Chasing Elizabeth by Jennifer Joy – Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Hello everyone

I hope you’re all keeping safe and busy reading 🙂 Unfortunately my reading time is no longer at its best. I’ve been quite busy at work and with the gradual decrease of the social distancing measures it feels like I don’t have much time for anything anymore.

Hopefully June will bring more stability and with that I may be able to focus and read more. My TBR will appreciate that, especially since I keep adding titles to it, namely Jennifer Joy’s upcoming release. That’s right, you heard me correctly, she is releasing another book next week! Isn’t that awesome?! And if you aren’t excited yet, just wait until you read the blurb, it had me with the first two lines!

Today we decided to share with you the cover of this third book of the Mysteries & Matrimony series and an excerpt. I hope you enjoy it and keep looking for it at Amazon. It should go live next week 🙂 Now, I bet you would rather read the famous blurb, look at the cover and get a glimpse of the book with the excerpt, so here they are.


She shows him the meaning of home.

He gives her the adventure of a lifetime.

Elizabeth Bennet longs for a break from the confines of Longbourn. Her morning rides with her best friend at Lucas Lodge are her only relief from the endless tedium of a lady’s never-changing routine. 

Until she’s thrown from her horse and lands at the feet of a mysterious stranger… 

Fitzwilliam Darcy has not set foot in Derbyshire in three years. His is a life of danger and deceit as he closes in on an evil agency who threatens the safety of England. Only after he fulfills his mission will he return to his home — to Pemberley. 

That is the plan … until a fine-eyed maiden with a talent for getting into mischief upends his world.

If you like falling in love with Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth as they fall for each other, then you’ll love this sweet romance adventure based on Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice.

Chasing Elizabeth is the 3rd book in the Mysteries & Matrimony series of standalone novels.


Curious about the cover?

What do you think of it? I love the landscape on the back and the clouds in the sky, and this is certainly one of my favourite covers from Jennifer Joy.

It is also very distinctive, which is something I really appreciate. I love looking at a cover and identifying it with a certain author. Sometimes they are completely different, but I love it when authors keep the same design or add a small detail that is present in all their covers. Those details and consistency make my library much prettier  🙂


Several thoughts passed through Elizabeth’s mind in the split-second it took for her to fall to the sloppy ground. First and foremost, sidesaddles were an evil invention of man. Good thing she had freed her feet from the stirrups without getting too tangled in her skirts (another questionable invention when it came to riding.) Second, this never would have happened on Tempest. Third, and more important, who else was riding on her and Charlotte’s favorite path at the same early hour?

Two polished boots appeared not two feet in front of her nose. A deep, velvety voice said, “Are you hurt?” 

The gloved hand that hovered by her face was so clean, Elizabeth hesitated to take it. She lifted her own hand from the slippery muck to confirm what her damp skin and garments suggested. She was covered in mud. 

She looked up at the mannerly stranger, the morning sun casting an angelic halo around what she prayed was merely an apparition, a figment of her overactive imagination. The chiseled jaw, firm chin, and the arch of concern in the dark brow of the handsome man standing over her certainly fit the appearance of a dreamy hero. 

Elizabeth blinked, but he did not disappear. Nor did she wake to find herself at Longbourn, tucked into her warm bed. In fact, she was getting cold. She looked down. Yes, the mud was real. The man was real. Her humiliation was real. 

Clenching her fingers into fists, Elizabeth stifled a groan. What a lovely predicament she was in. As if it was not bad enough to be thrown from a horse when she considered herself a skilled horsewoman, it had been observed by a stranger who would always associate this unfavorable moment with her. That he was handsome only added to her vexation. 

“Pray allow me to assist you,” he said, moving his hand closer to her.

Handsome and a perfect gentleman. The affront against Elizabeth’s vanity multiplied. And yet, reason told her she could not ignore him and remain in the puddle all day. It was a quandary made of her own foolish self-consciousness. She could not extract herself from the muck without making a worse disaster of her riding habit, but neither did she wish to dirty his pristine kid leather gloves. 

Stuff and fluff, she was being ridiculous! There was nothing to do but make light of her situation. Then, maybe, the stranger would understand her blush to be the result of laughter instead of shame. Shame at her own bruised vanity (for, what import did she place on others’ opinions of her?) and for her delayed reaction. One would think she had suffered a blow to the head.

“Are you injured? Did you hit your head?” the stranger asked.

Ha ha! There it was. She could not take offense with his question when she had thought the same only a moment before. If anything, she must applaud the gentleman’s sound deduction.  

By the time Elizabeth’s smile reached her eyes, it had developed a sincerity of its own, and she laughed heartily as she placed her hand in his. “I thank you, sir. I assure you the greatest injury I suffered was to my pride.” 

The stranger pulled her to her feet before she could catch her breath.  

Now that the sun did not blind her, she considered the gentleman. His eyes were the same color of the lapis lazuli on her brooch. Life was especially unjust against her that morning. 

It became imperative that she explain. “The mud is slippery—” She cringed. Of course, mud was slippery. “And, mercifully soft.” 

