Saturday, January 8, 2022

ARC Review: The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

The Siren of Sussex

Mimi Matthews
Series: Belles of London (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley (January 11, 2022)

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?

My Thoughts: Evelyn Maltravers has come to London to find a husband. Knowing that her strength lies in her horsemanship, the first thing she needs to find is a tailor who can make her a stunning riding habit. She finds a shop where half-Indian Ahmad Malik is working. He is trying to build his reputation as a fashion designer but faces many obstacles including his heritage.

Evelyn is also facing some obstacles including trying to overcome the hit to her reputation caused by her older sister's running away with a man. She certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with her tailor.

Ahmad and Evelyn face all sorts of trials on their way to their happy ending. Society's expectations and a noblewoman who wants Ahmad and is aching for vengeance when he refuses her are all obstacles in their paths. 

This story set in 1861 takes advantage of the Victorian fascination with spiritualism and the effects of Prince Albert's death and weaves them into an excellent romance. I really liked Evelyn who was determined to chart her own path and not be swayed by what anyone else says. I liked Ahmad for being an honorable man in a difficult situation and for his love for Evelyn.

Fans of historical romances with depth will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
"First it's wallflower, then it's bluestocking, and then it's old maid or spinster. I don't wish to be filed away in a neat little category, labeled and dismissed by society as If I weren't a person full of mysterious complexities. I don't even know the full depth and breadth of what I am yet -- or what I'm capable of. How can a man? How can anyone?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!