Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Immovable Mr. Tanner

I’m back to reading a novel from the The Meryton Mysteries series and this time Jennifer Joy’s pen is dwelling on an original character, Mr. Tanner. If you have read the first books in this series, you may remember that while Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were solving mysteries in Meryton, new characters were introduced to us. One of the most important characters was Mr.Tanner who was now entitled to a story of his own. You can be assured that you will still see a lot of Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy and Georgiana in this book, but it is Mr. Tanner who will be at the center of the stage in this novel, and if you love Mr. Darcy, you will be enchanted by his older brother 🙂

In the 4th book of the series Jennifer Joy will focus on Mr. Tanner’s acceptance of who he is, where he stands in life and what role his family will have, but also on his relationship with  Arabella Annesley. This original character is just as proud and honorable as Mr. Darcy but he has some insecurities which make him more fragile and more lovable as a character. Behind his strong exterior lies a man who doubts his own worth and this particular feature made him more believable and lovable because even if Darcy is the perfect hero, Mr. Tanner brought more to this book as a character than Mr. Darcy usually brings. Mr. Tanner shows us that the circumstances of our birth do not define us and that we may become whom we want to be. It is our personality, our strength and our values that make us who we are, and Mr. Tanner is proof of that.

Tanner’s life journey, his strength, values and also his insecurities shape everything he does and even how he approaches love, making his romance with Arabella Annesley very touching. Plus their love story has a little angst, and I can’t resist to that 🙂

Of course this book will also have a mystery that needs to be solved, it is part of the Meryton mysteries series after all, but even this is closely related to these two characters and it also brings to light more information about Georgiana’s companion. We had seen Mrs. Annesley in the previous books, but on this one we will get to know her life story and I believe none of you would have guessed everything she went through! She is not a boring old widow, I tell you that!

Even if you prefer stories centered in Darcy and Elizabeth, I recommend this book because I’m sure you will soon forget about them and focus all your attention on Mr. Tanner and Mrs. Annesley, their love story is beautiful and these characters will drag you into the book. You will also enjoy seeing how Darcy and Elizabeth’s married life is. This book is both a  sequel and a secondary character novel, so I’m sure it will appeal to all readers.

You can find The Immovable Mr. Tanner at:


Filed under 4.5 stars, JAFF

Obstacles Excerpt & Giveaway

Good morning everyone,

After having launched the blog tour of Obstacles with the cover reveal on the 30th of August, I’m very happy to receive Belen Paccagnella at From Pemberley to Milton once more. This time Ms. Paccagnella is bringing all of you a very informative excerpt, and I don’t know if you will have the same reaction I  did, but I was definitely surprised with what I was reading. I don’t want to spoil the excerpt for you, but I was not expecting Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship to be already at this stage in the excerpt I would post, it certainly made me even more eager to read this book. I also liked Kitty’s story and how the sisters discussed their involvement in the farm, it seemed very real and it capture my attention. Even if it is not regency, my favourite era, this is a book I will definitely be reading in the near future.



Not all obstacles are restricted to the show-jumping arena… Though Elizabeth Bennet lives an uneventful life instructing young equestrians at Longbourn, the family farm, she dreams of winning a show-jumping competition on Liddy, her spirited mare. But her life is upended when a team of world-renowned riders arrives at Netherfield, the neighbouring estate, and uses it as their training headquarters. As she assists the newcomers and their prize-winning mounts, she meets William Darcy, a wealthy and arrogant—albeit talented—rider with Olympic aspirations. He first insults and then ignores Elizabeth, and her feelings teeter between disgust at his hauteur and admiration for his equestrian prowess. As she discovers first-hand the rigors of a world for the elite, will Elizabeth change her perspective about love, trust, and the foibles of her own family?

Originally known as “Obstacles to Overcome,” Obstacles pays homage to Pride and Prejudice in the highly competitive world of equestrian show jumping.

You can find Obstacles at:


Thank you, Rita, for inviting me to share this vignette with your readers. It’s a piece I created to share a little more about the Darcy’s relationship as Elizabeth after the final chapters close on Obstacles. I had a lot of fun writing this piece and I hope your readers enjoy a little more of the Darcys!


The Clutter of Life


“I can’t believe it.” Elizabeth hung up the phone with a loud, dramatic exhalation.

She closed her eyes and allowed her head to fall back against the couch. Why? Why did it have to happen right now? Just when everything had slowed down at Pemberley, Longbourn was a mess.

It began a couple of months ago with a call from Kitty saying that her parents had had a terrible fight where one blamed the other for all the things that had gone wrong at Longbourn during their thirty years of marriage. Thomas had endured his wife’s ‘new calling’ as Meryton’s resident tarot-card reader because it helped pay the bills, but hearing her calling herself ‘Madame Fanny’ had been too much, and the separation became inevitable. ‘Madame F’ had slammed the door with a “stay with your horses and your bets” and began a new life in Meryton.

And now, when Elizabeth was finally learning to live with her parent’s break-up, her sister told her that Phil was also moving out, claiming that he was tired of Kitty and the children and of looking after a farm that no one seemed to care about.

“Why? Why now?” Elizabeth sighed.

“What’s wrong, hon?”

Elizabeth opened her eyes and saw her husband staring at her with a half-smile. He was still in his riding clothes.

He walked closer and bent to kiss her forehead. “What happened?”

