Northern Rain Review & Giveaway

NR Final FC4 071516 nobld SM5 stars

Hello everyone,

I could not be happier when I was told Nicole Clarkston had released a new North and South variation novel, so I bought it immediately and from the moment I started reading it I could not put it down. Nicole Clarkston sure knows how to captivate readers with a stunning beginning!

Northern Rain begins on a cold rainy day with Mr. Thornton visiting his father’s graveside on the anniversary of his death. He is heartbroken thinking of Margaret and what he lost, when the lady herself passes by and, seeing a sad Mr. Thornton on the rain, decides to be kind and offers him protection under his umbrella. In this initial scene they do not communicate with verbal words, but much is said and perceived. I absolutely love when and author makes me feel the intensity of the characters feelings without even making them say a word, and that is precisely what happens in this intense and emotional scene. On their walk home Margaret tries to clear her name and reputation in Mr. Thornton’s eyes as this story is set after Mrs. Hale’s death, and this is the first step for a growing friendship between them, that will obviously turn into an angst filled romance very soon.

This small change in the plot will have some important impacts: Mr. Thornton begins to wonder about Margaret’s indiscretion, Mr. Hale has John’s company and with Margaret’s support and medical intervention survives, and Margaret’s love and admiration for Mr. Thornton begins much sooner in the story.

However that does not mean that all the angst, tribulations, internal and external struggles will not come in the way of John and Margaret, by the contrary. The story has villains we will not see coming, and subplots that are a page turner until the end.

I believe Nicole Clarkston has an incredible knowledge of Gaskell’s characters and that is shown in this book. Mr. Thornton and Margaret’s characters are so true to themselves, so well developed that I believe Gaskell herself could have written this story. He is honorable, just, strong and vulnerable at the same time and she is independent, and also strong and vulnerable in different ways, just as Elizabeth Gaskell portrayed them.

Dixon is the same grumpy person, Hanna Thornton remains herself but we get to know her a little better as she is exposed to new situations. In fact, Hanna’s reaction at the drapers store is absolutely perfect and in accordance to the character. It also allowed us to know that Margaret would have an ally in Mrs. Thornton once she realizes that this is the woman who will make her son happy. The consequences of her reaction made this book an agreeable read and it gave us a glimpse of a brighter future in the Thornton household.

Fanny remains the silly creature we know her to be but in this book we also get to see a little more of Watson, and he reveals himself as an insecure besotted man. This was an interesting addition as these secondary characters are not always approached or developed. Watson remains a minor character, but the fact that Nicole Clarkston decided to let us know more about him, and many other characters was definitely a plus.

The new characters were also essential to the success of the book. Even though I love North and South, there is not a lot of variety in terms of characters and that makes it especially hard for writers to create new scenarios. But Nicole Clarkston had a perfect equilibrium between the canon story and its own characters and new characters who gave a new life to Milton’s society and made this new plot possible with all its trials.

I felt Mrs. Clarkston brought the best there is to offer in a Jane Austen novel and added it to Gaskell’s already rich prose. This was a risk but perfectly executed. All relevant aspects of North and South were kept by the author, but the reading became more light, pleasing and romantic. Thornton’s reaction when he discovered who Frederick is was so genuine and passionate that I could not stop reading. And then all the kitchen moments followed and I felt myself swoon with the romance and intimacy in it! Of course the tea set present was the cherry on top of the cake for me 🙂

I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book, and can only hope the author releases a new N&S variation soon. The vignettes posted during the blog tour had me craving for more 🙂

I could not end this review without mentioning the cover. Isn’t it just absolutely marvelous? I have said several times that I love Janet Taylor’s covers, and this one is just another pearl she has created 🙂

You can find Northern Rain on:


***It’s giveaway time***


Apart from being a great author, Nicole Clarkston is a very generous person and she would like to, once more, offer one of her books to my readers.

You can choose any of Nicole Clarkston’s books and even the format!

Let us know what you think about Northern Rain, if you ever read anything from Nicole Clarkston, and of course, which book and format you prefer. You can choose the e-book, paperback or audible.

