, is the first book in the Belles of London series. Filled with romance, history, and intrigue, this book offers a tender story of the power of perseverance, truth, and courage. It is a thoroughly captivating, emotionally-stirring, and utterly thought-provoking novel.  


Set in England during the Victorian Era, this well-written love story is smart, thoughtful, and honest as it boldly and effectively explores such difficult themes as classism, racism, and colonialism in London more than one hundred years ago. Yet, even while grappling with these challenging themes, this novel embraces optimism, determination, and hope. More than once, this novel brought an ache to my heart as I reflected on the injustices endured by many of the characters in the story. As shown throughout history, and as illuminated in this story, the human capacity for survival and perseverance against great odds is nearly immeasurable. 

I found this book and the perspectives contained within it to be incredibly compelling, and it held me in rapt attention page after page. Ms. Matthews has skillfully crafted authentic characters who are vulnerable, sympathetic, and realistic. Their ingenuity, passion, authenticity, and resiliency are enthralling and inspirational.  

The Siren of Sussex is an outstanding novel from beginning to end. Ms. Mathews’ talent for immersive storytelling is breathtaking. Her writing is beautiful, well-researched, descriptive, and engrossing. This story is altogether moving and quite unforgettable. I eagerly recommend it, and I look forward to reading other books in this series. 

*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and Austenprose PR. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

About the Author: Mimi Matthews

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. Connect with Mimi Matthews at any of the following sites: 



Mimi Matthews has generously offered a fabulous giveaway package! 


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 11:59pm 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.

Click here to enter the giveaway!


  1. Thank you for your thoughtful review, Elizabeth. I enjoyed the historical details and the romance as well. I am looking forward to the second book in the series, The Bell of Belgrave Square in October.


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