She exhaled heavily, and he chuckled at her tendency to always make things bigger than they were.

“Phil left Kitty. He moved out.”

Darcy turned serious immediately. “What?”

“I knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Phil is the only one with common sense in that house. He’s probably tired, and Kitty, she’s so…arrrrgh!”

“When did that happen? We were there only a month ago.”

Elizabeth extended her hand, and he helped her to stand up. “I’m going to Longbourn tomorrow. I’ll talk to Kitty and see if I can fix this. My mother is already a hopeless case, but without Phil, that farm will not exist.”

“I’m driving you,” he said. “I’ll try to knock some sense into Phil’s head too.”

“No, stay, you must attend your rehab. I’ll call Jane; maybe we can go together.”

Darcy rested his hands on her shoulders, blocking her exit. “Elizabeth, stop. I’m driving you. We’ll stay in London for a few days and we’ll see what’s going on, all right?”

As usually happened when he questioned her decisions, her temper rose. “William, you aren’t going to tell me what I—”

He pressed his forefinger onto her lips. “Before you start saying things you are going to regret, hear me out.”

She rolled her eyes.

“I know you are tired, fastidious, and anxious. I know that you still want to do all those things you were used to doing, but you can’t anymore and it’s driving you crazy. You are eight months pregnant and by no means am I allowing you to drive to Hertfordshire alone. I’m not being controlling, I’m not being overbearing, I’m just being reasonable. We already lost a baby once, and I will not risk this one or your health for any reason. Have I made myself clear?”

Elizabeth rested her forehead on his chest. She banged against it twice before whinging, “Why, why did it have to happen now? Why can’t we have some peace?”

Darcy put his arms around her. “Come, I’ll take you to bed. Why don’t you have a short nap before tea?”

“Are you staying with me?”

“Sure, I’ll massage your feet.”

“How was your practice?” She sniffed and lifted her head. “Did your knee bother you?”

“No.” He smiled. “Everything was fine.”

She wrinkled her nose. “You smell of horse.”

He chuckled. “I’m sorry. I’ll take a bath.”


Darcy lay in bed next to his wife, staring at the ceiling of their bedroom as images of the past months came one after another. What a year this had been. It started with Miss D’s sudden death. An unexpected infection had weakened her condition, and her heart failed just when they were starting to feel hopeful about her recovery. The sorrow he felt upon losing her had been great, but at least they managed to breed her through embryo transfer, and Miss D left a legacy that would prolong her existence.

Then, when they least expected it, Elizabeth announced that she was pregnant. At that time, he was training for his first Olympic Games and jumping qualifying rounds all around Europe. He and Elizabeth had agreed that they would be together all the way, so after the miscarriage she had suffered soon after their wedding, the decision to have a baby was postponed until after the Games. But it happened before that, and they couldn’t be happier. Taking every precaution, Elizabeth was there with him. The madness of the competition came and went, and they were able to return home for that well-deserved rest. A few weeks later, when everything seemed to finally settle down at Pemberley, tragedy struck again: the accident that put him through surgery on his right knee. He was training a new horse, and a collision against a hurdle cut the cruciate ligaments inside his knee. And Elizabeth, entering her sixth month of pregnancy, was watching it.

He truly admired her strength when faced with adversity. Darcy had been terrified when it occurred. Not about the injury or the surgery; no, he had been afraid that something might happen to her or the baby because of it.  The doctor said that she was all right, that the shock didn’t affect her or the child, but Darcy was very much aware that his wife was facing too much stress for someone in her condition. She needed calm and stability and nothing was helping. Olympic Games, parents breaking up, accidents, and the ghost of her previous miscarriage were always there to haunt her, to haunt them. And now this. When everything seemed right at Pemberley, crisis at Longbourn again.

Darcy turned his face to the side and observed his wife while she slept. She was pouting. Elizabeth always pouted when she slept. He rolled to the side and mirrored her position. He touched her cheek and then her belly. She was all right. Only then did he close his eyes and fall asleep.



“Is your knee bothering you?” she asked as he drove towards Meryton.


“If you’re tired, we can stop.” She rubbed his thigh.

Darcy smiled. “Do you want to go to the loo again? We can stop at the next gas station.”

“No, it’s OK.” Elizabeth turned her eyes to the landscape. She sighed heavily.

He took her hand and brought it to his lips. “Stop thinking, everything will be all right.”

“Do you know what I was thinking?” She chuckled.


“What you said to me that day at Rosings. That thing about my family being dysfunctional.

It was some kind of premonition. You knew this was going to happen.”

“Yeah, right. My intuition really worked that day. Everything came out exactly the way I planned.”

Elizabeth was glad they could remember that incident with humor. “That thing about being your stable hand was also fantastic, wasn’t it?”

“I’ve been trying to forget about that day for the past four years, and you still remind me of it whenever you can.” He glanced quickly and squeezed her cheek before redirecting his eyes to the road. “But I learned something very important that day.”

“Which is…?”

“That you are beautiful when you are angry.”


The couple arrived at Longbourn by tea time. Thomas wasn’t home, and they found Kitty watching TV in the living room. The house was a complete mess, with toys and child’s clothes spread all around and carton boxes of uneaten take-out covering the table.

Kitty’s personal appearance wasn’t any better. The state of her hair and clothes was clear evidence that she had not cleaned up in a couple of days.

“You look big, Lizzy, when are you due?” Kitty greeted her dully.

“In three or four weeks, God willing.” Elizabeth looked at her sister disapprovingly. “Where’s dad?”

Kitty shrugged. “I don’t know; he didn’t come home last night.”

“And the kids?” Darcy enquired.

“Phil took them to his mom’s.”

Elizabeth glanced at her husband and then back at her sister. It would be better if she took the conversation somewhere else. “Let’s make some coffee, Kit. Will is tired from driving.”


The sisters walked into the kitchen and Kitty put the kettle on the stove. Elizabeth’s frown accentuated at the sight of the greasy pans and dirty dishes accumulated on the sink and counters. Kitty’s idleness had taken over the entire house.

“Kitty, what is going on? What happened?” Elizabeth asked as she sat at the table.

“Do you really want to know?” Kitty’s smirk was charged with bitterness.

“Yes, I do.”

“I’m tired of all this. You don’t have an idea of what my life is like. Phil spends all day with the horses, mum is crazy, dad is out all day long, Mary is too busy with her books to even call, and you and Jane are in Derbyshire. I feel alone, Lizzy. I’m alone here.”

“You have two beautiful kids, you are not alone. We are your family, Phil—”

“Phil left me.”

“Why?” Elizabeth asked softly.

“He says I’m lazy, that I don’t care about him or the children or the house. That I spend all day watching TV, and that I’ve turned into a slovenly cow. That’s what he said.”

Elizabeth’s eyebrows shot up. That was harsh, but she imagined that Phil must have been very angry with his wife to say something so hurtful. While a bit rustic, Phil was one of the sweetest guys she had ever met “Well, maybe there’s a reason for—”

“I knew you would take his side.” Kitty snapped. “What do you know about us anyway? You are filthy rich, you are married to this Olympic rider, and you come here every six months to rub your wealth in our noses by showing up in your big Mercedes. You don’t even know the things we’ve been through—what taking care of this farm means!”

“And you do?” She couldn’t believe her sister was throwing such an accusation after all she had done at Longbourn before marrying Darcy. “I guess you forgot who used to do all the work around here while you watched TV all day long. Don’t blame me for what I achieved, blame yourself for what you are! Look at yourself! You haven’t bathed in how long? Three days?”

“What for? To attract a husband who doesn’t even look at me? I’m tired of all this, of the horses, of the bills, of the children, of everything!”

“Tired? Tired? You never did anything for yourself or your family! If you still have a decent place to live, it’s because William and I have been paying the farm’s bills for years! Look at this place! It stinks! You don’t even sweep the floor! Do you know something?” Elizabeth was too angry to measure the impact of her own words. “Phil is right: you are a slovenly, lazy, and resentful COW!”

Kitty’s eyes opened wide. She just stood there, staring at her elder sister without uttering a word.


“Will, hi.” Phil walked into the house. With one hand he pushed the pram where little Mathew was fast asleep, and with the other, he was holding Cecilia, also dormant with her head leaning on her father’s shoulder.

“Let me help you with that.” Darcy rose and grabbed his goddaughter. Cecilia made a noise as she went from her dad’s hands to Darcy’s but didn’t wake up.

“Let’s get them to bed.” Phil whispered and gestured the stairs. They left the children in their respective beds and quietly returned to the living room. Neither Darcy nor Phil were prone to inconsequential chit chat so they went directly to the point.

“What happened, Phil? What’s going on?”

“I’m so overwhelmed by all this…the farm, the kids. I’m only 21 years old, and I feel I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.”

“And Tom?”

“Since Fanny left, he’s gone all day long, hangs out in the pub until wee hours, and comes back late in the night—when he does come back.”

“Do you think he’s gambling again?”

“I hope not, though I’m not sure.”

“I’ll call him. Maybe he’ll talk to me. So, how’s everything going on with the farm?” Darcy looked around. The interior of the house wasn’t very clean, but from what he had seen when he arrived, the stables and the schooling pens were impeccable. “You’re doing an excellent job here, I don’t think I’ve seen Longbourn so neat.”

“Thanks.” Phil smiled. “The riding school is giving us a pretty good income and we are housing a couple of horses to help with the expenses. You know, I never imagined I would end up running this place.”

Darcy listened quietly and waited until Phil felt comfortable enough to speak on his own. And when he finally did, the young man didn’t hold back.

“I don’t know what to do.” Phil sighed. “Sometimes, I’d like to have a break, go to the pub or dancing with my girl, but she…she just sits there and watches TV all day long. She so careless about her appearance, she doesn’t even…” He shook his head. “I love my wife and kids, I truly love this farm, but I’d like to have a life, do the things the guys my age do.”

Darcy looked at his young brother-in-law. Phil’s life had been so hard, everything had happened so fast for him and Kitty. “Have you tried talking to her?”

“You don’t know how stubborn she can be.”

“I’m married to her sister. If she’s as half as stubborn as Elizabeth…”

Phil smiled with resignation. “Everything all right with the baby? It was so hard for her the first time.”

“Everything is running smoothly this time. Though all this is not helping her peace of mind. You know how she stresses when there are problems at home.”

“I’m sorry, Will, I wish I had better news.”

The fiery yelling that came from the kitchen put a pause to their conversation. The men exchanged glances, both knew better than to stand in the middle of fight between two Bennet women.


Kitty started laughing and Elizabeth laughed too.

“I’m sorry, Kit.” Elizabeth shook her head. “I can’t believe I just called you that.”

“Oh, Lizzy, I’m sorry too.” Kitty went to embrace her sister. “It’s just that I don’t know what to do. I miss him so much, and the kids are heartbroken. What am I going to do?”

“You chose to be a housewife. You can’t say now that you are tired of it.”

“I know, Lizzy, I know.”

“Now…” Elizabeth smiled and tucked her little sister’s hair behind her ear. “You are only 20 years old, you can’t just abandon yourself like that. You must care for your appearance and make this place the home that you and your family deserve. You must be that lovely girl Phil fell in love with.”

“That’s impossible.” Kitty snorted. “I have two children, and I am 30 pounds heavier.”

“Kitty, you are a beautiful girl. You must show him that you can, that you care. For him, for your children, and for yourself.”

“You are an angel, you know.”

“No, Jane’s the angel, I’m your conscience.” Elizabeth smiled.

Kitty smiled too and saw her sister turn serious. Very serious and pale. “Lizzy? Are you all right?”

“I … I think that my water broke.” Elizabeth sounded scared.

“Just that? You don’t feel any pains?”

Elizabeth shook her head.

“Don’t worry. It happened to me with Matt, remember?”

“Yes,” Elizabeth smiled with apprehension. Kitty’s water broke two weeks before her due date, resulting in her second C-section.

“I’ll call William. Don’t move.”


“She loves riding,” Phil said fondly as he showed Darcy a picture of Cecilia riding one of the ponies. “Thomas says she’s even better than Lizzy was.”

“I bet she is. We’ll come over for the weekend, and I’ll take her for ride.”

“She’d love that, she—”

“Phil, I didn’t know you were home.”

Darcy and Phil looked at Kitty, who had just joined them in the living room.

“Yeah, I thought it would be better if I brought the kids early.”

Kitty smiled shyly. “Are you staying for dinner?”

“I…” the younger man hesitated for an instant but accepted the invitation. “Sure, why not?”

Darcy noticed that the tension between the couple was weakening, and the glint in their eyes as they looked at each other told him that there was still hope for them. But something was missing from this picture, something that put all his senses on alert.

“Where’s Elizabeth?” Darcy asked.

“William,” Kitty made a gesture with her hands that was meant to calm him, but it only made him more apprehensive. “She’s fine. Her water just broke…”

He didn’t hear anything else and rushed to the kitchen.


Darcy paused for a moment before entering. He was concerned, but he would never let Elizabeth see it. All he wanted was to transmit to her the tranquility and confidence she needed to face this new obstacle that life had thrown their way. He saw her by the table, breathing deeply, with both hands on her abdomen. She was chewing her lower lip in the manner she always did when she was nervous.

“It seems that I can’t leave you alone for too long.” He walked around her chair and crouched in front of her. “You just can’t stay out of trouble.”

“Oh, Will, I’m sorry. I can’t believe this is happening. I …”

“It’s OK.” He held her hand. “Tell me what you are feeling.”

As always, his calmness brought the serenity she needed to feel. “I just felt this sort of ‘click’ and I knew something happened. The doctor said that this could happen, I …”

“I’ll call the doctor and ask him what to do.”

The conversation with Elizabeth’s obstetrician was short. He told Darcy to take her to —— Hospital in London where he would meet them in about three hours. From what he intuited, the labor had not yet started and the mother seemed fine, so there saw no reason to freak out and rush to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, Elizabeth was placed in a room. She submitted to all kind of tests to determine if mother and child were all right, and the doctors decided there wasn’t any danger for either of them. Now they only had to wait.

The labor started by itself a few hours later. For nearly eight hours, Elizabeth stayed in her room in the company of her husband and was checked on occasion by the midwife and the doctor. They had agreed with Kitty and Phil to not tell anyone except the Bingleys as they didn’t want untimely visitors that would alter the future parents’ peace. When the time came, Elizabeth was taken to the delivery room.

“You are coming with me, aren’t you?” Elizabeth held her husband’s hand tightly.

“I would never leave you, Elizabeth, never,” Darcy replied reassuringly.

The Darcys were blessed with a beautiful baby girl that day. She was tiny, but she was strong and healthy. As they watched her sleep, so perfect yet so fragile, they thought of the long road they had walked to reach this place, of all the obstacles that the clutter of life presented them. Surely there would be a lot more, but they didn’t care, because the ride was effortless and smooth when they took it as a team.




Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Belén Paccagnella discovered the world of Jane Austen fan fiction after watching the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice. In her  teens, she lived in Brazil when her family moved to the city of Curitiba due to her father’s work. She moved back to Buenos Aires a few years later, where she studied agronomy but finally pursued a different career and started working in the development administration of shopping centres.

In 2001, she started writing both Regency and modern stories adapted from the Pride and Prejudice storyline, merging drama, humour, and adventure while creating  characters with unique traits.

Belén still lives in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, where she shares her home with her  daughter and her pets while spending her time working, reading, and writing.


September 17 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Guest Post
September 18 / Diary of an Eccentric / Excerpt Post
September 19 / Austenesque Reviews / Vignette Post
September 20 / More Agreeably Engaged / Author Interview
September 21 / So Little Time / Excerpt Post
September 22 / Just Jane 1813 / Guest Book Review
September 23 / My Love for Jane Austen  / Character Interview
September 24 / From Pemberley to Milton / Excerpt Post
September 25 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review
September 26 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Vignette Post
September 27 / My Vices and Weaknesses  / Book Review
September 28 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review



Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks copies of Obstacles. The giveaway runs until midnight, September 30, 2018 and readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

There will be one winner per contest and each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter.

The giveaway is international and to enter it you should click here.

Good Luck everyone!


Filed under JAFF


In Austenland a 32 year old New Yorker, who is obsessed with Mr. Darcy but hasn’t yet been able to find him in real life, buys the perfect vacation at an English resort called Pembrook Park which is dedicated to Austen’s aficionados. There the guests are received by hosts playing the part of regency gentleman, gentlewoman, servants, stable boys etc. and no technology or use of modern expressions or clothing is allowed to permit the guests to fully live a regency experience. Now, this is heaven on earth right? I mean, if there were such a place I would be the first to buy a ticket! This is every girls holiday dream…well, every Janeite holiday dream I suppose… or at least mine.

I was intrigued with the plot in Austenland and kept wanting to find such a place and spend an entire month there, but I could not relate or love the characters in the book.

The main character, Jane Hayes, seemed a bit childish for a 32 year old woman, and the hero captured my attention throughout the entire novel but did not meet the expectations in the end of the book which is, by the way, very different from the movie. I prefer the character and consequently the ending of the movie which was much more logical and romantic in my perspective, and even if other aspects are better in the book, in my opinion, this one in particular lacks in comparison with the adaptation.

At Pembrook Park, the main character encounters other woman who have also bought this dreamy vacation and is exposed to other peoples foibles which was interesting because it reminded me a little of Austen’s intentions in her books. Facing her own love story Jane also starts questioning if this regency world and the perfect Mr. Darcy are indeed what she really wants or needs. After all, one thing is to read and dream about regency life knowing we will have all the comforts of the 21srt century once we close the book, another thing is to actually live it. This self appraisal was what I enjoyed the most in this character because it made me question myself and it brought this funny story a more serious tone.

Overall I think the book is quite entertaining and the plot is very original, particularly if we consider this book was written over 8 years ago, but as I could not relate or respect the main character I never felt much involved in it and therefore lost interest. It is a light and entertaining book though and if you are looking for something original and funny this may be your cup of tea.

You can find Austenland at:

and on

And of course, you can also see the TV adaptation to be able to compare them 🙂


Filed under JAFF

Recognizing Love – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m very happy to bring to you today the first excerpt of Recognizing Love, Lizzy Brandon’s second novel. Some of you may already know this author because of her first release Folly and Forgiveness which has a very good rating on Amazon and is currently on sale for 1,99$. If you haven’t read it yet, this is a good opportunity to get it, and you can buy it by following this link. If you have read it I’m sure you’ll like to read the excerpt we are sharing today and Ms. Brandon’s intake on why she decided to write this story.

I haven’t read this book yet, but I really like this premise and something tells me I will enjoy it immensely! Until I read and review it, I leave you with this little taste of it 🙂


I’ve always wondered at what point Darcy actually decided he was going to find Wickham to save Elizabeth and her family’s reputation.  Did he know he needed to take that step immediately after Elizabeth told him of Lydia’s elopement, or was it something he had to sleep on?  He tells Elizabeth, “Would to heaven that any thing could be either said or done on my part, that might offer consolation to such distress!” suggesting he had not yet decided and would have spoken up if only to ease her mind.  Before leaving he “wished it a happier conclusion than there was at present reason to hope,” which has always suggested to me that he was considering taking action to enable that happier conclusion.

Of everything he does, the secrecy around his help strikes me as the most noble of his actions.  By that point, he wants Elizabeth to want him.  He doesn’t want her to feel indebted to him or even be aware that he undertook such extraordinary measures on her behalf.  Perhaps he doesn’t want to commit himself yet either. In any case, the secrecy of his assistance shows the depth of change in his character.  This is his perfect opportunity to help her and let her see just how much he has taken her reproofs to heart.

In this variation, Darcy cannot leave Elizabeth alone to worry and fear for her sister and instead immediately offers his assistance.  Elizabeth is in that delightful early stage of infatuation where she can start considering the possibility of a future, but she is in no way ready when he proposes too soon.

How does Elizabeth move forward when her head tells her Mr. Darcy is the perfect man for her but her heart is not yet convinced?

Today’s excerpt is the prologue of the story where Elizabeth must first answer that question.



Mr. Darcy brushed a stray lock of hair from her face, his voice as gentle as his touch. She bit her lip trying to restrain some of her delight.

They had stopped to admire a fountain and she wondered how she had ever considered him disagreeable. Well, he had seemed a different person then, but she would not remember him that way. Elizabeth sighed happily, enjoying the exercise in this lovely place and the easy banter with Mr. Darcy after the chaos and strain Lydia had brought upon them the past week. She would consider only the gentleman he had proven himself to be since they met again at Pemberley.

He stroked the side of her face with his thumb. She felt her cheeks color at his touch as well as the intensity of his stare. For a moment, she thought he might kiss her and was surprised to find the idea quite tolerable.


