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Publisher's Summary

A PopSugar, Oprah Daily, and BookBub Most Anticipated Romance of 2022!

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?

©2022 Mimi Matthews (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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 The 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 of Portrait of a Scotsman 

“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 listeners say about The Siren of Sussex

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Very Disappointed, not typical Mimi Matthews

I pre-ordered this book because I've loved everything else Mimi has written, and I so looked forward to it's release, but I'm just a couple of hours in and I simply can't take it. I've read the reviews on Goodreads, in order to determine if I should try to stick it out, and after learning that there really doesn't seem to be much of a plot, coupled with the spiritualism theme, this is a hard pass. I'm not into the racism that this book deals with either. I was also very put off by the constant sexual references right out of the gate before we ever get to know the characters. Plus I don't like either of the narrator's. I'm never really fond of multiple narrator's and stories that alternate from one characters perspective to another's ever other chapter anyway. I just can't find anything to inspire me to want to finish this, as there is too much to overlook that makes me uncomfortable and I'm just not connecting to any of the characters whatsoever. I won't give up on Mimi, but this is definitely far beneath her abilities. I honestly have a hard time believing she actually wrote this. Just doesn't feel anything like any of her other work, and I've listened to every single book by her on Audible. The Work of Art is still my all time absolute favorite. This is definitely not even in the same realm.

14 people found this helpful

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Good Grief!

So much introspection! This is probably a better book than audible listen. The narration is truly awful. I cannot believe Mimi Matthews allowed this on audible. She is normally a good author for the most part but this was never quite clear in the message. So many unexamined character plots. She must have some sort of ax to grind but not sure exactly what it is here. There are two sides to every story but only one is presented here for the most part. People make choices and find it hard to live with. Not sure what to say about this book except that with the topic presented it could have been fascinating but wasn't.

4 people found this helpful

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Not true to the time.

It beggars belief that an unmarried young woman would be measured for clothing by a man. The author needed these kinds of ridiculous plot points to set up her story and move it along. But it just isn't feasible. And women did not ride stallions in that period of history much less young unmarried women. And for a family of modest means having an imported stallion is just not believable. Much less that this young woman would have trained the horse for grand prix dressage movements. Nope.

3 people found this helpful

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Stunningly good and well researched

A wonderful romance that tackles complicated themes of racism and class, while touching on several fascinating historical events — from colonialism, Prince Albert’s death, the spiritualism craze in Victorian England, and the history of women’s fashion. This is one of those books where you wonder how the author could possibly navigate toward a plausible HEA, and are pleasantly surprised by the nuance and elegance with which it emerges. Nothing feels forced, and the whole book is incredibly well done and thoughtfully researched. I’m so glad I ignored the reviews that criticized this for its references to race. Yes, if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of an interracial romance or of accurate historical depictions, you probably won’t enjoy this book — but also, please rethink your priorities!!! Mimi Matthews is a lovely and conscientious author, and this novel is well worth reading.

3 people found this helpful

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TheSiren of Sussex

I anxiously waited months for this book to be released.
Ive been very disappointed in this purchase. It is so slow that every time I go to read it, I fall asleep. Every single time.
I have also found it strange that a man’s voice is used for a woman’s part.
I have had a difficult time wanting to listen to it. Perhaps it’s me, but It’s quite boring.

3 people found this helpful

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Incredible and Unique

Wow! This is such an incredible book. I should not be surprised as I have found the same to be true with every one of Mimi Matthews’ books. They are absolutely always on my list as pre-orders when possible.

This was such a unique story between an Indian/British tailor/dressmaker and a young debutante in her first season…A challenging relationship on many levels, but so beautifully done. Neither of the characters were typical of a romance, particularly in this era. Ahmad is handsome, reserved, and very dedicated to his craft. Evelyn is an amazing horsewoman/bluestocking and far from a typical romantic heroin. There was a lot of physical tension between the characters from early on in this story but never anything blatant. One aspect of the story that I truly did not appreciate was the emphasis on spiritualism throughout much of the story.

The narration was acceptable but not excellent. I actually wound up reading most of it on my kindle.

2 people found this helpful

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I wholeheartedly loved it!

The Siren of Sussex is an emotional and endearing love story. In addition to history, fashion, and a swoonworthy romance, Mimi Matthews delves into race, gender, and class system. Initially, I was a little concerned about narration, but overall, I thought the narrators did a good job! I am glad there is a desi narrator for Ahmad.

Moreover, it’s great to have the Author’s Note included in the audiobook. I always love reading the Author’s Note. It was an enlightening insight into the making of this beautiful story.

2 people found this helpful

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Not the best book from Mimi Matthews

Eagerly awaited yet very disappointing... The plot meanders all over the place, there is no chemistry between the main characters, I did not feel any connection at all to this story. I usually love Mimi's books, The Lost Letter is one of my favorites of all time. Not sure what went wrong here, but I regret wasting a credit.

1 person found this helpful

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Story Ruined

It's an audible book which means the narrator(s) have to be talented if the story is to survive. I can't get into the story because the narrators make me so aware of their poor narration. We're not children being read a bed time story with drama and unnatural voices added. The writer wrote the drama, just read the words without making an over the top narration. Can't handle this one, I'll read the Kindle version instead. Actually thinking about dropping my Audible membership. Too many poor narrators in the book type I enjoy.

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Wonderful!

Loved this book! So much research and history went into this story. I loved the characters and their interactions! the narrators were terrific they really did a great job reading this book!

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  • Sarah
  • 06-17-22

Beautiful story but terrible narration

Unfortunately I couldn’t finish this which is a real disappointment. I have read it and know that it’s a lovely story with an interesting plot, but the narration is on this audiobook is very poor. Lydia Hanman’s English accent is distinctly American and is quite off putting with lots of mispronunciations. Her delivery just doesn’t keep you gripped. I would rather Vidish Athavale, who has a lovely clear voice narrate the entire story because chopping and changing means it loses pace. It’s a shame Alex Wyndham wasn’t chosen as he really brings the Parish Orphans series to life.

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  • Book addict
  • 01-19-22

It was ok

Sadly, I agree with another reviewer. This book was disappointingly boring. I’ve loved other books by this author, but this one was lacking the magic. The plot was plodding, the romance was tepid, and more thought seemed to have been put into aligning to historical real life happenings than was put into making sure it was a story that grabbed you by the heart and drew you in. Still a far better book than many you get in this genre in terms of quality of writing and the narration, but the story itself wasn’t up to the standard I would have hoped for from this author.

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  • Mo Bass
  • 01-13-22

Irritating narration

The narrator's irritating mispronounciation of the 'a' sound proliferates. 'Gas' becomes 'gars' for example. The plot is quite different but skims the surface of spiritualism and racism. It's quite lightweight all round though.