Elizabeth bit her lips together before she said anything else nonsensical. Maybe she had hit her head during the fall. She wiped the mud from her brooch, avoiding his gaze until she had collected enough of her dignity to look him in the eye.

The gentleman watched her. He must think her mad. Or worse, foolish. She was tempted to offer another explanation, but the flinch at the corner of his lips stopped her. Whoever he was, he was not immune to the humor of their situation. It was some comfort — enough to latch on to. 

Her tension eased and her embarrassment subsided, Elizabeth felt amusement bubble up inside her. 

“Lizzy!” cried Charlotte from behind her. 

Elizabeth startled. She had forgotten all about Charlotte. Pulling her gaze away from the mystery man, who only then dropped her gloved fingers and stepped away, Elizabeth wondered how long he had been holding her hand. How long had she been staring into his eyes? 

Her cheeks burned once again. How could she act like a moonstruck maiden in the full light of morning? Had Elizabeth observed herself, she would have poked fun at her own folly and nonsense.

Mercer gathered the mare’s reins before she stepped on them — something that only occurred to Elizabeth to do when she saw it done. Some horsewoman she was! The gentleman must think her completely inept. 

She had never felt more helpless. Elizabeth did not like it one jot, and she determined not to continue in the same manner for a second more. 

Defiantly avoiding so much as a peripheral gaze at the gentleman lest her senses take leave of her once again, Elizabeth turned to Charlotte. “I am well. I ought to have known there might be other riders along the path instead of charging heedlessly ahead, and now I have received my due punishment.” She pulled her mud-caked habit from her body, the further consequences of her present state chilling her like another dash of cold puddle water. 

Elizabeth’s heart hammered against her ribs. “My father!” she gasped, feeling physically ill. There would be no hiding what had happened from him. The line she walked to maintain the freedom she cherished was a fine one … and she had crossed it.  

The poor gentleman behind her had every right to think her a complete hoyden with abominable manners, but if she did not return to Longbourn before her family gathered in the breakfast parlor, her father would use this incident to forbid her from ever riding again. That it was her own doing smarted the worst. 

Collecting the reins from Mercer and rushing him to assist her atop the dreaded sidesaddle, Elizabeth mounted, and with a heartfelt “Thank you!”, she threw an apologetic smile behind her as she took off past gaping Charlotte toward Lucas Lodge. 

Of what use were polite introductions when her freedom was on the chopping block? Elizabeth determined not to concern herself about the mannerly gentleman. She had graver matters to worry about.

However, the hint of his smile stuck with Elizabeth all the way back to the stables, and the image kept up with her as she ran to Longbourn…


 

Apart from the cover, Jennifer Joy brought to From Pemberley to Milton four e-book copies of Chasing Elizabeth to offer to our readers across the globe.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is comment on this post by sharing your thoughts on the blurb, the cover, or Jennifer’s previous books. Have you read any from this series yet?

The giveaway is open until the 6th of June and the lucky winners will be randomly picked and announced a few days later.

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

Disenchanted by Kara Pleasants

I have never been a huge fan of magical stories and I don’t usually feel tempted to read anything of the kind so I was expecting Disenchanted to be a nice story, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to captivate me as it did. This book is simply magnificent for those who love the genre and those who don’t! I couldn’t put it down and I had a great time reading it. I kept feeling compelled to read this book, and it had been a while since I have had this feeling. 

Kara Pleasants developed a society where magic is present even in the small details, and where the biggest wizards are considered the best society can offer. Mr. Darcy is obviously one of the most respected Wizards in society and the story starts with him traveling with Mr. Bingley to Hertfordshire to pursuit a mission: continue the fight of the Wizarding Court against the Thief, an evil Wizard who has been stealing other peoples powers.

The story will have much to tell, and throughout the book the reader will receive several hints concerning not only past events involving the Necromancer, but also about the Bennet family and their secrets. The Bennet family mystery was one of my favourite aspects of the book because it is extremely well integrated in the plot, and kept me guessing until the end. I absolutely loved how all the clues were laid in front of me without giving me margin to know what was coming ahead. 

Disenchanted is full of mystery but also adventure and excitement. We see Mr. Darcy trying to discover and fight the Thief while also protecting and helping Elizabeth which was very romantic in it’s own way. In fact, Elizabeth and Darcy share a chemistry that I loved, and in the end it is proven their love is stronger than anything, even the darkest magic, which was delightful. 

I was particularly happy to see that Elizabeth was no longer seen as someone who needed protection, but someone who could contribute to the cause and make Mr. Darcy even stronger. That’s how I always picture them, as two people who make one another stronger because of their differences, and in this story that is illustrated with enchantment and disenchantment.

The end of the book was everything I could hope for and more! It was very curious because I kept wanting the author to take the story into a certain direction and she always did, especially when it came to Mrs. Bennet. I must say her actions towards Lady Catherine were perfect, what she did, the way she did it and her comments afterwards were beautiful and everything I was expecting. Mrs. Bennet’s character finally got what she deserved and I couldn’t be happier with the ending Kara Pleasants gave her. It was a beautiful closure to a beautiful story. 

Disenchanted certainly enchanted me. The book is well written and fluid and the storyline is compelling, dynamic and romantic.

