Monthly Archives: December 2022

From Pemberley to Milton’s 2022 Wrap Up

2022 Wrap Up

Happy New Year everyone!

I know we’re still a day away from New Year, but this will be my last post of the year, so I think my best wishes for a happy New Year full of reading moments are in order 🙂

As usual I thought it would be nice to do a wrap up of my year in terms of reading and blogging, so stats will follow! You know how I love those 🙂 What about you? Do you usually analyse your year

2022 was a pretty good year in terms of reading, and I was able to surpass once more my GR challenge by reading 63 books! That’s a lot for me, and I think the number will decrease significantly next year. By the way, if we’re not friends in GR yet, feel free to add me!

My Year in Books 2022

Last year I read 57 books which corresponded to 16,200 pages, so even though I read more books this year, I read almost the same amount of pages. This increase in books, however, allowed me to also increase the number of reviews published, which was great because everyone keeps telling me that’s their favourite type of post 🙂

Reviews per year

This year I was able to publish 64 reviews with an average of 5 reviews per month! For some this may not be a huge number, but for me it was, and it required a lot of effort, so I am not sure I’ll be able to keep up next year. Even though readers tell me reviews are their favorite posts, I actually see more engagement when I share excerpts then reviews, so I may reduce the stress level and the number of reviews in 2023. Maybe I’ll aim for 3 per month, what do you think? That would put me closer to my 2018 stats, and I think it may be a good balance, allowing me to post other type of fun posts that you’ll probably enjoy even more.

Books Reag by Genre

The data I mostly like to analyse is the type of books I’ve read per genre. I always aim to read more secondary character books or increase the number of stories based on other Austen novels, and sometimes I am surprised when I look at my stats at the end of the year, but 2022 was actually quite similar to 2021. The graphic is almost identical with variations coming first, followed by Non JAFF books, and then very low numbers on many diverse sub-genres. This is in line with one of my objective’s last year because sub genre diversity helps me keep interested in JAFF, so I wanted to keep that trend and I happy to see I was able to achieve that goal.

Last year I read a dystopian novel, which was great, and this year that was replaced by a sci fi book which is a sub genre I would love to see become a trend 🙂 I will also try to read more regency & modern novels and reduce the number of JAFF books I read next year. I know this is something you will probably dislike, but I really miss other types of characters, and especially different types of writing styles. 

I thought that reading more Non P&P books would help me get over the fatigue I sometimes feel with regards to the same characters, same personality traits and same writing styles, so this year I tried to increase the diversity when it comes to Austen’s novels, and even if the numbers are low, they are better than last year.

Books Read by Austen Novel

Last year I read 41 books based on P&P and only 5 based on other novels. This year I reduced the P&P based books to 40 and I increased the numbers concerning other books, especially Persuasion which is my second favourite Austen romance 🙂 The other books I’ve read were also based on different Austen novels then the ones I read last year. In 2021 Northanger Abbey and Lady Susan were the chosen ones, and this year I read my first Mansfield Park sequel!

If we look at the format of books read, I was able to increase the percentage of audiobooks listened to, which was also a goal I had set, so I am happy about that. Next year I am not going to be overly preoccupied with the format, I just want to read more books I enjoy when I feel like reading them. Last year I mentioned I would like to pick up a book I really wanted to read every month, and that didn’t happen. With the TBR increasing each month, and the stress I was feeling to reduce it, I kept reading the books I was receiving in the mail without actually choosing the order by which I would read them. That will definitely have to change next year.

Books Read By Format

Anyway, those were my personal reading stats, which are probably not that interesting to you, so lets check From Pemberley to Milton’s numbers, shall we?

I published 106 posts in 2022, which is a bit less then what I had been publishing in the previous years. I still need to understand why, because honestly, it felt like I had a much busier agenda this year! The only explanation I can find to this is that I published more reviews this year than in previous ones, and those are the type of posts that are more time consuming on my side.

Looking back, this is the breakdown of published posts:

64 Reviews

24 Excerpts

2 Guest Posts

1 Author Interviews

15 Other Matters (Giveaway winners announcements, freebes & sales, etc)

Just like last year I had more diversity in my reading, but less diversity in the type of published posts as I only shared reviews, excerpts, guest posts and author interviews, and even those had lower numbers. I am actually thinking about diversifying the type of published posts next year and creating posts such as Character of the Month, Book of the Month, Movie of the Month etc. What do you think? Is this something you would find interesting? Is there any type of post you’d like to see more often? Any fun ideas we can develop? What about lists that would call the attention to specific books? Would that be interesting?

