Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods by Brigid Huey ~ Review and Vignette

Title: A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods
Author: Brigid Huey
Publisher: Meryton Press
Genre: Austenesque
Release Date: September 1st, 2019
Format Read: Kindle ebook
Number of Pages: 113

Blurb: A surprise meeting
A baby alone in the woods
And a second chance at love.

Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to his beloved Pemberley with one thing on his mind—to forget Elizabeth Bennet. Riding ahead of his party and racing a storm, he happens upon the very woman he wants to avoid. To his astonishment, she is holding a baby whose name and parentage are unknown.

Elizabeth Bennet never dreamed she had wandered into Pemberley’s woods on her afternoon walk. But when she finds an infant alone in the storm, she turns to the last man in the world she wants to see—and the only one who can help them both.

As the mystery of the baby’s identity intensifies, Elizabeth finds Mr. Darcy to be quite different from what she expected. But when the child’s family is discovered, will the truth bring them together or tear them apart?

My Review: I started this novella not really knowing that much about it but I gradually got the gist of it. Basically, Elizabeth finds an abandoned baby in the woods while it's raining while she is traveling with her aunt and uncle Gardiner. Darcy finds them and takes them to Pemberley. They spend time together and Elizabeth starts falling for him. Then the Lydia scandal happens and Darcy fixes it.

There wasn't really any conflict or anything that would have kept Lizzy and Darcy apart except for the whole Lydia scandal. This is a fast read if you need a story to keep you entertained for a couple of hours.

Rating: 3½  stars out of 5

I have a vignette for all you lovely readers down below so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Tina, for hosting me today. This vignette takes place before the novel begins. Here we meet Elizabeth in the midst of her travels with the Gardiners. She has only just arrived in Lambton, and her mind is all a tumble!

Pemberley was but five miles from the inn at Lambton where Elizabeth was staying with her aunt and uncle. There was something unsettling about being so close to Mr. Darcy’s family home. She had known they would come to Lambton; Aunt Gardiner had grown up here, and it was only natural and right that they should visit the town during their tour of Derbyshire.

Elizabeth, however, could not but wish that they were miles away. Even the possibility of an encounter with the man she had so thoroughly and ruthlessly rejected would cause nothing but pain to either party.

Thinking of that day at the parsonage brought a new pang of guilt and shame to Elizabeth’s heart. Oh! Would that she had shown some sense! She had been completely blinded by her own pride to be sensible of Mr. Darcy’s true feelings.

It could not be said that he had behaved well; yet, she had also given in to the conceit of prejudice and favoritism. Mr. Wickham had flattered her sensibilities, and she had fallen for his practiced arts! How low she had felt, reading the letter from Mr. Darcy that had freed her mind from the terrible falsehoods Mr. Wickham had foisted upon her.

That letter. Even now it was with her, stowed away safely in her travelling trunk. For some reason, she could not destroy it. Though if anyone found it, the outcome would be disastrous for both her and Mr. Darcy.

“Lizzy, my dear! The tea has arrived.”

It was her Aunt Gardiner, calling from the cozy sitting room on the other side of the door. Elizabeth rose and straightened her skirts. She must endeavor to appear composed before her aunt and uncle. Although they were the kindest and best of relations, Elizabeth did not feel up to sharing her history with Mr. Darcy. It was too intimate, and too painful.

“Ah, Lizzy,” her uncle said as she came in the room. “What do you say to visiting Pemberley tomorrow?”

Elizabeth was pleased that her steps faltered only slightly as she walked toward the tea tray. “I...I am not sure that I am up for touring yet another great house, Uncle.”

“Oh, come, LIzzy!” Aunt Gardiner said. “The grounds will be lovely at this time of year.”

“I suppose you especially desire to see it then, Aunt?”

“I do, for it has been many years since I have been there.”

“What do you say, Lizzy?” Uncle Gardiner asked.

Though her heart felt leaden, Elizabeth forced a smile on her face. “Then of course we shall go.”

“I promise it will be delightful, Lizzy,” her aunt said.

Elizabeth sipped her tea, but did not taste it. Perhaps I can feign a headache tomorrow morning. Without warning, Mr. Darcy’s voice echoed in her mind. “But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence.”

Abruptly, she rose from her seat.

“Are you well, Lizzy?” Aunt Garinder asked, her brow furrowed in anxious concern.

“Do not be uneasy, Aunt. I am perfectly well. I will just see to my things, if I may. The journey was long, and I find I am weary of sitting still.”

“A capital idea, Lizzy,” Uncle Gardiner said.

Elizabeth escaped to her room, but she could find little peace that afternoon. Nor, in fact, could she settle her mind as she tried in vain to rest that night. How could she possibly visit Pemberley? After all that had transpired between her and Mr. Darcy? And yet, the only way to escape the ordeal would be to open her private history with Mr. Darcy to her relations. This she was loath to do; she was simply too ashamed by her actions to have them looked upon by people she respected as much as the Gardiners.