This book pretty much follows canon, only adding the magical realm and the Thief storyline, but it turned out to be a real page turner. I felt very engaged not only with the characters, but also with the magical storyline which is something I never expected to happen and reveals a lot about Kara Pleasants talent as a storyteller. I definitely recommend it to everyone, it is a great story and another one to add to my pile of 2020 favourites.

You can find Disenchanted at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

31 Comments

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Rakes and Roses – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I’m bringing to you an excerpt of Rakes and Roses, the third book in the Mayfield Family Series. This book was written by Josi S. Kilpack and published by Shadow Mountain as part of their Proper Romance Series. 

I’ve read a couple of books from the Proper Romance series this year and really enjoyed them, so even though I have not read Rakes and Roses, I imagine this is another great book from this publisher.

The excerpt we are sharing today is part of Chapter 9 and I hope you enjoy it. If you feel curious about this book, take some time to check the first books in the series: Promises and Primroses & Daisies and Devotion, they have high ratings on Amazon, and look really promising 🙂

 


A standalone novel in the Mayfield Family series with an unusual premise and an uplifting ending.

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.

 

 

You can find Rakes and Roses at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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She pulled the hood of her cloak forward to hide her face, took a step, paused to listen again, and then took another. There was no good time of day for a woman to be alone in London, but outside of business hours was the most unsafe. She gripped the strap of the satchel concealed by her coat. She must not lose the satchel.

The unmistakable sound of a groan turned her around, and she scanned the barrels and crates stacked on one side of the alley.

The moan sounded again.

With another glance to make sure no one was watching her, she moved toward the barrels, then gasped when she saw a foot, or, rather, a boot, sticking out. As she moved around the pile of crates, she inhaled sharply when a man’s body came into view. His face was a patchwork of bruises and blood that made his hair look as black as hers in the shadows of the alley. Hurrying forward, she dropped to her knees beside him.

“Sir,” she said in a soft voice, leaning close to him. “Sir, can you hear me?”

He groaned again. His shoulder was set at an awkward angle, and she cringed; a dislocated shoulder was relatively simple to fix, though the very devil for pain. The wound on his forehead was no longer actively bleeding, so Sabrina ran her hands up and down the man’s arms first—no breaks—then his legs to check for additional injuries. He tried to pull his right leg away when she attempted a tactile assessment, but she could already see the fabric of his trousers tight around his calf—possibly broken. The upper portion of his left leg was tender too.

Could he have two broken legs? One upper and one lower? Other than having fallen from a great height, there was only one explanation for such injuries. But it was an early Monday morning, not a late Saturday night when a man would have to be on his guard against a robbery. His clothing and boots marked him as a gentleman. What was he doing here this time of day? 

She tensed and looked about herself. Were his attackers nearby?

Sabrina felt a sudden urge to run for her carriage and get as far from here as she could, but she couldn’t leave him. She would fetch Jack! He could take over as the rescuer and call for

a doctor.

She started to rise, but the man groaned, drawing her attention and her sympathy back to his poor battered face.

“Sir,” she said again, leaning closer so he could see her face if he opened his eyes—at least one eye did not look too swollen.

“Wha-what . . .”

He must be trying to ask what happened. It was a mercy that victims of such violence often did not remember it.

“I think you’ve been attacked. Robbed, perhaps.” She looked down the passageway to where Adam would be waiting with the carriage. So close, and yet he’d have to leave the carriage to help her if she chose to go to him for help instead of Jack. “Have you a family member I can contact on your behalf? Do you live nearby?”

“No one,” he said, the words slow and . . . sad. “P-please.”

He opened his eye, and the blue of it stood out clear and bright amid his damaged face. With his good arm, he reached toward her face. She took hold of his hand before he touched her, then pushed the hair from his forehead, catching the first glint of its actual color—golden-blond. 

He was a young man, not past thirty. What on earth is he doing here this time of day? Perhaps he had not yet returned home from an evening of entertainment that had

ended badly. Oh, England, she mourned, do you not see what you are allowing to happen to your legacy?

“There must be someone I can call on for you.”

He shook his head and closed his eye, sending a tear to track through the drying blood on his face.

She felt her mother’s heart rise up in her chest—all the love and protectiveness she’d have given to her own child bursting forth like it had so many times before when someone in need crossed her path.

“No one would come,” he whispered.

No one? Could that be true? Unfortunately, Sabrina had known enough dissolute young men of society to know that it absolutely could be true. The poor foxes who did not outrun their hounds.

“I am Lady Sabrina,” she said, wanting to give what comfort she could and earn his trust.

“S-stillman,” he said. “Harrison Stillman.”

Her breath caught in her throat.