After all these stats, all that is left to do is tell you which were my favorite books read in 2022, but that will only happen next Monday, so stop by to see which of the 64 marked me the most this year 🙂

I am looking forward to seeing if you share any favourites with me because I do love the #favouritesoftheyear season 🙂 Until then:

Happy New Year everyone!



Filed under JAFF

Frosted Window Panes by Kara Louise

Frosted Window Panes4 stars

I have loved every single Kara Louise book I’ve read, so I was super excited to learn she was going to release Frosted Window Panes this month. It was one of the books on my wish list for this year’s Austenesque Jolabokaflod, organized by Meredith at Austenesque Reviews, and my secret friend decided this was the best book for me to read this Christmas, so I did.

Frosted Window Panes is a modern adaptation of Pride & Prejudice and I loved the fact that it placed Darcy and Elizabeth in a modern Christmas setting. In fact, the Darcy family business and Christmas traditions were lovely and made me want to spend some time with them. I was expecting to find a small-town vibe in it, but that wasn’t the case. The book is placed in a city where Elizabeth is in charge of a small tutoring center in Meryton Heights, a poor part of town, so the book had a more city like vibe. The story starts when Elizabeth decides to accompany her sister Jane on a date to make sure the suiter is a good guy, and it is at that date that she meets Will Darcy, a wealthy CEO of a successful family business. 

Will Darcy was charming, interesting, and charismatic. He was the perfect guy, and any woman would have been lucky to meet him. Because of his charm, and the authors ability to write romantic scenes, there were a few interesting scenes between the couple, but as the book is a novella, these were few with the main characters only having around 5/6 encounters in the entire book.

I really enjoyed Mr. Darcy’s family, Georgiana, Richard and especially Darcy’s grandmother whom I wished could have had a more prominent role in the novel.

While I loved the engaging writing, and Mr. Darcy’s charm, I did not love Elizabeth’s character. She was unreasonable during the entire story, and I do not understand why Darcy fell in love with someone he saw so few times and who treated him as she did.

The book while modern, also had a writing style that reminded me of a regency novel, and sometimes I wished it had been a bit more modern as that would have helped me feel more connected to the characters.  

While Frosted Window Panes is not my favorite book from Kara Louise, it is an engaging short story that brings Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to modern times and it is perfect to read around Christmas time.

You can find Frosted Window Panes at:

and on Kindle Unlimited


Filed under Reviews

A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

A Holiday by Gaslight4.5 stars

I have loved every single book I’ve read by Mimi Matthews, so when I discovered she a had a Christmas story inspired by North & South I could not resist and bought it immediately.

A Holiday by Gaslight is a short Victorian romance between Sophie Appersett, a decided, intelligent, and selfless young lady who is willing to do everything to help her family, and Mr. Edward Sharpe, a silent and brooding businessman who is very good at hiding his true feelings. Even though the story starts with Sophie breaking up their courtship, she reconsiders her decision shortly after, and the two are given a second chance to get to know each other. 

This was a lovely story to read by the fire on these last cold winter nights. I loved the writing, the pace, the North & South connection, the romance and the Christmas theme.

As always Mimi Matthews didn’t disappoint by writing an engaging and heartfelt story. Her writing pulled me right into the London warehouses and later on to Appersett House where I felt right by the characters as they talked to each other or got involved in Christmas activities. There was never a dull moment in this book, and I felt it had the perfect pace. The author added new details, secondary characters, subplots and romantic moments exactly where they were needed and when they would have the most impact, which means the story became progressively more engaging until the final conclusion.

I absolutely loved the North & South connections, namely the references to the development of industry in the country, the approach different characters had to uncertain business schemes, Mr. Sharpe’s protective mother, and obviously the male hero. Ned Sharpe is a clear reminder of John Thornton with his brooding manner and strong feelings hidden under a cold façade. He was the perfect gentleman despite his feelings of inferiority, and a charming and romantic man capable of making every woman swoon with his words. I loved how he kept his promise to Sophie and how he cleverly used mistletoe to do it.

This story has all the elements to make it the perfect Christmas novel: snow, mistletoe, and romance, but I also liked the activities the house party was engaged at and especially the tender moments it allowed Sophie and Ned to share. They were a sweet couple with an honest relationship, something I really appreciated, and I loved spending time with them.

