Monthly Archives: February 2022

Any Fair Interference by Nan Harrison – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re all well despite the devastating news to which the world woke up to today. Maybe reading our regency books will transport us to a happier place! And on that note, I would like to welcome for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton author Nan Harrison, who decided to present us with an excerpt of Any Fair Interference that will reveal who the real Mr. Hurst is. It is funny because he is a character, I am growing fonder of, and I do like to see different portrayals of his character. In this excerpt we get a glimpse of his past and that will make us understand some of his choices. He is not the main character in this book as it is a Darcy/Elizabeth story, but I hope you enjoy reading about him 🙂

Thank you for visiting Ms. Harrison, and best of luck with this new release!


Hi Rita,

Thank you so much for hosting me today. I hope you and your readers will enjoy this excerpt from Any Fair Interference.

***

In his youth, Hurst had thought himself in love with a flaxen-haired girl from an adjoining estate. He and Marianne Winstone had spent sunlit days playing in the woods and meadows between the two manor houses. Their mothers would sit picnicking in the grass as they rambled around the gardens, little Arthur trying to keep up. After his mother died, kind Mrs Winstone had tried to assuage their grief, inviting to the boys to their home again and again, but in due course, the families grew apart. His father went into an alcohol-fuelled decline, frittering away the family’s assets, though the boys were unaware of any changes other than fewer servants and the increasing dilapidation of the manor house and outbuildings.

Over time, Hurst’s feelings towards his playfellow turned to young love, and he thought she loved him in return. He wrote to her from university. Eventually, her replies became less frequent, changing in tone from familiar enthusiasm to stilted politeness. Still, when he was home on holiday from Cambridge, he asked Winstone’s permission to court Marianne. His request was refused on the grounds of his lack of fortune and his family’s declining reputation.

Marianne forgot about him, and Gilbert found that drink sometimes dulled his loneliness. Hurst went back to university and redoubled his efforts, both in the classroom and in society. He attended dances and parties, and even spent a Season in the family’s now-shabby town house, hoping he might find a young lady to share his future hopes and dreams with—but the status of his fortune had preceded him to London. The young ladies he met there were civil, but not welcoming. His thin, handsome face took on a hard, cynical look, his expression sour. He almost always had a drink in his hand, never drinking to the point of intoxication, though he had dozed off on more than one elegant settee. He began to find the habit of small talk annoying and hypocritical, and so spoke little. By his twenty-fifth year, he had gained the reputation of being cross as crabs. Hurst contemplated not marrying at all, but for the sake of the estate, he needed to marry for money. Following a chain of rumours and gossip, he met the elder Mr Bingley, and a deal was struck.

After their marriage, he began to admire Louisa. She had lovely fair skin and large expressive grey eyes. She rarely smiled, but when she did, it was beautiful. She was a graceful dancer. She played the pianoforte beautifully and expressively.

Even though they had been married for almost three years, she did not reveal much of herself around him. She was an enigma. Moreover, her quiet ways intrigued him. They spent nights together when Hurst requested it, but Louisa gave him no indication of real affection. She was respectful, did her duty as a wife, but otherwise did not seek him out.

What he had not known at the time of his marriage was that his wife came with her sister, and it seemed they were inseparable. Moreover, he discovered that when Louisa was around Caroline, she seemed to disappear. Caroline dominated the conversation and Louisa concurred with her out of long habit, often while staring out the window.

Upon their marriage, Hurst had determined they would have a wedding trip; a holiday to get to know one other. Louisa was pretty and pleasant, if perhaps diffident, and he had great hopes for their marriage. New brides were often accompanied by a female relative, so he had not thought it unusual when her sister had accompanied them. He had determined not to spend any of Louisa’s dowry on a lavish trip. That money was for their estate, and their future together. He had rented a modest cottage by the sea in Blackpool, only for a week.

The first inkling of the imminent ordeal occurred shortly after they had embarked, and escalated from there. The carriage was not as comfortable as their father’s. The inns were not up to their standards. Why could they not also hire a private dining room? Blackpool was out of fashion, why were they not going to Brighton? The shops were execrable. The cottage was too small, it was damp, and why was it not directly on the esplanade? Caroline had spent the entire week complaining. Just thinking about it made Hurst pour himself another drink.


NEW book blurb

“To be a fool is one thing, to be a fool for love is something else altogether.”

Shortly after the precipitous departure of Mr Bingley and his party from Netherfield Park, disaster strikes Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s family. Not only is Mr Bennet ill, Longbourn and indeed all of Meryton is struggling through one of England’s worst winters. Elizabeth draws on every strength to care for her family, but faces the alarming prospect of losing both her father and her home. Her lonely struggles lead her to revise her opinion of a certain gentleman, and she finds unexpected solace in dreams of Mr Darcy.

Fitzwilliam Darcy believes he can escape his attraction to Elizabeth by leaving Netherfield. He soon finds himself snowbound at Pemberley, where forced isolation compels him to contemplate his duty, and contrast it with dreams of his heart’s desire. No matter how he considers it, though, he feels he cannot have Elizabeth, the one he truly loves. 

To his great fortune, Darcy’s friends and family–Georgiana, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and the Hursts–feel far differently than he, and soon even the most unlikely allies have come together to help him see that happiness is the highest consideration of all. But will he and Elizabeth find the courage to follow their hearts before it is too late?

You can find Any Fair Interference at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited


NEW author bio

Nan Harrison is a first-time author and happily retired librarian who spent many years in public libraries large and small, urban and rural, digital and analog. She earned degrees in anthropology and library/information science but they are so old they were carved on clay tablets. She raised a family and is thrilled that her children grew up to be people she would want to hang out with anyway. She spends as much time as possible traveling and visits libraries (also thrift shops and used bookstores) wherever she goes. She loves reading, especially any type of genre fiction, and putting a warp on her loom to see what turns out. She still thinks like an anthropologist and believes that libraries are the last bastion of civilization. She is an excellent walker.

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Quills & Quartos is doing a giveaway of an ebook of Any Fair Interference and will announce the winner on the their Facebook page. Comment on this post and let us know what you liked the most about this excerpt 🙂

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Some Natural Importance by Jan Ashton

some natural importance

Some Natural Importance starts out with a very interesting premise, Mr. Bennet, who is very ill at the beginning of the book, forms a very close friendship with Mr. Darcy! But if you think that would make our hero closer to Elizabeth, you couldn’t be more wrong. With Mr. Darcy constantly in her father’s company, and replacing her role as his biggest companion, Elizabeth starts to feel jealous of Mr. Darcy and resent his presence. Her jealousy is the antagonist in the beginning of the story, but as time progresses, Elizabeth starts feeling for Mr. Darcy what he felt for her all along: a huge attraction and curiosity towards someone who is intriguing and appealing.

I found the voice of Some Natural Importance very interesting, as we are mainly privy to the male’s point of view and that is something I’ve come to realize Jan Ashton is an expert at. All the scenes and dialogues with male characters are believable and give us a deep knowledge about these characters that is not common to see in JAFF books. It is almost as if the reader is transported into a forbidden world that takes place behind closed studio doors while gentleman smoke cigars and discuss business. We are often forced to remain in the parlor with the ladies, so I always love it when books give me the opportunity to see the gentlemen in their natural habitat. One of the biggest surprises for me in this Some Natural Importance was Mr. Hurst’s character, and I have only gained a different perspective of him because of the angle Ms. Ashton used in this book. I never thought I would consider his character interesting, but I did, and that is all because of the behind the scenes we see him at with Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Bennet’s arc was beautiful and emotive, and it was my favorite aspect of the book. I loved to see him become a father to Mr. Darcy and to come up with a plan that ensured his family’s happiness. He was true to himself, still sarcastic and reserved, but also a caring father who was able to see way before everyone else what would constitute the happiness of his favorite daughter and the son he wished he could have had. He was annoying at times, and I wanted to shake him and make him talk to Elizabeth about everything that was going on in his head, but I did come to love him and even cried over him.

I also loved the way this premise affected Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s love story; I believe the author took them into a path that is not often explored but that allowed strong feelings to be built between them.

While I loved navigating through this story with these characters, I did feel many dialogues could have been removed as they didn’t add much to the story, especially the ones where Mr. Darcy’s odious family members were present, as they became somewhat repetitive in my perspective.

Overall, I loved listening to the audiobook of Some Natural Importance, it is a story that presents readers with new and meaningful relationships, that evokes feelings of trust and hope and I highly recommend it.  

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

David Pikering was the perfect narrator for Some Natural Importance! He is my favorite male narrator and I always love to hear him interpret male characters because he can give each one of them character and distinction. He brings male characters to life and demonstrates how all of them are important to make the story work. Because male characters and dialogues are predominant in this story, Pikering was the perfect choice! I highly recommend the audiobook version.

 

You can find Some Natural Importance at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited

and Audible

 

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Undoing by L.L. Diamond

undoing4 stars

Undoing is certainly an off canon book with many changes occurring in the lives of the characters of Pride and Prejudice before the story even begins, and it wouldn’t usually be the type of book I would choose to read, but I confess that the introductory chapters are very appealing and captured my attention to the point I couldn’t stop listening to the audiobook.

The premise is so different from canon that you’ll have to read it to know how things will play out, but let me tell you that even though this is not the type of story I usually like, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I ended up liking it. The book was engaging and entertaining, and when I started reading it, I couldn’t stop.

The off canon scenario was interesting because the reader will have the opportunity to witness Darcy and Elizabeth’s romance to grow in a very different situation and I did enjoy the innovation on this plot, even if I truly disliked the Duke as a character. I did, however, like other secondary characters in the story such as Mr. Darcy senior who was a truly a likable and interesting person. I loved to see how he was relevant in shaping the man Mr. Darcy would become, and how he supported Elizabeth.

In Undoing the main characters face a very difficult dilemma and the only quibble I had with the book is that I would expect the characters to have more internal struggles considering the situation they were in, and the actions they decided to take. I understand how they got themselves involved in the situation they found themselves at, but afterwards I admit I would expect more regret from Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.

Nevertheless, it was remarkable to see how these characters were able to build a relationship and fight for their HEA. Readers who enjoy stories where Mr. Darcy’s family supports his relationship with Elizabeth Bennet are bound to love this one as it appears everyone who surrounds the couple is cheering for them 😊

Undoing is an off canon book that I recommend to readers who are not afraid to see Elizabeth and Darcy develop a relationship in an unusual manner.

 

Audiobook Narration:

Jane Level

Jane Bennet’s Level

Stevie Zimmerman is one of my favorite narrators, and she has once more delivered a quality job, however, I would have liked to see a bit more differentiation in the characters as, for example, Jane was too similar to Georgiana’s character in the tone and way of speaking. Nevertheless, the audiobook is a good one and I do recommend it.

You can find Undoing at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited and Audible

 

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Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Along for the Ride by Alix James

Along for the Ride4 stars

Alix James has become one of my go to authors when I need a short story to read. Her writing style is really good and she is always able to pen down an absorbing and romantic story that captivates me for an entire afternoon.

While Along for the Ride was not as intense as most of her other novellas, it was still a very fun and charming short story.

While Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam are visiting Rosings Park, the Colonel requests his cousin to do him a favor that will force him and Elizabeth to interact much more frequently, and in a more friendly manner. This will obviously create many dialogues between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth where they will discover how much they have in common, how much fun they have together, and where the reader is privy to exciting flirtations between them.

I had a great time reading this novella, and even though the ending seemed a little rushed, it was a very pleasant and agreeable story to read with a very endearing relationship growing between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. In this story, their relationship grows based on witticisms and intelligent flirtations, which is always a winning solution in my perspective.

Along for the Ride is a fun story with a fluid writing style that grabs the reader’s attention during the entire story, and I recommend it to those who want a cozy afternoon by the fire with a pleasant story to keep them company.

You can find Along for the Ride at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

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Jane and the Year Without a Summer by Stephanie Barron

4.5 stars

Jane and the Year Without Summer is the 14th book of the Being a Jane Austen Mystery series which mixes Jane Austen’s real-life events with fictional mysteries the author keeps facing and solving.

This story takes place in 1816 when our dear author travelled with her sister Cassandra to Cheltenham Spa in Gloucestershire in an effort to improve her decaying health. While lodged at Mrs. Potter’s boardinghouse, they meet several interesting characters whose lives will prompt Jane into another exciting mystery.

As in Stephanie Barron’s previous books I found the story engaging and hard to put down once the triggering events take place. This particular volume has mystery, humour and even some romance, which was my favorite part of the book.

 

What I particularly loved about it:

Real life events – In Jane and the Year Without a Summer, real events in Jane life, but also major events that took place in that time period find their way into the story in a smooth manner, and I love the fact that as we read this story we get a chance to learn more in an interesting and unknowingly manner. Stephanie Barron has the ability to bring facts into the story in a seemingly fashion and without causing any disruption to the story. The historical elements are perfectly articulated with the fiction history we’re following, and that brings added value to the narrative without affecting its pace.

Raphael West – I loved getting to know this character in Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas and I was very happy to see him return in this book. His presence brought constancy and security to Jane’s character, and I love how balanced Mr. West is. In fact, I wish he had played a bigger part in the story and helped more in Jane’s investigations. This might have been the last time we saw him, but deep down, I hope he will find his way back to Jane in the next novel of the series. 

Jane’s romance – We know much about Jane’s life but we don’t know everything that transpired while she lived, and I was very happy to see that she got a chance to have a beautiful romance in her life that spanned across several novels. In Jane and the Year Without a Summer her romance is simultaneously tender, beautiful, and sad because we know she won’t live much longer. I particularly liked seeing the P&P references in her own love story and the maturity with which the characters feelings were handled.

 

What I wasn’t so fond of:

Slow beginning – While the story was very engaging and unputdownable after the triggering events took place, I found the story too slow paced until that moment. It is true that I found the Garthwaite’s antics funny and even grew tender feelings for Thucydides, but I would have preferred to have had a faster pace in the beginning of the story and for the characters build to occur simultaneously with the mystery unravelling.

 

Summing up, Jane and The Year Without a Summer is a well written mystery that will bring readers closer to Jane Austen and wishing the series stops following real events and finishes with a fictional ending for our heroine. It is an engrossing story and I recommend it to all readers who love Jane Austen.

 

You can find Jane and the Year Without a Summer at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible


Francine Mathews was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written twenty-five books, including five novels in the Merry Folger series (Death in the Off-Season, Death in Rough Water, Death in a Mood Indigo, Death in a Cold Hard Light, and Death on Nantucket) as well as the nationally bestselling Being a Jane Austen mystery series, which she writes under the penname, Stephanie Barron. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | BOOKBUB |

GOODREADS


 

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Bitter Mournings by Linda Gonschior- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re having a wonderful week with plenty of time to read as today I bring to you another enticing excerpt which will probably increase your TBR 🙂

The excerpt we’re sharing today is from chapter five of Bitter Mournings, Linda Gonschior’s latest book which has one detail I usually do not like (Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth married somebody else first), and another one I absolutely love:  the characters are 10 years older then in P&P as the story is set in 1821. What about you? Do you usually like these tropes?

I am curious to see which one will prevail, but something tells me it is the trope I love the most!

I would like to thank Q&Q for inviting me to participate in this tour, and for Linda Gonschior, not only for writing this book, but for visiting this blog once more 🙂

Thank you all, and best of luck with this new release!


Thank you, Rita! I am excited to return to From Pemberley to Milton and appreciate this opportunity to showcase my first book with Quills and Quartos. 

Bitter Mournings is a Regency story, set ten years after Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Like the original, Darcy is not interested in finding a wife amongst the local ladies. In fact, he is not interested in finding a wife at all. Unlike the original, he has been there, done that, and has accepted that there is no longer any need for him to marry. In this excerpt, Darcy’s resolve is tested as a certain lady invades his thoughts, whether awake or asleep.

Ten years has wrought many changes, but some things remain the same: curiosity and attraction. Maturity and experience has tempered the pride and the prejudice to less offensive levels. 

I hope you enjoy this little peek into Darcy’s inner turmoil, and the beginnings of recognising where the true value lies in life.

Excerpt from Chapter 5

Darcy awoke in confusion. His mind was foggy as he tried to grasp what was reality and what was a dream.

He glanced around the darkened room, taking a mental inventory of the contents. Everything was as it should be, and Darcy breathed a small sigh of relief. At the same time, he was left with a vague sense of emptiness.

Impatiently, he threw off the coverlet and left his warm bed. The window alcove was cold, so wrapping his robe closely around him, Darcy attempted a study of the garden below.

The sun was just beginning to cast a glow in the sky, the lawn still enshrouded in black shadows.

Darcy’s attention wandered, his mind again drawn towards deciphering the images from his dream. He could not remember how long it had been since he had experienced a pleasant one. So much had happened in the last few years. The deaths of his wife and sister weighed heavily upon him, and there was little left in life to enjoy.

Were it not for Bingley and his two children—Georgiana’s children—Darcy believed the despair would have overwhelmed him. With no issue of his own, the future of Pemberley would fall to his nephew. Darcy reflected on his marriage, a union of convenience that had ironically borne no fruit.

Yet, the strange events of his dream intruded on the orderly arrangement Darcy had formulated for himself. In it, he had been happily settled in the comforts of Pemberley, children at his feet, and a wife nearby. The clarity of the images was beginning to fade, and he could not remember precisely what the woman was doing, but he could still see her hands, moving busily with a needle and thread.

He closed his eyes, and her face was there before him, every feature clear and all too familiar.

Darcy sighed. There would be no more sleep for him. He considered ringing for his man to draw a bath. Perhaps that might soothe his tumult of feelings. The early hour gave him pause, however. Coming to a decision, he quickly dressed and quietly made his way downstairs and out of the house. The morning light was not strong, but the darkness of the paths provided concealment from any curious eyes of the awakening household.

The coolness in the shadows worked their magic, eventually restoring Darcy’s peace of mind sufficiently to be ready to return to the house.

***

The afternoon proved tedious. Darcy had long since given up on the book he had selected to distract himself. His mind was elsewhere. He let his thoughts dwell on the residents of Longbourn.

At every opportunity, he had encouraged his friend to engage in conversation with the lively Mrs Matthews. Both her wit and wisdom would illustrate to Bingley the great advantages to moving beyond his current stagnant state. There were signs that leaving Derbyshire was already having the desired effect. Bingley’s step seemed lighter, his shoulders less hunched. Even his eyes seemed to brighten when Darcy spoke of the ladies from Longbourn.

So why does this not bring me as much satisfaction as it should? Is this not exactly what I hoped would happen?

The answer to that was both yes and no. Yes, Bingley deserved to be happy again. Grief had ruled for too long. There was no disrespect to Georgiana’s memory in his seeking joy and contentment.

However, in spite of his words the previous evening, there was still a danger that Bingley would revert to his old habit of quickly forming attachments to a pretty face without any thought further than the moment. It was not that Darcy objected to Mrs Matthews. On the contrary, he considered her very respectable and even a good match for his friend had the circumstances been different.

Mrs Matthews was intelligent, attractive, and pleasant company. She had experience with raising children and could offer advice in that respect. Bright and cheerful, she was not to be underestimated in conversation, for her wit was sharp and her eyes keen.

It seemed a cruel twist of fate that just as Bingley had agreed to make an effort to return to social functions, the first people they should meet would prove to be acceptable and delightful in many ways. It was unfortunate, however, that the family included a newly widowed mother and a spinster sister. This could only make both gentlemen and their fortunes more alluring than ever.

Darcy felt it was too soon for Bingley to be thinking of anything more lasting than social niceties, and he had been pleased to hear his friend confirm those feelings. London would be their next destination, and there would be no shortage of eligible ladies to vie for his attention. Bingley’s confidence would be high by the time they were ready to leave Netherfield and would hold him in good stead to face the onslaught in town.

With that thought, Darcy was reminded of the determination such hopefuls employed. The memories were almost enough for him to reconsider removing to London. However, years of experience had sharpened his skill in keeping overenthusiastic contenders at bay. Even after such a lengthy absence, Darcy had no doubt of his own success in that regard. He could also count on his steadfast resolve to avoid any attachment.

