Monthly Archives: January 2018

Author of the Month – Joana Starnes

 

Good Afternoon everyone,

How is the first month of the year treating you? I hope January has been as good to you as it was to me.

I’ve travelled to Norway with my husband and some friends and loved every single second of my trip. I got to see my favourite singer perform in what will be the most memorable concert ever, and was amazed at the beauty of the country. The fiords are certainly a place I will like to go back to.

Apart from that, I was able to read more than usual with almost 5 books completed, and start a little project that I will be launching shortly. I’m eager to tell you all about it, but that will have to wait because today I would like to talk to you about a new feature I would like to start called “author of the month”.

Last month I started thinking about a particular author  and how incredible I find her because of her diversity etc., and I thought she deserved a shout out because of everything she has accomplished, one thing led to the other and I came up with the idea of talking about a different author each month. This is something I’m still working on and your feedback will be very welcomed! What would you prefer to read in this feature? An author interview? An author post? Or a post written by me about the author? I decided to start with something simple, just a shout out to an author whose books I love and can’t get tired of.

The author of the month in January is Joana Starnes due to her 5th audiobook released this month.  Joana released the audiobook for Mr. Darcy’s Dutiful Daughter last year and has not stopped releasing the other volumes in audio version ever since, she wrote a post that you can read here at From Pemberley to Milton about how it all came to life in case you’re interested to know the story behind this decision 🙂

Her latest release was The Subsequent Proposal which has a special place in my heart because it is a mash up of my two favourite novels: Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Have you read this one? What did you think? I’ve read and reviewed it a long time ago, and I’m eager to start listening to the audiobook narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, one of my favourite narrators who was also interviewed here last year.

Joana also has a special place in my heart, she was the first author I ever received here at From Pemberley to Milton back in 2015 who was publishing in English (the very first was Moira Bianchi who had released a Portuguese P&P novel called 45 Dias a Europa com Sr. Darcy) and was one of the first authors I ever read. But what really makes a difference is her writing. I absolutely adore the intensity of Joana’s writing and how she portrays Darcy, Elizabeth and their relationship. Whenever she has a new release coming up I always think that if it is a Joana Starnes book, it cannot go wrong, and obviously it never does. There is something compelling in her writing, and if you’ve read any of her books, I think you’ll understand what I mean.

So far she has written 7 novels and participated in 2 anthologies edited by Christina Boyd. She has written a sequel, several variations and 2 mash ups, but always found a way to keep me turning page after page in an eagerness to have more and more guilty pleasure moments that only end with the absolute despair of having finished her book and not having any more pages to devour. This happens to me in several books, but usually it doesn’t happen with all the books an author has released, hence the special place of Joana in my heart. She is one of the few who never disappoints.

To celebrate the release of her 5th audiobook, she has all her books on sale for 1,99$ or 2,99$ (depending on the title) until midnight today, so if you don’t own them yet,  I highly recommend taking the opportunity to get them today. Tomorrow the prices will go up to their regular pricing.

I think most people have read her latest books, but have you read them all?

Here is the list of all her works:

 

From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley ~ A Pride & Prejudice sequel.

Amazon.com My review coming soon

 

The Second Chance ~ A Pride & Prejudice – Sense & Sensibility Variation.

Amazon.com My review coming soon

 

The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion.

Amazon.com    My Review

 

The Falmouth Connection ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation set in Poldark territory.

Amazon.com    My Review

 

The Unthinkable Triangle ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation, where loyalty comes at loggerheads with love.

Amazon.com    My Review

 

Miss Darcy’s Companion ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation where different circumstances change everything.

Amazon.com    My Review

Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter – ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation, where family loyalties lead to true happiness.

 

Amazon.com    My Review

 

You can also find her stories in the following anthologies:

 

The Darcy Monologues   ~ A Pride & Prejudice Anthology told from his point of view.

Amazon.com    My Review

 

Dangerous to Know  ~ A Pride & Prejudice Anthology, where Austen’s bad boys have a voice

Amazon.com     My Review

 

The books I’ve mentioned above are just not enough for me and I’m counting the days until I can read a new book from Joana Starnes, I hope she will not keep me waiting for long. What about you? is she a favourite of yours too? If so, why?

