The Belle of Belgrave Square
Series: Belles of London #2
by Mimi Matthews
Publication Date October 4, 2022
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Historical / Victorian
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
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...
The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews is the second book in her popular Belles of London series but can be easily read as a stand-alone. I really enjoyed this marriage of convenience story, with a lot of heart and emotion.
Julia is the daughter of two sickly parents, who want her to marry and stay close to them. She has a handsome dowry, but she hasn’t had any proposals. The fact that nobody has asked for her hand in marriage could be due to her severe social anxiety. She’s happier to stay home with a book than go to balls with all of London Society.
Captain Jasper Blunt has quite a reputation. He’s known as a war hero and a bit of a mystery. His Yorkshire home has several of his illegitimate children, a scandal that they live with him in his stately home. When he returned from the war, his family home was left needing many repairs, and Jasper needs to find a woman with a hefty dowry in order to fix up his home. When Jasper proposes a marriage of convenience, the only condition that Julia adds is that she must be allowed to live as she pleases and read and ride whenever she wants.
I love a good marriage of convenience story, and this is one of the better ones I’ve read. I loved both these characters very much. I felt so bad for Julia and her social anxiety. Her sickly parents only needed her around to fetch and carry for them as they spent most of their time in their sickbeds. She hates going to balls and social events, but her parents make her go anyway. I really empathized with her issues. All she wants to do is lead a quiet life with her horse.
Jasper has a lot of secrets and I was surprised when one of his big secrets was revealed. He has a tough reputation as a philander and a bit of a brute, but, his tenderness toward Julia belies his reputation.
The scenes set in his home in Yorkshire are a lot of fun. Jasper’s children are not too fond of him, or his new bride and their antics are delightful. And this is where Jasper and Julia start to fall in love. They are perfect together and complement each other perfectly.
I highly recommend The Belle of Belgrave Square to anyone who enjoys historical romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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.
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.
Rafflecopter Form:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you read The Belle of Belgrave Square? Have you read any books in the Belles of London Series?