I hope you are having a great fall and a fantastic October. I always feel like Anne Shirley at this time of year, grateful to live in a world with Octobers.
Today I am thrilled to share my review of The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews! I absolutely loved this book!
It has been a while since a series has captivated me as much as the Belles of London series has. The Belle of Belgrave Square is a fantastic addition to that series (check out my review of the first book, The Siren of Sussex). This story was a perfect blend of suspense and romance. I devoured it as quickly as I could from the very first chapter!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
This book just released on October 11th.
Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of this post!
Book Summary: “A London heiress rides out to the wilds of the English countryside to honor a marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger.
Tall, dark, and dour, the notorious Captain Jasper Blunt was once hailed a military hero, but tales abound of his bastard children and his haunted estate in Yorkshire. What he requires now is a rich wife to ornament his isolated ruin, and he has his sights set on the enchanting Julia Wychwood.
For Julia, an incurable romantic cursed with a crippling social anxiety, navigating a London ballroom is absolte torture. The only time Julia feels any degree of confidence is when she’s on her horse. Unfortunately, a young lady can’t spend the whole of her life in the saddle, so Julia makes an impetuous decision to take her future by the reins—she proposes to Captain Blunt.
In exchange for her dowry and her hand, Jasper must promise to grant her freedom to do as she pleases. To ride—and to read—as much as she likes without masculine interference. He readily agrees to her conditions, with one provision of his own: Julia is forbidden from going into the tower rooms of his estate and snooping around his affairs. But the more she learns of the beastly former hero, the more intrigued she becomes…”
I loved getting to know Julia in this novel. She is stronger than she thinks, and I loved seeing her courage and passion develop. Perhaps I connected so easily with her because of our shared love of novels and escaping into the worlds of books. There are so many great quotes in this book about books! That speaks to my book loving soul. I also appreciated learning about Julia’s childhood and how difficult her life has been, even in it’s extravagance. Yet she is a kind, caring woman who takes so many unusual things in stride. She loves her step children rather than judging them, she tries new things like learning to swim, and she defends the people and activities she loves from her husband to her horse and favorite novels. I love that she speaks her mind with Jasper. When she decides to take charge of her life, Julia shows how strong and brave she truly is. Those qualities are on display as she falls in love with Jasper Blunt.
Jasper is a classic, brooding hero. He reminds me of Mr Rochester or Heathcliff (loved his own references to that story). There is so much mystery surrounding him and his past. I was captivated by his complex history and his obvious love for Julia. From the moment they first talk, he is falling for her. And all the things he does to protect her from carrying her away from her childhood home to coming after her at the end are protective and passionate. His was the character I was most intrigued by over the course of the book. And as we learn more about him and his past, I just fell more in love with him. I loved getting inside his head as we learn about his experiences in the war and as we see him fall deeply in love with his new wife. His passion and love for Julia is simply beautiful!
A favorite trope of mine is the marriage first, courtship later story. I have read several books that give us this scenario and I always love the ways authors build the romance after the wedding. This book is one of my favorites in this paradigm. I love that they elope together with budding feelings of romance. And those feelings continue to build throughout the novel. The romance is absolutely breath taking in this story! Their shared kisses were incredibly swoony. Their building passionate attraction was incredible. And their obvious feelings for each other were sweet and satisfying. I appreciated the closed door storytelling. There is some details about consummating their marriage but it didn’t bother me. I was rooting for Julia and Jasper throughout the story and loved their happily ever after. Overall, an absolutely beautiful romance!
While there are certainly dark elements to this story, there is also so much hope in this story. Some of those dark elements include Jasper’s war history, the illegitimate children, the abuse in Julia’s childhood home, and the fairly graphic descriptions of blood letting. There were several tense, even violent descriptions in this book. But those are details within a larger, more beautiful story. That story climaxes into a fantastic ending. The ending is surprising and satisfying with several surprising twists (and a great epilogue!). I love a book that truly surprises me and this one did it so well. Ultimately, I loved the hope throughout Julia and Jasper’s story. Hope that love can grow in any circumstance, that second chances are real, and that strength can be grown.
It was bittersweet to finish this book because I loved experiencing this world and getting to know these characters. For me, those are the best kinds of books. The books that pull you into their world and leave you changed after you finish them. This was one such book for me. Can’t wait to read more in the series!
Which are your favorite historical romances?
Have you read the Belles of London series yet?
Mimi has generously offered a fabulous giveaway that book tour participants can add to their post and on social media. Here are the details:
Giveaway period: October 3 – October 30
Giveaway Details: 1 winner (selected at random by Rafflecopter) receives a paperback copy of The Belle of Belgrave Square, signed and annotated by the author with personal comments, underlining of her favorite lines, and other highlights by Mimi Matthews.
Giveaway is open from 12:01 am Pacific time 10/03/22 until 11:59pm Pacific time on 10/30/22.
The winner will be announced on Mimi’s blog on 10/31/22.
Terms & Conditions: Giveaway hosted by Mimi Matthews. No Purchase Necessary. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Open to US residents only. All information will remain confidential & will not be sold or otherwise used, except to notify the winner & to facilitate postage of the book to the winner.
Void where prohibited.
Rafflecopter Form: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92989f07662/
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.
WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS
VICTORIAN READING ROOM
Join Mimi at her Victorian Reading Room Facebook Group for exclusive access as she shares her love of writing, historical romance, Victorian fashion, brooding heroes, independent heroines, and of course, her beloved pets!
READ AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MIMI MATTHEWS
Discover intriguing insights into The Belle of Belgrave Square and Mimi’s writing life in this exclusive interview at austenprose.com.
3 thoughts on “[The Belle of Belgrave Square]: An ARC Blog Tour Review”
Pingback: Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Historical Romances – greenish bookshelf
Wonderful review! I hope to be able to read this one soonish!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks so much, Cindy! Hope you enjoy it 🙂