 

Meet Joana Starnes:

 

Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. A medical graduate, in more recent years she has developed an unrelated but enduring fascination with Georgian Britain in general and the works of Jane Austen in particular, as well as with the remarkable and flamboyant set of people who have given the Regency Period its charm and sparkle.

You can find Joana Starnes on:
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/joana.a.starnes and http://www.facebook.com/AllRoadsLeadToPemberley.JoanaStarnes
Website at http://www.joanastarnes.co.uk
Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Joana_Starnes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, for my author of the month post, Joana would like to offer 5 audiobooks of The Subsequent Proposal plus one paperback of the revised book. The giveaway is international and to enter it all you have to do is comment on this post until the 10th of February. The winners will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck everyone!

 

Advertisements

55 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Undeceived

 Undeceived will transport our beloved characters into a different era and scenario and it is certainly very different from any other book I’ve ever read.

In this book, Darcy and Elizabeth are CIA operatives working during the Cold War, and along with romance we will find in this book intrigue, mystery, suspense and some action.

It took me awhile to get into the story because I am more of an FBI kind of girl and not so much CIA, but with time I could not resist the growing tension between Elizabeth and Darcy.

Their first night together is memorable and reflects the book’s tendency for a steamy romance and a charming Darcy. In fact, Darcy was my favourite aspect of the book. I found him charming, sexy and irresistible. Elizabeth is what any girl would like to be, independent, caring, and intelligent even if a bit naive at times, and together they make an exciting couple. I liked to see them travel through different countries and get to know a little bit of each country through their missions.

I was surprised with what Karen Cox did with some characters, namely Mr. Collins and Mr. Bennet. They were very a interesting twist from the original, and even if you may see the smoke in this book, I doubt you’ll identify the fire 🙂 I could guess some of the things that were happening, but I did not expect the book to end as it did.

Karen M Cox did a fantastic job at keeping us from guessing everything and surprising us until the very end.

Undeceived is a fast paced book that will keep readers entertained and is perfect for those who want a different Pride and Prejudice story with lots of suspense and spicy moments.

You can find Undeceived at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

11 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

After getting marvelled with The Darcy Monologues last year I was thrilled to know that Christina Boyd had gathered another group of incredible authors who would work with her to create an appealing anthology dedicated to Austen’s rakes and rogues, so it was with great expectations that I started reading Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, and I must say I did not get disappointed.

I don’t really like the box of chocolates analogy but I can’t think of a better way to describe this anthology. In Dangerous to Know we will find 11 stories which will focus on Austen’s rakes, rogues and I dare say gentleman, because let’s face it, who can ever consider Colonel Fitzwilliam a rogue?

With such a group of authors and an experienced editor, I was bound to love this book and what I loved the most about it was the fact that we never knew what we would find, hence the box of chocolates. As we finish one story and move along to the next one, we do not know which is the character we will find, if it will be a prequel, different POV, sequel or the sum of the several sub genres. Better yet, we never know if the author decided to redeem the character or not! When I first heard about this anthology I thought that it would give us the point of view of these characters and maybe for that reason we would come to understand their reasoning, but that is not what I found in this book. Some of the characters remain the rogues we know them to be, and that is just perfect because it makes us wonder at every story.

The creativity of these authors were also part of why I liked this book so much. There were many original characters that I learned to love or hate, which is always a desirable effect in a book, and I saw sides of some characters I never expected to see. They have also made me love stories about characters I really despise such as Sir Walter Elliot. I didn’t come to like him, by the contrary, I think I ended up despising him even more than I did before, but I did love the story, and that is the beauty of this anthology. Even if we hate the characters about whom we are reading, we are still captivated by their story and have a true pleasure reading it. That is why I think everybody will like this book, because it is not so much about the characters, but about their stories and Austen’s world. The stories explore areas unexplored by Austen but that sound familiar to the reader nonetheless and that could only be accomplished by talented authors who know quite well the attributes of her work.

This book is perfect to be savoured through time, I think it will enhance the reading experience to read one story per day as it will allow the reader to focus on each character and consider all the possibilities associated to them.

I’m finding these anthologies absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait for Christina’s new project! I wonder what she will do next!! Whatever it is, I know I will read it 🙂

 

You can find Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues today at 0,99$ at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

The book will remain on sale for the next days increasing 1$ each day until it reaches it’s regular price, so if you have been uncertain about buying this book, now is the right time to do it 🙂 I highly recommend it 🙂

11 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Her Unforgettable Laugh

 

 

Her Unforgettable Laugh starts several years before P&P’s story with Mr. Wickham trying to abduct Georgiana. During this attempt, she is saved by Elizabeth but because while doing so she behaved in an unladylike manner, Elizabeth is rapidly taken away by her aunt and all Mr. Darcy can grasp from her is her laugh.

The story then resumes the events we see in P&P starting at the Meryton Assembly, instead of saying Elizabeth is not tolerable enough to tempt him,  Mr. Darcy hears her laugh and invites her to dance with him in an attempt to ascertain if she is the lady who saved Georgiana all those years ago. As you can imagine, this will change the entire story, and their relationship will not go through such a bumpy road.

Some of the characters have interesting changes in this book, we see a side of Mr. Hurst I had never seen before and it was very refreshing to see such a portrayal. Miss Bingley on the other hand is a conniving and evil character, to the point that everyone knows what she is planning all the time, and Wickham is very malicious person. Mrs. Bennet is also an exaggerated mean and obnoxious character and unlike Wickham’s character, I didn’t like her at all.

Darcy is not so proud as we are used to and accepts his feelings for Elizabeth almost immediately, so there aren’t many obstacles to Elizabeth and Darcy’s love, which made the story a little too slow paced for me. However, readers who love a smoother love story without much angst or obstacles will absolutely love this book.

It is a sweet, uncomplicated story where the conflict doesn’t come from Darcy and Elizabeth’s feelings and attitudes but from the villain’s actions, namely Wickham and Caroline’s. I usually prefer books where the conflict comes from their feelings, so I would say this book is more directed to readers who prefer external obstacles.

If you like books where ODC join forces to fight against external obstacles while having sweet and tender moments between them, then this book is perfect for you.

You can find Her Unforgettable Laugh at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

8 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Pride and Prejudice

One Thread Pulled – The Dance with Mr. Darcy

What if Elizabeth never heard Darcy’s slight at the Meryton Assembly? How would the story and their relationship unfold if this little detail was different?

Diana J. Oaks starts with this premise and adds small changes to the plot that make the outcome of this book very interesting. For example, Jane doesn’t get a cold when she goes to Netherfield, she hits her head when she falls from a horse, and Mr. Darcy shows a true concern for her health. Also, Mary falls in love with Mr. Collins and tries to conquer him with Elizabeth’s help, which creates the most amusing scenes and has extraordinary consequences, not only in the conquest of Mr. Collins, but also in the relationship between the Bennet sisters. These small changes in the story are one of the aspects I loved the most in this book as they make it unpredictable but agreeable to read with a believable story and characters that remain true to themselves.

The other aspect I absolutely loved about the book was the love story between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their love is realistic and believable but also sweet and passionate at the same time, it is touching but with some anguish making it halfway between the hot mush and the angst. The scene when Darcy and Elizabeth meet at Oakham Mount is an endearing and loving scene that exemplifies what I am saying, and it was probably one of my favourite scenes in the entire book.

One Thread Pulled is a very well written book with a great love story that will appeal to all readers. I highly recommend it and was only sad to reach the end and realise that there wasn’t exactly an ending as the story will continue with Darcy’s courtship on a second volume. But fear not dear readers, now you can follow up their story on volume two : Constant as the Sun: The Courtship of Mr. Darcy which was released in the end of 2016, a couple of years after I read volume one 🙂

If you haven’t read this book yet, you are luckier than me, you will have the pleasure of reading them both without interruptions.

You can find One Thread Pulled at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

6 Comments

Filed under 5 stars

The Darcy’s of Pemberley

I was very lucky to win a copy of The Darcy’s of Pemberley at Austenesque Reviews a couple of years ago. It was the first giveaway I ever won and it put me in contact with the sweet Meredith 🙂

As my TBR pile seems to have a willing of its own, I have only read it last year and found great pleasure in it.

This book shows us how Darcy and Elizabeth’s life could have been after they were married, but if you think everything will be a sea of roses, you are mistaken. Their families are still there, part of their life to make sure Darcy and Elizabeth never have a dull moment.

Lydia and Wickham are childish and annoying as always, Mrs. Bennet’s nerves continue to be her best friends and Lady Catherine is still trying to get everything done her way, so our dear couple will have their hands full 🙂

The book was very enjoyable but the last chapters were my favourite as we see how devoted Darcy is to Elizabeth, and how his love is strong enough to withstand the most hurtful possibilities (I’m trying not to spoil this for you by being incredibly evasive, but if you read it, you’ll understand). I was truly amazed and touched at how much Darcy would accept because of his love for Elizabeth, and that was clearly my favourite part of the book 🙂

Georgiana’s journey is also quite interesting and I was glad to see how everything turned out for her. Readers who love her character, and I know there are several out there, will love this story!

I thought the book was a little too slow-paced in the beginning, but it is a very enjoyable read for those looking for a sequel to Pride & Prejudice, I recommend it to readers who want to follow-up the lives of our most beloved characters.

You can find this book on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

12 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Suddenly Mrs Darcy

Hello dear readers,

Two years later, I am finally reviewing Suddenly Mrs. Darcy! I read it when it came out but for some reason I didn’t review it, considering it is my favourite “forced marriage” scenario book, it didn’t seem right not to post a review, so here it is.

When I started reading this book I was shocked and amazed. The blunt, fatalist first person speech we see in the first chapters as shocking as it is surprising but it pulls us immediately into the book. The writing is riveting and addictive and I have now come to understand that Mrs. James writing style is unique and recognisable everywhere. When I read the first letter of Elizabeth in The Elizabeth Papers over an year later, I immediately knew it was a Jenetta James book due to the uniqueness of the writing style.

On this book, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are caught alone by Mrs. Bennet during the Netherfield ball while Darcy is trying to reveal to Elizabeth Wickham’s true character, and because of that they are forced to get married. As this happens so soon in the storyline, they haven’t been able to sketch each other’s characters yet, so the dynamics between them are very different, and the path they have to take to HEA will be much harder.

They will need to learn how to respect, trust and love each other and, it will not be an easy task when the communication between them is still so difficult because of their misapprehensions and prejudices. But watching them build a strong and powerful relationship is extraordinary, and Mrs. James was able to keep us glued to the storyline from the beginning until the end due to the intensity of the book.

Suddenly Mrs. Darcy is very real, it is not overly romantic, it is not a fairy tale, it portrays reality and people as they are, it shows us a raw reality and it pierces into our soul. It is one of those books I recommend to my friends who don’t read JAFF because I know that the writing is so good, so unmistakingly good, that any reader will love it!

I believe that it takes a true talent to write as Mrs. James does, this is something that you can not learn, either you have the talent in you, or you don’t, and Jennet James certainly does.

If you are looking for a fairytale story full of fluff this is not the book for you, but you will be missing a magnificent work of art. If you are ready to accept some angst, you will love this book and it will render you speechless.

 

You can find this book on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

33 Comments

Filed under JAFF

From Pemberley to Milton’s 2017 Favourite Books

Good Afternoon everyone and a Happy New Year!!!

Today I’m publishing one of my favourite posts of the year, the one where I look back and see what I read and how that translates into figures 🙂 I love stats and even though I will not fill you with my own stats today, I did like analysing the statistics of my reading throughout the year. After looking at my 2017 stats I identified my favourite books and that is what I will share with you today, so welcome to my year in books 🙂

 

Last year I had read 45 books, but it was a true challenge to read so much (yes, for me that is a lot), so I choose to define a smaller goal for 2017. I intended to read 35 books this year and despite all the difficulties I had at work (too many extra hours, etc.) I was able to overcome that objective by reading 38 books. That may not seem a lot to you, but I was very happy to have achieved this number. It wasn’t always easy to find the time to read, and I’m happy about this number this year.