For more information on the different formats available for each book please see the links below:

Northern Rain

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck


The giveaway is international and is open until the 29th of August.

Good luck everyone!


Filed under 5 stars, North and South

38 responses to “Northern Rain Review & Giveaway

  1. BeckyC

    I love N&S and am thrilled for this variation. I now have it in hand and will read soon. Can’t wait! Thank you for the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sophia Rose

    I’ll have to come back and read your review after I get the chance to read the book. Love seeing the high rating. Just got my tour copy and I’m excited about it.

    Please do not enter me, Rita. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved Rumors and Recklessness. It is a fun, enjoyable read. I would love Northern Rain as audible when it comes out in that format.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue Mecham

    This sounds like something I must have (Northern Rain as a book)… I’ve seen North & South so many times I feel like one of the characters! I’d love to read MORE…. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary

    Great review,Rita! Have read,loved and gushed about this fantastic story.
    I agree with you in terms of what you said about Nicole’s knowledge of Gaskell. She knows John,Margaret,Hannah Fanny etc. intimately,can hear their voice and relay scenes with them as naturally as if they really happened!

    Please don’t include me in this giveaway as I happily own all the books!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. arjanne

    I would love to win a paperback of Northern rain. I’ve read Rumours & Recklessness and absolutely loved that. This would be my first North & South variation, so I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. An amazing book!! Really good review!
    The giveaway is very generous!! Thank you Nicole!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charlotte

    I’ve read and adored Northern Rain 😀 Am curious about Rumors & Recklessness, it sounds like another fun story of Nicole’s !! If I would be so licky I’d prefer an ebook/kindle copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve also loved R&R Charlotte, specially the initial encounters between Elizabeth and Darcy! I thought Nicole Calrkston did an amazing job at capturing their characters 🙂
      Good luck in the giveaway!


  9. I have not had the pleasure yet to read one of Nicole’s books. But would love to try her Rumors & Recklessness.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Karylee Marin

    I LOVED North and South, so am very excited to hear of these works, and the opportunity to win one. A real book, to hold in my hands, is always my dream. THANK YOU for the opportunity! WOW. Karylee


  11. Love North and South, would love to read a variation. I’d be happy with ebook of that one.


  12. Pingback: Casting for “North and South” + Giveaway – my vices and weaknesses

  13. I haven’t read any of Clarkston’s books, but I’m excited to finally discover them. I really like the new cover, too. Thanks for sharing the review and for offering this great giveaway! I don’t know where to start, all three books sound interesting; I guess I’d pick Rumours & Recklessness (paperback) as my first.


  14. Sheila Majczan

    I did read and enjoy this and posted my own review. I am open to any other suggestions of variations on this book. I have read maybe 3 variations.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Patricia Finnegan

    I have always wondered if there were any sequels or variations when it comes to North and South. I am starting to see a lot more of these as time goes on. I am torn between 2 books since I do not have either of them. If I had to choose , I would choose No Such Thing as Luck paperback format if possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I read some of the vignettes and had the privilege of hearing about Northern Rain from Rita in person, so I am very curious about this one!
    Since I am just now finishing North&South, I think it would be perfect! (A paperback would be my preference)
    Good luck to everyone and much success to Miss Clarkston!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Reblogged this on Lepidopterae and commented:
    Another interesting review at From Pemberley to Milton, giveaway included!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sorry for not dropping by earlier, I got to enjoy a spectacular camping trip with my family in the Rogue River area of Oregon this week, so I’ve been a little disconnected. Good luck in the giveaway, and thank you everyone for your kind encouragement! Rita, it is always a pleasure! 😊


  19. I never knew anyone was writing N&S variations so I am thrilled because it has always been one of my favorite books! I have never read her but very excited to get her book 🙂 Thanks for the chance!


  20. Pingback: Author of the Month – Nicole Clarkston | From Pemberley to Milton

  21. Pingback: North & South Top 5 Variations with giveaways | From Pemberley to Milton

  22. Filo

    To be honest I don’t know very well this author (shame on me) because I’m new to the gender. I read wonderful reviews, but I’m curious and I will dive body and soul in Nicole’s books!


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