Monthly Archives: April 2022

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Clsudia Grat 20225 stars

 

The Murder of Mr. Wickham brings characters from all 6 Jane Austen’s novels to Donwell Abbey for a house party, but the merriment is short lived as Mr. Wickham arrives unexpectedly and is forced to take shelter there due to the inclement weather.

We soon realize that where Mr. Wickham goes, trouble follows. Throughout his life he has made many enemies, and curiously enough, appears to have a connection with most of the guests at the Abbey, but he is also able to antagonize even the people who had no connection to him, so shortly after arriving at the Knightley’s house, he is murdered. The guests are forbidden to leave the house until the culprit is identified because any of them could have done it, and it is in this setting the narrative will take place.

The magistrate in this case is none other than Frank Churchill, but the real investigation will be done and brought to the reader through the eyes of Jonathan Darcy and Miss Tilney, the two young and curious people in the house who discover a mutual passion in the investigation of the events.

I had never read anything from this author before so I was very curious as to how this book would play out, but I can tell you already that I will certainly be buying some of the authors YA books because not only I love that genre but was obviously very pleased with her writing style. The Murder of Mr. Wickham is written in an articulate and enticing manner, the author subtly added vital information to further the plot without making it obvious who might or might not have committed the crime, and that, along with the ability to link the stories of all characters with Mr. Wickham and the Knightley’s, made this an engaging read.

The pace of the book is splendid with new events taking place at the right time to move the story forward, and dialogues and scenes are created to build up the characters personalities in a “show don’t tell” fashion.

I loved the fact that we had characters from all Jane Austen’s books in this story and that we got to experience these events from the point of view of each couple. It is no easy task to give them all the same relevance and to blend them all so well in one single book, but this was masterfully done by Claudia Gray.

I also loved how all characters were real and relatable. Instead of creating a fairy tale romance, Claudia Gray demonstrated how every person, and every couple, have their own problems which may be accentuated at times due to certain events. In The Murder of Mr. Wickham all couples face a difficult time in their life and their personalities will be the main enemies they’ll have to fight with. Some of them will have to work on their openness, most on their communication, some on their pride (no, it’s not Mr. Darcy), others will have to overcome their prejudices (not Elizabeth either) and contemplate what the meaning of their beliefs really is, and some will just have to deal with the trauma that their lives have brought them through the years. Every problem these couples will have to work on was extremely personalized and related not only with their personalities but also the life events that have shaped them into the people they are, this means that all stories and problematics feel real to the reader. I loved to witness these couples go through these marital problems, but also to see them overcome these issues together and through the strength of their love for one another.

I absolutely adored the original characters of Jonathan Darcy and Miss Tilney. They do have some similarities with their parents, but are mostly different people with intriguing personalities, especially Jonathan Darcy who is not the usual romantic hero but whom I’ve grown to love (he kind of reminded me of Sheldon Cooper, which I found very amusing).

The entire book is extremely well written and thoughtfully planned. It is even hard to specify what I loved about it because I loved everything in it. There is a coherency in the quality of The Murder of Mr. Wickham that made me want to read it non-stop and I believe that will happen to every reader who picks it up, so I highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys a good novel.

Summing up, The Murder of Mr. Wickham is a very well written novel which has mystery, well build characters and approaches issues in a realistic manner that make it an unputdownable book. I highly recommend it!

 

You can find The Murder of Mr. Wickham at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible


Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs. 

 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

 


 

The Murder of Mr. Wickham Twitter Book Tour Announcement

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Giveaway Winners Announcement

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend! I didn’t do as much as I would have liked to but tomorrow is a national holiday so I’ll have a little more time do dedicate to my personal projects, and also to this blog which is falling a little behind with all the things happening in my life 🙂

Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the book I’m currently reading to be able to bring you a new review tomorrow evening, but for today I would like to announce the winners of a couple of giveaways I’ve hosted here at From Pemberley to Milton. I was very lucky to have a couple of signed paperbacks from some of my favourite authors, so I decided to give them away. Because the giveaway was only for E.U countries, I’ve also added the ebook copies for international readers to be able to participate, so without further ado, the giveaway winners are:

President Darcy Signed Paperback

*** Rellaenthia ***

President Darcy Ebook

*** Colleen ***

The Long Journey Home Signed Paperback

*** Charlotte ***

The Long Journey Home Ebook

*** Kelly Miller***

I would like to ask the winners to please send me your contacts to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that the prizes may be sent to you.

