Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rainy Days by Lory Lilian

Rainy Days by Lory Lilian

What a delightful re imagining of Pride and Prejudice this is.

Lory Lilian has written Elizabeth Bennet as if she knows what it is like to be in the mind of a coy 20 year old girl who has lead a very sheltered life in the time of Jane Austen.

Elizabeth is often portrayed as knowing and witty, but she looses a lot of the country girl growing up with very little experience of men.

This story brings that girl to life.

She and Darcy get caught in a rain storm a couple of days before the ball at Netherfield.

While sheltering with Lizzy, Darcy who has already fallen for her, realises that she has a very different impression of him and sets about changing her feelings towards him.

This sends the whole story off on a different track. Having made a much better impression on Lizzy and given her cause to re-evaluate Mr Wickham, the ball at Netherfield is a different experience for them both.

I shall not give anymore of this plot away. But, I do very highly recommend this re-telling it is lively and very charming with lots of tenderness as well as missunderstandings you would expect between Lizzy and Darcy.

Look out for the youngest of the Granger's children, she is a delightful character in this tale.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Only Way by Ola Wegner

The Only Way  by Ola Wegner

A Tale of Pride and Prejudice

This story starts with Mr Darcy’s proposal at the parsonage in Huntsford. Elizabeth refuses him soundly only to be told that evening that her beloved Father,  Mr Bennet has had an accident and died.

She is totally grief stricken and who is there to comfort her? Mr Darcy.

This is a Darcy who really can not take no for an answer He is proud and very high handed and as far as he is concerned Elizabeth is his fiancee, especially after she has wept all over his shirt. 

Once he announces it to his Aunt, Lady Catherine, Lizzy has no choice but to flee the parsonage with Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam,To escape Her Wrath.

On reaching her Uncle’s home Darcy points out that there is no other way, she has to marry him as she is now compromised.

Can his kindness to her bereaved Family win Lizzy over,or is she tied to a man she hates.

The  story that follows is a good one with lots of emotion and interesting turns. I  thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sadly, the copy I downloaded on my Kindle had loads of missing words and mistakes which did diminish the reading pleasure, although I think this was a preview version (at the time called 'No Other Way') so hopefully it should not be an issue in the finally edited version.

That aside I do recommend this book to you. Ola Wegner is a natural story teller and you do care for her characters even if like Lizzy you would like to hit this Mr Darcy at times.

Mr Darcy Makes Advances by R. Grace

Mr Darcy Makes Advances by R. Grace

Maybe this should have been Mr Darcy gets lucky and makes out a lot or maybe Foreplay and Frolics.

Anyway, it starts on the fateful day of the proposal at the parsonage at Hungerford and eventually even though Elizabeth quite firmly says no, Mr Darcy ends up pressed firmly against her horizontal on Mr Collins couch.

Obviously by not accepting Elizabeths refusal to marry him the whole story takes a different route, one that finds Elizabeth and Darcy unable to keep their hands off of each other in some pretty steamy clandestine meetings in the woods of Roseings Park.

There is a charming scene where Darcy goes to ask Mr Bennet for Elizabeths hand in marriage.
This is a sweet, hot, sexy retelling with lashings of love and a few smiles.

A nice happy read that I finished in one sitting, so now it’s your turn, unless of course you prefer your Mr Darcy to keep his clothes on (I know a few who do)!

Pride and Platypus by Vera Nazarian

Pride and Platypus  by Vera Nazarian

 Mr Darcy’s Dreadful Secret

Vera Nazarian very bravely asked me to review her latest book Pride and Platypus. I say bravely as I had given a previous Jane Austen variations book; Northanger Abbey, Angels and Dragons a less than glowing review.

Vera Nazarian writes eloquently her style and sparkle are a pleasure and in this story of Were beasts taking control of the male population on the nights of  the full moon, her wit certainly is on show.

It was interesting to have another layer of social judgement, now not only were they judged by breeding, title, money and looks, they also were now graded by their inner beast, with the big cats being at the top of the list.

This giving the ladies in the salon and breakfast rooms more to gossip and speculate on their favorite gentlemen.

Obviously with the title of the book I am not giving much away by saying one could easily imagine what being a platypus duck at the full moon would do for Darcy’s pride and would make his aloof demeanour pardonable. In this way the story works  wonderfully.

But. The part of Northanger Abbey Angels and Dragons that drove me crazy has flown straight to Netherfield. yes the bloody Brighton duck is back! And, even though it has the sense to attack both Mr Collins and Lady Catherine it just drives me crazy.

Vera and I have a fair amount in common, she has Russian parents whilst I have a Russian Grandparent, we are both artists and while she writes, I read. I wish her well.

Do get a copy of this book and let me know if it makes you want to take up duck hunting as much as it  did Mr Darcy and I.

Maria Grace Answers Our Questions For Authors

Maria Grace Answers Our Questions For Authors

Our Grateful Thanks To Maria Grace For Answering Our Questions For Authors

1) Your own favorite Austen character and why?

I have to confess, Anne Elliot is my favorite character. I have always felt like I can relate to her. Elizabeth is too witty and sociable—I couldn’t be like her. But wise, caring Anne to whom everyone turns to get things done—I can relate to her.

2) Your Favorite Austen book ?

That would be a toss up between Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice.

3) Which actor would you chose to be YOUR Mr Darcy and why?

Colin Firth will always be Darcy in my mind. He was the first actor I saw play him and I think that is indelibly etched in my brain.

4) Who would be your perfect Elizabeth?

Jennifer Ehle, for the same reasons as Colin Firth.

5) Your favorite book of all time by any author?

I’m not sure I can choose only one!

6) Your favorite Austen film or TV adaption?

It’s a tie between P&P 2005 and Amanda Root’s Persuasion

7) You are having a dinner party and can invite four Austen characters which would they be?

Elinor Dashwood, Anne Elliot, Miss Taylor (Emma’s governess), and Mrs. Croft

8. Why have you chosen them?

I think this group of women represents characters I can most relate to and I’d love to see if that was really true after all.
Although, I would also be tempted to invite Lady Susan. She was such a delightful villainess and hearing her perspectives first hand would be fascinating.

9) Which character would you like to play in a film?

Anne Elliot or Elinor Dashwood.

10) Tell us about your next planned book (whether Austen related or not)?

Are you going to narrow me down to only one? I have nine projects pinned up on my board right now.
I just finished the rough draft of ‘If Only I had Learnt.’ It is the story of the Bennet family as they overcome the challenges presented by a disabling accident suffered by Mr. Bennet and the tragic loss of Mrs. Bennet several years later. Elizabeth meets Darcy as there is instant attraction, but Elizabeth is sure her tragic experiences have left her unfit to be the wife of any gentleman. It is up Darcy to convince her otherwise.

Thanks for the chance to share!

Thank You Maria Grace

All My Tomorrows by Colette L. Saucier

All My Tomorrows by Colette L. Saucier

Colette asked me when she sent me her book to comment about the opening.

The story opens with a book that tells another tale throughout the main story. I did not have a problem with that, it just made me want to know what happened next in both stories. Two books for the price of one, a bonus if you ask me.

So for the main story; hot sexy men, bad hollywood divas. drugs and the kind of sparks that you would expect between a latterday Lizzy and Darcy.

She is a script writer for a TV soap and he is a star of the silver screen, a handsome heart throb and he knows it.

Although she thinks him to be an arrogant womanising beast who only wants to add her to the notches on his bed stead, it does not change the fact that she is sexually totally aware of him and finds him very difficult to ignore.

He, of course has women falling over themselves to please him and could not possibly imagine that she would not want him.

There are some nice deep emotional depths to this modern day Pride and Prejudice which can often be missing from other modern adaptions and although it has plenty of light, funny moments, it also draws you in to care for the characters. Once I had started reading, I found it very hard to put this book down.

Thank you Colette for something a little bit different.

Previous Colette L Saucier review: Pulse & Prejudice

Amy Cecil ~ Answers Our Questions For Authors

Amy Cecil ~ Answers Our Questions For Authors

Our Grateful Thanks To Amy Cecil for Answering Our Questions For Authors

1) Your own favorite Austen character and why?

Mr. Darcy, definitely. I know when I read about or watch a fictional character, I put him (or her) up against my ideas of perfection. We all know that as human beings, none of us are perfect, but when we are dealing with a fictional person, they can be as perfect as we want them to be. Therefore, Fitzwilliam Darcy is my idea of the perfect man. Now, do not get me wrong, we all know he has his faults; 
however, the man has so much more. He is, above all (including his good looks), honest and honorable. He acknowledges his faults and makes every effort to correct them. He is devoted to his one true love and places her above all. Need I say more?

2) Your Favorite Austen Book?

Pride and Prejudice

3) Which actor would you choose to be YOUR Mr. Darcy and why?

I know there is much debate about Colin Firth and Matthew McFayden and I truly do not intend to debate that here. However, I have to say that I cannot think of any other actor playing the role of Mr. Darcy than Matthew McFayden. To me, he showed a softer, more vulnerable side to the character while at the same time displaying his arrogance. When I think of Mr. Darcy and when I write of Mr. Darcy, it is Matthew McFayden I see.

4) Who would be your perfect Elizabeth?

I think Keira Knightly has captured my idea of Elizabeth perfectly. She has all her spunk and wit that Ms. Austen described in her book, but she adds just a bit more to the character. Now, if I was to pick any actress, I think it would have been a real treat to see Vivien Leigh portraying Elizabeth. Can you imagine a combination of Scarlett O’Hara and Elizabeth Bennet all tied into one, very formidable woman?

5) Your favorite book of all time by any author?

This is a tough question, cause I love so many books, it would be too hard to pick just one. If I were to pick my top five, they would be:  Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, The Harry Potter Series (yes, all of them, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was my absolute favorite), Persuasion and on the more tragic side, Anna Karenina.

6) Your favorite Austen film or TV adaptation?

I would have to say that based on my responses above, this is pretty obvious. Definitely the 2005 production of Pride and Prejudice.

7) You are having a dinner party and can invite four Austen characters, who would they be?

The exclusive dinner party would consist of Mr. Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth.

8) Why have you chosen them?

Four very handsome and attractive men, must I explain? Seriously, I am hoping that the two colonels and the captain will be occupied in their discussions, which would leave Mr. Darcy all to myself!

9) Which character would you like to play in a film?

Elizabeth Bennet, definitely, but only if I am play opposite Matthew McFayden.

10) Tell us about your next planned book?

My next book is to be released in 2013 and it is called Relentless Considerations. Think of a situation when you have wanted something so badly but duty and honor cause you to hesitate. Then, you finally decided that your happiness comes before duty and honor, only to find (or to think that you found) that someone else has beaten you to it.   Amy Cecil

Pride and Prejudice: A Royal Disposition by Amy Cecil

Pride and Prejudice: A Royal Disposition by Amy Cecil

This is Amy’s first book and it’s a great start. Her story deviates a lot from the original Pride and Prejudice but manages to keep the characters fairly true to the story. 

Elizabeth is adopted by the Bennet family, she thinks she is an orphan and that Mr Bennet is her Uncle. 

But the title of the book suggests her origins are rather more lofty. Enter the younger brother of the dissolute Prince Regent. Fredrick the Duke of York and of Albany, 2nd Son of George III equally into womanising  gambling and over indulgence of all kinds, this is Elizabeths true father.

This story of love found and then lost, his forced marriage to a Prussian Princess against his will runs alongside Elizabeth’s as she meets and then falls in love with Darcy.

All the usual baddies are there to make sure the path of true love does not run smoothly.

Mr Collins bitter at his rejection by Elizabeth, Lady Catherine determined to  rip the lovers apart and almost succeeding and of course the dastardly and devious Mr Wickham just as evil as usual.( if not worse add Blackmail to his sins).

Poor Darcy has a very hard time getting Elizabeth to agree to be his Wife, after a promising start,  it all goes horribly wrong.

Pick up this book and immerse yourself in Darcy and Elizabeth’s romance.

Questions For Authors ~ P.O. Dixon Replies

Questions For Authors ~ P.O. Dixon Replies

Our Thanks To P.O Dixon for Answering our “Questions For Authors” Questions

1) Your own favorite Austen character and why?

My favorite character is Mr Darcy. As a man of his time, he is just what a wealthy gentleman of aristocratic bearing ought to be.

2) Your Favorite Austen book?

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Jane Austen book. My second favorite is Lady Susan.

3) Which actor would you choose to be YOUR Mr Darcy and why?

When I close my eyes and envision Mr Darcy, it is always Matthew Macfadyen that I see. I have tried to picture other actors but with little success. I owe my discovery of Pride and Prejudice to Matthew’s portrayal of Darcy. I suppose it is fitting that no one can take his place in my mind.

4) Who would be your perfect Elizabeth?

Likewise, Keira Knightly is my choice as the perfect Elizabeth. I can see why she was nominated for an award for her portrayal of the literary heroine. I loved her performance.

5) Your favorite book of all time by any author?

After giving this some thought, and with so many literary greats from which to choose, I must leave this question unanswered.

6) Your favorite Austen film or TV adaption?

My favorite is the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film.

7) You are having a dinner party and can invite four Austen characters which would they be?

The invitees would be Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Emma Woodhouse, Elizabeth Bennet, and Caroline Bingley.

8) Why have you chosen them?

Lady Catherine is set in her ways. She is awfully proud of her own opinions and with good reason. Who else is as proficient as she is in arranging the lives of others? She would be astounded by the clueless wit of Miss Emma Woodhouse, astonished by the audacity of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and appalled by the pretentiousness of Miss Caroline Bingley.

The evening would be quite diverting. I believe Emma and Elizabeth would emerge from the dinner party unscathed but alas, I pity poor Caroline.

9) Which character would you like to play in a Pride and Prejudice film?

I have no acting ambition but if forced to make a decision it would be Elizabeth. No one else enjoys the enviable position of winning Mr Darcy’s hand.

10) Tell us about your next planned book (whether Austen related or not)?

My current work-in-progress is titled Matter of Trust. Darcy and Elizabeth, our beloved couple, endure a forced marriage scenario of sorts. In a rare departure for me, George Wickham enjoys a particularly prominent role. An intriguing new character is introduced, as well. Readers are welcome to follow my Pinterest board or my blog spot for progress updates. 

I am truly excited about Matter of Trust. Its release date is late Autumn 2012.

Bewitched Body and Soul by P O Dixon

Bewitched Body and Soul by P O Dixon

Miss Elizabeth Bennet

Gosh, it is hard to know where to start on this one.

It’s a Pride and Prejudice what if? With so many if’s.

As the story progresses there are little alterations that change the plot, they don’t change the outcome or the characters, just alter the journey.

In Bewitched Body and Soul they make for quite a bumpy ride with a few new characters.

Caroline Bingley is not alone in her single minded determination to marry Mr Darcy. Lady Gwendolen is pretty determined to have Darcy for her self and on meeting Elizabeth Bennet in London (When she goes to stay with her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner, instead of with her sister Jane). She, decides that Elizabeth would be perfect for her Brother, lord Latham.

This book is well paced with plenty of new story that fits in well with the original, the characters have been kept fairly true, only Georgina seems a bit bolder in this story.

I did enjoy this book and found the ending very satisfactory and delightfully romantic.
This is a Darcy that would be well worth catching.

I have also reviewed other books by P.O. Dixon ~  He Taught Me To Hope (Darcy and the Young Knights Quest).

There are many more What If’s by P O Dixon  take a look at her website HERE for further Details

The Knights of Derbyshire by Marsha Altman

The Knights of Derbyshire by Marsha Altman

Pride and Prejudice Continues

Two in a row for Marsha Altman, this is number 5 in the series.

We are now 20 years on from the original story of Pride and Prejudice and the next generation of Darcys, Bingleys and Maddoxes (Caroline Bingleys children) and Wickhams are starting to come of age.

Up till now the families stayed firmly together and intertwined in many ways. 

It is hard to believe anything could bring them to blows.

But, extreme stress and fear can cause cracks in even the strongest relationships.

There is political unrest in England and after a long bitter winter it even touches the Darcys estate of Pemberley.

As the heir to Pemberley  awakes with a slight hang over on his eighteenth birthday he can not possibly imagine what the day has in store for him.

All the family rally to try and help when Darcy and Elizabeth most need them.

Bringing their different skills to try and resolve the terrible situation the family find them selves in.

For Dr Maddox the situation at last leads him to admit how bad his eyesight has become and some other family secrets have to be revealed with unhappy results.

Who can save the day? You had better get a copy of this book and read it to find out because you know I won’t tell!

A jolly good read, lots of pent-up emotions and the younger generation are really following  in their parents footsteps.

The Ballard of Gregoire Darcy by Marsha Altman

The Ballard of Gregoire Darcy by Marsha Altman

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice continues

Once again Marsha Altman takes us on a wonderful journey into her imagination. If you have read her previous books: The Darcys and the Bingleys, The Plight of the Darcy Brothers and The Darcy’s Great Escape, you will know that Marsha packs her stories full of adventure and there is never a dull moment.

So even following an ex-monk on a pilgrimage through deepest darkest Ireland becomes an exciting action packed tale. It’s full of surprises and danger.

Follow Darcy’s half brother as he is thrown into the world.

If you haven’t read her previous books why not? Get on with it you won’t be sorry.

I have become very fond of Marsha Altmans characters and although I don’t think Jane Austen could have come up with plots like this from her quiet  life at the parsonage, I feel sure she would have a good giggle if she could read these tales inspired by Pride and Prejudice.

This story as well as entertaining also touches again on the subject of mental health in a time when there was no help for people with mental illness and the King himself was afflicted.

This deeper and darker layer adds to the depth and intensity of Marsha Altmans writing.

She has just brought out the next story in her series The Knights of Derbyshire and I am already well and truly stuck into it and enjoying it.

( I apologize for the delay in getting this book reviewed, technical problems involving Jorgey (Blue Persian cat) a hot cup of tea (Lady Grey) and my Acer laptop, these three things don’t really mix it seems!)

Pulse and Prejudice by Collette L. Saucier

Pulse and Prejudice by Collette L. Saucier

Pride and Prejudice with a Blood Thirsty Twist

Collette L. Saucier has stayed very close to the original story and follows the same time line.

The pride full haughty Darcy is also tinged with bitterness, he really doesn’t want to be a vampire.

It was possible to feel more sympathy for this vampire Darcy for his bad behavior at the Merryton Assembly when the poor chap is trying to live off of animal blood so as not to hurt anybody and, he has been living like a monk trying to avoid any female contact as he is not sure he could control himself.

This would put his avoidance of dancing and his rudeness into perfect perspective.

So having decided he can never marry, he then falls totally for Elizabeth.

Now Darcy of course is not the only vampire in this story, yes you guessed it, that horrid Wykham, the thorn in Darcys side, but unlike Darcy who is a reluctant vampire, Wykham embraces the darkest depths of his vampire state, and certainly no one is safe around him.

Doubling Darcy’s fears when Elizabeth is in his company.

This is a good re-telling, gripping and entertaining with out being too outrageous.

Caroline is just as unpleasant as ever and Mr Darcy gets my vote for seeing her as just as obnoxious as she is.

The new characters that Collette has added blend in well and engage you.

Will Elizabeth be able to face marriage to a Vampire ? You will have to get the book to find out.

I recommend this book whole heartedly. Collette has hinted at working on a follow up. I will be ready and willing as soon as it is out!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken

Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken

A Jane Austen Entertainment

This book is everything I could have asked for. it takes you back to Mansfield Park and continues the story of all the family members and even sees the return of the Crawford's.

The story is well placed and engaging. The personalities stay fairly faithful although as some truths of the past come out some characters are allowed to be better and some are seen as considerably worse.

Fanny and Edmund are absent for nearly the whole story being packed off to the West Indies to sort out the families business overseas.

So the plot centers around Fannies younger sister, Susan who has taken over fannies roll of minder and companion to the indolent Lady Bertram.

The book is described as having unexpected and somewhat controversial ending. I did not find it so. I felt it was fairly neat, of course I am not going to give it away here!

If you have not read this book already, then do it’s a joy and if you have already read it, then either read it again or turn a friend onto it.

Questions for Authors ~ Colette Saucier

Colette Saucier ~ Answers Our Questions For Authors

1) Your own favorite Austen character and why?

Aunt Gardiner from “Pride and Prejudice.”  She is intelligent, intuitive, and unbiased, and she leaves the children with a sitter to go touring the country with her husband.

2) Your Favorite Austen book?

“Pride and Prejudice.”  It has set the standard for every romance novel and rom-com film for 200 years—the original that created the formula.  Boy meets girl.  Girl hates boy.  Boy likes girl.  Girl and boy realize they like each other.  Misunderstanding/outside forces tear them apart.  Reunion, reconciliation, happily ever after.

3) Which actor would you chose to be YOUR Mr Darcy and why?

My daughter and I were discussing who could best portray Mr. Darcy in a film adaptation of my novel “Pulse and Prejudice” (one can always dream), and we settled on Ben Barnes.  He is the appropriate age and British, but that is for a vampire Darcy.  If we may consider actors at any time in their careers…I suppose Russell Crowe is too manly (more a Col. Brandon).  I will stick with Colin Firth.  He portrayed Mr. Darcy perfectly both in “Pride and Prejudice” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

4) Who would be your perfect Elizabeth?

I would be remiss if I chose any actress other than my brilliant and talented daughter!

5) Your favorite book of all time by any author?

Although I generally prefer the classics, particularly 19th century literature, my favorite novel of all time is “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.”  Although written by Philip K. Dick (the prolific author of “Blade Runner,” “Minority Report,” “Total Recall,” etc.), it is a complete departure from the science fiction genre and was inspired by the life of his friend Bishop James Pike, who died in the Judean Desert while searching for proof of the historical Jesus.

6) Your favorite Austen film or TV adaption?

The 1995 BBC miniseries “Pride and Prejudice.”

7) You are having a dinner party and can invite four Austen characters which would they be?

Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner and Mr. and Mrs. Weston.

8. Why have you chosen them?  

I would not invite Mr. Darcy because I know he is uncomfortable amongst strangers.  Although I considered Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet for their humor and repartee, they might use their caustic wit and sarcasm at the expense of the other guests—or even their host!  I would invite Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner and Mr. and Mrs. Weston because my husband and I enjoy dinner parties with intelligent, sophisticated married couples, and these must be the most sensible people in the entire Austen universe.

9) Which character would you like to play in a film? 

The question does not limit me to Austen characters, so I will say Kirsten Lundborg from “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.”  I am not an actress and would rather not portray anyone in film, but this would mean that the novel is being turned into a movie!  I would also like to cast Russell Crowe as Timothy Archer.

10) Tell us about your next planned book (whether Austen related or not)?

 I am currently writing a sequel to “Pulse and Prejudice” entitled “Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth” in which the new Mrs. Darcy adjusts to marriage to a vampire.  I have a contemporary novel in the works as well, and I am toying with a concept for a romance about a werewolf named Heathcliff living on the moors in Victorian England but with lots of cool, futuristic gadgets.  So it would be a shapeshifter, steampunk, erotic romance adaptation of “Wuthering Heights” called “Withering Frights.”  Perhaps it would help my daughter find some merit in the “other” Bronte sister.

Our Grateful Thanks To Colette Saucier for Answering Our Questions For Authors

Contact Colette Saucier by email:

My Jane Austen Summer: A Season At Mansfield Park by Cindy Jones

My Jane Austen Summer by Cindy Jones

A Season At Mansfield Park

A contemporary tale set in Texas and Rural England.

Our heroine Lily escapes her life in Texas which is definitely not going to plan. She needs to stop stalking her Ex and his new Girlfriend. Now, after blurting out to them that she is going to England, She, has to follow through.

Her book shop owning fried a kindred spirit had shown her the re-enactment Jane Austen Mansfield Park Summer Literary Event and now she had to go.

So, after selling all her worldly goods to get her air fare she is on her way.

In England she meets a whole host of colorful and intriguing characters all stuffed into a crumbling ancient manor house. A house with virtually no plumbing and very little electricity.

Her roommate is a gothic rock chic who keeps running away. In the attic room is a beautiful man, her soul mate but with  a secret.

Lily is determined to rise to every challenge put before her, however impossible that may be. But for all her determination she can not stop the inevitable.

Journey through Lily’s Mansfield Park with her it’s a lot of fun and pretty entertaining, funny but with a darker under layer, as she come to terms with grief and disappointment.

Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons by Vera Nazarian

Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons by Vera Nazarian

Firstly I have to admit that Northanger Abbey is not a favorite for me, that’s a start!

This story was just not my cup of Earl Gray. I love a bit of Dragon and was looking forward to reading this but I actually found it hard work to finish.

I am not going to get into all the reasons why, I just didn’t get into it at all. End of story!

So make up your own mind about it, I shall still be on the lookout for Mansfield Park and Mummies  by the same author.

He Taught Me To Hope by P.O.Dixon

He Taught Me To Hope by P.O.Dixon

Darcy and the Young Knights Quest

A what if Pride and Prejudice variation that dares to go a bit further from the original than most while keeping the tone.

So, this Elizabeth crosses her Father and marries at seventeen against his wishes and is widowed not long after and left with a small Son.

Five years on she is back at home and agrees to marry a Mr Collins to save her family from disaster due to the entail on the estate.

Mr Darcy meets a small boy obsessed with the Knights of the Round Table and heroic deeds and becomes his King Arthur, charmed by the boys spirit they become friends.

And, just to make things just a bit more impossible for Elizabeth and Darcy to get together.
Anne De Bourgh will have Mr Darcy for her Husband or die trying.

With all these difficulties you would think the couple would never be able to overcome all the obstacles and come together.

This story I found to be quite compulsive, I could not put it down and had to keep reading all the way to the end.

Mr Darcy’s Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Mr Darcy’s Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen

 A forbidden tale of passion and possession...

If you have read my reviews of Mary’s books, Searching for Pemberley and The Perfect Bride for Mr Darcy, you will know I am quite the fan.

I like her style and this book is no exception, although this is a werewolf book (I’m giving nothing away here as the cover makes that clear).

It is also a sensitive look at how Darcy’s condition affects his life, the Estate of Pemberley and the people who work there. How it changes his hopes of a happy marriage and the pain and torment of falling head over heels in love with Elizabeth Bennet, knowing he will have to tell her about his condition, and, risk all in the hope that she will not reject him.

There are no angry mob scenes, no rabid wolf attacks but this is a moving love story about, love and understanding conquering even the largest obstacles.

Definitely a recommended read.

Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James

Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James

A Novel

The story is set in 1803. Darcy and Elizabeth and of course Jane and Bingley have both been married happily for six years and their nurseries are filling up and life is moving along smoothly.

The only problems on the horizon is which of Georgina’s suitors will she choose and will Lady Anna’s yearly ball be the high light of the season.

That is until Lydia arrives uninvited screaming at the top of her lungs in a speeding chaise.

She is screaming that Wickham is dead and this is where the fun starts.

Deep interwoven stories have to come to light and a murderer has to be found. Some of the twists and turns take you into the lives of the people in and around the Pemberley Estate.

The emotions are laid open for you to immerse yourself into the story following the police as they try with the very limited resources of the times to solve the crime. No finger printing or DNA for them to work with here and even a murder weapon is nowhere to be found.

I very much enjoyed this book and am happy to recommend it to you especially if you enjoy a good period who dunnit.

Thank you P.D. James for giving us this one.

Dreaming of Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

Dreaming of Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

Heroes aren't always what they seem...

A charming romantic modern day tale of a young women who loves the writings of Jane Austen and when she gets a very lucky break she follows her favorite book ‘Persuasion’  to Lyme Regis and sinks everything she has into her dreams.

Buying a bed and breakfast hotel over looking the famous Lyme Regis Cobb.

She has barely finished  the first stage of her restoration and decorating, when a chance disaster at a local hotel lands the entire cast of the latest film adaption of Persuasion in her rooms.

Can she resist the stunning Oli who plays her hero Captain Wentworth or will she follow all the other ladies who have fallen for his charms.

A comedy of errors ensues with match making going array and flirtations left, right and centre.

I was rooting for the heroine to choose the right guy as I am sure you will be to.

There are some nice colorful characters that it is so easy to love a real feel good book.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Intrigue At Highbury (or Emmas Match) by Carrie Bebris

The Intrigue At Highbury by Carrie Bebris

(or Emma's Match)

A Mr and Mrs Darcy Mystery

Of course Darcy and Elizabeth are once again caught up in all sorts of trouble and this time they are in Highbury.

They are waylaid on the road and robbed in Mr Knightleys jurisdiction as he is the local magistrate, they go to Domwell Abbey to report the incident and they end up landing themselves in the midst of a murder plot.

Frank Churchills Uncle has just dropped dead in the middle of dinner.

All the characters are beautifully written, you can practically hear the voices Jane Austen would have given them delivering the lines in this book.

And, although Emma is not my favorite character in Jane Austen’s books, I found my self enjoying this Who Dunnit very much.

Emma is still matchmaking and Mrs Elton is still as totally obnoxious as ever.

Emma’s father is in total fear of of over indulgence,  and, a death during dinner only adds weight to his fears.

Poor Elizabeth Darcy finds herself having to eat gruel to appease the poor anxious man.

I am so looking forward to Carrie Bebris’s take on Persuasion.

Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion: A Novel by Janet Mullany

Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion: A Novel by Janet Mullany

She sips tea in the afternoon,  drinks blood at night

At the end of the first book Jane Austen leaves the damned and takes the cure of the poisonous bath waters and far removed from the woman dressed in men’s clothing and  fighting side by side with the damned against the invading French. She, is now the spinster aunt in her neat and unbecoming cap.

The heart break of leaving her vampire consort is still there but she has her beloved writing.

Then new tenants move into her brothers house and William her maker want’s her back in his fold.

As the damned move in other threats arise and the villagers are no longer safe.

Danger comes to Janes own family, as does temptation.

This book has plenty of action, some great twists and some steam! Jane may be the spinster aunt but under it all her heart is still very much red blooded.

Janet Mullany even manages to make the mildest middle-aged Ladies capable of outrageous longings and self indulgent lusts.

For that I have to say, thanks, you rock Janet!

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo

A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

By the Author of Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Ellen and Mimi named by their mother after Elinor and Marianne Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility, unfortunately these sisters don’t get along that well.

But on the death of their Mother, they find she had plans in place to send them both off on a quest together.

She had been a devoted Jane Austen fan and sent the sisters off on a Jane Austen pilgrimage to decide where to leave her ashes.

They have a few surprises on their arrival in Hampshire.

Not least of all the long lost love of Ellen’s life turning up on the same walking tour.

There is drama and comedy as they make their way through the lanes and hedgerows of Hampshire, visiting Chawton and ending their tour in Winchester.

Are there secret Austen artifacts? Do the girls get their men? Are the formidables on the case?

Grab a copy and if you enjoyed Jane Austen Ruined My Life and Mr Darcy Broke My Heart, you are going to love this.

You can find out more about Beth Pattillo Here.

The Trouble With Mr Darcy By Sharon Latham

The Trouble With Mr Darcy By Sharon Latham

Keep Friends Close, Enemies Closer...

Pride and Prejudice Continues

The story opens with the Darcy Family on tour in post war Europe, visiting family and friends, Miss Georgina Darcy is smitten by cupids bow when she meets a Gentleman who is a talented young musician.

While Elizabeth and Darcy return home she continues her tour with her Aunt and Uncle, Lord and Lady Matlock.

The torrid romance between Darcy and Elizabeth continue they return to England to await a happy event, the birth of their second son.

But their sublime loving relationship is put to the test after the birth, as Elizabeth is plunged deep into a postnatal depression, an unknown problem at that time.

Her, untreated symptoms almost lead to disaster as she withdraws further from those who love her.
Thank goodness for Uncle George Darcy, who steps in to help and get’s the couple back on track.

Soon after her recovery the whole family are back at Netherfield , rented to them for their stay during the happy event of Kittys Marriage.

But, some of the guests are not so welcome and as one might guest at the top of the list is Wickham!
He is at the centre of a very evil plot. Will this be the time he goes too far and his need to destroy Darcy ends in disaster.

You need to read this book, it is very gripping and full of action, so much more so than Sharons earlier books.

So, if you found the first books slow, give this a go, this novel is packed full of excitement and much more adventure.

A great holiday read.

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Broadway

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Broadway

A Novel of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan

This takes the novella Lady Susan by Jane Austen and stand’s it on it’s head.

In the original novella, Lady Susan is a self centered woman who has no time or affection for her Daughter.

In this version she is the opposite but the gossip still draws her as the same character that Jane Austen wrote which I thought was rather clever.

It fills out all Jane Austen’s cast of characters and gives them a deeper story line, drawing you into a very good tale of the very beautiful widow who finds herself cheated of her husbands wealth on his death by her brother in law.

The Brother in Law is a really  nasty piece of work and you are left to guess just what his involvement with his Brothers fatal accident was.

Most of the peripheral female characters in this story are malicious gossips and very shallow unlikeable people, but the story is fun, well paced and I enjoyed it more than the original story. (Yes, I know that’s sacrilegious but never mind).

Thumbs up for this, the authors managed to make Lady Susan a likable sympathetic character and keep the story pretty much the same.

Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd

Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd

A Novel

The style is in keeping but Lynn Shepherd has dramatically changed the lead characters of Mansfield Park. Fanny Price is not the down trodden poor relation so viciously put upon by Mrs Norris. 

In this story she is completely the opposite to the original, she is an orphaned heiress with property and a large fortune and Mrs Norris cannot do enough for her.

She is mean and haughty and treats her cousins with distain, while acting as if butter would not melt in her mouth. And, if that is not different enough, Mary Crawford in this alternate Mansfield Park is intelligent, thoughtful kind and caring just knowing that should make you want to find out more.

But, add murder of a most brutal kind and a thief catcher brought in to solve the terrible crime. A man who will use any means to catch his villain including physical violence and spying.

Everyone in the household starts to look guilty and one disaster is soon followed in quick succession by more.

This is a good who dunnit in it’s own right, I am usually too quick to work out who the killer is, but, this one was a pretty good mystery through to the climax. Mixing Austen and murder rather well.

I certainly found it hard to put it down once I had got into the story.

I do hope Lynn Shepherd keeps up the good work and writes us some more Austen murder mysteries.

North by Northanger by Carrie Bebris

North by Northanger by Carrie Bebris

(or The Shades of Pemberley)

A Mr and Mrs Darcy Mystery

Just as good as Pride and Prescience and another great Elizabeth and Darcy Whodunnit.
Another Jane Austen Sequel for  your enjoyment

Drawing the characters from Northanger Abbey into the lives of those at Pemberley in a very alarming and unfortunate way.

A pregnant Elizabeth while moving her mother in laws desk to suit herself finds a letter from Lady Anne Darcy and addressed to Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcey, which leads to a treasure hunt and so much more.

One of the down sides is, it highlights Lady Annes death due to childbirth and makes Darcy overly protective and nervous about Elizabeth.

The characters from both books are blended beautifully and the only problem I have with this book is that I want to read more, and I don’t have the other two! Suspense and Sensibility and The Matters at Mansfield, so, it looks like I am due another trip across to Singapore to try and get my hands on them. If they are as good as the two I have read it will be well worth it.

I still can’t get the image of poor Elizabeth too pregnant to run away being stuck in the house with Lady Catherine, her Mother and Lydia, the stuff nightmares are made of.

I recently did a self portrait for fun and I can’t help thinking I would make an excellent Lady Catherine. I will put the picture on here and see what you think, it’s quite scary, I look like you would not win a verbal sparring match with me, but, really I am a pussycat.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris

Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris

(a truth universally acknowledged)

A Mr and Mrs Darcy Mystery

This story starts where Pride and Prejudice finished with the joint marriage of Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

Almost immediately Caroline Bingley steals the limelight at the wedding reception by announcing her own engagement to an American. A handsome American, charming, a gentlemen with a fortune and a plantation.

Elizabeth can not help but wonder what he see’s in Miss Bingley, but they do appear very much in Love. As their wedding is set for one week, hence the honeymoon at Pemberley is put on hold to attend what Caroline is determined to make the society wedding of the decade.

From that point on this fast paced book plunges from one disaster to another, with Darcy and Elizabeth being drawn further and further into the awful events and ‘accidents’ that keep happening.

Elizabeth finds herself having to come to Caroline's aid time and time again and deciding who are the villains and who are the good guys is even causing  trouble between her and her new husband.

She can not help but feel there are dark arts and worse involved and he, a man of logic is totally blind to the terrible things happening before his very eyes.

After a murder at Netherfield all of the house guests come under suspicion.

Will Darcy & Elizabeth or Jane and Bingley make it out alive.

Great fun, lots of suspense, I am going to read North by Northanger by Carrie Bebris next.

What Would Mr Darcy Do? by Abigail Reynolds

What Would Mr Darcy Do? by Abigail Reynolds

The Truth Will Come Out...

This book is light, bright and entertaining, I even chuckled out loud a few times.

This Pride and Prejudice variation really plays on the fact that Darcy and Elizabeth almost constantly jump to the wrong conclusions over each others reactions, or indeed lack of, almost always getting the wrong idea which causes much heartache and hankie wringing.

The wit and repartee between Mr Bennet, Lizzy and Mr Darcy, sparkles and draws you into the relationship which becomes very tactile, to the point that the temptation is almost impossible for either of them to bear. There is no bodice ripping but lots of sensuality and steaminess.

So, if you haven’t read this one yet grab a copy it’s such a feel good book, and, if you have read it a while ago, well, go and get it off the shelf and indulge yourself again, it will make you smile, I promise.

Thank you to Abigail Reynolds one of the ladies who keeps romance alive and kicking with a good sense of humour added in.

Also by Abigail and reviewed on this site

The Truth About Mr Darcy by Susan Adriani

The Truth About Mr Darcy by Susan Adriani

Theres Never A Perfect Time...   To Bare Your Soul...

What a romantic book.

This Mr Darcy is tender, caring, articulate and he just can’t keep his hands off Elizabeth.

In this what if? story, Darcy does not ride away when he comes upon Elizabeth Bennet’s first meeting with George Wickham. Instead he takes the time to inform her of Mr Wickham’s less than pleasant past.

Indeed the wickham in this story is even darker with a crueler and almost twisted psycho feel about him.

So how does the story unfold now?

Pick up this book, it is a very good read.

Mrs Bennet, Caroline and Lydia are all still truly grating, you could happily knock all their heads together and Mr Collins is truly awful in this version and as I said Wickham is horrible and quite scary.

Elizabeth and Darcy are so totally infatuated with each other that some of the pages in this book positively sizzle. Now if this book called itself Wild and Wanton, I would have no complaints at all.

Susan Adriani has managed to write the Darcy that we would all love to be married to. Or have a wild passionate fling with at the very least (I’m rather attached to my hubby!)

Now for a little warning, The Turth About Mr Darcy was originally published as Affinity and Affection so don’t do what I did and buy both!

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson

A Jane Austen Undead Novel

Although this story follows the original with a flavor of Jane Austen throughout, I did have a few problems.

One quite small thing, but for me a real irritation is that Wayne Joesphson sent his vegetarian vampires, they don’t drink human blood and they have blue eyes and go into the woods to hunt for rabbits and raccoons. Raccoons are not and have never been native to Britain, we have badgers, weasels, stoats and foxes but NO raccoons.

Now, another problem I had and it could just be me, but, I found it odd that the gentlemen vampires both the vegetarian non human blood drinkers ones and the black eyed one’s whose eyes turn red after feeding on human blood were almost a completely different breed compared to the wild vampires. 

The wild vampires continuously attack Highbury preying on any one they could sink their fangs into. 

These wild vampires behave more like zombies and there is no back story of explanation to how or why they are so different.

I wasn’t even sure how aware the inhabitants of  Highbury were as to who was and who wasn’t a vampire, it was quite difficult from the characters reactions to tell.

All in all this was quite a frustrating read for me but I am sure there are plenty of vampire loving friends out there who will love this book and it certainly has some memorable moments including Emma going into battle with wild vampire hoards with a stake tied to her thigh with silk ribbon, and then agreeing to marry one.

You might think he would find marrying a young woman who habitually wears a steak under her petty coat somewhat alarming.

However, if this book brings more youthful readers to Jane Austen’s original works then I am all for it.