The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
“…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
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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