The Belle of Belgrave Square
BY MIMI MATTHEWS
Rating: 5/5 Genre: Historical Romance Steam: Closed Door Publisher: Berkley Publishing Pub Date: October 11, 2022 Thank you Berkley Pub and AustenProse for my Advanced Copy on the blog tour. All thoughts are of my own. CW: PTSD, Mentioning of war, death, and torture (in the past), domestic abuse by parents, emotional abuse.
A London heiress rides out to the wilds of the English countryside to honor a marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger.
Tall, dark, and dour, the notorious Captain Jasper Blunt was once hailed a military hero, but tales abound of his bastard children and his haunted estate in Yorkshire. What he requires now is a rich wife to ornament his isolated ruin, and he has his sights set on the enchanting Julia Wychwood.
For Julia, an incurable romantic cursed with a crippling social anxiety, navigating a London ballroom is absolute torture. The only time Julia feels any degree of confidence is when she’s on her horse. Unfortunately, a young lady can’t spend the whole of her life in the saddle, so Julia makes an impetuous decision to take her future by the reins—she proposes to Captain Blunt.
In exchange for her dowry and her hand, Jasper must promise to grant her freedom to do as she pleases. To ride—and to read—as much as she likes without masculine interference. He readily agrees to her conditions, with one provision of his own: Julia is forbidden from going into the tower rooms of his estate and snooping around his affairs. But the more she learns of the beastly former hero, the more intrigued she becomes…
The Belle of Belgrave Review:
You know that excitement you get when you know the book you’re about to pick up is going to be AMAZING and it lives up to the internal hype you’ve given it?? Yeah, that’s this book. It’s equal parts beauty and the beast (SWOON) and an homage to Victorian gothic novels with a stunning romance within. Between the settings, the character growth, captivating plot and writing there’s so much to love.
I loved Julia with every ounce of my being. From her place of being a product of abuse to rebelling, in her way, to living her life was amazing. How someone could pick up this book and not fall irrevocably in love with Julia is beyond me. She’s quiet and shy, but Matthews handles her in such a beautiful way that she’s not meek or a push over. Incredibly compelling character.
Jasper Blunt was mentioned in passing in the previous book, but the way that he is fleshed out and grows in this book? I adored it. I adore him. Did I want a million more pages to explore him and the children? Yes. He is one of those amazing characters that is a breath of fresh air and makes you love him even through his prickly personality.
The way that Matthews writes this story is a masterclass. It feels like it was almost written in the time period of the story, yet is fresh and modern enough. How she does it, I don’t know, but it becomes the perfect backdrop to the romance she writes. The tender little moments glow and even the “villains” of the story are fully believable, which is always an accomplishment.
Long Story Short:
Do I recommend this book? YES!! It was exactly the type of book I needed to get out of a reading slump. It’s quietly charming and before you know it you’re already half done with it. Did I sneak in reading a few pages, *cough* chapters *cough* at work… I’ll never tell. But this series has become incredibly dear to me and I think that if you even remotely like historical romances you’ll love this one. Between the characters, twists, and beautiful prose this book will live with me for a LONG time.
This would be perfect for you if you love Emily Sullivan, especially her last book The Hellion and The Hero as there are many similar themes, but all of her books would be excellent comparative pieces (A Rogue to Remember, The Rebel and The Rake). Additionally, if you like Harper St. George (The Heiress Gets a Duke, The Devil and The Heiress, The Lady Tempts an Heir).
- “A grand cross-class romance, a twisty mystery, and emotional internal struggles combine to excellent effect…fans and new readers alike will root for this well-earned love story.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
- “[C]ombines deception, risk, and a resourceful heroine to create an intoxicating, suspenseful romance. Highly recommended.”— Library Journal (starred review)
- “If you’re a fan of Beauty and the Beast, this regency romance will rapidly become a new favorite of yours. Wallflower meets an infamous war hero in this fascinating and intriguing love story.”— BuzzFeed
- “Mimi Matthews never disappoints, with richly drawn characters and couples whose individual shortcomings become strengths, when paired together. In this Beauty and the Beast retelling, we get to root for two underdogs who get to rewrite their own stories.”— Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were Here
- “The Belle of Belgrave Square is such tremendous, good fun: a heroine with a big horse, an even bigger novel-reading habit, and a hidden anxiety; a hero with a crumbling estate, a trio of wary children, and a literary secret—what’s not to love? Mimi Matthews paints Victorian England with vivid humor, and her Belles of London is set to go on for at least a few more much-anticipated installments. Julian Fellowes fans will rejoice!”— Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye
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.
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READ AN EXCLSUIVE INTERVIEW WITH MIMI MATTHEWS
Discover intriguing insights into The Belle of Belgrave Square and Mimi’s writing life in
this exclusive interview at austenprose.com.
Tour Wide Giveaway for The Belle of Belgrave Square
Mimi has generously offered a fabulous giveaway that book tour participants can add to
their post and on social media. Here are the details:
Giveaway period: October 3 – October 30
Terms & Conditions:
Giveaway hosted by Mimi Matthews. No Purchase Necessary. Entrants must be 18
years or older. Open to US residents only. All information will remain confidential and
will not be sold or otherwise used, except to notify the winner and to facilitate postage of
the book to the winner. Void where prohibited.
1 winner (selected at random by Rafflecopter) receives a paperback copy of The Belle
of Belgrave Square, signed and annotated by the author with personal comments,
underlining of her favorite lines, and other highlights by Mimi Matthews.
Giveaway is open from 12:01 am Pacific time 10/03/22 until 11:59pm Pacific time on
The winner will be announced on Mimi’s blog on 10/31/22.
Rafflecopter Form Link
This blog has no control over the raffle and is offering access to it via the blog tour. Please see Mimi Matthew’s website for all further information.
- The Belle of Belgrave Square: Belles of London (Book 2), by Mimi Matthews
- Berkley Romance (October 11, 2022)
- Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook (432) pages
- ISBN: 978-0593337158
- Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction