The Lily of Ludgate Hill by Mimi Matthews @MimiMatthewsEsq @BerkleyRomance @BerkleyPub @Austenprose @sophiarose1816 #thelilyofludgatehill #historicalromance #newbooks #bookstagram #mimimatthews #booktour #austenprosepr

Posted January 24, 2024 by Sophia in Blog Tour, Book Review / 14 Comments

The Lily of Ludgate Hill by Mimi Matthews

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Lily of Ludgate Hill by Mimi Matthews @MimiMatthewsEsq @BerkleyRomance @BerkleyPub @Austenprose @sophiarose1816  #thelilyofludgatehill #historicalromance #newbooks #bookstagram #mimimatthews #booktour #austenprosepr Lily of Ludgate Hill by Mimi Matthews
Series: Belles of London #3
Published by Berkley on January 16, 2024
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 427
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Lady Anne Deveril doesn’t spook easily. A woman of lofty social standing known for her glacial beauty and starchy opinions, she’s the unofficial leader of her small group of equestriennes. Since her mother’s devastating plunge into mourning six years ago, Anne voluntarily renounced any fanciful notions of love and marriage. And yet, when fate puts Anne back into the entirely too enticing path of Mr. Felix Hartford, she’s tempted to run…right into his arms.

No one understands why Lady Anne withdrew into the shadows of society, Hart least of all. The youthful torch he once held for her has long since cooled. Or so he keeps telling himself. But now Anne needs a favor to help a friend. Hart will play along with her little ruse—on the condition that Anne attend a holiday house party at his grandfather’s country estate. No more mourning clothes. No more barriers. Only the two of them, unrequited feelings at last laid bare.

A storm has been building on the horizon in this series and it was the upcoming romantic clash of Lady Anne Deveril and Mr. Felix Hartford.  Each of the Belles of London has presented a different style romance and in this case it’s a cross of second chance and enemies to lovers causing the very air to crackle with tension at times due to the talented pen of Mimi Matthews.

The Lily of Ludgate Hill is the third Belles of London series set in Victorian England.  Each book can standalone in a pinch, but the series is connected by the lady equestrian friends who met in book one and the background ongoing storyline of each lady and her situation.

Anne has been the woman who most stood out for me even when she was barely there in the previous book, Belle of Belgrave Square.  She’s got a presence and she is ferociously protective of her friends even racing to the rescue with her worst enemy in tow when she thinks Julia is in danger from Captain Blunt.  The women characters of this series are capable and tend to ride to their own rescue and each other’s.  The men who fall for them respect as well as love them and there is a beautiful partnership woven through even when the conflict interfering with the romance is still active and The Lily of Ludgate Hill is no exception.

I’m not a fan of many stories with an enemies to lovers trope.  I don’t care for reading or listening about two people going at each other up until they work it out.  Many times I don’t buy into the switch from enemies to lovers because of the pacing of the romance development.  Anne is so strong and has a real emotional knot boiling over Hart who gives as good as he gets- the man enjoyed riling her.  And, I was right.  Hart and Anne had some scenes that made me positively cringe.  They had a good deal of animosity built up from their broken off courtship.

However, I was not worried and was right to trust in Mimi Matthews to draw me in and discover just what went awry between this pair.  So many emotions and thoughts are going through Anne’s head in a short time: the forced proximity road trip, Anne’s scheme with Felix as her partner after years of mostly avoidance, Anne’s struggle with grief and the vulnerability that came with great loss, her mother’s emotional manipulations of Anne, Anne being in a dark place from grief, what she understood about their courtship.  And, on the flip side, Hart isn’t making it easy though he is there for her all the way if she would but see that he was just as hurt back in the past because of Anne’s retreat into grief, and reacting accordingly.

There was too much bitterness and recrimination between them so this took time to come out and something new to grow in the current circumstances.  To balance it, Evelyn and Ahmad’s wedding celebration gives a lovely background note, Julia and her Captain happily working out their new life together, and cute kitten (it must be mentioned) as does the interesting pair who are still to have their story.

The Lily of Ludgate Hill was one I expected to hit me hard and it did, but so satisfyingly good.  So much deeper and richer and rang true with the theme of grief running through their healing romance and healing souls.  The author poured her soul into this one and it was quite obvious.  Definitely recommend the series and particularly this book.


About Mimi Matthews

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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Posted January 24, 2024 by Sophia in Blog Tour, Book Review / 14 Comments

14 responses to “The Lily of Ludgate Hill by Mimi Matthews

  1. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Mimi Matthews! As you know, I loved this one two. I was happy that even though they had hurt feelings between them they couldn’t help but show the love that was still underneath it all in so many ways. Wonderful review, Sophia! I’m looking forward to Stella’s story next.

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