Category Archives: 5 stars

Indisposed by Alix James

Indisposed is the perfect short story for romance lovers who want to have all ingredients of an extraordinary novel condensed in few pages to be read in one hour.

In this story Elizabeth is already sick with a trifling cold in the Meryton Assembly, a fact that alters the interactions between her and Mr. Darcy, but the main variation in the plot is that she accompanies Jane to dinner at Netherfield, and it is her who ends up sick at Mr. Bingley’s estate.

Because the apothecary is out of town, Mr. Bingley call a physician from town to look into Elizabeth, and this man, who may very well be a disgrace to the profession, declares to all that Elizabeth is suffering from consumption and will eventually die.

Everyone in the story will know of this prognostic except Elizabeth, and this creates a series of delightful scenes! She is astonished about the reactions people are having towards her but cannot comprehend why people are acting so strangely, and everyone else just thinks she is a brave girl who is handling the situation very well.

The best reactions in my opinion were the ones of Mr. Bennet because he obviously brought some humour into the story, the ones from Mrs. Bennet, which revealed an interesting character development and Mr. Darcy’s, because obviously this was the base for the romance to be established.

Mr. Darcy is the only one to treat Elizabeth as a person and not as an invalid, and because of that, their interactions will be romantic, witty and enthralling. He is such a caring and loving man in this story that I doubt any reader will be able to resist his charms!

The novella is extremely well written, and as I said it has all the ingredients a book should have to keep the reader interested and hooked to the story. Despite the length, the narrative is never rushed, and even if this book is clearly a page-turner, which readers will not be able to let go until they finish it, it creates a feeling of cosiness and well-being that is extremely satisfying! This book is everything a novella should be and I highly recommend it!

I have read and enjoyed Love and Other Machines (which is currently FREE, by the way) from Alix James, but this novella surpassed any expectation I might have. This is definitely an author to look out for if you are interested in reading short, sweet and romantic novellas!

You can find Indisposed at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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Speechless by Jessie Lewis

Speechless was the first book I’ve read from Jesse Lewis and when I finished it I wondered why I had never read her previous book, Mistaken. Speechless is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The characters are enchanting, the story gripping, and the writing style irresistible!

The story opens with Mr. Darcy seriously wounded and trapped at a country inn with no one but Elizabeth to take care of him. As the narrative progresses, we learn that he was injured while trying to help Elizabeth who had had a carriage accident on her way to London. He is immediately taken to the nearest inn but with the level of snow still very high, they are trapped with the inn owner and few other guests, leaving Darcy’s care to Elizabeth alone. Because Mr. Darcy got injured helping her, and she is the only one who knows him at the inn, she feels compelled to help Mr. Darcy and everyone assumes they are married, a fact that Elizabeth does not contradict to secure her reputation.

As you can imagine a big part of the story will occur on a very confined environment and that, in my opinion, the first ingredient for a magnificent story. I’m partial for this type of premise, and when the author is naturally talented, the book comes to live and transports me right into it. That’s what happened with Speechless and I could not stop reading it!

Because of his injuries, Mr. Darcy cannot speak and needs to either murmur or write what he intends to say, but that does not prevent these characters from having witty and wonderful dialogues, on the contrary. They are forced to spend a lot of time together “talking” and getting to know one another, and this closeness will not only be physical but also emotional as their deepest feelings are shared and discussed. Of course they will have misunderstandings, and arguments, but that is part of the appeal of the book. The characters are exactly as they should be and as Jane Austen described them. They are merely placed under different circumstances, a fact that I absolutely loved. I recognized these characters from Pride and Prejudice and loved them even more! Elizabeth is a strong, courageous, kind, compassioned and selfless character who sacrifices her own comfort to nurse Mr. Darcy, and he is as charming as ever, despite the limitations he is suffering. Once he leaves the inn, he has the chance to come forward as the commanding and honorable man we know him to be, and the way he defended Elizabeth from his family was heartwarming.