Happy Reading everyone!

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The Matchmaker by Christie Capps

the matchmaker3.5 stars

I am a huge fan of Christie Capps novellas, and I still remember reading Mr. Darcy’s Bad Day shortly after it came out and talking about how I had found another new incredible author (little did I know she was the pen name of a well renown author), so I was super happy when I received The Matchmaker in the mail.

As all Christie Capps novellas, this is a sweet story that can be read in a couple of hours, which means I read it in one single sitting. In this story, Darcy and Georgiana are headed for Pemberley when they experience a carriage problem that forces them to stop at an inn while they wait for repairs. It is there that Miss Darcy makes the acquaintance of two other guests at the inn, Jane and Elizabeth Bennet, and starts thinking how well suited these ladies would be for her two guardians, but she is under the impression Jane would be perfect for Darcy and Elizabeth for Richard. You can already tell she isn’t very good at matchmaking can’t you?

The story progresses, and apart from the Colonel, Mr. Bingley and his sisters also join the other guests at the inn…you can see where this is going, right? This inn will be filled with characters from Pride and Prejudice, and the coziness of the setting along with all the dialogues and scenes that keep occurring make this a very fast paced and entertaining novel.

The Matchmaker is sweet, funny and well written, but I believe it was my least favourite novella from Christie Capps because of the tardiness and few Darcy/Elizabeth moments we have in it. In these short stories, I am always eager to see plenty of Darcy and Elizabeth, and with all the events taking place in this story we couldn’t have as much page time dedicated to these characters as I would have liked. Also, even if I loved the other romance in the book, the rescue scene and everything that followed was truly romantic, it also felt too sudden for me. I wish these events could have had more page time, or that maybe we could have two different novellas, each one dedicated to each couple.

Overall, this short story is a satisfying read and even if I’ve read other Christie Capps novellas I enjoyed more, I still recommend it to the busy reader with little time to escape this crazy world we live in. 

You can find The Matchmaker at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited

and Audible

 

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The Long Journey Home by J.Dawn King – Review & Giveaway

The Long Journey Home4 stars

After a heated argument with Mr. Darcy during the Netherfield Ball, Elizabeth Bennet takes refuge in the house’s gardens, however the gentleman is eager to prove her wrong, so he follows her to continue their debate. It is at moment that they are mistaken for Mr. Bingley and his sister and are kidnapped and taken aboard a ship which is headed to the United States of America. This will be just the beginning of a long journey this couple will take to make their way back home. They will travel to a foreign country, meet good and evil people, be helped and help those in need in return, but above all, discover true love and create friendships that will last a lifetime.

The initial chapters of this book are pure perfection, and I honestly couldn’t stop reading it because I wanted see which new adventures would befall these characters. Darcy and Elizabeth will spend a lot of time together in The Long Journey Home and that will allow them to dismiss their prejudices and learn the true character of one another, which will obviously make them fall in love with each other. The time Darcy and Elizabeth will spend under duress will also bring them together to fight whatever obstacles may come into their way. I loved not only to witness their dialogues and to see them discover a hidden part of one another, but also to see them form a companionship that could be felt without the need for words. I have, however, also felt that Elizabeth’s love for Darcy was too sudden. I understand they went through hardships together, and that can shape dramatically people’s feelings, but I would have preferred to see her take more time to get to know Mr. Darcy before she felt madly in love with him in a matter of days.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters J. Dawn Kind developed in this book and how they were relevant for Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship to grow. I was surprised to find that none of the known secondary characters from P&P make an appearance during most of the book, but I admit I preferred the original characters the author created. Because we have original co-adjuvant characters, their interventions are more focused on Darcy and Elizabeth and therefore we have more page time dedicated to them instead of having those secondary characters stealing page time from our dear couple. I dislike books with page filler dialogues and scenes, and in The Long Journey Home that is certainly not an issue as all scenes are relevant for either the story or character development.

The entire reason which led the couple to be abducted wasn’t as believable as I would have liked, and the resolution to all the problems they faced seemed to be quite easy to achieve, but even if I would have preferred a more solid background story, I am sure that many readers will absolutely love this low angst story.

The Long Journey Home is a fast paced, low angst romance which readers will easily devour. It is fool of adventures, romance, some humor and characters who will warm readers hearts.  I recommend it to readers who enjoy low angst stories where Darcy and Elizabeth join forces early in the book to achieve a common goal 😊

 

You can find The Long Journey Home at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited

and Audible


NEW giveaaway time

I happen to have 2 signed copies of The Long Journey Home, because I already had one when I received a second copy with my 2021 JAFF Get Together event goodie bag, so I thought this would be a good time to give it away to a reader who would be interested in getting a paperback copy.

If you’d like to have it, let me know in the comments until the 23rd of April as I’ll be announcing the randomly chosen winner on the 24th. Unfortunately, as posting has become a little too difficult to countries outside of the EU, I can only send the signed paperback to EU residents (it’s still possible for UK residents too), so I’ll be also offering an ebook copy of The Long Journey Home to an international reader. All you need to do is tell me you’d like to enter, if you’re eligible for the ebook or paperback, and of course, what you think about the book’s story 😊

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Maria Bertram’s Daughter by Lucy Knight – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Just the other day during my book club meeting one of my friends asked me if I could recommend any Mansfield Park variations or sequels, so I couldn’t be happier to just a few days later share with her, and all of you, an excerpt of Maria Bertram’s Daughter which is a Mansfield Park sequel about to be released by Meryton Press.

The author of this novel is Lucy Knight, and this is the first time she is visiting From Pemberley to Milton, so I would love it if you could all make her feel welcomed here 🙂 I know that just like me, you all appreciate new authors bringing more JAFF into our lives:)

Thank you for visiting Ms. Knight, may this be the first of many visits 🙂


Thank you, Rita, for hosting me on my blog tour! I attach an exclusive excerpt which occurs shortly after my heroine Dorothea’s arrival at Mansfield Park (where, as I am sure you are aware, she was forbidden to set foot). I hope your readers will get a flavour of what to expect and perhaps be left wanting to read on…

***

She opened a door and passed through a small, empty, silent antechamber. A tiny sound in the corner turned out to be caused by a small maid entering through the servants’ door, a feather duster in her hand.

She turned to go at the sight of someone in the room, but Dorothea stopped her.

“Please, where is the morning room?”

The little maid gestured with her feathered wand. She seemed too frightened to speak, and Dorothea’s heart went out to the little mite who looked no older than twelve.

“Thank you,” she said gently and passed through the door indicated.

An elderly lady in blue was reclining on a long sofa, a pug on her lap that gazed pathetically at Dorothea from its round eyes; a younger woman by her side was engaged with some sewing. The younger woman also gazed at Dorothea with just a trace of hostility. Dorothea’s anxiety increased.

“My dear,” said the lady in blue, who was no doubt Lady Bertram, “sit here where I can look at you.”

Dorothea sat to be inspected.

“Yes, I can see the Bertram blood in you. We always were considered a very handsome family. This young lady is Susan Price, who is sister to Fanny. I cannot do without her.”

The young lady was, Dorothea observed, a larger, fatter, younger and more sharp-featured version of Fanny. When she smiled at Dorothea, it did not reach her eyes.

“You have met nearly all the family now, I think,” Lady Bertram continued. “You are a surprise to most of them. Not to me, of course. I always knew of your existence. To be sure, I would have visited had you not been such a dreadfully great distance away.” She and Pug sighed. “Sir Thomas always meant the best for you, my dear. To be sure, you were always in our thoughts.”

Dorothea thought of her dreary young life and wondered what picture they had formed of her. She doubted they had often thought of her except on the rare occasions when Sir Thomas had been obliged to pay visits.

“And see how well you have turned out. Has she not, Susan? Quite the beauty. I am so happy that I lent you my shawl. It is very becoming on you.”

“She resembles the young Miss Mary Crawford, to my mind,” replied Susan, unable to keep irritation out of her voice.

Lady Bertram did not like this line of thought, so she turned the conversation. “Tom will be joining us at dinner this evening, I think. You will like Tom. Tom is very agreeable, is he not, Pug?”

Dorothea was wondering what to say in reply to this when a footman came in to announce Mrs Edmund Bertram.

Fanny came in, all smiles and greetings with an especially kind word for Dorothea, hoping she had slept well and that she had recovered all her spirits.

“Of course she has slept well,” remarked Lady Bertram. “Everyone sleeps well at Mansfield.”

“Particularly so when they are in one of the best guest rooms,” added Susan with a touch of malice.

Dorothea was able to assure Fanny that she had slept so well that she had missed breakfast, that she felt fully recovered, and that she was extremely grateful for all the kindness she was being shown.

“Do you not think, Fanny,” said Lady Bertram, “that Dorothea would look well in pink? I wish her to make a long stay with us. It seems to me it would be a pleasure to make her some dresses while she is here. Susan is wonderful when it comes to cutting the patterns; I think we would all enjoy it. What do you say, Dorothea?”


NEW book blurb

She could be mistress of Mansfield Park. But is that what she wants?

An unwanted child—conceived in circumstances her mother would rather forget—Dorothea Henrietta Rose grows up solitary and neglected with her dissatisfied mother and unpleasant great-aunt Norris. Raised without the knowledge that her mother is her mother or that their occasional visitor, Sir Thomas Bertram, is her grandfather, she is forbidden ever to set foot in Mansfield Park.

Dorothea hopes for a happier life when sent away to school, but her difficulties are not over. She is obliged to make her way in the world as a governess and, thus, encounters human frailty, hypocrisy, good, and evil in her travels throughout England.

She meets the Crawfords—Henry and Mary (now Lady Drumroth)—and inevitably does the one thing she must not do: unwillingly makes herself known to the inhabitants of Mansfield Park.

You can find Maria Bertram’s Daughter at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

MBD_wrap cover S


NEW author bio

Lucy Knight grew up in Whitby, North Yorkshire, now a tourist town but until recently a small and historic port which was known for shipbuilding, fishing (including whaling) and having an important Abbey. During her life she has moved around a great deal both in England and on the continent of Europe; she now lives in a tiny hamlet lost in the French countryside with two rescue dogs, two rescue chickens, an unknown number of bees and eight sheep. 

Lucy has two children and three grandchildren, all of whom live in England.

Lucy has only recently begun to write historical fiction but she enjoys it so much she can’t stop! Her background is in comedy and drama, so there will always be some jokes and plenty of dialogue. 

When she is not writing, Lucy teaches English and French, and she love to take long walks with her dogs during which she revels in the birds, butterflies, trees and flowers which are so abundant in her part of France.

helen and dogs

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Contact Information

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lucywritesjaff/

Twitter @Satureja2 

Blog http://eccentricinfrance.blogspot.com/

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Don’t forget to check the other blogs for more information on Maria Bertram’s Daughter 🙂 

April 11 My Jane Austen Book Club

April 12 So little time…

April 13 Babblings of a Bookworm

April 14 From Pemberley to Milton

April 15 Austenesque Reviews

April 16 The Literary Assistant

April 18 My Vices and Weaknesses

MBD BTB Horz M


Meryton Press is giving away 6 eBooks of Maria Bertram’s Daughter, to enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment in this blog and click on the following Raffle link.

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

A Match Made at Matlock

a match made at matlock5 stars

In A Match Made at Matlock Lord Saye realizes he is about to lose the only woman who has ever tempted him to marry, so he decides to organize a house party to show her there is no one better then him to give her a life full of joy and excitement. He invites several guests to stay at Matlock and organizes the most amusing entertainments, starting with a most unusual dinner and ending up with a masquerade ball. As all characters interact in this house party, we start seeing several couples emerging, namely Lord Saye and Miss Goddard, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Miss Bentley, Mr. Anderson and Miss Hawridge, and of course the engaged couple Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, which means there is a couple and a story for everyone’s tastes in this book.

One of my favorite aspects about A Match Made at Matlock was the cohesion the authors were able to create between all sub plots. There are several couples in this book with different dynamics which makes this story very fast paced and entertaining, but their romances are not isolated stories as all characters contribute to the development of several romances that are not their own. We see many of these characters providing guidance and counseling other people, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of their partners, contributing to the couple’s interactions, and even creating some jealousy among their fellow house guests.

I also loved the setting of the book because having all characters  participating in different activities in the same house gave a coziness to the story that made me want to join all these people at the house party. I truly wanted to be there with them and have fun with all their different personalities. Speaking of which, you couldn’t find a more diverse set of personalities elsewhere, and this is another appeal of this book. In it you can find characters and love stories for literally everyone’s tastes.  

My favorite couple was Lord Saye and Miss Goddard because even though Lord Saye is definitely not someone I would like to marry, he is incredibly fun and irresistible! He made me laugh over and over again but was also able to surprise me by showing Miss Goddard a seriousness I didn’t believe existed. Lord Saye is a character I’ve been loving to see in Amy D’Orazio’s books and was certainly one of the selling points of this story for me! I love his spontaneity, his apparent callousness, his hidden kindness and his unpredictable remarks and actions.

I also loved Darcy and Elizabeth’s story and how it progressed in A Match Made at Matlock. One would think that because they are already engaged in the beginning of the book their story wouldn’t be as exciting as the others’, but it is just as exciting! And we even get to witness a jealous Darcy, which something I always love to see in a book, and a devoted Elizabeth who is not afraid to set him down when it comes to his attitude, but to also make him confident that there is no one else in her heart, except him. Their romance was swoon worthy and I loved every page of it 😊

I wanted to like the Colonel’s love story, but unfortunately, I didn’t feel captivated by it or Miss Bentley, his love interest. But I did love all the internal struggles he has to go through during his stay at his brother’s house party. His character was in fact one of the best developed characters in this book as the authors allowed us to understand and know more about him. His true feelings, which are usually hidden behind his cordiality, made me love him even more than usual. If Lord Saye was the most thrilling character in this book, and Mr. Darcy the most steady one, Colonel Fitzwilliam was the most genuine and best developed male character of the story. I also loved his relationship and confrontation with Darcy because once more, it demonstrated the depth of the Colonel’s character and allowed us to witness the development of other relationship’s apart from the romantic ones. In fact, the relationships between the male characters were also another aspect I loved in the book. Lord Saye, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam and Fitzwilliam Darcy all in the same room are a very funny bunch 😊

Miss Hawridge surprised me towards the end of the book, and made me like her relationship with Mr. Anderson all the more. In fact, their characters were more discreet in the beginning of the story, but proved to be very interesting and well built in the end of A Match Made at Matlock.

From the length of this review, you can see I absolutely loved this book! There wasn’t anything I disliked, and I highly recommend it to readers who want a quality romance novel to spend some time with.

A Match Made at Matlock has it all! It is well written; it is engaging, it has the perfect pace, and the diversity of characters and romances will definitely please every type of reader. It is one of my favorite reads this year, and I would personally loved to see these characters in a house party once more in the future 😊

 

Audiobook Narration:

Jane Level

Jane Bennet’s Level

Stevie Zimmerman is an excellent narrator and did an excellent job with this book, however, this wasn’t an easy book to narrate because it has many different characters to interpret, and at times, the voices of Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy, for example, were too similar. Nevertheless, because their scenes are very different, and well identified at the beginning of each chapter, we are able to differentiate them so I would still recommend this audiobook considering everything else was very good in the narration process. 

You can find A Match Made at Matlock at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited and Audible

 

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An Affectionate Heart by Heather Moll – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to receive Heather Moll at From Pemberley to Milton once more. She is such a nice person, with whom it is always so easy and pleasant to work with! Today she is visiting with an excerpt of An Affectionate Heart which looks like a very different and exciting Pride & Prejudice variation. The blurb is a bit of a tease, and it lets out many differences that got me intrigued! Apparently, these is a reason why Mr. Darcy is in Hertfordshire, but we don’t know why, Mary appears to be married to Mr. Collins and living in Longbourn, but she is not the mistress of the house, and in this excerpt Elizabeth is travelling to Meryton with Lydia, of all people! I like what I’ve seen so far, so this is definitely a book that I have on my TBR. I hope to get to it sooner rather than later.

I would like to thank Heather for visiting and for bringing such a nice giveaway prize to my readers! I hope you all have a chance to apply to it, and above all, I hope you like this excerpt 😊


I’m so eager to be back at From Pemberley to Milton, Rita! Your readers are so engaged, and I’m excited to share an excerpt from An Affectionate Heart. This story is a Pride and Prejudice variation with a few elements of L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle thrown in.