We are at the end of the blog tour, but you can still go back in time to learn more about this book! Here is the tour schedule:

May 04 My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)

May 04 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review) 

May 04 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

May 04 All About Romance (Guest Blog)

May 05 Timeless Novels (Review) 

May 05 Literary Time Out (Review)

May 06 For Where Your Treasure Is (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 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)

May 09 Relz Reviewz (Character spotlight)

May 10 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

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 13 English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)

May 13 Adventure. Romance. Suspense (Review) 

May 14 Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals (Interview)

May 14 So Little Time…So Much to Read (Spotlight)

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 19 Katie’s Clean Book Collection (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)

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Boots & Backpacks by K.C. Khaler

As time goes by and I grow older, I start to give more value to the natural beauties of our planet and the simplicity of life one can only find in the country, so I’ve started replacing my visits to big cities and museums with walks in the country side where I can get appreciate nature.

This new passion of mine made me want to read Boots and Backpacks very badly because in this modern take of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Darcy go on a hike through the Appalachian Trail, and that brings together two of my current favorite topics, but unfortunately that did not mean this book was perfect for me.

The first pages of the book got me hooked because the writing was modern and fresh, but the characters, especially Darcy, didn’t convince me and I had a hard time liking them. In fact, I only started to like the main characters towards the end of the book, which made it hard to enjoy it until that point.

In the beginning of Boots and Backpacks Darcy is a playboy with no responsibilities and who apparently only does what gives him pleasure, not only I disliked this character but also struggled with so much attention being given to his sexual needs. The book doesn’t have excessive sexual encounters, and the ones that exist are really well written and sexy, but in my opinion too much emphasis is given to Darcy’s sexual activity and his needs. I believe that stating he has had more than 500 sexual partners is taking it too far because even in a modern take I could not imagine Darcy behaving like this.

To be honest, as the book progressed I understood why Darcy was portrayed as a society playboy with no responsibilities. The author did a great job in developing his character and showing how Elizabeth can change him and make him a better man. In that manner, the book follows canon with Elizabeth having a crucial part in Darcy’s change, but I still disliked the character through most of the book and that made it hard to love him towards the end. The Darcy we see in the end of the book is an honest and romantic guy who has nothing to do with the Darcy we see in the first part of the book. I only wish I had known this while I was reading the book, because I spent most of it disliking him without understanding the authors goal, had I known, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more.

I wasn’t too fond of Elizabeth’s character either, but seeing how these two characters helped each other overcome their biggest fears and insecurities was endearing. In a short amount of time, they showed each other a side of their character that no one else knew, and that enabled them to establish a special bond that made them support each other.

I also enjoyed all the descriptions of their hiking because it taught me a lot about this activity. I only make small hikes that last two or three hours maximum, so following these characters for several weeks was enlightening. Finding characters from the other works from Austen was also something I enjoyed because it gave the book a sense of coziness that always makes me feel good.

Darcy’s plotline was truly the main quibble I had with this book, not only for the reasons already mentioned, but also because the way Darcy was followed by a reporter, and how he was so easily recognized as if he was an incredibly famous Hollywood actor was not believable for me. Maybe I am naïve and that is something that occurs to New York socialites, but I had a hard time believing it and that influenced the enjoyment I felt while reading it.

I found the book a little long and it took me a while to finish reading it, but I do recommend it to readers who like modern takes on Pride and Prejudice and who do not mind to have characters portrayed in an extreme manner. If you are able to overcome that, you will for certain love this book because the character development is really interesting and the relantionship between Elizabeth and Darcy is noteworthy.

You can find Boots & Backpacks at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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The Giveaway Winners are…

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am happy to bring good news to some of you 🙂

I am finally announcing the winner of an audiobook narrated by Amanda Berry ( reader’s choice) and also the winners of Elaine Owen’s recently released  Margaret of Milton.

I would like to thank both Amanda and Elaine, not only for visiting, but also the generosity towards my readers. I’m sure everyone appreciates your kindness in bringing us closer to literature 🙂

The giveaway winners are:

 

Audiobook – Amanda Berry

*** DarcyBennet***

 

Margaret of Milton

*** Alp1788 ***

*** Megan***

*** Penny***

 

Congratulations everyone! As always can you please contact me throught e-mail ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so your prizes may be sent to you? Please provide me with the email address to which the ebooks may be sent to you, and the Amazon store in which you have an account.

Happy Reading everyone!

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The Most Interesting Man in the World by Jan Ashton & Justine Rivard

The Most Interesting Man in the World is the type of book I would normally disregard, but I was in the mood for something short and entertaining, so I decided to go for it, and it just blew my mind!

I never thought I would love this book so much, but it is definitely unforgettable and a story I recommend to everyone, even to those who like me, have no great affection for Mr. Bingley.

This novella is entirely told from Mr. Bingley’s POV, and not only is the reader privy to Mr. Bingley’s version of events in Pride and Prejudice, but also to every single thought that goes through Bingley’s mind, and I grant you, there is nothing more entertaining than that. 

The reader is inside Bingley’s brain the entire time, and his brain is the messier yet funnier place there is. He cannot focus on one single subject for too long and is often too entrapped in his own thoughts to understand what is going on around him, that makes him goofy but sweet and funny. We realise why Jane is so appealing to him, and that as expected there isn’t one mean bone in his body, even if he detests his sisters company, but then again, who doesn’t, right?