During the time they are trapped at the inn Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy develop an intimacy that is compelling and when they finally leave that place, their intimacy will be crucial for some of the most romantic scenes I’ve ever seen. The proposal is adorable, romantic and very different from anything you’ve ever read for sure. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth will become as one and will transport the reader into a magical place.

I loved the dialogues, the characters, their attitudes, their speeches, and the cozy feeling throughout the entire story. Even after Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth leave the inn, the cozy feeling remains because even if they were amongst a dozen different people, the reader still feels only the two of them exist. It’s almost as if their love and understanding of one another blocks everyone else outside of their private world. They share a bond that few understand and even fewer will ever experience.

This is a very short book that readers can read over a weekend and I highly recommend it to those who seek a well written, romantic and absorbing story. It is a page turner book that can hardly be forgotten by those who read it, and that will warm everyone’s hearts. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing a pearl. There aren’t many books with this quality out there, so this is definitely a MUST read.

 

You can find Speechless at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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Conceit & Concealment

Conceit and Concealment is amongst my all-time favorite books but I never got a chance to review it, so I am doing it now in the hopes that those who, for some reason, have not read it yet, may consider adding it to their to be read list.

You may ask why you should read this book, well; for starters, the historical component of this book is an unbelievable addition that will get readers hooked to the story from the start. Not only will readers want to know what is happening to the main characters, but most of all, they will want to know what will happen to the country and the resistance. In this book England is at war with France, the French army has actually overpowered British troops, and entered English soil ruling it on behave of Napolean. You may think you will stand by the English people who have apparently lost the war, but I must warn you that readers will have a hard time picking sides because they are shown both sides of the conflict and both arguments will seem valid. You may want to choose the side of our heroes, but you will definitely understand that on the other side you have people who are just following orders, and for whom you start to grow a lot of sympathy. I found this a beautiful aspect of the book, and even if I didn’t research a lot to know if there is historical accuracy, I am sure the author did a lot of research because she made me love reading every single historic aspect that was depicted in the book.

Most readers want to know about the writing style and romance present in the book, of course, and even if I didn’t start with that aspect, they are both incredibly good! The dialogues are witty and engaging and I would personally love to have those type of discussions with Darcy. Moreover, the women are portrayed as thinking beings, and not just as fragile creatures who need to be protected by man. They are intelligent and take action into their own hands. They are courageous and an important part of the plot, which was another aspect I really enjoyed.

The secondary characters aren’t just there to fill the pages either, they are well built with their own backstory, which makes us intrigued at first and in love with them as pages go by.

I haven’t spoken much about the main characters, namely Mr. Darcy, but my, oh my! He is absolutely perfect in this book! I have certainly loved him and how his relationship with Elizabeth was built. We could feel real chemistry between them as we flipped the pages in this book, and even when we thought things would get cold between them, something happened to bring the sparkle back. The depth of their feelings is addictive in this book and readers keep craving for more Darcy and Elizabeth moments. It is one of the most beautiful relationships I have seen in JAFF, and I can say with certainty that most readers will be rendered to it.

I have initially read this book and more recently heard the audiobook so let me tell you that if you prefer audios, the narration makes justice to the quality of the book. All characters are easily distinguished and the accents are very well done. Usually I find accents from different countries annoying in audiobooks because they never seem quite right (in my line of business I hear a LOT of different accents, so I’ve become quite the expert), but that doesn’t happen in this book so I need to congratulate Elizabeth Klett for a wonderful narration.

Conceit and Concealment is a roller coaster of emotions, it is fast paced with something always happening in the narrative, but the author also takes the time to ascertain certain characters feelings and let the reader experience their interactions, making it perfect in terms of balance between action and character development. It is an incredible narrative full of passion, history and supported by strong and well-built characters that will compel readers to turn the pages franticly until the end. I highly recommend this book to all my readers.

