Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Mr. Darcy: A Man with a Plan by Lucy Marin ~ Review

Title: Mr. Darcy: A Man with a Plan
Author: Lucy Marin
Genre: Pride and Prejudice novella
Publisher: Quills & Quartos Publishing
Release Date: July 6th, 2020
Number of Pages: 92
Version Read: Kindle
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: Fitzwilliam Darcy was a man in despair following his disastrous proposal in Kent. If only he had done this, made or said that! If only he had made more of an effort? Was it too late?

Perhaps it was not for soon after that fateful April day, Darcy unexpectedly sees Elizabeth in London. He seeks her out again, ostensibly to ensure she now thinks better of him. He quickly decides that he wants to win her affections.

It would require effort, perhaps a great effort, but Elizabeth Bennet was worth fighting for.

But in order to do so, he would need a plan.

My Review: I remember reading this on A Happy Assembly a long time ago and really enjoying it. I was glad to see that it got polished and released as a novella. Granted it's a quick read as you can read it in under an hour but it's also a very satisfying read. I definitely recommend this novella if you want to read a sweet and short story between our dear couple.

Rating: 4 stars

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Rebellion at Longbourn by Victoria Kincaid ~ Review + Excerpt

Title: Rebellion at Longbourn
Author: Victoria Kincaid
Genre: Pride and Prejudice variation
Publisher: Meadowbrook Press
Release Date: June 1st, 2020
Number of Pages: 349
Version Read: Kindle ebook
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: Elizabeth Bennet’s father died two years ago, and her odious cousin Mr. Collins has taken possession of the Longbourn estate. Although Collins and his wife Charlotte have allowed the Bennet sisters and their mother to continue living at Longbourn, the situation is difficult. Viewing Elizabeth and her sisters as little more than unpaid servants, Collins also mistreats the tenants, spends the estate’s money with abandon, and rejects any suggestions about improving or modernizing Longbourn. After one particularly egregious incident, Elizabeth decides she must organize a covert resistance among her sisters and the tenants, secretly using more modern agricultural methods to help the estate thrive. Her scheme is just getting underway when Mr. Darcy appears in Meryton.

Upon returning from a long international voyage, Darcy is forced to admit he cannot forget his love for Elizabeth. When he learns of the Bennet family’s plight, he hurries to Hertfordshire, hoping he can provide assistance. Sinking into poverty, Elizabeth is further out of Darcy’s reach than ever; still, he cannot help falling even more deeply in love. But what will he do when he discovers her covert rebellion against Longbourn’s rightful owner?

Falling in love with Mr. Darcy was not part of Elizabeth’s plan, but it cannot be denied. Darcy struggles to separate his love for her from his abhorrence for deception. Will their feelings for each other help or hinder the Rebellion at Longbourn?

My Review: This book starts about two years after Hunsford but Darcy never proposed to Elizabeth and ends up taking a trip to Canada with Georgiana and Bingley. After he comes back he just can't forget about Elizabeth and decides to go solve the Bennet's family troubles by finding Lydia and Wickham and making them marry. When he gets there he discovers that Elizabeth has been making improvements to the estate without Collins' knowledge. This leads Darcy to help reluctantly.

I enjoyed this story and I don't think I've really seen an author tackle this storyline before so it was a breath of fresh air. Victoria Kincaid proves yet again that she is one of the best authors in JAFF.

Rating: 4½ stars

The coast of England was a hazy strip of dull gray on the horizon, barely a smudge. Despite its unprepossessing appearance, a shiver ran down Darcy’s back. Home again, after all this time! Georgiana must have experienced much the same sentiments. She clutched Darcy’s arm as they leaned against the ship’s rail. “There it is! Oh! I am so pleased to be home again.” She ducked her head. “Not that I am not grateful for the trip, William, but—”
Her brother smiled. “I understand, dearest. I took pleasure in our travels as well, but I am eager to return home.”
Precisely!” Georgiana leaned closer to him, her eyes fixed on the land.
The visit to Darcy’s properties in Upper Canada had only been intended to last for a year, but complications from an inconvenient war with America had made it difficult to book safe passage, extending their visit another six months. The Canadian wilderness was beautiful and glimpses of a new world had been fascinating, but they were more than ready to return.
Bingley stepped up to the rail on Darcy’s other side. “Now, there is a sight to greet a weary traveler!” He inhaled deeply as if he could already smell the scents of home. “I pray you, tell me, what have you missed the most? What food will you seek first once we return to English soil?”
Clotted cream!” Georgiana said instantly. The others laughed, having often heard this lament.
Proper tea,” Bingley said.
I will be ever so pleased to have kippers for breakfast,” Darcy declared.
Georgiana’s eyes sparkled as she addressed the others. “And what shall you do first when we arrive? I am eagerly anticipating several trips to the mantua maker. My wardrobe is sadly out of date!”
My purse would have been better served if we had remained in Canada,” Darcy joked.
Perhaps you would prefer to see your sister dressed in rags?” Georgiana asked archly.
Darcy was delighted by the teasing tone in her voice. The Georgiana who had boarded a ship for Canada eighteen months ago had been solemn and strained. He vividly remembered the day she had tiptoed into his study and tearfully confessed that she did not feel equal to preparing for a coming out. Eventually Darcy had realized that she was still recovering from Wickham’s ill treatment at Ramsgate. Her self-confidence had suffered, and she was very uncomfortable in society.
Their travels had done her a world of good. She had matured and blossomed into a poised young lady—one he could imagine launching into society. Their relationship had simultaneously deepened and become less formal as she came to view him more as a brother and less as a parent.
I long to visit Pemberley,” Darcy said. “Unfortunately, I will have many weeks of business in London before we might leave for Derbyshire. What about you, Bingley? What do you most wish to do?”
When his friend did not answer immediately, Darcy gave him a sidelong glance.
Bingley stared at the distant shore with an abstracted expression. “I might visit Netherfield.”
Darcy started. As if by unspoken agreement, they had not discussed Hertfordshire at all during their trip. Bingley had seemed as eager to escape the society of London as Darcy himself, and so Darcy had invited his friend on the voyage.
Bingley had been endeavoring to forget Miss Jane Bennet, who did not return his regard for her. Darcy had experienced a silent kinship with his friend, as he himself attempted to forget Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Jane’s sister. Although he had never breathed a word of his infatuation with Elizabeth to Bingley.
Darcy had hoped that traveling together might encourage Bingley’s affections to transfer to Georgiana. He would make her an excellent husband, and such an engagement would spare her the necessity of a coming out. But within the first month of their travels, it had become clear that his friend’s sentiments toward Georgiana would never be anything more than brotherly affection.
I believed you had given up Netherfield,” Darcy said lightly, as if the matter were of no concern to him. Darcy had taken great pains to ensure that Bingley would never suspect how Elizabeth Bennet had tempted him.
Bingley removed his hat, which threatened to blow off in the breeze, and ran his fingers through his thick blond hair. “Such was my intention, but no eligible offers were made, and now…I think perhaps I would like to make one more visit and see how…the neighbors fare.”
Bingley’s sudden concern for Hertfordshire’s inhabitants did not fool Darcy. “Perhaps you should wait.” Although Georgiana had moved toward the prow, Darcy kept his voice low. “You should at least discover if Miss Bennet is married before you hare off to Meryton.”
His friend sucked in a breath, his face paling. “Married! Yes, I suppose…I had not considered… Of course, it has been nearly two years since we last met; she might have married.” He directed a sharp look toward Darcy. “Do you know something?”
Darcy shook his head. “I have no news from that quarter.” To his infinite regret. He had opened every letter from England with dread that it would contain the news that Elizabeth had married. But nobody had written about their friends in Hertfordshire, which was not terribly surprising since their residency there had been brief and their acquaintance not very wide. “I hope your sister might know more.”
Bingley squinted into the sun. “If she possesses any such knowledge, she has not seen fit to share it with me in her letters.” He dropped his head to stare at the water. “I cannot go to Hertfordshire immediately in any event. Caroline and Louisa would chastise me, and my first travels must necessarily be to manage business in Scarborough.”
Darcy kept his face impassive as he directed his eyes back to the shores of England, growing larger and more distinct every minute.
Fortunately, Bingley had not spoken of his feelings for Miss Bennet over the past year and a half; if he had, Darcy might have succumbed to the impulse to confess his own infatuation with Elizabeth. Instead they had both endeavored to forget. Bingley’s interest in Hertfordshire suggested he had been as successful as Darcy knew himself to be. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rakes and Roses by Josi S. Kilpack ~ Review

Title: Rakes and Roses
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Genre: Proper Romance
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Release Date: May 5th, 2020
Number of Pages: 320
Version Read: Paperback

Book Blurb: Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man's world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he's a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she's so carefully built.

My Review: So this book starts with Lady Sabrina and Harry Stillman meeting while she is in distress in a garden and he is attempting to seduce a lady. He helps her by getting her friend and they don't meet again for several years. She has lost a child, an abusive husband (good riddance), and has become a wealthy lady who has become a secret money lender.

Our dear hero is a man who owes a lot of money to a moneylender named Malcolm and has no way to pay it back since he gambles it all away. He goes to Lord Damion Lady Sabrina) to borrow money so he can pay off all his debt. However right after his meeting with Lord Damion, he is beaten by Malcolm's men and left in the alley. Lady Sabrina finds him and nurses him back to health at her country house, this includes getting him off the sauce and back on the straight and narrow.

The romance in this novel felt nonexistent until the last 40% of the book and even then it seemed to drag on. I did mostly enjoy reading this novel even if towards the beginning I had to read through a lot of slowness.

Rating: 3½ stars

Author Bio: Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton's Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.



May 04 My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
May 04 All About Romance (Guest Blog)
May 05 Timeless Novels (Review)
May 05 Literary Time Out (Review)
May 06 Courtney Reads Romance (Review)
May 07 Fire and Ice (Excerpt)
May 07 Gwendalyn's Books (Review)
May 08 History Lizzie (Review)
May 08 Wishful Endings (Review)
May 09 Relz Reviewz (Character spotlight)
May 10 Delighted Reader (Excerpt)
May 11 Frolic Media (Guest Blog)
May 11 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
May 11 Bringing Up Books (Review)
May 12 Lu Reviews Books (Review)
May 14 Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals (Interview)
May 15 Storybook Reviews (Excerpt)
May 16 The Book Diva’s Reads (Review)
May 16 The Fiction Aficionado (Review)
May 17 Inkwell Inspirations (Spotlight)
May 17 Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)
May 18 Romance Junkies (Guest Blog)
May 18 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review)
May 18 The Lit Bitch (Review)
May 19 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Interview)
May 19 Heidi Reads (Review)
May 19 Bookworm Lisa (Excerpt)
May 19 Laura's Reviews (Review)
May 20 The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)
May 20 Joy of Reading (Review)
May 20 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
May 21 The Calico Critic (Spotlight)
May 21 Getting Your Read On (Review)
May 21 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
May 22 Wishful Endings (Interview)

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Persuaded to Sail by Jack Caldwell ~ Review

Title: Persuaded to Sail
Author: Jack Caldwell
Genre: Persuaded continuation
Publisher: White Soup Press
Release Date: May 11th, 2020
Number of Pages: 254
Version Read: Kindle ebook
Buy Link: Amazon

Book Blurb: The long-awaited sequel to Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion—

After an eight-year separation and a tumultuous reunion, Anne Elliot marries the dashing Captain Frederick Wentworth. The pair looks forward to an uneventful honeymoon cruise aboard the HMS Laconia.

But the bride and groom find the seas of matrimony rough. Napoleon has escaped from Elba, the country is at war with France again, and the Admiralty imposes on Wentworth a mysterious passenger on a dangerous secret mission. The good captain is caught between duty to his country and love for his wife.

All eyes are trained for enemies without, but the greatest menace may already be on board…

My Review: This book is the long-awaited third book in the Jane Austen's Fighting Men series. That being said I feel like you don't have to read the first two books to know what's going on. Though it does help as I was a bit confused at the end when all these different connections started being mentioned but it's not that hard to play catch up. I really loved how Anne was determined to sail with Frederick and I was happy that she seemed to be mostly enjoying it.

I did enjoy reading this novel and I do recommend reading this book even if you haven't read the rest of the books in the series.

Rating: 4 stars

* I received an advanced copy from the author. All opinions are my own.  

Monday, April 27, 2020

Fortune & Felicity by Monica Fairview ~ Review

Title: Fortune & Felicity
Author: Monica Fairview
Genre: Pride and Prejudice variation
Publisher: White Soup Press
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Number of Pages: 266
Version Read: Kindle ebook
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: In this Pride & Prejudice variation, Elizabeth and Darcy have a second chance to get things right. Will they be able to come together this time, or will pride intervene yet again?

Seven years after Darcy’s disastrous proposal, Darcy is in need, not of a wife, but of a governess for his young daughter. Imagine his surprise when he discovers Elizabeth Bennet on the list of possible candidates provided by the employment agency. The question is, should he take her on as a governess, or would he be playing with fire?

Elizabeth Bennet is forced by her reduced circumstances to take on a position. However, when Mr. Darcy invites her for an interview, she is embarrassed and humiliated. How could she possibly live under the same roof as the man she had rejected so strongly seven years ago?

Whatever decision she makes, there will be a high price to pay… one way or the other.

My Review: So I went into this book apprehensive because I really don't like reading a book where either character has married before but in this one they both have! Poor Darcy married his cousin Anne after being rejected by at Hunsford by Elizabeth. Elizabeth marries a sea captain but both lose their spouses. Darcy's daughter Kathy is spoiled and needs a governess so he hires Elizabeth who was looking for a position to teach her.

This book was delightful and a page-turner. Some parts of it were slow and a little boring but that doesn't last long. I definitely recommend reading this book if you are looking for a fast read with a little drama.

Rating: 4 stars

* I received an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.