Review: THE BELLE OF BELGRAVE SQUARE by Mimi Matthews

Updated: Oct 5





ABOUT THE BOOK

A BookBub Best Romance of 2022


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 adon ballroom is absolute 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…


REVIEW by Christna Boyd

Julia Wychwood is a wallflower hiding behind a stack of novels on her nightstand—unless she is exercising her horse on Rotten Row—so the last thing she wants is to attract the attentions of a ruthless, battle-scarred hero with little money. But Captain Jasper Blunt is in want of a wife, one with an attractive dowry, and he isn’t about to let this London belle slip away. In The Belle of Belgrave, book two in the "Belles of London" series, Mimi Matthews’s masterful storytelling draws us in with her subtle parallels to the classic fairytale, Beauty and the Beast.


Julia is reluctant to accept her lot as caregiver to her demanding, selfish, and sickly parents, but after two unsuccessful Seasons, she doubts her ability to attract anyone she might like, let alone respect. When an unlikely candidate such as Captain Blunt presents himself—a man who comes with a falling-down mansion, three children from a woman he did not marry, and a brutish military reputation—she is surprised to discover his gentle, thoughtful nature. As Jasper and Julia realize they are compatible after all and a marriage of convenience might indeed work between them, they agree to marry without her parents’ blessing. After Jasper and Julia elope, her father threatens to deny Julia her dowry.


Dangerous truths that Jasper prefers to remain secret might be the key to Julia’s heart. Yet responsibilities weigh heavily on Jasper, and the risk of losing everything else might be too dear. As Julia becomes enchanted by her surprising new freedom and confidence away from her manipulative parents—and maybe even with her mysterious husband—she begins to see that all is not as she first believed. When Jasper declares he would rather have Julia than her money, Julia returns to London with another card she might play.


The Belle of Belgrave Square is a must-read. Mimi Matthews’s beautiful worldbuilding, witty and swoon-worthy characters, and impeccable historical research drew me in from the start and kept me turning pages until the satisfying happily-ever-after. But I daresay, as a diehard Matthews fan, I would have been more surprised if I hadn't enjoyed this read.


* Publisher: ‎Berkley Romance (October 11, 2022)

* Length: (432) pages

* Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

* ISBN: 978-0593337158

*Tour Dates: October 3 - 23, 2022 via Austenprose PR


PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, 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.

Author Mimi Matthews | Historical Nonfiction and Victorian Romance


Author Mimi Matthews


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!




GIVEAWAY

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


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 and will not be sold or otherwise used, except to notify the winner and to facilitate postage of the book to the winner. Void where prohibited.


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. Enter Rafflecopter here.


ADVANCE PRAISE

* “A grand cross-class romance, a twisty mystery, and emotional internal struggles combine to excellent effect…fans and new readers alike will root for this well-earned love story.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger. an intoxicating, suspenseful romance. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review f you’re a fan of Beauty and the Beast, this regency romance will rapidly become a new favorite of yours. Wallflower meets an infamous war hero in this fascinating and intriguing love story.” —BuzzFeed

* “Mimi Matthews never disappoints, with richly drawn characters and couples whose individual shortcomings become strengths, when paired together. In this Beauty and the Beast retelling, we get to root for two underdogs who get to rewrite their own stories.” —Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were Here

* “The Belle of Belgrave Square is such tremendous, good fun: a heroine with a big horse, an even bigger novel-reading habit, and a hidden anxiety; a hero with a crumbling estate, a trio of wary children, and a literary secret—what's not to love? Mimi Matthews paints Victorian England with vivid humor, and her "Belles of London" is set to go on for at least a few more much-anticipated installments. Julian Fellowes fans will rejoice!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye






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