Monday, January 24, 2022

Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

About the Book
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 discovered Mimi Matthews’ books a couple years ago and instantly became a fan. So I always get very excited when she has a new release and jump at any opportunity to read it.
I loved the connection to the Parish Orphans of Devon series since we were first introduced to Ahmad in the second book. He was an intriguing character so it was cool for him to get a story all of his own. His dedication and passion for his work was clearly evident in every thing he did and it was very admirable.
Evelyn had some fanciful ideas but overall she was rather sensible and was willing to do whatever necessary to accomplish her plans.
The two of them were well suited despite the class and cultural differences that created a myriad of obstacles for their relationship.
The descriptions of all of the fashion as well as constant horse talk did bog down the story at times but you could tell that the author had done prolific research and deeply cared about the subjects.
Also, as a PSA for those who care: There was a decent bit of mention about spiritualism, seances, crystal balls, and the like. The main characters themselves didn’t buy into all of it and it was all historically accurate so it didn’t bother me much but I know other people might take issue with it.
Overall this was a well-written story that certainly won’t be usurping my favorites of hers but was still an enjoyable read!

Meet 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.
Photo credit: Berkley Jove (TR)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.