During 2017 I read a total of 10 230 pages and my average per book was 276 pages, with Christmas with Mr. Darcy being the shortest book I’ve read and These Dreams the longest. I didn’t read anything online this year so the 38 books are only referring to published works.

Not all the books I read in 2017 were published in the current year, in fact, most of them were published in earlier years, so my 2017 favourite books list does not include the best books published in 2017, but my favourite books read in 2017. I’m including both Jane Austen Fan Fiction books and North and South Fan Fiction books and excluding all other fiction novels (even though I only read one non-austenesque/Gaskell book this year: The Little Paris Bookshop).

To be honest, it was easier to choose my favourites this year than last year, maybe because I didn’t read as many books in 2017 than 2016, but it was still hard to leave a few titles behind, even so, it had to be done if I wanted to create my 2017 Favourite Books list.

Now that I’ve explained how I decided to create this list, and without further ado or any particular order, my favourite books read in 2017 are:

 

.

 

 

These Dreams – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 674

What I loved about it – Everything! Darcy’s strenght, his connection to Elizabeth, Col. Fitzwilliam’s love story, the portuguese connection…

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

Collide – Melanie Stanford

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 298

What I loved about it – The Las Vegas setting, the main characters background stories and the intensity I felt while reading it.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

When We Are Married – Caitlin Williams

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 319

What I loved about it – The humour, the page turner effect and how perfectly suited Darcy and Elizabeth were for each other in this book. I loved how the author described them and their love 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

The Darcy Monologues – Edited by Christina Boyd

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 415

What I loved about it – The diversity! There is a perfect story for anyone and any time 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

A Man With Faults – Lory Lilian

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 403

What I loved about it – The angst, Darcy’s dark place and the hot mush that followed 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

No Such Thing as Luck – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2015

Number of Pages – 432

What I loved about it  – The romance, the intensity of the boat scenes and the perfect love story!

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

The Journey – Jan Hahn

Publication year – 2012

Number of Pages – 264

What I loved about it  – Darcy, Darcy and Darcy! The jealousy, the number of Darcy/Elizabeth’s scenes, the writing, the romance…everything actually 🙂

My review (coming soon)     Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey – Ginger Monette

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 350

What I loved about it  – The intensity of the story, of their romance and the page turner effect 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

A Lie Universally Hidden – Anngela Schroeder

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 406

What I loved about it – The romance, the intrigue, the writing, the characters…there is just too much to point out.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion – Regina Jefffers

Publication year – 2010

Number of Pages – 394

What I loved about it – The has it all effect and his point of view 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

Darcy’s Honor – Victoria Kincaid

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 193

What I loved about it – Darcy and the intensity of his feeling, plus Lady Catherine 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 


Green Card – Elizabeth Adams

Publication year – 2014 (re-published in 2017)

Number of Pages – 468

What I loved about it  – The american culture, the grilled cheese and their romance.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

.

Do you share any favourites with me? Which were your favourite books in 2017? I would love to hear your opinion and maybe get a few suggestions of great books to read this year, the 2018 reading challenge is already starting and all suggestions to fulfill it are welcome 🙂

 

For next year I will establish the same goal in  Goodreads, 35 books.

It’s not much but I don’t know how next year will be at the office and if it continues with the same rythm , reading 35 books will be a true challenge, which is why I prefer to aim for a small number but guarantee I can do it.

I will also try to read more non-autenesque books. I love JAFF and North and South fan fiction, but I miss reading other genres so I’ll establish as a personal goal 5 non-jaff books to read next year. I’ll start with 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny (which I should have read this year).

The to be read pile of austenesque books is too big this year because I was unable to respect my own TBR established last year, so I’ll have to make an extra effort to stick to my own list instead of allowing new books to get in the way.  I think this will also mean that in 2018 I’ll read more books published in previous years and not so many published during the year, but we’ll see if I’ll be able to resist new releases 🙂

Which goals are you establishing for yourself?

I hope you are able to achieve all your goals and that you have a fulfilling 2018 full of health and happiness!!!

 

 

 

 

 

39 Comments

Filed under JAFF