Book Review

Book Review: The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London #1) by Mimi Matthews

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Mimi Matthews
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: January 11th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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?


Wonderful that this book was a romance because that was definitely the best part of the entire book. I was completely wrapped up in these two star crossed lovers. They were very sweet on each other and all of these tense, yet soft, moments between them had me absolutely swooning.

It also approached a lot of different topics from racism and colonialism to conversing with spirits and falling in love. I did think the spirts sub-plot was a bit out there and didn’t necessarily fit with the book. The author’s note cleared some of that up, but it still didn’t mesh for me with the rest of the story.

I loved that Evelyn was an excellent horse woman and found her way in society. I liked her growth as a character and that she found a supportive friend group. I LOVE good friend groups and now I want to read the next books in this series so I can get everyone’s story.

The audio book was great, DUAL POV and dual narrators too!! Always my favorite aspect of romance books.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: light
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: racism, micro-aggressions, colonialism

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