You can find Conceit & Concealment at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

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Filed under 5 stars, Abigail Reynolds, JAFF

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet – Review & Release Day Giveaway

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet was released today at Amazon.com, but I was very lucky to receive an advanced readers copy, so I am already in a position to tell you what I think about this book. In one word, I think it is PERFECT! If you want to know why, keep reading…

I have to start this review by saying Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet is by far the best JAFF book I’ve read this year! I was craving for something that would capture my heart just like in the old days and that is what this book did. I was lucky to receive an advance readers copy and from the moment I started reading this book I couldn’t stop! I hadn’t read anything I considered uputdownable since last year and being this immersed in a story once more was superb!

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet is definitely the most romantic book I have ever read from Jennifer Joy. It is clean and sweet but also intriguing and captivating. The premise is quite simple with only a few interesting and innovating changes, and that was the recipe for a magnificent book.

In this story, Mr. Darcy secretly writes poetry and one of Elizabeth’s favourite occupations is reading poetry. This common passion will allow them to create a beautiful solid bond with one another. The main difference in this story is that the Bennet sisters have to remain a few more days at Netherfield after Jane gets sick, and the coyness of having the story mainly placed in one single location was very alluring to me.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet doesn’t have any unnecessary misunderstandings, or incredibly intrusive villains. It only has two people who build a relationship and face the same dilemmas we all face in our lives.

I absolutely loved the changes Jennifer Joy did in this book, and I believe the JAFF community needed something like this. Instead of overcomplicating the plot, she made it simple. She changed it in a credible manner and kept readers interested in the story because they cared about the characters and wanted to know what they would do or say next. This is what a good writer should do! A good writer has the ability to make readers get involved in the story and to fall for the characters. If readers connect with the characters, they will love the book, and that is what happens in Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet.

Mr. Wickham’s character is the best surprise this book has to offer readers. It will make you want to read the book non-stop because it is completely new, yet still in character and believable! It was refreshing to see a character that was this unpredictable! We never knew what Mr. Wickham would do next. We were not sure of his true intentions but because he was still the same character we were introduced with in Pride and Prejudice, we keep waiting for him to reveal his true character at any time. This is another reason why we get glued to this book, we kind of keep waiting for something to happen, but we don’t know what that could be.

Mr. Darcy’s character is so romantic that it is impossible not to fall for him, or his poems. And Elizabeth, well… she is adorable! I loved her unbiased character, her passion but also her rationality and maturity.

Even Mr. Bingley surprised me in this book with the advice he gave Mr. Darcy because it gave merit to his character. I was not expecting that speech, which surprised me in the most positive manner! I’m tired of seeing Mr. Bingley being portrayed as a prop in a movie set. In Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet he gained some depth with that speech, and it made me realise why Mr. Darcy is his friend.

I loved the book in its entirety but two scenes come to mind as favourites. The discussion Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have about Darcy’s poem, which was delightful and perfectly demonstrates how they are intellectually equal, as well as why they would obviously fall for each other, and the proposal scene! I confess I saw that one coming, but it was just as good as I expected it to be.

With this book, Jennifer Joy demonstrated that authors do not need to change the entire story and go to extremes to be successful. Most of the times, less is more when it comes to creating plots, and this book proves it! It was the first JAFF book I read this year that made me want to read non-stop, and the only problem I have it with, is that it will make my next read fall in caparison for sure. Simplicity was the key to make this book a perfect enjoyable read and I’m certain readers will fall in love with this story and its characters. I highly recommend it, and I’m sure you won’t regret reading it, it will probably become one of your favourites too. It is perfect!

You can find Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


 

Can you fall in love with someone you have never met?

He has given up on love.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was burned once. Never again. Hiding his emotions, Darcy takes pride in his marble-like façade … until he meets a lady who threatens to expose his true character, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

She loves a poet she has never seen.

Elizabeth Bennet longs to meet the man whose poems touch her soul — the elusive Mr. Walter Wyndham. He is her ideal; her dream … and everything emotionless Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy could never be.

When Mrs. Bennet and a surprise visitor conspire to throw them together, they’ll either strangle each other … or end up engaged.