A Holiday by Gaslight is an engaging story that will remind readers of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South for the best reasons, it has an interesting romance between an altruistic young lady and a passionate, yet brooding businessman, and it brings to the narrative interesting points of discussion when it comes to the development of society. It is a sweet and absorbing romance and I highly recommend it.

P.S.  Isn’t the cover gorgeous??

You can find A Holiday by Gaslight at:

and on Audible



Filed under Holiday Fiction, Victorian Romance

Death on a Winter Stroll by Francine Mathews

Death on a Winter Stroll 20224.5 stars

Death on a Winter Stroll is part of the Merry Folger Nantucket Mysteries and takes place in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where local police officer Merry Folger has to solve two different murders while still struggling with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an invasion of Hollywood stars and DC suits in the small island.

Nantucket is known for its Christmas festivities, so the Secretary of State and her family decide to spend the holidays there, while at the same time, a Hollywood production moves to the island to shoot a new movie. While the characters from these two groups do not necessarily mingle, they will all find themselves under the attentive eyes of Meredith Folger and her co-workers as they try to understand how two different corpses appear on the small Massachusetts island.

I’ve read other books from Stephanie Barron before, but this was the first book I’ve read under her pen name Francine Mathews. Even though the quality of the writing is the same, the style is a little different, and I was captivated by its modernity. This story is riveting, and the author was able to bring serious and profound topics to it despite the lightness the mystery carried. This book touches topics such as substance abuse and the way several characters deal with it, abandonment issues and how that may shape people’s personality and lives, the loss of loved ones and how that affects us every day, power abuse and the sacrifices that need to be made to make it in a rough manly world, suicide, eating disorders, etc.

All those relevant topics were approached in such a powerful yet delicate manner that I could not help to empathize with all characters, even the ones who appeared to deal with those issues in a colder manner. I felt close to all of them, and I wish I could help them overcome all the troubles they had in their lives. The background stories of the characters in this book made me think once more that even though some lives seem perfect, the person living it may not feel it that way, and in the end, we all must find our different paths to happiness.

The author chose to let us know the characters very slowly and in a mysterious manner, and even if in the beginning I struggled to get into the story because there were many different people to follow, I soon became intrigued by all of them. As I continued reading, I understood how important that initial introduction was and realized the character building was one of the best parts of this book.  

I also enjoyed the small town feeling the author was able to transmit without making me feel I was watching a Hallmark movie. I do love Hallmark movies, but it was interesting to see small towns being described and approached in a more realistic manner.

Another topic I enjoyed in this book was the Covid reference, it was the first book I’ve read that approached the aftermath of Covid and that gave it a contemporary feeling I really enjoyed.

Death on a Winter Stroll is an engrossing book that gives readers mystery, Christmas small town vibes, and above all, exceptional characters that make us think about what’s important in life and how everyone deals with problems differently. I loved spending time with these characters on Nantucket Island and I recommend this book to all my fellow readers.


You can find Death on a Winter Stroll at:

 and on Audible



Filed under Holiday Fiction, Mystery

Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey

Spies of Our Acquaintance4.5 stars

Spies of Our Acquaintance is another novella of the Skirmish and Scandal series published by Meryton Press, and in which Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth establish a more open and trustful relationship early in the story. This happens because Mr. Darcy apologizes for his rude behavior at the Meryton Assembly, allowing Elizabeth to see him in a different light. Because of their newfound friendship, Mr. Darcy confides in Elizabeth about George Wickham’s nefarious behaviors, but when he realizes Wickham is involved in more serious and dangerous activities then gambling, both he and Elizabeth are kidnapped and must work together to escape this dangerous situation. 

Spies of Our Acquaintance is a short novella that can be read in one sitting, but the author was able to incorporate in it romance, spies, traitors, and abductions. One would think it would not be possible to successfully add all these elements in such a short book, but I believe this was very well done. I found the story very well written because for a book with so little pages, the development of the plot and the pacing were quite good. The story is not a simple one, but I never felt it needed further pages, it was engaging, with the perfect balance and without a dull moment.

I loved the close relationship that was built between Darcy and Elizabeth before they were kidnapped, namely their open dialogues and understanding without pride or prejudice getting in their way. And when the story progressed, I liked seeing them working together against a common obstacle. Their adventures were full of exciting yet romantic moments.

Summing Up, Spies of Our Acquaintance is a romantic, yet action packed short novella that can be read in one single sitting and that will certainly provide readers an enjoyable afternoon 😊

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

Spies of Our Acquaintance doesn’t present big difficulties for a narrator in terms of voices or accents, but even if this was an easy story to recount, Stevie Zimmerman proved why she is one of the best narrators in the genre. Her voice differentiation for male and female characters in this one was superb, and she gave the story a rhythm that was engaging. I highly recommend the audiobook version for a long trip or commute.


You can find Spies of Our Acquaintance at:

Kindle Unlimited and on Audible



Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

A Stronger Impulse by Julie Cooper

A Stronger Impulse3.5 stars

The premise of A Stronger Impulse is very interesting and having loved some of Julie Cooper’s previous books, I was very excited to read this one, after all, Nameless was one of my 2021 Favorite books and this could very well be on that same list for 2022.

In A Stronger Impulse, Mr. Darcy endures a severe shock that causes him to suffer from Aphasia, which is a disorder that affects communication, namely the way people speak and/or write. Because of this, his family believes he has become insane and decides to take him under their care. Simultaneously Elizabeth Bennet is forced to flee Longbourn after having refused Mr. Collins’s proposal because she has no one able to defend or help her. The paths of these two characters will cross once more after Elizabeth meets Georgiana Darcy at Ramsgate, together these two ladies will fight the cruelty that Mr. Darcy is being a victim of and forge a strong friendship.  

I loved the pace of this book and the fact that despite having numerous slower moments between Darcy and Elizabeth, it was an action-packed novel with something happening at each turn of the page. The story was exciting and unpredictable, and it kept my interest from the first page until the last.

I also loved the sibling relationships in this book, namely the dedication Georgiana showed towards Mr. Darcy. But the Bennet sisters also surprised me, and I was touched to see the loving help the younger Bennet sisters gave Elizabeth. Even if Jane Bennet was a major disappointment, the other Bennet sisters made up for her inaction in the beginning of the book.

The relationship between Elizabeth and Georgiana was also endearing as both characters helped one another in different ways. Their relationship was touching, honest and it grew stronger as they fought for justice together, I absolutely loved it and can say it was my favorite part of the book.

Another aspect I truly enjoyed was Mrs. Bennet’s arc story. It was innovative and moving. It made me feel closer to her and I ended loving her character for her resilience and endurance through her entire life. Even if her character was secondary on this story, and therefore, didn’t occupy many page time, I believe she was my favorite character 😊

However, I also had a few quibbles with this book. Because of Mr. Darcy’s speech condition, which caused him to use curse words every time he tried to speak, or different words then the ones he intended to say, I could never really get to know him, and therefore fall in love with his character. Unfortunately, when we see Mr. Darcy in this book he is already suffering from this condition and being held captive by cruel relatives and doctors, so I found it hard to feel something other than pity for him. I also couldn’t feel the romance between him and Elizabeth, and I found it hard to believe they could have felt tender feelings for each other while he was practically being tortured during the entire book.

Lastly, I also had a quibble with the public display that occurred towards the end of the book, especially because most characters decided to come forward in Elizabeth’s defense at a time when she didn’t need it anymore but left her all alone in the beginning of the book when she most needed them.

A Stronger Impulse is an angsty book where Elizabeth’s kindness, resilience and wit help save Mr. Darcy from an unfathomable situation, and in which compassion wins over ignorance. It is a story with many scenes occurring solely between Darcy and Elizabeth, and I am certain that is something most readers will appreciate. I know this will be exactly the type of book many readers will love 😊


Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

Joanna Lee had a hard job ahead of her with this narration because apart from the usual difficulties narrators face, she had to interpret a character who suffered from a condition that affected his speech, nevertheless, she did a great job at it! She was so good, she actually made me feel Darcy’s pain and frustration at not being able to speak.

There is nothing I can point out negatively in her narration, however, I do believe that the fact that I listened to this story, and therefore could hear Mr. Darcy’s desperation and struggle to speak, affected my enjoyment of the book. The audiobook is very good, but I believe I would have liked the story a bit more if I had read the book instead of listening to Mr. Darcy’s struggle because that way his irritation might have been less visible to me.


You can find A Stronger Impulse at:

Kindle Unlimited and on Audible



Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Preludes by Riana Everly

Preludes 15 stars

Preludes is a modern adaptation of Persuasion that places the characters in a musical setting. In this book, Anne Elliot is a 32 year old composer who needs to work closely with the new conductor of the orchestra she is working with. This conductor is Fred Valore, her ex-boyfriend, and after 8 years apart, their relationship will face many obstacles but also prove that true understanding, respect, and love are stronger than everything else.

The main characters in Preludes are both working in the classical music industry, and because of that, many of the scenes and dialogues are musically related. This setting was one of my favorite aspects of the book because I could feel and hear the music while reading the pages, and I could feel Anne’s enthusiasm when writing something new to the point of visualizing what she was seeing. I am not at all involved in the music business, but I felt completely rendered to all the musical details in this book, and I loved the fact that music is also the common ground that brings Anne and Fred so close to one another, it’s their shared passion for music that makes them realize how well suited they are.

I also liked seeing the characters and plotlines from Persuasion getting slowly integrated in this modern story. Bits and pieces keep appearing making the plot interesting and engaging. Even if some plotlines are similar to Persuasion, and the secondary characters are familiar, the narrative is never predictable, and I felt I was reading a new original story. I especially liked to see the author was more focused in developing the characters, their feelings and beliefs, then in just retelling a well know story. The book obviously follows many events that occur in Persuasion, but the focus is not to check all the boxes of the plot, but to show us how these characters dealt with the events that occurred in their lives. I loved to be privy to Anne’s doubts concerning her feelings, her life goals, and the people around her.

Fred Valore was not the typical Frederick Wentworth, in fact, I believe he may be somewhat out of character, but in this story that made sense, he was perfect fit for a hero in this book, and I would have liked to witness some scenes from his point of view. I loved his posture, his respect for Anne and his maturity. In fact, the maturity of both characters, who are above 30, was something I particularly enjoyed as it is easier to relate to them then to young adults close to 20.

Summing up, Preludes is a compelling, and endearing love story where music gives mature characters a second chance in love. The narrative takes its time to develop, and events are never rushed which gives us a better understanding of the character development, and I certainly recommend this book to all readers.


You can find Preludes at:

and on Kindle Unlimited



Filed under Reviews

Darcy’s Winter Love Triangle by Sarah Gray

Darcy’s Winter Love Triangle’s story starts during Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet’s courtship period, but readers will not be gifted with many loving and romantic scenes between these two characters as Mr. Darcy is forced to travel to London to take care of some business matters, and the next time he meets Elizabeth, their engagement is already broken. 

In London, Mr. Darcy discovers that a business venture in which he entered has left him in ruin, and when no other solution to solve his financial problems presents itself, he agrees to marry Miss Caroline Bingley whose dowry could save him and his reputation.

As this is a very short book, I wasn’t expecting it to have a big character or story development, but I was still disappointed with the final result because the story was not agreeable, nor romantic, with Mr. Darcy separated from Elizabeth during the entire novella.

I did enjoy Mrs. Bennet in this book, and the mirth and playfulness of Elizabeth’s sisters, but I had a quibble with both Elizabeth and Darcy’s attitudes which where hard to believe. I thought that Elizabeth’s grudge towards Jane as well as her insecurity were exaggerated and out of character, just like Mr. Darcy’s submissiveness towards Miss Bingley was unfathomable. Even if I could believe Mr. Darcy would be forced to marry for money, I found it hard to believe he would be such a puppet in Miss Bingley’s hands, doing everything she commanded him to do. I also struggled to believe he would treat Elizabeth in such a manner, and that he would not even have the courage to explain things to her in person.

The book is quite short, so it’s impossible to have a lot of character or plot development, but I was expecting matters to be resolved in a more progressive and logical manner. Unfortunately, it seemed that all of a sudden, just because he fell from his horse, Mr. Darcy forgot all the problems that made him agree to an engagement with Caroline Bingley, and at that exact moment, as if by miracle, all his financial problems disappear as well. 

Summing up, Darcy’s Winter Love Triangle has an interesting premise, and one we don’t see often, but it fails in its execution. The story was not romantic as it lacked in Darcy and Elizabeth’s scenes, the characters were often out of character, and the resolution to the problems that triggered this story was anticlimactic with everything miraculously solved in a few pages. I wanted to love this book as I like Love Triangle stories, but unfortunately, I had too many quibbles with it to really enjoy it.


Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

This was the first audiobook I heard on Melissa Durban’s voice, and I quite liked it. She has a pleasant voice and it was agreeable to hear her narrate this story. There is really nothing to point out, she is a narrator I will recommend.


You can find Darcy’s Winter Love Triangle at:

Kindle Unlimited and on Audible



Filed under JAFF, Persuasion