Friday, November 08, 2019

A Covenant of Marriage by C.P. Odom ~ Review

Title: A Covenant of Marriage
Author: C.P. Odom
Publisher: Meryton Press
Genre: Pride and Prejudice variation
Release Date: 
Number of Pages:
Format Read: Kindle ebook

Book Blurb: A Covenant of Marriage–-legally binding, even for an unwilling bride!

Defined as a formal, solemn, and binding agreement or compact, a covenant is commonly used with regard to relations among nations or as part of a contract. But it can also apply to a marriage as Elizabeth Bennet learns when her father binds her in marriage to a man she dislikes. Against her protests that she cannot be bound against her will, the lady is informed that she lives under her father’s roof and, consequently, is under his control. She is a mere pawn in the proceedings.

With such an inauspicious beginning, how can two people so joined ever make a life together?

My Review: So this novel is a forced marriage scenario between Darcy and Lizzy. Darcy has been pining for Elizabeth for years while Lizzy has hated Darcy for years. So Mr. Bennet makes Lizzy marry Darcy and she's not happy about it. Though she stops hating him as soon as she gets some from Darcy. There was no real conflict in this book and the Wickham issue is solved very early on in the novel so you don't even have him for a villain.

I vaguely remember reading this on A Happy Assembly awhile back and enjoying it and that is still the case. If you want to read a story without any real conflict and plenty of hot mush this is the book for you.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fine Eyes & Pert Opinions by Maria Grace ~ Review

Title: Fine Eyes & Pert Opinions
Author: Maria Grace
Publisher: White Soup Press
Genre: Austenesque
Release Date: October 3rd, 2019
Number of Pages: 246 (according to my kindle)
Format Read: Kindle ebook
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: His family faces ruin without help from a woman below his notice.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, guardian to his younger sister, Georgiana, is at his wits end. Despite every possible effort, Georgiana steadfastly refuses to become a properly accomplished woman in anticipation of her come out. Elizabeth Bennet, the vicar’s daughter who has grown up in the shades of Pemberley, suggests hosting a small house party to encourage Georgiana's improvement with a taste of society.

While the notion is utterly ludicrous, Darcy has no better ideas. Soon
cousins Richard and Anne, and friends, the Bingleys, are on their way to Pemberley. Richard makes his own additions to the party: the glamorous baronet playwright Sir Alexander and his stunning sister Miss Garland.

Over Darcy’s objections, the party sets upon performing a home theatrical written by Sir Alexander. But the Garlands are not as they seem. Soon everything at Pemberley is upended and in disarray.
Will Darcy’s pride and prejudice cause him to forever ruin the Darcys’ good name by overlooking the one person who has the keys to making it all right again?

My Review: I went into this book a little apprehensive because I really didn't know all that much about it. I'm happy to say that while I wanted to throw my kindle across the room about halfway through it (you'll understand why when you read it) I was glad I stuck with it. I hate how dense both Darcy and Elizabeth are in this book. While Colonel Fitzwilliam tried to give him good advice he gave him the wrong advice. I also loved how Georgiana wasn't perfect but she does end up falling for another rake that wasn't Wickham.

I did enjoy this book as I have all of Maria Grace's other novels and I can't wait to see what she puts out in the future.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Author Bio: Five-time BRAG Medallion Honoree, Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets and waivers or historical costumes, usually not at the same time.

She writes gas lamp fantasy, historical romance and non-fiction to help justify her research addiction. Her books are available at all major online booksellers.

She can be contacted at:
Random Bits of Fascination
Austen Variations
English Historical Fiction Authors

Blog Tour Schedule
October 3 Random Bits of Fascination
October 10 Austen Variations
October 10 My Jane Austen Book Club
October 11 Babblings of a Bookworm
October 15 Diary of an Eccentric Bookworm
October 18 Austenesque Reviews
October 21 Austenesque Reviews
October 24 So Many Books
October 28 More Agreeably Engaged
October 31 Half Agony, Half Hope
November 7 From Pemberley to Milton

Sunday, October 20, 2019

When Charlotte Became Romantic by Victoria Kincaid ~ Review

Title: When Charlotte Became Romantic
Author: Victoria Kincaid
Publisher: Meadowbrook Press
Genre: Pride and Prejudice Variation
Release Date: October 16th, 2019
Number of Pages: 147 (My kindle says 195)
Format Read: Kindle ebook
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: In the original Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet’s friend, Charlotte Lucas marries the silly and obsequious clergyman, Mr. Collins. But what if fate—and love—intervened?

Desperate to escape her parents’ constant criticism, Charlotte has accepted a proposal from Mr. Collins despite recognizing his stupid and selfish nature. But when a mysterious man from her past visits Meryton for the Christmas season, he arouses long-buried feelings and causes her to doubt her decision.

James Sinclair’s mistakes cost him a chance with Charlotte three years ago, and he is devastated to find her engaged to another man. Honor demands that he step aside, but his heart will not allow him to leave Meryton. Their mutual attraction deepens; however, breaking an engagement is not a simple matter and scandal looms. If they are to be happy, Charlotte and James must contend with her parents’ opposition, Lady Catherine’s nastiness, and dangerous figures from James’s past.

Charlotte had forsworn romance years ago; is it possible for her to become romantic again?

My Review: So I'm not a big fan of any of the secondary characters in Pride and Prejudice but when I read the blurb for this book I admit I was intrigued enough to give it a go. Plus you can almost never go wrong reading a Victoria Kincaid novel. I have to say I loved James as a suitor for Charlotte. He is a much better match for her than Mr. Collins. I really wish that Charlotte had had more faith in James when they were together in Bath but then we wouldn't have this book.

I have to say I really enjoyed this book and hopefully, we'll get another book telling Darcy and Lizzy's story since it was teased at the end of the novel. I'll be looking for it too.

Rating: 4½ stars out of 5

*I received a copy of the book from the author. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

TORN By Lory Lilian ~ Review

Title: TORN
Author: Lory Lilian
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Pride and Prejudice variation
Release Date: September 24th, 2019
Number of Pages: 319
Format Read: Kindle ebook
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: Separated by pride, prejudice, and misunderstandings, betrayed by their temper and wounded by vanity, Elizabeth and Darcy take separate paths in the heat of anger—and are tormented when they must reap what they have sown.

Darcy struggles to avoid the woman he loves more every day, but Fate keeps bringing them together. Elizabeth’s thoughts wander to Mr. Darcy and, even in his absence, her feelings for him improve, until she realizes he is the only man in the world with whom she could be truly happy. Such revelations come far too late when both are bound by promises to others. Can they live a lifetime torn between love and duty?

Stealing a moment of passion one hot summer night, how can Elizabeth and Darcy continue without the other after knowing such true happiness?

My Review: I went into this book knowing that there was going to be angst but damn not that much. I feel so sorry for both Darcy and Lizzy. They want to be together but they are both promised to another. Even after Darcy gets out of his engagement Lizzy keeps her promise to her betrothed and marries him. Though he dies after three years it takes another two for Lizzy to move on with her life and accept Darcy.

I really enjoyed reading a variation where both Lizzy and Darcy are promised to other people. I can't say that I've ever seen another variation like it. If you like a lot of angst with your Pride and Prejudice then this is the book for you.

Rating: 4½ stars out of 5

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.

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