Evelyn Maltravers has traveled from the countryside of Sussex to the social scene in London, needing to make a match so that she and her younger sisters futures will be secure. Although she may not be traditionally beautiful, Evie knows that she needs to set herself apart in order to catch a man’s eye. She thinks her Appalusian stallion and haute couture, along with her superb horsemanship might do just that. When she approaches an Indian tailor, Ahmad Malik, to partner with her in her scheme he decides to attach his rising star to this unique and intriguing woman. What neither of them count on is their unfailing attraction and growing friendship. Can this pair from two different worlds and backgrounds face the bigotry of the upper class and find success so they can be together? This story captured my interest but it was Evie and Ahmad who captured my heart. What a fantastic novel!
I was unprepared for how I would react to a historical romance novel that delved into the history of England’s habitation and conquering of India. The narration has the reader seeing through both Evie’s and Ahmad’s eyes and it is eye opening to see how the heritage is taken for granted without thought to what those people may have gone through. Ahmad’s own background of a mixed heritage Indian man who belonged in neither India or England was interesting, revealing, and inspiring. Evie’s character growth as she comes to care for Ahmad and want to know him, his background, and what it would mean to be in his place in society took this novel to another plane of existence. I felt like what I was reading was relevant and real, not just an interracial romance novel. I actually felt Ahmad’s pain and could see why he chose the path he was on. I think it’s the first time in a long time where I was so interested in a subject that it made me do my own research and want to know more.
Evie was also a different sort of heroine. She was not frivolous or flighty, she had a plan and if it wasn’t for her growing feelings for Ahmad, she would have stuck to it. I enjoyed her own path of discovery she made about herself, her decisions about what was important, and also seeing how she came to that decision. This was not a fluffy novel, the story led our hero and heroine down some dark paths which altered the course of their lives. Sometimes you read a novel at the right time and it hits all of your sweet spots. This was my right time to read The Siren of Sussex.
I have never heard of Mimi Matthews nor read one of her books prior to picking up this novel. You can be certain I am going through her backlog and choosing my next read based upon all of my feelings for The Siren of Sussex and how this author led me down that path. Sometimes the reading gods are looking after us, aren’t they?
I received a copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.
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