You’ve probably realized this by now, but this isn’t a romance at all, it is more like a bromance. Mr. Bingley worships Mr. Darcy who is, in his eyes, the most interesting, intelligent and perfect man in the world. Bingley’s fascination is incredibly funny and I laughed out loud more times than I can count with everything that was going on in his mind, especially when he started thinking about Darcy’s ability to speak greek.

The Most Interesting Man in the World is an incredibly diverting and well written novella that will entertain all readers who love Pride and Prejudice. Because it only tells events where Mr. Bingley is present, the reader must have some knowledge of the story, but those familiar with Austen’s masterpiece will go on an unforgettable ride with this book. I highly recommend it! it is too funny to be missed 🙂 Seriously, too funny to be missed!

 

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

I listened to this audiobook in one single day because once I started listening to it, I could not stop. I had to leave everything I was doing to continue listening to this story, and that was because the book is incredibly entertaining, but also because David Pickering’s narration is simply perfect! I believe the audiobook may be the best way to get into this story. Forget about the paperback or the ebook, this story deserves to be brought to you by a male narrator as talented as David Pickering who completely understood the tone the authors wanted it to have. Highly recommend this audiobook.

You can find The Most Interesting Man in the World at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible.com

 

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Betrothals & Betrayals by Cinnamon Worth

In Betrothals and Betrayals Mr. Bennet dies in a carriage accident and Mr. Collins father, who is still alive, ejects the entire family from Longbourn, forcing the eldest daughters to find employment. 

The book starts with and engrossing interaction between Elizabeth and Miss Darcy and it immediately grabbed my attention.

The story is captivating and it was the first time I saw Jane Bennet as a companion to Miss Darcy instead of Elizabeth, who usually takes this role in JAFF variations. This was stimulating because the author explored a less common path, and it was sufficient to make me want to continue reading to see what was going to happen and how she would bring Elizabeth closer to the Darcy family.

As the story progresses, events become a little more in line with the plots we have been seeing in JAFF, but the narrative remained innovative in some small details which was something I appreciated.

There were a few sentences and scenes throughout the book that add some mystery to the story, making this an exciting and dynamic book. The reader is not only faced with a romance, but also with some mystery that needs to be solved, and that was a pleasant surprise.

Some character developments were quite interesting too, and the one I loved the most was Mrs. Bennet’s and her influence over Lydia. However, some others were not quite as I expected, namely Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. While Mr. Darcy wasn’t as proud as I would expect, Elizabeth was too outspoken for someone of her position, which made some of the scenes feel less plausible. 

Overall I did enjoy the story and different plotlines that Cinnamon Worth developed in this book. Readers will find romance, as well as mystery, in a book that is quite a page turner with a fast pace and compelling narrative.

Audiobook Narration:

Jane Bennet’s Level

The voice is very agreeable and some characterisations such as Georgiana’s are very good, but I didn’t enjoy the tone Megan Green gave Darcy, and even Elizabeth didn’t feel like herself at times, so I could not consider the narration Elizabeth Bennet’s level. 

 

 

You can find Betrothals and Betrayals at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

on Audible

and on Kindle Unlimited

6 Comments

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Outmatched Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

How are you this week? I am very excited to bring to you an excerpt of Outmatched which is Jayne Bamber’s latest novel and will be released in 4 days. You may ask why I am excited about it, and I shall not refrain from telling you! I have a soft spot for mash ups, and I’ve seen several over the past years, but never have I seen a mash of Sense & Sensibility and Mansfield Park, and that is what Jayne Bamber will bring us! Isn’t that an interesting take on Jane Austen? I loved the idea 🙂

Another reason why this book capture my attention was the cover…you know I absolutely love covers and am not ashamed to admit I do judge books by their cover right? Well, this one is exquisite! I absolutely loved it and definitely want this paperback on my shelves!

Before letting you read this excerpt, I would like to thank Jayne Bamber for visiting once more. I wish you the best of luck with this new release. And now, without further ado…

 

“It seems you must disoblige one of your children, Sir Thomas, and you must be the chooser of the pain inflicted. Your son disinherited, or your daughter married to an imbecile she cannot love.”
When Sir Thomas Bertram returns home to Mansfield after his year in Antigua, he expects respite from his many troubles, in the bosom of his family. Instead he is met with blackmail, collusion, and the ominous threat of scandal.
When Mrs. Margaret Dashwood takes her daughters from Norland to Barton Park, she carries with her a secret hope that they might someday return, though she is not yet ready to pay the price for it.
A mutual connection bent on manipulation and revenge sets the stage for heartbreak, intrigue, and plenty of surprises as the worlds of Sense & Sensibility and Mansfield Park collide. Alliances shift along the way as familiar characters, bound by family ties, descend on Norland Park. There everyone has their own agenda, and constant peril looms as a large party of relations all scheme to outwit, out-maneuver, and outmatch their opponents.
Elinor & Marianne Dashwood, Maria Bertram, Fanny Price, and Mary Crawford forge new friendships and alliances amidst the chaos of conspiracy, romance, redemption and self-discovery, the likes of which Norland Park has never seen before.

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You can find Outmatched for pre-order at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 


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Hello, readers! It is such a treat to be back at From Pemberley to Milton. My new book, Outmatched will be out this Friday, and I am here to whet your appetites for this fusion of Sense & Sensibility and Mansfield Park with another excerpt!

