The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews: Book Review

Welcome to my tour stop with Austenprose for this amazing new historical romance novel!

Giveaway Package from Author is at the bottom of the post–don’t miss out!

The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews is placed on the edge of an ornate gold mirror. To the left of the book is a string of turtles plant. To the right of the book is a colorful rug and a white blanket.

The Siren of Sussex

by Mimi Matthews

Rating: 5/5 
Genre: Historical Romance
Steam: Closed Door
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Pub Date: January 11, 2022
Thank you Berkley Pub and AustenProse for my Advanced Copy on the blog tour. All thoughts are of my own.

The Siren of Sussex 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?


“…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


The Siren of Sussex Review

Where do I begin with this novel? In short it is a beautiful romance novel with depth and knowledge all packed into one, surprisingly quick, read. I will not be well after reading this for quite some time. The Siren of Sussex was swoon, character driven, well researched, and captivating. It took me on a journey and I couldn’t put it down! I read this in 2021, but I imagine that it will be high on my 2022 reads next year–it’s that good!


To be completely honest, when I started the book I was a little hesitant because writing about Britain and India during the Victorian Era with a half-Indian love interest is a complicated matter and it can be worrisome how it will be handled. This was one of the best, in my opinion, historical romance novels I’ve read that’s tackled this history. Matthews has done an incredible job researching every aspect of this novel–with her notes about the various topics in the back of the book. This by itself has made Matthew’s books a must read for me!

Ahmad and Evelyn were amazing characters to take a journey with. Their wants were clearly laid out, their chemistry was off the charts (hello fittings!), and what they all did for each other. Excellent. They had their skeletons in their closets but they were communicative, which is my FAVORITE part of any romance novel. They had it. Plus their chemistry!!! Did I already mention that? Well, it was amazing.

Side characters were thought out and I am going to need more from them in the future. Mira–superb. Loved her spunk and her story (can we have like a 1.5 novel of her life, please!!!!). Julia, Stella, and Anne–I have a feeling your stories will come and I cannot wait. I have a feeling these will be just as excellent as this novel.

The pacing! This is somewhere between a slow burn and not a slow burn (idk, just trust me on this). There was enough pining and longing to make me really relish when the characters came together, but the communication throughout the novel led it to be such a great anticipation. And the consequences surrounding the character, ugh, be still my heart.


The only thing I have some mixed feelings over was Fenny and Anthony’s story. I know why it was included, but it felt incomplete comparatively to the rest of the novel. There was background in the story of the rift between Fenny and Evelyn and that led to some beliefs by Evelyn, but I guess I wanted a bit more. What was the drift? How did it affect Evelyn before Fenny took off for London? Not wanting to spoil anything, but I wanted additional information on that aspect of the novel.

Long Story Short:

If you are in need for an excellent historical romance with enough spunk, heart, and swoon this is it. I need a movie of this. A grand sweeping movie with Oscar worthy costumes. I know that I will personally be recommending this novel to everyone I know who loves an amazing historical romance novel. How could I not? Also, they’re not wrong when they say if you like Harper St. George (The Heiress Gets a Duke, The Devil and The Heiress), Evie Dunmore( Bringing Down the DukeA Rogue Of One’s Own, Portrait of a Scotsman), or Emily Sullivan (A Rogue to Remember, The Rebel and The Rake)–each link is my review of the books. This book is vibrant and can we have that movie please??

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. 


Tour Wide Giveaway for The Siren of Sussex

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.

Enter In the Raffle:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Eleanor. Mimi is an amazing writer. Her historical research really places in the era and place. The romance was swoon-worthy. I am looking forward to the next book in the series which releases in October. Best, LA

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