Stuck in each other’s company, Darcy’s carefully constructed barriers come crashing down when he discovers the secret identity of Elizabeth’s beloved poet. It’s him!

Will Darcy measure up to the man she’s been dreaming of for years? Will Elizabeth stubbornly pursue an illusion, or will she fall for an imperfect (and very real) man?

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet is a sweet and clean romance variation of Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice.

Let the poetry lessons begin! Get your copy today!


Jennifer Joy is offering 4 ebook copies of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Poet to some of my readers to celebrate its release. The giveaway is international and all you have to do to apply is comment on this post. Let us know what you thought of the permise, or share any comments on the review.

The giveaway will end on the 2nd of August and the winners will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck everyone!

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Filed under 5 stars, JAFF

President Darcy

I read President Darcy last year and didn’t review it at the time but I remembered loving it, so I decided to listen to the Audiobook to be able to write a review, and this was definitely the right decision because the audiobook is incredible! The narrator did an amazing job and became one of my favorite narrators! If you are a reader, I suggest you listen to anything narrated by Lucy Emerson and if you are an author, then I suggest you hire her! Her Darcy interpretation was incredible and that is not always well accomplished by narrators.

The name of the book gives away the premise, President Darcy it is a modernization where Mr. Darcy is the President of the United States, and what better role could he have in the modern world? Victoria Kincaid really nailed it with this premise.

Washington DC was one of the US cities I most enjoyed visiting, it had a good vibe and I felt really well there. Somehow, it felt familiar, as if I had been there before (I blame the FBI shows for that), so when I learned that Victoria Kincaid was writing a modernization where Mr. Darcy is the President of the USA I was thrilled! I could only think that it would have many descriptions of Washington DC and that I would get that feeling of wellbeing all over again while reading it.

It turns out the book doesn’t describe Washington DC that much, and that wasn’t even necessary because Victoria Kincaid was able to gain my full attention with everything else in the book.
I also love politics and the topic is obviously addressed, which spiked my interest, but this is not an overly political book, it is a romance with interesting and intellectual characters that readers will love to get to know.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about President Darcy was the fact that Darcy is not only attracted to Elizabeth’s physique, but mainly to her intellect. In Regency, we know he likes her wit, but in President Darcy, Victoria Kincaid created a female character that is intelligent, caring, knowledgeable, honest and with an incredible strength of character. All of these traits enable her to attract the President of the United States, despite the awkward manner in which they met each other 🙂

As you can see I loved Elizabeth’s character, but she was not even my favorite character, my favorite was President Darcy! He was honest, charming, smart, sexy, with so much sense of duty and leadership skills one would not be able to resist him. One can feel his charm coming out of the pages of the book 🙂

Some of the secondary characters were very interesting too and I have to mention how much I laughed with this version of Mr. Collins, and how much I wanted to kill Lydia!

I don’t usually love modernizations but the investment Victoria Kincaid made in developing the characters personalities and their feelings was so well done that she made me love this one. I loved this Pemberley version and everything that happened in it, and in President Darcy I read the most unexpected proposal I have ever seen in JAFF and kind of surprised myself for loving it!

President Darcy remains until this moment one of my favorite modernizations of JAFF, if not my favorite. I highly recommend it to all those who love a good story with a powerful romance story able to keep readers entertained until the very end.

You can find President Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

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Yuletide

I could not have been more surprised when I heard a new anthology edited by Christina Boyd was coming out, I haven’t read Rational Creatures yet, but I had to read this one right away! After all, Yuletide compiles different stories during Christmas time and I could let this season go by without getting into this wonderful compilation, especially because it was written by some of my favourite authors.

The anthology is very diverse, you can find in it variations, sequels and modernizations, but all of them portray our favourite characters and have that special feeling that all Christmas romances have, and that transports us into a different reality.

The book starts with The Forfeit, a story penned by Caitlin Williams, and it could not have started better as I was immediately hooked. Everything about this story was perfect, the premise, the setting, the writing. I could not stop feeling overwhelmed by how incredible this story is. I have to tell you, Caitlin Williams is a literary genius and Christina Boyd chose very well the first story to be included in this anthology. This was definitely one of my favourites 🙂

The book continues with an equally good story written by an equally talented author, Joana Starnes brings into this anthology a sequel that is cozy and warm and will make you want to read it with a hot chocolate and a fire in front of you 🙂 You will feel you are right there with the characters and you will not want to leave!

After these two regency stories the book goes on with a modern that is absolutely delicious! Amy D’Orazio put her innovation and creative skills into this story and shows us a Christmas where Darcy is shown his future through a Facebook page. This magical story is all about Darcy and there is no way anyone could not love that 🙂

Lona Manning is next in the anthology and she wrote a sequel that includes the best Anne de Bourgh character I have ever seen! Elizabeth is put to test in this story, Darcy is charming as always, but it was Anne de Bourgh that caught my heart on this one! Absolutely loved it!

We go back to moderns with J. Marie Croft’s small town romance. I’m not sure if I have to say much more about this story, because to me, small town romance says it all! I just love them, especially when they are set during Christmas time 🙂

Anngela Schroeder is next on the Anthology and she brings us back to regency variations in a cleverly written story that uses wit to show Elizabeth how gullible she was. This story does one of the things I love the most in P&P variations, it teaches Elizabeth a lesson by showing her that first impressions should not define her final opinion about people. It was very well written and very well done!

At last Elizabeth Adams closes the anthology with a sequel that will make you laugh and wish for more! Once again, I think this was the perfect story to close the anthology, it is entertaining, funny and it shows us just how Darcy and Elizabeth’s married life can be. Her relations are not the only ones who need to be tamed after all!

This Anthology was the perfect book to finish my year, it is diverse with a little bit of everything but also consistent in the quality of the writing and the ability to keep the reader engaged.

I highly recommend this anthology to my fellow janeites, plus all proceeds are to benefit Chawton Great House in Hampshire, former manor of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight and now the Centre for the Study of Early Women’s Writing, 1600-1830, so that’s an extra reason to get it 😉

You can find Yuletide at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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Nowhere But North

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

You can find Nowhere But North at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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

An Arranged Marriage Review & Giveaway

As the name indicates An Arranged Marriage starts with Elizabeth agreeing to marry Mr. Darcy as part of what she believes to be an arrangement. Shortly after her refusal of Mr. Darcy at Hunsford, her father dies, and Mr. Darcy comes to the rescue by offering his hand in marriage to Elizabeth once more. She accepts his hand to save her family, but is led to believe their marriage will be something very different…

An Arranged Marriage is told from Elizabeth’s point of view with a first-person narration and the scenes are so good that I wish I could also read this story from Darcy’s perspective. This is something I feel quite frequently when the scenes are very intense or interesting and Jan Hahn is a master in creating that type of scenes! The moments between Darcy and Elizabeth are so tantalizing that I would love to know what he was thinking and feeling at each moment.

In the beginning I considered Elizabeth too childish and spoiled but that impression soon went away as she started to fall in love with Mr. Darcy and resemble the Elizabeth we all know. Her character becomes very true to Austen’s creation but Jan Hahn added something else, a little jealousy 🙂 This additional feature made me love this book even more because it brought more intensity of feeling to it.

The romance is exquisite and written with such eloquence that it becomes irresistible. It is slow, intense, believable, and whimsical at the same time and Jan Hahn proves once more to be an expert in this genre, writing everything one would like to see developed in a forced marriage scenario.

After the angsty beginning, which is by itself another ingredient to make me love a book, Jan Hahn took the time to show us how blissfull Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s marriage was. We could read how everything ended up for all characters and we had the time to savour those delicious moments. This is very typical of Jan Hahn and once more she did not disappoint, she creates an angsty story and then gives us a little mush to balance everything and please all types of readers.

Apart from Darcy and Elizabeth’s characters which I loved, the relationship between Georgiana and the Colonel was also endearing and I wanted to keep reading about it every time a new scene between them arose.

I highly recommend this book to all readers! As always, Ms Hahn presents us with a quality book full of romance and intensity between Darcy and Elizabeth, a book we don’t want to let go until we finish it, and that makes us dream about it once we’ve reached the end.

 

You can find An Arranged Marriage at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 


..

I would love to offer you a copy of this book, but unfortunately I don’t have an extra one, I do however have an extra paperback of The Journey, one of my favourite books from Jan Hahn, and also one of my all time favourites. I was very lucky to receive a signed copy of it and because I already had a paperback, I am now in a position to offer it to another reader.  I must say it has been read so it is mildly used. If you would like to win it anyway, please comment on this post and I will enter you in the giveaway. The giveaway is open until the 16th of August.

Good Luck everyone!

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Son of a Preacher Man

Son of a Preacher Man is a beautiful romance with an introspective tone that along with its characters take us into a journey of self discovery and acceptance from their teenage years into adulthood.

It was one of my favourite books this year and I have to start this review by saying I highly recommend it to readers who are looking for a character driven novel with an unforgettable love story.

I don’t usually like modernizations but I have recently started reading different era romances and I’m glad I did because I would have been missing incredible books such as this one.

The story starts in the end of 1950’s in a small town called Orchard Hill where we are introduced to Billy Ray, a young man like no other with a great sense of duty, righteousness, respect and kindness, but a little naive with the ways of the world. He is the son of the preacher and that is evident in his upbringing and personality, making him the perfect catch if you ask me. The story is entirely told from his point of view so we get to know him a little better than Lizzie, the girl who is struggling to cope with the treatment she receives from the townspeople due to her reputation. Her character is hard to define, particularly because Karen Cox did an excellent job with the character developments in this novel. Both Billy Ray and Lizzie’s personality evolve throughout the story as would be expected of young people who are still learning who they are and who they want to be, and that is part of the charm with Son of a Preacher, it takes us into this beautiful path of self discovery and the characters we knew in the beginning of the book are not the ones we will find in the end, in essential they are still the same, but they have matured into sensible loving people.

As you can see the character development was one of my favourite aspects in this book, but the love story doesn’t stay behind in my preference. I loved the fact that it also evolves, it also goes from something sweet into a solid love that will not abate. As the characters grow and change so does their love for one another, and what could have been just a sweet memory from the past, becomes a life changing romance which needs to fight very different battles from what we are used to. Another aspect of the book I loved were the antagonists to this love story, there were a few characters that made it harder, but the true antagonists were the couple’s fears, insecurities and misconceptions. It was so endearing to see how they were both able to be understanding and protective of each other at different times of their lives. These characters were truly hard to resist 🙂

The secondary characters were also well-developed and interesting to read about and it’s even hard to say which one I loved the most because they were all  essential to make this story so good, they were all developed in a way that made them perfectly integrated in the storyline. I loved the Quinlan family and all their members, Lilly reminded me a little of Lydia but in a charming way and Mrs Quinlan remains a mystery to me, but it was their family’s circumstances, their life, and how they responded to their difficulties that made me love them so much.

We can’t call this story a P&P variation, but there are many similarities in the characters we find throughout the story and readers will be happy to see Mrs Gardiner and Richard’s interference in it or even smile at the similarity with which the male character saves the female character’s younger sister.

Son of a Preacher Man is like no other book I have ever read, the character development was impressive and had a magnetic pull to it, the romance was believable, true, inspiring, life changing and passionate, the writing was addictive and the message of hope, forgiveness and love that is transmitted throughout the novel made it one of the best books I’ve read this year. It will most definitely be on my favourite list from 2018 and I am sure I will not forget this story in the next few years 🙂

“I don’t want to erase it, because our pasts led us to the here and now. What we have to learn is how to accept the past for what it was and change our separate paths to one we can walk together”

You can find Son of a Preacher Man at :

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

11 Comments

July 28, 2018 · 7:43 pm

The Darcy Legacy Review & Giveaway

 

Good evening everyone,

I am the last one reviewing The Darcy Legacy on its blog tour and as I am sure you’ve noticed by now Joana Starnes is one of my favourite writers, so I believe it comes as no surprise that her latest book is a 5 star read to me. I am not saying that because I have loved the authors previous books I will automatically love all her future books, but one of the aspects that makes me love Joana Starnes’s books so much is her writing style, the ability she has to touch my heart with every sentence and to feel absorbed by the book, and no matter what the plot is, she will always carry with her those characteristics because they are part of who she is as a writer and this book proved just that.