With a wide cast of characters mingling together in such surprising ways, Mary Crawford emerges as nearly a heroine in her own right, and my favorite kind of heroine – a very flawed one. There are a few surprises in store for her over the course of the novel, but I am sure it shocks nobody that she and Marianne Dashwood bond over their love of music.

More excerpts will follow over the course of my blog tour, more chances to enter the raffle for a free eBook. For now I leave you with a little glimpse into the mind of Mary Crawford….

***

Mary Crawford was happy when their walking party turned back to the house, and doubly so when their approach afforded her a glimpse of the equipage that conveyed her harp at last. Her instinct was to look over at Edmund, who had spoken to none but his mother and aunts during their excursion. Mary felt quite as though this was her last chance, for her performance on the harp had won him over once before, and if it did not succeed again on this occasion, she would be utterly at a loss. 

And yet, she wondered at it all. Little more than a fortnight ago, he had been the one to exert himself to bring her around. She had been warming to the notion of compromising her ideals, of really considering the life of a clergyman’s wife. She knew not what angered her more – that he had thought it right to expect such a concession from her, or that she had been very near to accepting it, only to find it all now in vain. To be sure, his withdrawal from her had whet her appetite – like Henry, she enjoyed the thrill of the chase. 

Or so she had thought. Already it had begun to wear on her. It was different for men – lovelorn Henry was every bit the star-crossed hero in his pursuit of Maria, which Mary wished rather than fully believed to be sincere. But for a lady, however gently-bred and well-dowered, to behave in such a way, even towards such an honorable man, must be a desperate and unbecoming thing, inviting censure and derision, or worse yet – pity. She did not make the rules of society, but she was obliged to follow them.

How it chafed! If Edmund was so inclined to sulk about, let him do as he wished. She was really almost resolved not to trouble herself any further. Whatever vexed him, he was not inclined to confide in her the way she would like – but better he should reveal such a deficiency in both trust and candor now, rather than once it was too late for her. 

Her pace back to the manor grew swift and resolute – she would enjoy herself here just as she set out to do, and she would play her instrument, even for an empty room! And yet she knew it would not come to that. Marianne Dashwood had expressed some musical inclination, and Mary took pains to attach herself to the girl as they made their way back through the meadow. 

Miss Marianne,” said she, “I hope you will join me in welcoming a new arrival to your brother’s house – I have sent for my harp, and I believe it is arriving even now.”

Still hanging on the arm of her handsome beau, Miss Marianne looked over at Mary, her eyes flashing with excitement. “You play the harp! Oh, but I never had the patience to learn – I should dearly love to listen to you.”

“I mean to subject you all to it, if I can,” Mary teased with a wink. 

“Let us all make merry music,” Mr. Willoughby rejoined, giving Mary one of the smiles that must have caught Miss Marianne at once. “If you will both play for the group, I shall add my own voice to the harmony. I am sure we must find someone to play violin, and then, you know, we might make a tour about the countryside like proper troubadours.”

Marianne’s tinkling laughter was music of a sort already, and Mary found it incredibly endearing. “Oh, you must sing, Willoughby! And when Edward comes, you must read some poetry for us – I am sure your example might do him good!”

“Your sister is sure to write me a very pretty note of thanks,” he whispered, though far too loudly.

Mary had lost the thread of conversation, but was not ready to relinquish the fine company. “Pray, who is Edward?”

“He is Fanny Dashwood’s other brother – do not let Robert Ferrars’ character mislead you, for Edward is everything amiable and kind.”

Mary laughed. She had not found Robert Ferrars to her liking at all, despite her hostess’ best efforts to unite them over dinner and afterward, and Miss Marianne’s candor engendered the same in Mary. “That is certainly a welcome relief! All I have had from Robert Ferrars is a preposterous rhapsody about parsonages – I was a guest in one recently – and yet such observations were not at all to my liking – or even sensible! Well, I am glad that Edward Ferrars will not be talking such nonsense to us all. Pray, when is he expected?”

Marianne chewed her lip. “I cannot say – but I am sure he must come very soon. Although I do think on the subject of parsonages he may have much to say, for I believe he aspires to join the church.”

“Oh – I had thought Robert Ferrars the younger son. Surely the elder would not take orders!”

“That is just Edward’s way. But you shall hear better sense from him than some of our party.”

“Than from most, if my information is correct,” Mr. Willoughby added. 

Mary furrowed her brow. He could be nothing to her, if the elder Miss Dashwood was already attached to Edward Ferrars – she was not like Henry in that respect. Yet what a disappointment that another dull clergyman was to come amongst them! She wished for all the world that if they were to have any addition to their party, which was rather a large one, that it be the sort of man she had hoped Edmund might prove to be. 

To Mary’s chagrin, her feelings must have been readily apparent on her face, and Mr. Willoughby leaned in to tease Marianne. “You shall not entice Miss Crawford with such language as this, Marianne. If she can expect only a clergyman whose feelings are engaged elsewhere, she shall grow quite desolate.”

Mary took the jape in good humor. “Oh, yes. Better to say we shall be joined by a handsome, brooding sort of fellow – a romantic hero of first rate appearance, with a decided air of mystery and fashion, prone to fits of passion and most eager to bestow his affections.”

“How very novel,” Mr. Willoughby drawled.

“It would be rather like a novel if such a person appeared amongst us,” Marianne laughed. “Surely I know of no such man, besides you, Willoughby – though you are far too open to be called mysterious, but for my meeting you in such heavy rain. Surely John and Fanny do not know anybody half so interesting, and would likely not admit him to the house if they did! But I shall hope for your sake nonetheless, Miss Crawford.”

Mary had let her disappointment over Edmund make her nonsensical, and she tried to laugh it off. “I am sure I shall not grow too desolate. I have my instrument now, and my very handsome harp must be the object of all my hopes and affections.”


We are halfway through the blog tour, so you still have time to learn more about this book! Here is the tour schedule:


 

Jayne Bamber is offering one ebook copy of Outmatched to my readers. To apply to it, please click on the Rafflecopter link.

Good Luck everyone!

6 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Margaret of Milton – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

All you need to look at is the name of my blog to understand that my heart is divided between Pride and Prejudice from Jane Austen and North and South from Elizabeth Gaskell. And if you stop by once in a while, you know that variations and sequels satiate my need to spend more time with the characters from these novels, namely Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton. However, in that corner Pride and Prejudice stands out because the offer is simply extraordinary. There are so many Pride and Prejudice variations out there, that it is a struggle to choose what to read. 

That is not the case with North and South. In fact, I’ve read much of the published works that exist, so it is always extraordinary to learn a new one is coming out. You can imagine my joy when I heard that Elaine Owen was releasing her second North and South novel! I’ve read Common Ground, her North and South continuation a while ago, so I know what she is capable of, and I am looking forward to read Margaret of Milton, which was released yesterday.

In the meantime, and before I can bring you my review, I’ll let you read Elaine Owen’s guest post and the excerpt of this hot new release. I’ll only call your attention to the cover! Doesn’t it look like it’s Richard Armitage in it? Not only he is physically similar, but the way he is holding the lady, the body posture, everything yells Armitage to me…Sorry…couldn’t help pointing that fact 🙂 And now, without further ado….enjoy 🙂


Margaret Hale loses her father unexpectedly and must marry the man she refused months earlier- the same man who has said he no longer cares for her. At the same time John Thornton is compelled by his sense of honor to offer his name and a home to the woman he believes is in love with another man. How will our couple find their way to happiness and love in a union born of obligation?

 

 

 

You can find Margaret of Milton at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 

 


 

As a huge fan of both Pride and Prejudice and North and South, I have often thought about the similarities and contrasts between the two stories. What do they have in common, and what does one have that the other might lack?

Similarities:

  • Both feature a strong, independent heroine who has no problem speaking her mind (which gets her into trouble)
  • Both feature a strong, handsome gentleman with a noticeable character flaw. Not that we notice their flaws when they’re that handsome!!!
  • Both heroines have a serious weakness, which could be either a wayward sister or a brother with a price on his head
  • Both gentlemen step up and protect the women they love, no matter what the cost
  • Both couples overcome long odds to find love. True love!

Differences:

  • Death. So much death. If you’re a secondary character in North and South, make sure your will is some place safe. This is not an issue in Pride and Prejudice.
  • Humor. So much humor! This is not an issue in North and South, because . . . well, see above. 
  • Social consciousness. The reader’s conscience is pricked over and over again in North and South with so much talk about the working class and their struggles. 
  • In Pride and Prejudice, the class struggle pretty much boils down to marrying a rich man

 

Both stories, of course, have a devoted fan base and a growing body of fan fiction. But when I decided to write my second novel set in the North and South world, I realized this world didn’t have a lot of stories based on a forced marriage scenario. There are multitude of stories where Elizabeth Bennet’s father dies unexpectedly and she is forced to marry Mr. Darcy. But where were all the stories about Margaret Hale’s father dying and her being forced to marry Mr. Thornton?

So I decided to write one. The result is Margaret of Milton, which is being launched today! An excerpt from the story is below. I hope you like it! If you do, please comment and you will be entered to win one of three eversions of the book! Good luck to everyone!

In the following scene Margaret and Thornton, newlyweds in a marriage of convenience, have just visited Nicholas Higgins together for the first time. At Margaret’s urging Thornton and Higgins manage to set aside their differences for the sake of the children Higgins is raising. 

As they walked back towards Marlborough Mills together Thornton looked down at his wife. “Was it your idea for Higgins to ask me for a job, or did he decide to approach me on his own?”

“I have not seen him since our wedding, but Mary told me how he was struggling, and I sent him a note saying that I was sure you would give him a fair hearing.”

He had to be honest with her. “You almost proved me wrong. I thought he was only there on behalf of the union, to cause trouble.”

She frowned slightly at his admission but said nothing. He continued. “Without your intervention I would have carried out a great injustice. Thank you for saving me from my own stubbornness.”

“You would have given him a hearing sooner or later. You are a very fair man.”

“You give me too much credit.”

“I think you do not give yourself enough.” Margaret looked up at him with her mouth upturned slightly. Thornton saw that her eyes had the soft, starry look he admired so much. Her glossy dark hair shone as though she were walking in full sunlight, and there was a rosy glow, pleasing to see, on her alabaster skin. In fact her appearance was so lovely, her whole aspect so unintentionally inviting, that Thornton nearly forgot to breathe. He stopped walking and Margaret stopped with him, her eyes widening in surprise.

Thornton was not aware that he was leaning towards her. He only knew that he wanted to kiss her and that it was too soon. Surely she would push him away if he declared himself now. Surely this would be the end of their newfound accord. Yet Margaret had not moved, and there was an expression of trust on her upturned face, a look of wonder he had not seen there before as she held his gaze with her own. He honestly did not know what would happen next.

A clap of thunder overhead broke the moment and they both looked up to the sky. A few small sprinkles of rain fell, then several more, and it was apparent that a real downpour was about to start. Thornton shook his head as if to clear out a fog. “I do not suppose you have an umbrella in there,” he said, motioning towards the basket in Margaret’s hand.

“I did not think to include one.” Margaret looked amused by their sudden predicament, not distressed. “And I suppose you will tell me that gentlemen do not carry umbrellas in their jacket pockets, either.”

“Not this gentleman, anyway.” He could not help grinning at Margaret’s lighthearted expression. Even being caught in a rainstorm was a pleasure, as long as he was in it with her. He glanced at the threatening sky, then back at Margaret again. “There is only one thing for it – we shall have to run and do our best to go between the rain drops!” He extended his hand to her and was delighted when she took it in her own. Laughing like children, breathless with excitement, they ran together through the advancing rain all the way back to Marlborough Mills.


Elaine Owen is kindly offering 3 copies of Margaret of Milton to readers who read and comment this post. The giveaway is international and is open until the 8th of May.

Good Luck everyone!

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Filed under JAFF

Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Lakeshire Park because this is Megan Walker’s debut novel, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find in it one of my favourite romances of the year. 

Lakeshire Park was perfect in every way, from the writing, to the characters, setting and relationship development. 

We are introduced to Amelia and Clara Moore whose only security in life is about to end with the demise of their bitter stepfather, Lord Gray. He has vouched to leave them nothing upon his death, and that event appears to be close due to his growing health issues. 

Faced with this terrible news, it is with some relief and hope that Amelia Moore accepts an invitation by Sir Ronald Demsworth to a house party at his estate, Lakeshire Park. Amelia has no interest in Sir Ronald, but her sister Clara is quite smitten with him, and Amelia is committed to guarantee her sisters safety and happiness. 

In Lakeshire Park they meet several guests, but the Wood siblings will stand out because Georgiana Wood is also invested in gaining Sir Ronald Demsworth’s attentions, and her brother, is as devoted as Amelia to help his sister achieve that goal.

With conflicting interests, the older siblings soon realize that it is best to keep the other from interfering in their sisters interactions with Sir Ronald, so they agree to spend the afternoons in each other’s company  as this will guarantee they will not interfere in Clara and Georgiana’s business. 

What started as a business-like agreement soon becomes a beautiful and deep relationship which was one of the aspects I loved the most about this book. Amelia Moore and Peter Wood’s time together is filled with beautiful and touching moments where they flirt, have fun together, reveal their deepest feelings, share past memories which carved their personalities, speak of the future and what would make them happy, discuss events as they are occuring in Lakeshire etc. As all these interactions unfold in front of us, we cannot resist reading a little more to see what else the author has lined up for us. Their relationship is not shallow, it is built on a series of moments that are well built and enthralling. The reader witnesses these two people slowly falling in love with each other in a playful manner that is refreshingly different from many romances that lately seem to follow the same formula for romance development.

Apart from the romance, which was clearly one of the biggest achievements of this book, the characters were also a feature I loved., particularly Peter Wood. In a romance that has everything to appeal to Jane Austen fans, the romantic hero is as different from Mr. Darcy as would be possible, yet he is just as compelling. Peter Wood is charming, teasing and funny, but also sensitive, responsible, honourable and honest. he is perfect in every way and I must confess I didn’t miss the Darcy features even a bit.

Last but not least, I need to mention how beautifully written the house party activities are. Megan Walker incorporated in the story all sorts of activities, such as picnics, horse riding, games and competitions, dancing, and  interesting discussions which transported me into Lakeshire Park’s house party. Many of these activities were fulcral to the romance and were written with a detail that I haven’t seen in many regency romances, and this made the book interesting and lively. 

Summing up, Lakeshire Park is a beautifully written and captivating romance with a unique story that will fascinate most readers. I highly recommend it to everyone.

 

Adiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

This is the second audiobook narrated by Justine Eyre that I’ve listened to and I must say I enjoyed this one much more. The narration style is pretty much the same, but I believe the playfulness that we can hear in  Justine Eyre’s voice is much more suited for this story. She has a very pleasant tone,and it was a nice experience to listen to her narration of Lakeshire Park.

 

 

You can find Lakeshire Park at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible.com

 

5 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice