“The Siren of Sussex” by Mimi Matthews

Wait. Wait. A Victorian-era romance about an equestrienne and a tailor? Written by an author I can trust to do her research? Be still my beating heart! (Horses and historical dressmaking, two of my favorite things – but also so often gotten SO WRONG.)

Some years back, I read a different Mimi Matthews book, and although her writing was excellent, I wanted to smack the characters for not communicating. There was a tiny bit of that here, but I found it believable given what the characters have to overcome (differences of class, race, and experience, as Evie is an English gentleman’s daughter and Ahmad is an Anglo-Indian tradesman who grew up in a bordello).

I read historical romances because I like history, and everything about this was spot on, while still being an adorable love story. Also, although this book contains nothing spicier than kissing, there’s more chemistry between the characters than in many romances that go a lot further.

Highly recommended for any historical romance reader – or if you don’t read the genre but want to get into it, this would be a great place to start.

“And I have [my reputation] to establish.” She leaned over the counter. “I am not a bluestocking. I don’t attend intellectual salons or meetings on rational dress. I don’t secretly write novels or newspaper editorials. And I certainly don’t dabble in scientific experiments. I have only two passions in life: horses and fashion. I’m well-equipped to cut a dash with the former, but I need Mr. Doyle’s assistance with the latter.”



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