What better way to get started than to show you the scene when Elizabeth and Darcy first cross paths? Elizabeth has just come home from visiting family in London and has heard rumors about the reclusive Mr. Darcy who is leasing a small cottage near Meryton. There’s a woman with him who is either his mistress or his sick sister. In this scene, Elizabeth and Lydia have gone to the Meryton apothecary to pick up something for a pregnant Mary Collins who is not the mistress of Longbourn

***

“I hate coming in here, Lizzy. How long must we wait for our turn? It is disturbing, all these medicines.”

The shelves were properly supplied, and everything was well arranged and clean. Vessels, scales, measures, weights, and other utensils were within easy reach, as were a neat row of books for instructing the apprentice. The only distressing thing in sight was the leech jar.

“At least there are no tortoise shells hanging up along with a stuffed alligator and ill-shaped fish!” Elizabeth laughed. “Mr Jones’s supplies amount to more than remnants of packthread and old cakes of roses, thinly scattered to make up a show.”

“I have no notion as to what you mean. Is that from some novel?”

Elizabeth sighed. Lydia’s education had leant toward fashion, dancing, and flirting rather than any improvement of her mind. Another customer had come into the shop, and from behind her she heard him exhale a breath of amusement. At least someone had read Romeo and Juliet.

“Mrs Baker is going on and on about her weak pulse! As if it is Mr Jones’s fault she is fat and has a temper. We do not all need to hear about her cramps and aches.”

“She will not keep Mr Jones much longer.” The gentleman waiting now stood directly behind them. After a minute, Elizabeth heard him shifting his weight and huffing in impatience.

“Lizzy, I am going to look at that new muslin after all. Meet me there after you have taken care of Mary.”

Her sister left, and another five minutes passed before a red-faced Mrs Baker turned up her nose and shuffled past Elizabeth without so much as a nod.

The apothecary gestured, and Elizabeth met him with a smile. Mr Jones was an intelligent man who had tended her family’s every illness, great or minor, who had attended every Longbourn birth, and was there to ease the pain at every death. After a few pleasantries, she placed her order.

“I suspect if her symptoms are moderate, the soda water should keep her comfortable for the remaining time the morning sickness should last,” Mr Jones added pleasantly. “If she has any longings, they ought to be gratified as soon as she is willing to eat.”

“Mrs Collins will be glad to hear it. Mrs Cuthbert always longed for curious foods, but her husband indulged her if possible.”

“I did not know you had returned from town. With visits to your sister and uncle, you are rarely seen in Meryton.”

“The last time I was in your shop, your son waited on me. I am surprised not to see him arranging shelves and doing whatever else you bid.”

Mr Jones smiled. “That proves my point; my son left for Edinburgh last year. Capping bottles and rolling pills were never enough for him. He is at the Royal College of Physicians.”

“How proud you must be.”

“He will be in pupillage in medical study four years, and attend hospital twelve months. As proud of him as I am, I wish my only child were not so far.”

“Weather and finances permitting, you could be in Edinburgh in forty hours if you wished to–”

“Madam, who counts as a doctor in this graceless, dull place depends on who is available. Unless you confine your senseless chatter to visiting hours, the rest of us will have to rely on the local horse doctor!”

Elizabeth spun round to see a man with a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance looming over her. He looked at her coldly, and she was struck silent by his shocking rudeness. The man gave her an expectant, haughty glare, and stepped aside with a hand raised to gesture that she was to pass him and leave. She turned her back on him, parted from Mr Jones with exaggerated civility, and refused to meet the stranger’s eye as she stalked past him and out of the shop.

Horrid, insufferable man with the most ill-bred manners I have ever seen!

She was still furious when she found Lydia in conversation with Sir William Lucas. He was standing in front of the posts that divided the pedestrian path next to the toll gate. Though not corpulent, he would still have to edge himself carefully between them to pass through without ruining his coat. Sir William was a naturally inoffensive and friendly man, unlike the rude stranger in the apothecary shop. He gamely bore all of Lydia’s chatter about muslin.

“Miss Bennet!” he cried when she joined them. “You are returned to us from town! I hope you left Mrs Cuthbert in good health. You must tell me all when we next see you at Lucas Lodge.”