The morning brought little clarity to Elizabeth’s thoughts. She had spent half the night dreaming of Mr. Darcy. He would look at her from across the ballroom, his countenance stern and disapproving; then suddenly he was at her side, declaring his ardent love. When dawn’s light entered her room, Elizabeth’s mind was fatigued and her heart felt heavy.

She had risen early to escape the torture of her fitful sleep, but as yet her aunt and uncle were still abed. A glance out the window told her that the morning was fine—though overcast it did not appear to be raining. Perhaps I may find a moment of solitude in woods.

As they had arrived in Lambton the previous afternoon, Elizabeth had noted an idyllic path leading into a lovely shaded glen. It was not far from the inn, and she found that a ramble through the woods was exactly what her heart needed after such a tempestuous night. Moreover, perhaps providing a balm to her wounded heart would fortify her for the anguish to come this afternoon during her visit to Pemberley.

She sat down at the little writing table and penned a note to her aunt and uncle. Though they were well acquainted with her penchant for early morning walks, she had no wish to cause worry. She tucked the note under her aunt’s door and went out. She met Hanna, the chambermaid that had attended them the night before, in the hall on her way to the stairs.

Impulsively, Elizabeth stopped the girl and asked how far it was to Pemberley. On being told that it was indeed less than five miles, Elizabeth spoke again.

“Do you know if the family is at home at this time of year? For we would not wish to disturb them should we travel there today.”

The girl assured her that they were not typically at home yet. “Though even if they was, miss,” she continued, “it’s naught difference to the masters if the house be open for touring.”

Elizabeth thanked her and went on her way. The girl was right, of course. She and her relations had not encountered any of the families connected to the great houses they had toured heretofore. She would be safe.

It really was a pretty little town. The villagers that were up at this early hour greeted her in a kindly manner. Before long she passed a milliner’s establishment, and stopped for a moment to admire a bonnet in the shop window. Beyond the milliner’s was the chandler’s shop, and it was clear that the proprietor was already hard at work. The door to the little workroom behind the main store was open, and the smell of freshly dipped candles wafted through to the summer air.

At last she reached the apothecary, and beyond that the road became little more than a dirt path. It led almost directly into a grove of trees that appeared to be part of larger forest. There was neither fencing nor signage of any kind, and Elizabeth thought it must lead to a local farm. Perhaps someone that came often to sell at the market.

Does Mr. Darcy ever frequent Lambton, I wonder? It seemed unlikely that he would; yet, his servants must come here often for supplies of one kind or another. She could not imagine keeping such a great house as Pemberley running. Though perhaps it was not so very great after all. I will find out soon enough, for we visit it today.

So engrossed was she in her ruminations that she failed to send a glance to the sky to ascertain the state of the weather before she entered the protection of the woods. The gathering gloom far in the east might have warned her to turn back and seek the comfort and safety of the inn. Yet into the little woods she went.

Author Bio: Brigid has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids, and spends her free time reading and writing. This is her first Pride and Prejudice variation, though many others live in her imagination.

Contact Info:

Friday, September 13, 2019

A Sister's Curse by Jayne Bamber ~ Review

Title: A Sister's Curse
Author: Jayne Bamber
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Austenesque
Release Date: August 27th, 2019
Number of Pages: 357
Format Read: Kindle ebook

Book Blurb: Two families from very different situations in life are linked forever after a fatal accident on the Great North Road. This tragedy breeds years of sorrow and misunderstanding as well as prosperity and even romance in an emotional coming of age tale not only for Elizabeth Bennet, but for her sisters, and even the adults who let them down.

For nearly two decades, Edward Gardiner is haunted by the difficult decisions he has made. Lady Anne Darcy must bear all the guilt and delight of being granted her heart’s desire... at a price. The Fitzwilliam family has motives and misgivings of their own as the Earl of Matlock tries to keep them all together, right the wrongs of the past, and pave the way for the next generation.

Fitzwilliam Darcy realizes too late what it means to be a brother, and is faced with a part of his past he regrets, just as his desire to protect the family he loves leads him back to the woman he was destined to love the most… a woman who despises him.

Elizabeth Bennet struggles through the turbulence of adolescence, her judgment clouded by past trauma and the complicated dynamics of her extended family. Secrets are revealed and re-examined as she is forced to come to terms with the truth of her past and the promise of her future, in a family bound together by heartbreak.

My Review: So I went into this book not knowing a whole lot about it that being said oh boy. This book reads like a soap drama. You can change the names of the characters and have the same enjoyment of reading this book. Mrs. Bennett (however brief she's in this book) is just horrible. Oh, I need to stop my brother's wedding because the woman he's marrying is not of a certain sphere. I'm very glad that Miss Gardiner gets to be a paid companion that grounds her and makes her not so flighty like Fanny. I really didn't like Elizabeth in this story until later on in the story. She's really childish and runs away from her problems a lot. I like the canon Lizzy so much more.

