30 January 2022

Book Review: The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

This is exactly the type of book I like to read – and write! There’s a heroine who is intelligent and independent, an unlikely yet swoon-worthy hero, a vivid period setting, and plenty of delicious romance without gratuitous love scenes. The Siren of Sussex is book one in a new series of Victorian romances entitled “Belles of London”.

The story centres around Evelyn Maltravers, a country miss attempting to save her family from scandal by making a good match. She enlists the help of habit-designer Ahmad Malik, who takes a chance on the dowdy bluestocking after he witnesses her unparalleled horsemanship. Their escalating chemistry is as both tantalising as it is forbidden – he is in trade, after all. Will Evelyn be able to save her family’s fortunes and find true love in the bargain?

Like my own books, Matthews doesn’t take the well-worn route of writing about Dukes (the period equivalent of billionaires), and I applaud her for writing about an immigrant of a different race. It is much more interesting to read about characters who face true challenges in a multi-layered society and come to depend upon each other for their happiness. The author draws you into their world with lots of historical details and equine knowledge. A cast of rich supporting characters complete the picture – although it is obvious from the outset that Evelyn’s friends will be the heroines for future books. There is a plot element relating to spirituality that isn’t my cup of tea, but apparently a fascination with these elements of the occult is historically accurate.

Overall, this was a complex and satisfying romance with delightful characters and an original plot. I’d give it 4.5 stars and will definitely be seeking out more books by Matthews.

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.


Thank you to Laurel Ann from Austenprose for asking me to participate in the blog tour for The Siren of Sussex.

The Siren of Sussex Book Tour Schedule    


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Charlotte. I am glad that you enjoyed Siren. I also appreciated Mimi's talent at creating a world and characters that you can relate too. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, The Belle of Belgrave Square in October. I am hoping that we will have a new book from you soon too.

    1. Thanks Laurel Ann. I'm hoping I have a new book soon as well! It's in the works...