“I understand you are to welcome a small party into your drawing room tomorrow evening. Lady Lucas issued her invitation this morning.”

“I hope you might be prevailed upon to play. Charlotte will not have returned by then, and she is the one who convinces you to–ah, Mr Darcy!”

The man from the apothecary shop gave them all a disapproving look while he touched his hat.


NEW book blurb

Are love and affection enough to overcome the pain of grief and anger?

In the spring of 1812, Elizabeth and Lydia are the only Bennet daughters still unmarried after the death of their father. Elizabeth’s health and spirits worsen as she moves among relations as an unwanted, dependent sister. She returns to Mary and Mr Collins at Longbourn to learn that the neighbourhood gossip centres on the reclusive Mr Darcy.

Darcy and his sister live an isolated life in a small rented lodge near Netherfield after the events at Ramsgate. As Georgiana’s health is failing, Darcy has his own regrets to bear. He tries to keep them secluded, but a young woman arrives who is determined to befriend his lonely, ill sister.

When Elizabeth receives disastrous news, she makes a daring plan to find happiness for herself while she still can. Misunderstandings and secrets abound for them both but in the end, Darcy and Elizabeth will find greater strength together than they ever had apart.

◆◆◆
This variation blends Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with elements of Montgomery’s The Blue Castle.
Content note: secondary character’s miscarriage off page, secondary character death

You can find An Affectionate Heart at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

Affectionate Heart cover

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This blog tour is almost over, but you can still go back and check the other blogs for more information on An Affectionate Heart 🙂 

Heart Promo


Ms. Moll brings with her today an incredible prize to giveaway to a lucky winner! She is offering:

A signed paperback of An Affectionate Heart

A paperback of The Blue Castle

A paperback of Pride and Prejudice

Excessively Diverted soap from Northanger Soapworks

To apply to this lovely prize, all you have to do is follow the following Raffle link.

Heart Promo-2

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

The Olive Branch by Sarah Courtney

The Olive Branch4 stars

After a shocking first chapter, which will make the reader go crazy and want to devour the book in the next hour only to find out how the event described in it could have happened, The Olive Branch continues as any other Pride & Prejudice variation would, with Elizabeth’s refusal of Mr. Collins marriage proposal. However, in this book his character is very different from the one we know. In The Olive Branch Mr. Collins is a conniving and evil man who only pretends to be a stupid and subservient person. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, he is convinced she should be his wife and knows a secret that could destroy the Bennet’s, so he succeeds in blackmailing Elizabeth into marrying him.

When Mr. Darcy visits the Bennet’s after the Netherfield ball to say his goodbyes, he learns of this engagement and feels something is not quite right, so he decides to stay in Hertfordshire for a little longer. With time, he will become Elizabeth’s sole confident and partner. Together they will not only discover what love preceding a marriage should be, but also what is prompting Mr. Collins to marry a cousin who so obviously dislikes him.

The Olive Branch is a very different book where the reader will have to take a leap of faith because the event that triggers the entire story is hard to believe, but one of the aspects I enjoyed the most about it, was that the unbelievable is not only explained by the author towards the end of the book, but it also makes sense. I loved learning the motivations of both Mary and Mr. Wickham in this story and how the author explored their characteristics and beliefs to the maximum to make The Olive Branch work.

Another aspect I enjoyed in this book was Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship because they team up to fight against an external threat, and that allows Elizabeth to discover Darcy’s true character and fall in love with him. I would have liked to see more intensity in their relationship, and maybe a little more openness when it came to their feelings for one another, but it was satisfying nonetheless to see them working together, to see her confiding in him, and to witness him defending her.

I also enjoyed the mystery in this book because it caused several twists that kept the story interesting. This was mainly caused by Mr. Taylor’s character which was a nice addition, even if at times a little hard to decipher as he appeared confident and intelligent sometimes, and reticent and lost at other times, but also because of Mr. Collins’s methods, and the final events in the book concerning his character.

Summing up, The Olive Branch teams up Elizabeth and Darcy in a fight against time, and where romance and mystery join hands to create a fascinating book. I would recommend it to readers who love watching this couple getting together to fight a villain we all love to hate.

 

You can find The Olive Branch at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited

 

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Filed under JAFF, Persuasion