If you like your Pride and Prejudice with a healthy amount of soap opera than this is the book for you. However, if you like your Pride and Prejudice to stick mostly to canon than I would steer clear of this book.

Rating: 3½ stars

Friday, September 06, 2019

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne ~ Review

Title: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: August 27th, 2019
Number of Pages: 448
Format Read: ebook

Book Blurb: These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees...

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.


Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

My Review: I went into this book very excited to read what Miss Byrne had in store for this new series but I was not expecting that opening scene. That was brutal and I don't wish that upon anybody. She handled the sensitive subject of rape and it's far-reaching effects very well. Piers was very much an alpha male and most of the time he does come across as an asshole but he loves his lady.

I did not expect the blackmailer to be who it was but then low and behold there is a twist at the end with that. I'm very excited to read the second book in the series when it's released.

Rating: 4½ out of 5

Author Bio: Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A Lady's Reputation by Amy D'Orazio ~ Review

Title: A Lady's Reputation
Author: Amy D'Orazio
Genre: Austenesque
Publisher: Quills & Quartos Publishing
Release Date: July 29th, 2019
Number of Pages: 444
Format Read: Kindle ebook

Book Blurb: “Mr. Darcy, I am eager to hear your explanation for the fact that quite a few people believe we are engaged.”

It starts with a bit of well-meant advice. Colonel Fitzwilliam suggests to his cousin Darcy that, before he proposes to Elizabeth Bennet in Kent, perhaps he ought to discuss his plans with their families first.

What neither man could have predicted however was that Lord Matlock would write the news to his sister, or that Viscount Saye would overhear and tell his friends, or that his friends might slip a little and let their friends know as well. The news spreads just as quickly through Hertfordshire once Mrs. Bennet opens the express Mr. Bennet receives from Mr. Darcy, and in a matter of days, it seems like everyone knows that Mr. Darcy has proposed marriage to Elizabeth Bennet.

Everyone, that is, except Elizabeth herself.

Her refusal is quick and definite—until matters of reputation, hers as well as Jane’s, are considered. Then Mr. Darcy makes another offer: summer at Pemberley so that Jane can be reunited with Mr. Bingley and so that he can prove to Elizabeth he is not what she thinks of him. Falling in love with him is naturally impossible…but once she knows the man he truly is, will she be able to help herself?

My Review: I went into this novel not really knowing a whole lot about it but excited to read it as Amy D'Orazio is quickly becoming one of my go-to JAFF authors. I really enjoyed this book but at times it just seemed like the book was being drawn out. It seems whatever could go wrong went wrong for our couple. I did love that Jane realized that she shouldn't be with a Bingley, who started hanging out with the wrong sort of people and turned into somebody I didn't like.

I do recommend reading this book if you love seeing our dear couple overcome obstacles and Jane end up with somebody other than Bingley. I'm excited to see what Amy D'Orazio comes out with next.

Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Sunday, July 28, 2019

His Choice of a Wife by Heather Moll ~ Review + Excerpt

Title: His Choice of a Wife
Author: Heather Moll
Genre: Austenesque
Publisher: Meryton Press
Release Date: July 16th, 2019
Number of Pages: 323
Format Read: Kindle ebook

I have debut author Heather Moll on the blog today with her book His Choice of a Wife and an excerpt from the book.

Book Blurb: When a man’s honor is at stake, what is he willing to risk for the woman he loves?

After a disastrous marriage proposal and the delivery of an illuminating letter, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet hope never to lay eyes on one another again. When a chance meeting in Hunsford immediately throws them in each other’s way, Darcy realizes his behavior needs correcting, and Elizabeth starts to appreciate his redeeming qualities. But is it enough to forgive the past and overcome their prejudices?

Jane and Bingley’s possible reconciliation and Lydia’s ill-conceived trip to Brighton pose their own challenges for two people struggling to find their way to love. When scandalous news threatens their chance at happiness, will Darcy and Elizabeth’s new bond be shattered, or will their growing affection hold steadfast?

My Review: When I was first contacted about reviewing this book I thought it sounded familiar to me. As I started to get further into the book I realized why it was so familiar I had read it on A Happy Assembly awhile ago. I obviously only remember parts of it so it was nice to re-read this book. I really enjoyed it and I loved this Darcy but he was very out of character in this book as was Lizzy. I didn't hate that though. Wickham keeps to his character though.

I really recommend reading this book if you enjoy a Darcy that doesn't care about social standing and pursues his Lizzy no matter what.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Thank you for hosting me Tina. I’m delighted to be here today to share an excerpt from His Choice of a Wife with you and your readers. After what happens between them following Hunsford and a few meetings in London, Darcy hopes that he might have a second chance with Elizabeth. The following happens after Darcy has ridden from London to see Elizabeth. He’s just observed Lydia’s rather … exuberant response to being invited to go to Brighton.

Darcy was sure this invitation was the death warrant of all possibility of common sense for Miss Lydia Bennet. The improprieties of her general behavior shocked him. His instinct told him to take his leave or, barring that, remove himself to the window. However, that would not endear him to Elizabeth, and he was determined to please her.

As he sat calculating the distance between Pemberley and Longbourn, Darcy realized that he had been addressed by Mrs. Bennet. Not wanting to appear inattentive, he promptly agreed with whatever had been asked of him. He realized he had been invited to walk out with Mrs. Bennet’s daughters.

“Go, my dears, and show Mr. Darcy about the different walks.” Miss Lydia declared herself eager to call at the Lucases’ to make known her good fortune while Miss Catherine was still sitting next to Darcy, weeping from vexation and envy and was not fit to be seen. Elizabeth and Miss Bennet rose to collect their bonnets and gloves when Mrs. Bennet spoke again.

“Lizzy, you need not go. Lydia will call on Lucas Lodge, and Jane may accompany Mr. Darcy on a walk.”

“I would rather accompany Lydia!” Miss Bennet said quickly. “Lizzy may show him the hermitage.”

Mrs. Bennet replied it was not necessary and again entreated Mr. Darcy to walk with Jane.

“Mamma, I would happily go with Mr. Darcy!” Elizabeth said.

“Yes, my dear, but I say you need not.” Mrs. Bennet winked at Elizabeth, who looked appalled.

“Mrs. Bennet, I would enjoy Miss Elizabeth’s particular company should she choose to walk out.” Darcy then rose to collect his hat and gloves. He knew his manner with Mrs. Bennet had turned cold, but Elizabeth was distressed, and he would do what was needed to remove her from this situation. He would explain himself outside should she accuse him of being uncivil.

Miss Bennet passed down the hall to retrieve her parasol while Darcy waited for the ladies. The door to the parlor remained open, and he heard Elizabeth speaking to her mother in hushed tones.

“What is your meaning?”

“Lizzy, you need not spend time in the company of that man. Not handsome enough to dance with, indeed! You may not have Jane’s beauty nor Lydia’s liveliness, but I shall not have it be said that I instructed you to walk out with a disagreeable man who dislikes you.”

“Mamma, please! Mr. Darcy will hear you! And he does not dislike me.”

“What is Mr. Darcy to me, indeed to any of us? We owe him no particular civility other than he is friend to Mr. Bingley, who we all believe will do nicely for Jane. Mr. Darcy has done nothing to recommend himself.”

“For heaven’s sake, speak lower. There is no advantage for you to offend Mr. Darcy. His reason for calling is to further his acquaintance with me!”

“I find it difficult to believe that you would suit his fancy. I thought he might have come for Jane, but he does not appear to fancy her either.” Darcy heard a loud exhalation and swift footsteps that grew louder.

By the way she looked at him as she entered the hall, Darcy knew Elizabeth was aware of his overhearing. Miss Bennet returned with her parasol, and Miss Lydia bounded out the door still gleeful about traveling to Brighton.

Elizabeth did not speak but eyed him with serious scrutiny. Her fingers played with her watch chain, and she appeared restless. She was embarrassed, and he wondered whether she feared the loss of his esteem due to her mother. In his mind, he weighed three foolish sisters and their mother against the elder Miss Bennet and the Gardiners. He had already decided he would not be deterred because of her connections; Elizabeth’s happiness was worth every effort he could put forth.

I shall have to love her mother for Elizabeth’s sake and have her happiness be as dear to me as that of my own mother, rest her soul; I shall have to love all of them. Dwelling on the undeniable difference between his and Elizabeth’s relations would only drive them apart.

I hope you’re curious as to what is going through Elizabeth’s mind and what Darcy says to Elizabeth when they’re finally alone. Find out what happens next at Savvy Wit and Verse on July 31.


Author Bio: Heather Moll is an avid reader with a B.A. in European history and a M.A. in library science, so it is astonishing that she did not discover Jane Austen until her late-twenties. Making up for lost time, she devoured all of Austen’s novels, her letters, and unpublished works, joined JASNA, and spent far too much time researching the Regency era. She is thrilled to have found fellow Janeites and the JAFF community, if only to prove that her interests aren’t so strange after all. Heather is a former librarian turned stay-at-home mother who struggles to find time for all of the important things, like reading and writing.

Contact Info:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherMollAuthor/
Twitter Author Page: https://twitter.com/HMollAuthor?lang=en
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Heather-Moll/e/B07V5KLGB8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/HeatherMoll

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