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?


4 stars

What a lovely historical romance with some whiff of Bridgerton!

If you love girly books, and I don’t mean that in a negative way, this might be your next find!

Not only do we indeed have romance but Evelyn’s weapon being dressed in haute couture, we’ll have plenty of talk of fabrics. Silk, organza, gauze, in every colors like amber, silver blue, lustrous dark green…

We’ll talk about corsets and petticoats, hats and hairstyle!

It was a real delight and helped truly “see” the characters.

But The Siren of Sussex is not a superficial romance as you also have societal issues broached in that story.

Feminism for one as women could not talk about breeding horses nor having a contradictory opinion! Their sole prospect was to marry well to advance or save their family.

That’s what is expected of Evelyne as her older sister fled with her lover, leaving her younger sisters to fend for themselves. And no nonsense, dutiful Evelyne is determined to make a good marriage to offer her sisters all they deserve.

Racism and social fight is another topic.

Ahmad is half-Indian. Born in India and arrived in England at fifteen. He had to  care for his younger cousin, Mira and served as bullyboy in a brothel for many years. Now he is working as a tailor and dreams of buying a shop to become a dress-maker. But being a foreigner and an attractive man at that means that many rich ladies feel entitled to his body. It was enlightening and disgusting to see how he had to stay silent if he wanted a future as dress maker!

Even if he was a genius with clothes, when Evelyn and Ahmad dreamt of a future together, it seemed impossible due to her rank and his race.

Both characters are very lovable.

Evelyne is a no nonsense kind of girl. She is also aware that she is no great beauty, or rather she thinks she isn’t, and her strategy to seduce a husband is carefully planned to exploit her best asset: her riding skills.

She is also very protective and loyal to her family and friends. Evelyn has a generous heart. And she also is a very intelligent woman, determined to learn the true story about colonization and what it did to local people.

Ahmad is also a character you can’t help but love and admire.

He respects women, all women and never complains about life being hard or unfair. Courageous, he works tirelessly to make a brighter future for his cousin and himself. Prideful, he won’t accept to debase himself in accepting advances from his rich clients. He was also very protective of Evelyn, a trait I truly admired.

If you love historical romance with very likeable characters, a “love conquers all” feel and Bridgerton vibes, this is for you!

Thanks for reading.


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  1. I do have this one on my list to read sometime. I definitely should check it out. I love it though when we get a focus on the clothing in the era, its not common even in historicals. Great review of this one here.