Another aspect I love about Joana Starnes’s books is the angst she brings to them,  but this time she decided to do something different, and you will find little angst in The Darcy Legacy. You will see the angst was replaced by humour and a little touch of the supernatural, which is also a favourite of mine 😉

If I would have to choose the one thing I loved the most in this book I would have to say it was the characters. Joana Starnes always portrays very realistic characters with qualities but also flaws, and she did that once more. I hate to read stories with perfect Elizabeth’s and even worse, perfect Darcy’s, and that is definitely not what you will find in this book. These characters are as true to Austen as they are realistic.

The secondary characters were also an incredible addition to The Darcy Legacy. The author brought some humanity to Lady Catherine, and once more made her a believable character with a deep affection for her daughter, even if not shown in the best of ways. I mean, why does Lady Catherine always has to be such a villain? I don’t believe that’s how Jane Austen saw her. An arrogant member of the aristocracy yes, but not a conniving villain. She believed herself better than other people, but let’s face it, that was the way of the world and even if we can criticise that attitude I think we cannot go so far as to make her a one-dimensional character with a propensity to evil. Joana Starnes excels at portraying characters exactly as they were developed by Jane Austen, no more and no less, and that is remarkably visible in this book.

Anne was definitely a favourite character for me and I liked to see that she was entitled to her own story,  Colonel Fitzwilliam was hilarious and Mr. Darcy senior and Mrs Darcy were also characters whose company I enjoyed in The Darcy Legacy. It was lovely to see how they finally learned to understand each other in the afterlife even if the love and tenderness for one another was already there.

In this novel Darcy’s love for Elizabeth is strong and intense and I confess I adored the chapters before and after their first kiss! I loved everything about this part of the book, the dialogues, the characters, the intensity it had, the romance, and even the tenacity of both characters.

I don’t usually care much about humour in a book, but I have to say that Joana Starnes’ venture into it was very successful, especially when the ghosts were involved (this is really no spoiler as you’ll know there are ghosts in the first scene of the book). The last chapters with the additional new characters and their interactions were also incredibly funny and added an interesting twist to the story.

The only quibble I might have with this book is that it is slow-paced compared to the authors other novels, especially in the end, but that also gives us more time with all the characters we love, so who can complain? This book is definitely different from Joana Starnes’s previous works but just as good and I highly recommend it to all Janeites.

You can find The Darcy Legacy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 


Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats – physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst – but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine.

She is the author of eight Austen-inspired novels: From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley, The Subsequent Proposal, The Second Chance, The Falmouth Connection, The Unthinkable Triangle, Miss Darcy’s Companion, Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter and The Darcy Legacy, and one of the contributing authors to The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know and the upcoming Rational Creatures (due in October 2018).

You can contact Joana through the following social media:

www.joanastarnes.co.uk

www. facebook.com/AllRoadsLeadToPemberley.JoanaStarnes/

www.facebook.com/joana.a.starnes

www.twitter.com/Joana_Starnes

Joana’s books on Amazon.com

Joana’s books on Amazon.co.uk

Joana’s books on Goodreads

 


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Joana is offering 10 copies of The Darcy Legacy, 20 audiobook codes, each one is good for one of her audiobooks and a $25.00 Amazon gift card. The giveaway runs until midnight, July 16, 2018 and to enter it all you have to do is comment on this post and click here.

Good Luck everyone!

 

52 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, JAFF, jane austen, Joana Starnes, Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice