Monday, January 17, 2022

The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews #BookReview #BookTour #Giveaway #MimiMatthews #AustenprosePR


The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London, #1)The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Victorian Romance

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?

My thoughts: I was so excited to see that Ahmad got a love story. He is the quiet and faithful servant in A Modest Independence. This story is not the usual romance. It is set in Victorian times and the couple has hurdles to jump. He is half Indian and she is an English woman.

Evelyn has come to London to make an advantageous match. Her family has the cloud of scandal because of her older sister's decisions. She plans to forgo her happiness to ensure that they can have a love match. Evelyn doubts herself and relies on her skills as a horsewoman. Her plan is to get the best riding habit to transform herself into something remarkable to gain notice from the eligible gentry. In order to do this, she enlists the services of Ahmad Malik, the best habit craftsman in London.

The feelings that they develop are surprising to both of them. It wasn't part of the plan and they fight their attraction to each other. He because of his social standing and she because she thinks she must marry someone titled.

The book explores an aspect of history that I was not familiar with.  Some of the gentries believed in Spiritualism.  I found this bit of history fascinating.  I love to learn something new!  

I really enjoyed this story of two unlikely characters. This story made me feel good. It is a story of hope and love.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Online Purchase Links:

About the Author: 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


Advanced 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


Timeframe: Jan 4 - Feb 7, 2022

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 - – at 8:00 pm Pacific time on 2/8/22.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Book Tour and Stop by the blog participants!

Jan 10   Cogitations and Meditations

Jan 10   Heidi Reads

Jan 10   Reading is My Superpower

Jan 10   Austenprose

Jan 10   Eli's Novel Reviews

Jan 10   Robin Loves Reading

Jan 11   Culturess

Jan 11   Gwendalyn's Books

Jan 11   Syrie James

Jan 11   Wishful Endings

Jan 12   Amanda's Book Corner

Jan 12   Quill Ink

Jan 12   Relz Reviewz

Jan 13   Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina

Jan 13   Roses are Blue

Jan 13   The Lit Bitch

Jan 14   History Lizzie

Jan 14   Life of Literature

Jan 14   My Bookish Bliss

Jan 15   The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Jan 15   Books and Socks Rock

Jan 16   Heather Moll

Jan 16   The Bashful Bookworm

Jan 17   Eleanor Lynn

Jan 17   Bookworm Lisa

Jan 17   Novel's Alive

Jan 18   The Calico Critic

Jan 18   Nerd by Nature

Jan 18   Bobs & Books

Jan 19   The Secret Victorianist

Jan 19   Savvy Verse & Wit

Jan 19   Captivated Reading

Jan 20   Vesper's Place

Jan 20   Nurse Bookie

Jan 20   A Bookish Way of Life

Jan 21   Clarissa Harwood

Jan 21   Library of Clean Reads

Jan 21   Bonnie Reads and Writes

Jan 21   Christian Chick's Thoughts

Jan 22   The Literature Chick Book Blog

Jan 22   Red Headed Book Lady

Jan 23   Inkwell Inspirations

Jan 23   Stacy's Books

Jan 24   Jocelyne Reads Romance

Jan 24   One Book More

Jan 24   Lady with a Quill

Jan 24   From Pemberley to Milton

Jan 25   Confessions of a Book Addict

Jan 25   Stephanie Barron

Jan 25   Laura's Reviews

Jan 25   Reading with Emily

Jan 26   Bringing Up Books

Jan 26   A Darn Good Read

Monday, January 10, 2022

A Deep Divide by Kimberley Woodhouse #BookReview


A Deep Divide (Secrets of the Canyon Book #1)A Deep Divide by Kimberley Woodhouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  I received a review copy and purchased my own.
Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction/Romance

Book Description:  After being kidnapped as a child, heiress Emma Grace McMurray has seen firsthand the devastation that greed causes in the world, and she wants nothing to do with it--including her father's offering her hand in a business deal. She sneaks away to be a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Grand Canyon Hotel, planning to stay hidden even if it means always looking over her shoulder.

Ray Watkins arrives at the hotel wanting to impress his father by finding success on his own. Then maybe he can take on more of the family business and do something good with the profits.

Ray immediately admires Emma Grace, and though a friendship forms, she's afraid he's just like every other wealthy man she's known. Then art and jewels go missing from El Tovar and the nearby Hopi House, a mystery that pulls them in and stirs up their worst fears. When shocking revelations come to light, they'll have to question all they thought to be true.

My thoughts: If you were on the outside looking in, you would think that Emma Grace is a person to be envied. She is wealthy and beautiful. You would think that she had it all, but she has emotional scars and is running from her past. Her outlook was forever changed when she was kidnapped as a child and she learned that not everyone is trustworthy.

This story is set in the Grand Canyon. Kimberley Woodhouse gave wonderful descriptions. I could almost picture it in my head. She brought the time and the place alive in my imagination. I can honestly say that I was lost in the story.

The relationship between Emma Grace and Ray starts off slow. He is a good man, but wealthy, that immediately sets off red flags to Emma Grace. It takes a while before she can determine whether or not to trust him. He is patient and kind as he helps her rediscover her faith and while she learns to trust him.

Ms. Woodhouse does a great job of disguising some of the bad guys. It is a bit of a surprise when you learn everything. I really enjoyed the characters and the story.

Online Purchase Links:

About the Author:  Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than twenty-five books. A lover of history and research, she often gets sucked into the past and then her husband has to lure her out with chocolate and the promise of eighteen holes on the golf course. She loves music, kayaking, and her family. Her books have been awarded the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Reader's Choice Award, Selah Award, Spur Award, and others. A popular speaker/teacher, she's shared with over 1,000,000 people at more than twenty-five hundred venues across the country. Married to the love of her life for three decades, she lives and writes in the Poconos where she's traded in her hat of "craziest mom" for "coolest grandma." Connect with Kim at