Mimi MatthewsMimi Matthews

The Siren of Sussex

Book 1: Belles of London

About the Book

A Library Journal Pick of the Month
An Amazon Best Romance of January
A Barnes & Noble Most Anticipated New Book Release of 2022
A PopSugar, Oprah Daily, and BookBub Most Anticipated Romance of 2022
A 2023 RUSA Reading List shortlist pick for Best Romance

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?

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The Siren of Sussex audiobook by Mimi Matthews


This book is also available on audiobook from the following booksellers:

Narrator: Vidish Athavale and Lydia Hanman
Format: Unabridged
Runtime: 9 hrs


“Matthews opens her Belles of London series with a tender and swoonworthy 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 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)

“Matthews brings the Victorian era to vivid life with meticulously researched details and an impossible romance made believable and memorable.”

Booklist (starred review)

“Readers should expect emotional heft and fascinating historical detail…Matthews explores cultural identity conflicts, exoticism and the difficult position of a merchant catering to the whims of a privileged class, all within a tender, empowering love story.”

Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“Mimi Matthews tops herself with the first novel in what appears to be a fresh and brilliant new series…The Siren of Sussex is easily the best romance I’ve read so far this year, and is definitely one of my favorite romances of all time.”

– All About Romance (Desert Isle Keeper)

“A masterclass in using fashion history to build character.”


“The gorgeous historical romance we’ve all been waiting for.”

The Culturess

“The kind of book that will have you ready for a sequel.”


“The swoon-worthy bond that develops between this pair as they navigate the many leaps and hurdles of a prejudiced society together cements this 2022 release as a new historical romance classic.”


“Lush, seductive, original—The Siren of Sussex drew me in from the first page, and wove its magic. A fresh, vibrant, brilliant Victorian romance, making it an unforgettable read.”

– Jane Porter, New York Times bestselling author

“What I love about Mimi Matthews is that in the crowded field of historical romance she always finds new and interesting slants for her plots and characters. That, along with her wonderful writing and meticulous research, makes every book she puts out a rare treat to enjoy and savor. Highly recommended!”

– Kate Pearce, New York Times bestselling author

“Unflinching, tender, and moving, the delicately crafted 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

“Impeccably researched, brimming with passion and chemistry, and a loving tribute to Victorian fashion and horsemanship, The Siren of Sussex is a page-turning, powerful, and endearing love story about two people rising above the pressures of society to follow their hearts. A five-star fantastic read!”

– Syrie James, USA Today bestselling author

“An exquisite historical romance that is so captivating I had to force myself not to gallop through it at a breakneck speed, wanting to savor the author’s obvious care and delicate attention to detail…A must read for lovers of historical fiction.”

– Meg Tilly, author of The Runaway Heiress

“A moving love story and a vivid recreation of Victorian life, The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews is a treat of a book for the historical romance lover.”

– Anna Campbell, award-winning author

“Readers have learned to expect absorbing dramas from Mimi Matthews, and her latest–in which a strong and intelligent woman finds a way to save her family’s fortunes while following her own heart–is no exception. Any reader who has ever loved horses, high fashion, and brooding protagonists will fall hard for The Siren of Sussex. I savored it to the final page.”

– Stephanie Barron, author of That Churchill Woman

“The best book I’ve read in a long time: gorgeously written, thoughtfully considered, swoonily romantic, and unafraid to examine issues of class, race, and gender.”

– Olivia Dade, national bestselling author

“Marvelously crafted, Evelyn and Ahmad’s world is ripe with nuanced social perceptions and characters that winnow heart-deep. At times passionately intelligent and achingly vulnerable, The Siren of Sussex is destined to dazzle readers of Evie Dunmore and Harper St. George.”

– Rachel McMillan, author of The Mozart Code


  • 2023 ALA RUSA Reading List – Best in Genre Fiction for Adult Readers – Romance shortlist

Book Club Kit

Considering The Siren of Sussex for your next book club? My publisher Berkley Romance has created a gorgeous book club kit for you to use, including discussion questions, my inspiration images for the story, and a special letter from me to you! 

The Details

Published: January 11, 2022
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 432
Formats: EbookPaperbackAudiobook
ISBN-10: 0593337134 ISBN-13: 978-0593337134 ASIN: B092861QBZ
Genres & Tropes
Victorian Romance, Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Horses, Fashion, #OwnVoices

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