As he caressed her face, she knew she should stop him from taking such liberties with her name and her person; instead, she leaned into his hand, savoring the warmth of his palm against her cheek. His eyes darkened at her response.

“Elizabeth, you have known my feelings for some time now.”

She pulled back slightly realizing too late the danger of her actions.

Not yet, please not yet.

Elizabeth admitted she had a great respect and admiration for Mr. Darcy, but she was not ready to commit her life to his. How could she possibly love him in such a short time? She had only known this new rendering of Mr. Darcy for little more than a week. Surely she could not accept him when her feelings were not the equal of his.

“I was unworthy of you in Kent. I have striven to be a better man.”

Her mind whirled. He had saved her family from ruin and dealt with his worst enemy to do so. How could she refuse him after he had done it all for her?

Should she refuse?

Elizabeth was confident he was the kind of man that she could fall in love with…in time. Yet, she would prefer to be confident in the state of that affection before pledging herself.

He would not ask a third time. What man would consider proposing marriage to a woman who had spurned his offer not once but twice? If she did not accept him now, she knew she would never have another chance. She felt a chill despite the heat of the day. Was she willing to risk any future with him? Should she accept him now or regret his loss?

“I love you.” His honesty in such simple words moved her and she could feel tears well in her eyes.

She could not begin their life together with a lie. “I … I do not know what to say.”

“Say you will be my wife.”

The moment extended into an eternity as she looked into his eyes, studying the hope and emotion shining there.

Here was a good man, the very best of men. He deserved so much more than she could offer him at this moment. Elizabeth was convinced that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her…she just needed more time.

Or did she? Her feelings had already undergone so dramatic a transformation over the preceding weeks that she may well already love him and not yet realize it.

Is this love?

How was she to recognize the signs when she had never been in love before? Did she not desire his company when he was away? This admiration and gratitude she felt must be love.

Elizabeth fought against the knot in her throat but the words would not come. Determined to gain command of herself, Elizabeth pulled back her shoulders and pushed aside the voice in her head begging her not to deceive him into thinking she felt more.

“I will.”



Secrets will surface…

Accepting Mr. Darcy’s proposal and allowing him to assume a love she does not yet feel pains Miss Elizabeth Bennet but she is certain she can love him…in time. After all of the miseries he endured to salvage her youngest sister’s reputation, how could she not come to love such a man?

Unfortunately, Lady Catherine arrives, bringing even thornier complications. With the many objections Darcy’s family will have regarding his marriage to the daughter of an unremarkable country squire, what more trouble can Lady Catherine stir up should she learn Elizabeth’s secret?

In this Pride and Prejudice romance variation, what will Mr. Darcy do when he learns his beloved has accepted him although her heart is not engaged?

You can find Recognising Love at:

At the moment the book is available for presale, but tomorrow it will finally go live 🙂


Lizzy Brandon once attempted to switch sections of a Brit Lit course after seeing Pride and Prejudice on the reading list.  How could a book with such a boring title possibly compete with Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, or Frankenstein?  Luckily, her request was denied and she was introduced to Jane Austen’s amazing world of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Years later, Lizzy was thrilled to discover the world of Pride and Prejudice sequels and variations where her favorite characters could live on with countless adventures.  After enjoying reading variations for years, she decided to try writing her own.

If you want to reach out to her, you can find her on Facebook :



This is just the first stop, don’t miss the rest of the blog tour for more information on this book 🙂


From Pemberley to Milton:   September 13

Jane Austen Book Club:   September 15

Babblings of a Bookworm:   September 17

So Little Time:   September 20

My Love for Jane Austen:   September 22

Diary of an Eccentric:   September 24

Austenesque Reviews:   September 26

More Agreeably Engaged:   September 28



Lizzy Brandon would like to offer 3 Paperback copies of Recognizing Love and 3 $10 Amazon eGift Cards to readers following her blog tour. The giveaway is open worldwide and to enter it all you have to do is click here.

She is also organizing a pre sale giveaway that will run until the 14th of September. She is offering 4 ebook copies of Recognizing Love in this second giveaway and this is the link to enter it. Once again, this is open worldwide, and it’s a second opportunity to win this lovely book, so don’t miss this chance 🙂

Good luck everyone!


Filed under JAFF

And the winners are…

Hello everyone,

I hope your week is starting well, mine certainly is and as the time for my holidays approaches the better it gets 🙂 I will only take some time off in October, but yesterday I finally bought the plane tickets which cheered me up enough to go through Monday as if it was Friday 🙂

Some of you may say that I had just returned from holidays, but my trip to Germany a couple of weeks ago was actually on business, and that’s definitely not the same thing. Speaking of which, while I was there I found these really cute “You can keep Mr. Grey, I’m sticking with Mr. Darcy” tote bags and I couldn’t resist buying a few to offer to my readers. At the time the bookstore only had three, so I didn’t have many to offer, but I discovered another store with the same tote bags and bought quite a few to be able to give them away to more people, so instead of one winner, I am able to announce 5 winners! Also, I hadn’t announced the winner of Being Mrs Bennet yet, so I have to take this chance to do so. This was one of my favorite books this year, and  hope the winner enjoys it as much as I did. Without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:


Being Mrs Bennet

*** VirginiaKohl***


Mr. Darcy Tote Bags

***Mary Preston***

*** Anji ***

*** Sheilamajczan***

*** J. W. Garrett***

*** Sophia Rose ***


Congratulations everyone! I hope you enjoy your prizes 🙂 Can you please send me your address to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that I can send the tote bags to you?

Speak to you soon!


Filed under JAFF

The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy Review & Giveaway

The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth is my favourite book from Victoria Kincaid and one of the reasons why I loved it so much was the setting. In it, she takes our dear couple into an adventure in France, so when I heard that The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy would also take place in Napoleon’s country I was very excited.

I don’t want to tell you much about the premise because I believe that not knowing increases the pleasure of reading the first chapters, but I can tell you that the shock of what will happen associated to an incredible writing, will make you stop breathing for a while and then cry as you share Mr. Darcy’s pain.

As all of Victoria Kincaid’s books, The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy is a true page turner that is easily read and enjoy, it has an adventurous but also very romantic plot that will grab your attention from he first page until the last.

This is a particularly difficult review for me to write because by not mentioning the storyline, I’m unable to give you many details as to why I loved the book, but I can assure you that the main characters are as lovable as all of Ms. Kincaid’s characters, particularly Mr. Darcy who is a true romantic hero. I loved the way Ms. Kincaid made him suffer, but also the happy moments she presented him with. His character is romantic and passionate and I loved that! Towards the end of the book we see him pronounce the most endearing words possible and again my heart ached for him. His speech and attitude towards the lady who will not have him is so moving and touching that I could not stop reading until he found his happiness. Some of the secondary characters also add to the story, namely someone from Darcy’s past who will make us see a different side of him.

The storyline advances very fast so there isn’t one single boring moment in the entire book, and even if sometimes the plot seemed to be a bit rushed, I enjoyed the pace of the novel.

As always Victoria Kincaid wrote a romantic light novel that will touch people’s hearts and I recommend it to readers looking for a fast paced romance full of adventure. You will not regret reading this book, or spending your time with this enchanting Mr. Darcy 🙂


You can find The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy at:



His attention wandering, Darcy’s eye was caught by a bookcase opposite his chair. There were several volumes of poetry, plays of Shakespeare’s, and books about English history.  The doctor and his wife were well read.

The doctor’s eye followed Darcy’s.  “You read English?” he asked.  Only then did Darcy realize that every title on the bookshelf was in English.  He flinched.  I am a truly terrible spy.

Martin chuckled softly.  “Do not worry, my friend.  Many of us have studied English, even if it is not fashionable these days.”

Darcy covered his confusion with a sip of coffee.  What could he possibly say in response?  A simple laborer like Guillaume D’Arcy should not be able to read English.  Many men of that class would not read at all.  Richard would laugh at Darcy’s ineptitude.

“My mother was English,” he mumbled.  That was true enough.

“I say, do you speak English?” Martin’s eyes widened.

Nothing to do but continue the charade.  “Yes,” he admitted.

“I have a patient who speaks only English, and I cannot understand her.  I read English well, but my conversation leaves much to be desired.”

Darcy hesitated.  Revealing anything more about himself was dangerous, and he should return to Dreyfus’s house, but the doctor had been very hospitable.  Darcy could spare a few minutes to repay the man’s kindness.

“I would be glad to be of assistance.” Only belatedly did the request strike him as odd.  “How did you acquire a patient who speaks only English?”

“She is a bit of a mystery. She washed up on the beach some time ago, half drowned.  She has been quite ill, and we have been unable to communicate with her. We do not even have her name.”

Darcy froze.  Was it possible the doctor had found the Black Cobra?  No, surely the spy would be a native French speaker—and male. “She could not even tell you her name?” Perhaps the woman was touched in some way.

“When one of the fishermen found her on the beach, she had suffered a blow to the head and nearly drowned.  She wavered in and out of consciousness for many days; I feared for her life.  Then, just as she seemed to improve, she contracted a lung fever. Her moments of consciousness have been brief, and she does not seem to understand where she is.”

“Understandable,” Darcy murmured.  Poor woman.  Now Darcy wanted to lend assistance for her sake as well as the doctor’s.

“Indeed,” the doctor said.  “She is often feverish and incoherent.  But perhaps she will say enough that you may ascertain her identity.”

Darcy stood.  “Take me to her.”  He would not allow his mission to stand in the way of assisting someone so unfortunate.

The doctor led Darcy up the polished staircase and down a corridor to a room at the back of the house.  Mrs. Martin met them at the door.

“How does she fare?” the doctor asked.

His wife’s expression was grave. “Feverish again.  Sleeping or unconscious, I do not know which.”

Darcy felt a pang of regret.  If he could not speak with the woman, he could not be of much help to her.  “Perhaps I should return another time,” he said.

Martin considered.  “At least come into the room for a minute.  Sometimes she speaks in her delirium.”  He opened the door.

The room was dim, illuminated only by the sunshine peeking around the edges of the heavy curtains. Closed up as it was, the chamber was airless and quite warm.

On the bed, the woman lay very still, her hair a dark tangle over her face.  Even from a distance Darcy could discern that her complexion was not good—pale and waxy.  The covers were pulled up to her chin so that only her face was visible.

She moaned and shifted slightly as they entered, but her eyes remained closed.  “Come closer.” The doctor gestured to the bedside.  “Perhaps she will say something.”

Darcy joined the doctor reluctantly.  It was the height of impropriety to be in any woman’s bedchamber, particularly that of a stranger.  Of course, Darcy had no intention of taking advantage of the situation, and nobody need ever hear about it.

This close, Darcy could see that the woman was quite young; her skin was smooth and unmarked.

She moaned again, turning her head toward Darcy. A shaft of midday light struck her face, and he instinctively reached out to brush the hair from her cheek.

Darcy froze, unable to do anything but stare.

Briefly he catalogued what he could see of the woman.  Her hair was a jumble of dark brown curls, and her skin was slightly tanned under the pallor.  The nose…the sprinkling of freckles on her cheeks…was achingly familiar.  If she opened her eyes, he knew they would be a bright forest green.

Elizabeth was lying in the bed.


What did you think of the this excerpt? This is one of my favorite scenes from this book because it is incredibly intense, and I could almost feel Darcy’s heartbeat in it. Also, this is a very marking scene because everything will change from this moment on, but I won’t say much more, I’m sure you will prefer to read everything yourself 🙂 Don’t forget, you can find The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy at:



Victoria Kincaid would like to offer to one of my readers a copy of The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy in either ebook format or paperback (winner’s choice), and an audiobook of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, this way two of my readers may travel to France through her beautiful descriptions of the scenery. The giveaway is international and it is open until the 13th of September. To enter it please comment on this post and let us know what you think of this excerpt, or Ms Kincaid’s work.

Good Luck everyone!



Filed under 4.5 stars, JAFF

Nowhere But North

Nowhere But North is a character driven book that uses flashbacks to enlighten the reader about the life events that shaped the characters personalities. It starts with what appears to be a forced marriage scenario, which is not only shocking but also innovative in the north and south variations genre, and it develops into a heart whelming love story of two newlyweds who are still learning about what married life is all about. The main story will alternate with chronological flashbacks that will transport the reader into the past to witness several marking events that contributed to the characters development, and allow him to better understand each character.

It is not easy to go back in time and remain truthful to characters who were created by another author, let alone show us how their personalities developed, and the fact that every single flashback was pure perfection in the North and South realm shows a deep character knowledge, and a writing skill that very few have. In fact, I believe only a couple of authors would be able to write such a perfect North and South Variation, which is in my opinion as good as Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South in terms of character development. Had I not known these flashbacks were written by Nicole Clarkston, I could have easily believed that Gaskell had written them herself considering they are perfectly in line with the characters she created.

I have always been fascinated by John Thornton’s life and this book was the first to give me the pleasure of reading about it. I had always been curious about his father and his childhood, about his journey from a teenager into adulthood, I always wanted to know how he made it, how he became a Mill Master after everything that happened to him, and thanks to this book I was finally transported into the past and made the wonderful journey of his life alongside with him. I witnessed him in his worst moments, I felt his struggles and insecurities and now I feel I understand this man even better and respect him all the more because of it. His life story is so interesting that it deserves a place in a North and South variation book and Nicole Clarkston did a wonderful job at making that happen.

Apart from the profound character knowledge Nicole Clarkston demonstrated with this book, venturing into flashbacks alternated with real time events showed a tremendous writing talent. Nicole Clarkston certainly knows how to write a beautiful story with interesting and complex characters while maintaining it clean, and captivating the reader at the same time. The transitions into and from the flashbacks are absolutely perfect, with the scene of a chapter being somehow connected to the scene in the next chapter, even it that scene is happening several years later. It takes true talent and courage to craft such a complex story the way Nicole Clarkston did and she deserves to be praised for such a magnificent work.

I loved the initial scenes between Margaret and John, when they were still afraid to let their emotions be known, but also decide to be honest with one another. I am clearly an angsty type of person and books with angst are usually my favourite, but it was nice to see that in this book no unnecessary angst was present. The characters already had too much to overcome in their life so it was nice to see that, at least amongst them, there were no unnecessary misunderstandings. Nicole Clarkston knew how to perfectly balance the emotions in this book, making sure they were realistic, but taking care not to make the story too dark, the result was an incredible book that made my heart ache at times and tears come to my eyes, but which also made me smile with the tenderness that was emanating from the pages. Margaret and John’s love was pure and stout and it was a joy to see how their companionship grew with each page that I turned and how passionate they both were about one another.

It is hard to say what I enjoyed the most about this book because I loved it all, the character insight and development, the writing style, the flashbacks, John Thornton, their relationship, the romance, the secondary characters and how it all came into place, John Thornton (I know I already mentioned him, but the character is so swoon worthing that I have to mention him twice), the balance, etc.

I am completely rendered to this story and I honestly consider this is the best North and South variation book I’ve ever read. I loved both No Such Thing as Luck and Northern Rain from this author, but I believe that with Nowhere But North Nicole Clarkston took the stakes into a completely different level. This book is a masterpiece that should not be missed by anyone who enjoys good literature and I highly recommend it to all readers.

P.S – I have to talk about the cover!!! Isn’t it beautiful? To me it looks absolutely perfect! It reflects exactly the story and environment we will find in the book. We can feel the tenderness between the characters in it and the entire setting transported me to the books scenes. The detail of the compass inside the O, and which we will see separating the chapters inside the book, is the cherry on top of the cake! It is my favourite cover from Janet Taylor so far, and I’ve loved them all 🙂


You can find Nowhere But North at:


Filed under 5 stars, JAFF, Nicole Clarkston, North and South