Unexpectedly, an image rose in his mind, one he recognised from the dream that had so disturbed him early that morning. Startled by the sudden intrusion, Darcy abruptly left his chair and crossed the room, as if to put as much distance as possible between himself and the memory. The brandy decanter was close at hand—the work of a moment to fill a glass and lift it to his lips.

He nearly dropped it when the door was flung open, and Bingley tumbled through the opening with a child under one arm and another hanging onto his leg.

Anne struggled free from her father’s grasp, and giggling, she ran around the room until Darcy reached out a hand to stop her.

“Young lady,” he sternly said with a frown, “what is the rule you have broken?”

She blinked, lowered her head in thought, and looked up cautiously. “No running at Pemmerly?” Before Darcy could nod his approval of her answer, the little girl added with a grin and swirl of her skirt, “Am not at Pemmerly.”

“That is not the point,” Darcy immediately countered, shaking a finger at her. “No running!”

Anne considered his words, her brow furrowed in serious study. “No running?”

He bent down to her level and smoothed her untidy hair. “A proper lady does not behave in such an unruly fashion.”

Throwing her arms about his neck, she whispered into his ear. “Uncle Fizzwilly, I like running. Do not want to be a lady.”

Darcy sighed, hugging the child close. 


NEW book blurb

The deaths of his wife and sister weighed heavily upon him, and there was little left in life to enjoy…

IT IS SUMMER’S END OF 1821 when the ladies of Longbourn learn that Netherfield Park has been let at last, to two wealthy young widowers. The news is elating to Mrs Bennet, who has never given up hope that her beautiful eldest daughter Jane will one day marry a rich gentleman. For the former Miss Elizabeth Bennet—now Mrs Matthews—the news is less exciting. A widow herself, she is more interested in caring for her two young children and settling her recently widowed mother into a new home than with thoughts of husbands.

FITZWILLIAM DARCY HARBOURS NO THOUGHTS of acquiring a wife, only entering into the society of Hertfordshire on behalf of his friend. Yet, the more he sees of Mrs Elizabeth Matthews, the more she draws his eye and the more his dreams of Pemberley becoming a house of warmth and laughter and love prick at his mind.

BUT A LIFE LIVED IN THE SHADOWS of grief has become too comfortable for them both. Falling in love will require both Darcy and Elizabeth to recover their lost hopes, reignite long-forgotten dreams, and regain the courage to give their hearts to one another.

Bitter Mournings is a Pride and Prejudice variation set in England during the Regency Era.

You can find Bitter Mournings at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited

Copy of Linda Gonschior_Bitter Mournings_eBook


NEW author bio

Linda Gonschior has entertained the art of writing since elementary school but never allowed it to come to fruition until Pride & Prejudice lured her into deeper exploration of characters, relationships and ‘what ifs’. Writing is not the breadwinner, however, as she has a day job and many other interests that compete for attention and time. Still, she has managed to squeeze in several dozen stories–long and short–and there are many more in the ‘incomplete’ folder on the computer. As retirement looms on the horizon, some may be dusted off to evaluate their potential to entertain those who share a fondness for Jane Austen’s characters and don’t mind straying a little off the beaten path.

Amongst her accomplishments Linda counts raising a son, stage managing live theatre productions, flower gardening, and website administration, but not netting purses or painting screens.

Copy of LindaGonschior


Quills & Quartos is doing a giveaway of an ebook of Bitter Mournings and will announce the winner at the end of February (February 25) on the Q&Q Facebook page. Comment on this post and let us know what you liked the most about this excerpt 🙂

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Threads of Magic by Monica Fairview

Threads of Magic4.5 stars

Dangerous Magic was one of the best books I read last year and ever since finishing it, I’ve been eagerly waiting for volume 2 to come out, so I was very excited to read Threads of Magic this week. The expectations for this story were very high and Monica Fairview did not disappoint by offering us another page turner story.

In Threads of Magic, we accompany the Darcy’s as they continue in their battle against Napolean’s Mages, but also in their battle against internal forces as some of the Academy Mages continue to refuse giving credit where it is due.

The writing style in this book is exquisite, fluid, and vivid. Monica Fairview was able to once more drag me into the story and make me live every moment with her characters, especially with Elizabeth whose POV the reader is privy to, and this is the selling feature of this book in my opinion. The reader is not simply being told what is happening, the reader is experiencing what is happening because the writing style is extremely engaging. With this book Fairview has proven once more to master the art of “showing, not telling”.

One of the aspects I enjoyed the most in Dangerous Magic was getting to know the different types of Mages that existed in the Academy and how they could all be useful in a war, so it is only natural that I loved to get to know the French Mage that had a special appearance in this book, and his special Talent. I am looking forward to the next story to see if someone else will learn his Talent and if that will give the English forces the upper hand over the French.

I also enjoyed Bingley’s storyline, even if I didn’t exactly understand some of Caroline’s attitudes. Maybe we will learn more about those and the character itself in the next volume. She is a character that I liked having around in the first book and would like to see having a bigger role in the next one.

I’ve been mentioning the next volume several times, and that is because in Threads of Magic we are certain a new volume must come out, and even if this is not exactly a quibble, I did feel this story was something in between, as it didn’t have the growing intensity of the first volume, nor did it give a closure to the story.  

While in the first book we see Darcy and Elizabeth falling in love with one another, on this one we see them getting through the hardships of married life, especially with the additional conditions they must face. It was interesting to see how each of them reacted to different situations and how much still needs to be worked on. I am curious to see how their relationship will evolve in the next volume.

In short, Threads of Magic is a wonderful book with an engaging story and writing style that I highly recommend to everyone who loves Pride & Prejudice.

 

You can find Threads of Magic at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited

 

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Fitzwilliam Darcy, Man of Fortune by Jennifer Joy

fitzwilliam darcy man of fortune

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Man of Fortune is another incredible story that takes the Pride and Prejudice characters in an amazing adventure.

In this book Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves aboard a pirate ship where they will meet several characters that will change their lives forever. This novel has romance, mystery and adventure, and if there is one author who can bring these three elements in one single book flawlessly, it is Jennifer Joy, so get ready because you will be taken in a hell of a ride.

I really liked the secondary characters in this book and their interactions with the main characters, but I mostly loved how Jennifer Joy brought all elements of the story together. Her writing was vivid and exciting, and I couldn’t stop listening to the audiobook for most of the first part of the book because I wanted to know how the story would progress, which were the characters motivations, and how they would fit into the regency world. However, I felt the book was a little unbalanced, with the excitement of the story getting a little tamer in the last part of the story, and that is the only reason why this is not a 5 star read for me.

I’ve mentioned before that I liked the secondary characters, but I must say I loved the fact that we do have more romances in the novel apart from Elizabeth and Darcy. Col. Fitzwilliam’s love story, for example, was an event that was always in the background of the book but that kept me glued to it. I wanted to know how events would turn out for our colonel, and that was definitely one of the reasons why I loved this book as much as I did.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Man of Fortune requires an open mind because some events may seem hard to believe, but Jennifer Joy’s writing is capable of making the reader forget about the plausibility of events and focusing only on the characters, their dialogues and feelings. This is an impressive feature that I’ve noticed in her previous books, but that was especially true in this one.

Summing up, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Man of Fortune is another exciting story penned by one of the best mystery writers in JAFF and should not be missed by those who love a little adventure at the hands of Darcy and Elizabeth.

 

Audiobook Narration:

Jane Level

Jane Bennet’s Level

Stevie Zimmerman is an excellent narrator, and one of my favorites, however, I believe she could have worked a little better on the accents in this story. The Portuguese character, for example, had an accent that is not at all the Portuguese accent, so I confess I was a little disappointed with that. This may not be relevant to all listeners, but as a Portuguese listener, I was particularly affected by it, therefore, for me this narration is at Jane Bennet’s level.

You can find Fitzwilliam Darcy, Man of Fortune at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited and Audible

 

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Filed under JAFF, Persuasion