THE BELLE OF BELGRAVE SQUARE by Mimi Matthews
SERIES: Belles of London #2
GENRE: Historical / Victorian Romance (clean)
RELEASE DATE: October 11, 2022
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 a London 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…
Other Books In This Series
That’s about all the coherent thought I can muster after finishing The Belle of Belgrave Square by the fabulous Mimi Matthews. I’m still all a’swoon, basking in the deliciousness of the romance and the literary nods and the absolute sweetness of this novel.
Normally I talk about how marvelous Matthews’ writing is (because it is) and how I learn something every time I pick up one of her novels (because I do… and I did this time, too). But this time…. fair warning… I’m just going to gush over the romance and the literary nods and how much I love Julia & Jasper together (and the perfection of how they bring out the best in each other… the best that stayed hidden until ‘them’ because it wasn’t safe to reveal until then). Because while Matthews’ writing is even more marvelous than usual in The Belle of Belgrave Square and while I learned some pretty fascinating things between its pages, it’s Julia and Jasper who will stick with me long after I’ve moved on to other books.
“Stories like the ones we read in novels help us understand the human condition,” he said. “They teach us empathy. In that way, they’re more than an escape from the world. They’re an aid for living in the world.”
Julia is a delightfully bookish heroine with a fabulous horse and two invalid (or hypochondriac) parents who have kept her rather a prisoner her whole life. They use her selfishly for their own needs, never caring about what she might need – or want – in life. She uses books as an escape from her dreary reality until on her physically weakest day she musters the emotional strength to change the course of her life forever. I loved watching her blossom as Jasper’s wife and the mother of his three kids, I loved watching her fall in love with Jasper – this big beast of a man who in equal turns overwhelms her and makes her feel safe – and I loved the way Matthews crafted this heroine to be both incredibly relatable and incredibly easy to root for.
And then there’s Jasper. Mimi Matthews has outdone herself with him. I will never ever get over besotted Jasper and his endearing Beast-ness. Never. Ever. I just…. aslw;efrlkmfsl;;ldflfndkmsa … I can’t even. You just need to meet this troubled, wonderful hero yourself because every time I try to talk about him I start babbling incoherently. He will forever henceforth be in my book boyfriend Hall of Fame.
“She gave him an apologetic look. “I might have to lean on you a little.”
His expression softened. “What do you suppose I’m here for?”
Bottom Line: The Belle of Belgrave Square is my new favorite novel by Mimi Matthews! It’s one for my keepers shelf, and one that I will undoubtedly reread until I’ve practically memorized it. The author has lovingly woven threads from classics such as Beauty & the Beast, Bluebeard, and The Blue Castle into a plot that pays homage to them while still standing uniquely on its own. But the literary nods don’t stop there – readers’ hearts will dance with bookish glee at many classic references – from both Julia and Jasper, two wounded souls who have found life on the pages of books. And can’t we all relate to that?
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / in a class by itself!
KissingBook Level: 5+ / stick your head in the freezer … and have a backup oxygen source
Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware there is some mild cursing in this novel, use of ‘God’ other than as a name, and implications of marital intimacies within the context of a loving marriage – with enough detail that it’s clear to readers but not so much that it leaves the realm of ‘clean romance’.
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.
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READ AN EXCLSUIVE 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.
Other Featured Books by Mimi Matthews
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.
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.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews?
It had my interest at the words “marriage of convenience with a complete stranger.”
yes!! it’s so good!
Sounds like a great book.
I have not read Mimi Matthews books yet but she is an author that has been on my radar for a while that I want to try. Great review, Carrie!
i hope you get to read one of her books soon – they are fabulous!
On her website she is having a giveaway for all her books (13!)plus a $25 Amazon gift card ((ebook if international) through October 11 at 11:59pm PT. These would make great birthday or Christmas gifts too.
I absolutely agree!!! A perfect match.
Love the whimsical cover. Sounds good.
isn’t it a great cover?!? 🙂
I love Mimi Matthews’s books! This is on my wish list!
it’s soooooooooooooooooooo good!