Category Archives: 5 stars

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey Review & Giveaway

2-1-donwell-cover5 stars

Hello everyone,

Last year I devoured Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes in one day and the book caused such an impression on me that I considered it one of my favorites from 2016.

The only issue I had with the book was that the second volume, Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, would only be available in January 2017 and I didn’t want to wait that long to read it.

I eagerly waited until I could read Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, and when I put my hands on it, I was once again compelled to read it in one day. I simply could not stop reading this book, and that is because Ginger Monette has a fluid and enticing writing style that make her books true page-turners.

You don’t necessarily need to read Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes to enjoy Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey because even if this is a continuation of the story, readers will easily understand and get immersed in this new story, but the impact this second book will have is much different if you read the first, so I recommend reading Beauty from Ashes first.

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey starts with Elizabeth receiving very disturbing news that imply she is part of a conspiracy of traitors who helped German officers escape from the Allies on the continent (if you haven’t read the blurb yet, the book occurs during the first World War). She knows that traitors are convicted to death and that people associated to them will most likely be shunned by society, so in an attempt to save her own life and protect Darcy she goes into hiding.

When Darcy discovers Elizabeth is missing, he understands the reasons behind this and does everything in his power to find her and let her know that the news she heard are not true, that she is safe from the malicious rumors and they can be happy together, but Elizabeth outsmarts him and assumes a new identity as a VAD nurse. She becomes Miss Juliet Thomas, the assistant of Dr. Scott, who is sent to work at Hartfield facility.

In the meantime, Darcy is obliged to remain in the continent and is send to the front. Being unable to find Elizabeth, he is devoid of hope, and in an altruistic and heroic act gets seriously injured in battle. He is then sent back to England and transported to Hartfield which belongs to his family. In this new hospital he will be under Dr. Scott’s care and in close proximity to Elizabeth who will be crucial to assist him in his recovery.

It is at Hartfield, close to Donwell Abbey, that our characters will face their biggest trial in life. They will suffer, despair, lose all hope and regain it once more; they will laugh, cherish each other and grow as human beings, and in the end, they will have their happy ending.

This book is simultaneously powerful, intense and beautiful. It is very hard for me to cry with a book, but on Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey tears came to my eyes as feelings consumed and pulled me into the story and the characters reality. The path both Darcy and Elizabeth take in this book is a dark one, and the tone is completely different from Beauty From Ashes. In this book the characters are more mature and the relationship they establish is not a passionate love/hate one, it is based on understanding, friendship, respect and perseverance.

I particularly liked the fact that Darcy never gave up on Elizabeth, and that she yielded to her feelings in the end.

Darcy and Elizabeth are central characters in the book, but there are several cameo appearances of other known characters such as Col. Brandon and Marianne Dashwood. The ones I loved the most were John Thornton and Margaret Hale from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. If you don’t love John Thornton yet, you will once you see how crucial he will be on Darcy’s life. I hope the author writes a Great War Romance based on John and Margaret’s POV very, very shortly 🙂 The stories intertwine in perfections and I would dearly love to see this romance through their eyes and experiences having Darcy and Elizabeth as mere secondary characters.

Summing up, Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey is full of depth, intensity and historical romance. It is incredibly well written and the development of the characters fears and war trauma is beautifully accomplished. I highly recommend it not only to JAFF readers but anyone who wants a good historical romance.

9-2-donwell-teaser-2-jpg

The Darcy’s Hope Saga is available for purchase on Amazon:

Amazon.com – Darcy’s Hope – Beauty from Ashes & Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey  

Amazon.co.uk –Darcy’s Hope – Beauty from Ashes & Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey 

To have a better idea of what this book is all about I would like to invite you read the blurb and the excerpt we brought you today 🙂

 

***Book Blurb***

  1. Amidst the chaos of WW1, Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy has won the heart of Elizabeth Bennet. Finally.

Then she disappears.

Still reeling from the loss, Darcy is struck by a battlefield tragedy that leaves him in a dark and silent world.

Sent to Donwell Abbey to recover, he’s coaxed back to life by an extraordinary nurse. A woman whose uncanny similarities to Elizabeth invite his admiration and entice his affections.

His heart tells him to hold on to Elizabeth. His head tells him to take a chance with his nurse.

But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything.

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey in this enthralling stand-alone sequel* to Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes that includes appearances by John Thornton, Margaret Hale, Colonel Brandon, Marianne Dashwood, and descendants of George Knightley.

  • May be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, but readers may experience some minor confusions without the context of the mystery of Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes.
  • Has a happy ending for Lizzy and Darcy.
  • Romance is clean. Minor language and some recollections of graphic war scenes.

 

***Excerpt***

Elizabeth bolted from the chair. “Fitzwilliam, wake up!” She nudged his arm in the darkened room, but he continued writhing with great heaving breaths. “Captain!” She squeezed his hand, but he jerked it away, whimpering.

On impulse, she slid her arms under his shoulders and held him close. Instantly his thrashing ceased.

Gently rocking him, she massaged the unbandaged hair at his temple and whispered against his cheek, “It’s all right. Just a dream.”

He breathing slowed, but his body remained tense. “My ribs…hurt.”

She lowered him back to the pillow, then tapped on his hand, Try to relax. All right now?

“Mmm…. Water. And morphine.”

She squeezed his hand and poured water into the hospital cup. She touched the pill to his lips then offered the porcelain straw.

He swallowed. “Who are you?”

Elizabeth froze and closed her eyes. How she longed to tell him the truth, then brush a kiss on his lips, assure him of her love, and promise to stay by his side.

She took his hand and spelled, Miss Thomas.

“Thank you…Miss Thomas.”

Elizabeth sank into the wing chair and released a heavy breath. Could she bear to be so close and yet so far away from Fitzwilliam?

9-3-donwell-teaser-3

 

*** Author Bio***

3-1-headshotWinner of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2015 “Picture This” grand prize, Ginger lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.

Author Contacts:

Website: GingerMonette.com

Author’s Facebook: is here

Goodreads: here

Amazon: here

***It’s Giveaway time***

Ginger Monette would like to offer to three lucky winners ( open to US residents only) a tin of Downton Abbey Tea! All you have to do is click on the  Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

4-1-give-away-graphic

***Blog Tour***

Excited about this book? Follow the blog tour for more reviews, excerpts and information on Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey.

Feb 1  The Ardent Reader

Feb 2 From Pemberley to Milton

Feb 3 My Jane Austen Book Club

Feb 4  My Love for Jane Austen

Feb 5  vvb32reads

Feb 6  Just Jane 1813

Feb 7  Savvy Verse & Wit

Feb 8  Austenesque Reviews

Feb 9  My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice

Feb 10 Babblings of a Bookworm

Feb 11  Obsessed with Mr. Darcy

Feb 12  Musings from the Yellow Kitchen

Feb 13  Half Agony, Half Hope

Feb 14  My Vices and Weaknesses

Feb 15  Diary of an Eccentric

Feb 16  Every Savage Can Dance

Feb 17  More Agreeably Engaged

Feb 18  The Calico Critic

Feb 20  Austenesque Reviews

Feb 21  More than Thornton

Feb 22  Margie’s Must Reads

Feb 23  Delighted Reader

Feb 24  Becky’s Book Reviews

Feb 26  Linda Andrews

Feb 27  Every Woman Dreams

Feb 28  Tomorrow is Another Day

7-1-tour-schedule-banner-dhada

27 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

The Best Part of Love Review & Giveaway

best-part-of-love-front-cover5 stars

Hello everyone,

The Best Part of Love is everything but canon and it contains several aspects I usually dislike on a JAFF story: Elizabeth marries someone else, has a child from that marriage and worse than that, she actually loves her first husband! These 3 facts alone would lead me away from this book and I confess I would not have read it if I had not heard so many good comments about it. But I did read it and ended up considering it one of my favourite reads from 2016! And why is that, you may wonder? The Best Part of Love portrays one of the deepest and strongest love stories I have ever seen developed in JAFF, plus, it has an enormous amount of angst which is always a favourite of mine 🙂

When I started reading it I could not stop thinking that the author would have to be incredibly good to make me love this story, but the book is quite long and before I knew it Darcy and Elizabeth were spending time together and gradually falling in love with each other, well…at least for Elizabeth it was gradual, so I had not finished reading it and I already wanted to re-read it to go back to the small details from the beginning that were no longer in my memory.

With several new characters, plots, conspiracies and historical aspects we soon forget that Elizabeth deeply loved her previous husband and has a child, instead, we start focusing on the love she is growing for Darcy and all the beautiful moments they spend together.

I don’t want to say too much because knowing what may happen and especially when it happens may spoil the book for you, but let me just tell you that Elizabeth’s love for her previous husband will pale in comparison to the love she has for Darcy and that is just what I needed to overcome my initial worries. Elizabeth realises that what she felt was not exactly love, not quite…at least not an epic love, not the love she could only have for Darcy! Seeing her come to this conclusion was one of the best rewards I could have in this book.

The book is long but not slow paced and the story and character development kept me interested from the beginning until the end. In fact, the book truly needed to have this length or it would not be as good. We needed to see the characters go through a certain path to understand how strong and deep Darcy and Elizabeth’s love is.

The angst was expected and on several pages I kept thinking, “don’t say it, don’t say it, please just don’t say it”, of course they all said what I didn’t want to hear, so I just started thinking “this is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening”. But it was happening and getting worse, with more moments than I can count when I felt like tearing my poor heart out! I don’t know how Darcy survived this, or Elizabeth! So when it comes to angst this book hits the charts and I just love that 🙂 If like me you love angst, this book is for you, but be prepared, some moments are just heartbreaking and you will probably cry a river.

Summing up, The Best Part of Love is a roller coaster of emotions that will keep you reading from the first page until the end. It has romance, adventure, mystery, angst but also several rewarding moments throughout the book that culminate in a happy ending that will give the readers an enormous satisfaction. It’s a different, interesting and hard journey, but in the end it will all be worth it 🙂

You can find this book at :

Amazon.com – The Best Part of Love

Amazon.co.uk – The Best Part of Love

.

***Book Blurb***

Avoiding the truth does not change the truth

When Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Miss Elizabeth Bennet he has no idea that she — that indeed, the entire town of Meryton — harbors a secret. Miss Elizabeth, a simply country girl from a humble estate, manages to capture first his fascination and then his heart without him ever knowing the truth of her past.

When she meets Darcy, Elizabeth had spent the two years prior hiding from the men who killed her beloved first husband. Feeling herself destroyed by love, Elizabeth has no intention of loving again, certainly not with the haughty man who could do nothing but offend her in Hertfordshire.

In London, Elizabeth surprises herself by finding in Darcy a friend; even greater is her surprise to find herself gradually coming to love him and even accepting an offer of marriage from him. Newly married, they are just beginning to settle into their happily ever after when a condemned man on his way to the gallows divulges a shattering truth, a secret that contradicts everything Elizabeth thought she knew about the tragic circumstances of her first marriage. Against the advice of everyone who loves her, including Darcy, Elizabeth begins to ask questions. But will what they learn destroy them both?

.

***Author Bio***

Amy D’Orazio is a former breast cancer researcher and current stay at home mom who is addicted to Austen and Starbucks in about equal measures. While she adores Mr. Darcy, she is married to Mr. Bingley and their Pemberley is in Pittsburgh PA.

She has two daughters who are devoted to sports which require long practices and began writing her own stories as a way to pass the time she spent sitting in the lobbies of various gyms and studios. She is a firm believer that all stories should have long looks, stolen kisses and happily ever afters. Like her favorite heroine, she dearly loves a laugh and considers herself an excellent walker.

aidorazio-11-2016Contact Info:

Website

Goodreads Author Page

Facebook: Amy D’Orazio

Twitter

Instagram: amydorazio

Pinterest

.
.
***Blog Tour***
bpolhorizontalbanner
 

  6 Jan My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

  7 Jan Just Jane 1813; Review

  8 Jan Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway

  9 Jan Every Savage Can Dance; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

10 Jan Tomorrow is Another Day; Review

11 Jan Savvy Verse & Wit; Character Interview, Giveaway

12 Jan Half Agony, Half Hope; Review

13 Jan Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

14 Jan Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

15 Jan Delighted Reader; Review

16 Jan From Pemberley to Milton; Review  

17 Jan A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life; Guest Post   

18 Jan Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review

19 Jan My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice; Vignette, Giveaway  

20 Jan Diary of an Eccentric; Review

21 Jan More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway

.

***It’s Giveaway Time***

To enter the giveaway, click here!

38 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter Review & Giveaway

5 stars

I’ve probably said this before but when I start reading a Joana Starnes book my question is not whether I’m going to love it, but how much I will love it. Her latest release, Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, went off the charts and became one of my favorites from Joana Starnes. One would think she could not come up with something I would love as much or more than The Unthinkable Triangle, The Falmouth Connection or The Subsequent Proposal, but here she is surprising me once more!

Before going into many details I would just like to say that the only thing I don’t like about Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter is that it is so good that my job at reviewing it becomes extremely difficult. Even so, it almost kill me to have to wait until today to review it, I’ve been eager to discuss this book with everyone else 🙂

I would also like to give you some advice: before reading this book make sure that there is no one in the house to interrupt you (you won’t want to stop until the end); you have some tissues near you (I doubt many people will not cry), chocolate is at hand (you’ll need it!) and that your heart is strong enough to survive intense emotions (this will be a hard one).

That being said, this is one of the best books Joana Starnes has ever written and I’ve loved them all, so that says a lot!

In this variation, while Elizabeth is at Kent and just before Col. Fitzwilliam reveals Mr. Darcy’s part in separating Jane from Bingley, Mr. Bennet has an attack that leaves him in a very bad state. Afraid that he will not survive, and knowing Mr. Collins will not be very welcoming to his family, Mr. Darcy decides to offer to Elizabeth to protect her from a most trying circumstance. He would propose on that day anyway, so he just anticipated the proposal a few hours 😉 Thinking of her family and the consequences to leave them unprotected against Mr. Collins entreaties, Elizabeth accepts Mr. Darcy’s proposal. This is a plot that we have seen quite frequently, but the way Mrs. Starnes develops it is quite unique!

Elizabeth marries without loving Darcy, but another thing Mrs. Starnes is an expert at is creating the most loving moments between our dear couple through the most simple and daily moments, so with time and despite their several discussions and differences, we see Elizabeth falling in love with her ever strong and caring husband.

In fact, the first half of the book will satisfy the need for romance and endearing moments between Darcy and Elizabeth. Yes, she will have her reserves, but Mr. Darcy will be the best husband someone could hope for, and he will be so happy that our heart will break just thinking that probably that happiness will be shattered once he realizes she doesn’t love him. Poor, poor Darcy! I love how Joana Starnes makes him suffer in the most agonizing way…but I digress.

I have always believed Elizabeth deserved to suffer as much or even more than Mr. Darcy, and I’m proud to say that I am a member of the “Lets Torture Elizabeth club”. I thought that Joana Starnes had done a pretty good job at it in Miss Darcy’s Companion… until I read Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. While reading the first part of the book I felt Elizabeth deserved to suffer a little, but after seeing her treatment of Mrs. Bennet, who was in my opinion marvelously developed by Joana Starnes, I no longer believed, but knew that she deserved to suffer. I mean, everyone had someone to give them comfort before and after Mr. Bennet’s death except Mrs. Bennet. She was always alone during this trial, with no one to protect or care for her so I believe Elizabeth could have been a little more understanding towards her mother who was only guilty of being herself. Taking this into consideration, when I realized Mrs. Starnes was going to make Elizabeth suffer a little, I was happy. When her suffering continued I thought Mrs. Starnes had overwhelmed herself in this book, and as I continued reading, something happened to me for the first time since I started reading JAFF: I wanted Elizabeth’s suffering to stop! I couldn’t take it anymore, it wasn’t poor, poor Darcy anymore, it was poor, poor Elizabeth, and that was when I realized this was clearly and without a doubt one of the best books Joana Starnes would ever write!

We all know Joana Starnes is the angst queen, few are able to do it so well as her, and In Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter we could see the clouds approaching, we could sense a storm was coming, but when it arrives, it is not just a few drops of rain, it comes as a full force Tornado!

 

“Sleep came at last, for both, and they drifted in soothingly calm waters, blissfully ignorant of the storms to come”

 

I believe one of my comments while reading this book has been shared with you, but taking the risk of repeating myself, I think nothing can describe this better than my thoughts at the time “It can’t get any worse than this!… Wait, it’s a Joana Starnes books, of course it can!”

This was such an anticipated book that most people have probably read it by now, but those who have not, prepare yourselves! Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter is a roller-coaster of emotions, it will surprise you at every turn, make you turn the pages frenetically until the end and haunt you for days, until you give up and re-read it!

The raw emotions I have when reading a Starnes book always make me too emotional when writing the reviews, hence not very objective or straight to the point, but most works of art leave us speechless don’t they? So I hope you can understand through this disarray I’ve written how absolutely marvelous this book is.

You can find Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

.

*** Book Blurb***

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?

 

***Author Bio***

Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. A medical graduate, in more recent years she has developed an unrelated but enduring fascination with Georgian Britain in general and the works of Jane Austen in particular, as well as with the remarkable and flamboyant set of people who have given the Regency Period its charm and sparkle.

Joana Starnes is the author of:

* From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley’, a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ sequel

* ‘The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice & Persuasion’

* ‘The Second Chance’ ~ A ‘Pride & Prejudice’ ~ ‘Sense & Sensibility’ variation


* ‘The Falmouth Connection’, – A Pride and Prejudice Variation

* ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ – A Pride and Prejudice Variation

*’Miss Darcy’s Companion’ – A Pride and Prejudice Variation

.

You can find Joana Starnes on:

Facebook: All Roads Lead to Pemberley/ Joana Starnes Facebook Page

Twitter: Joana Starnes/ Twitter

Goodreads: Joana Starnes Goodreads Author Page

Amazon:  Joana Starnes Amazon Author Page

 

***Blog Tour***

The blog tour is just starting so you will have a lot of opportunities to learn more about this book with the interviews, guest posts, excerpts and reviews that are to come.

Follow the several stops to be better acquainted with this story and increase your chances of winning a copy 😉

 

November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

November 18/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway

November 19/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post & Giveaway

November 21/ Margie’s Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 23/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving

November 25/ So Little Time… So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway

November 26/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes & Giveaway

November 2 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway

November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway

December 1/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway

December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway

 

***It’s Giveaway Time***

Joana Starnes would like to offer one ebook copy of Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter to the readers of From Pemberley to Milton. The giveaway is international and is open until the end of the blog tour on December 2nd.

All you have to do is comment on this post and let us know your thoughts on this book or Joana’s previous works 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

 

77 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, giveaway, Joana Starnes, Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

Darcy’s Hope – Review & Giveaway

5 stars

 

Hello everyone,

I had never heard of Darcy’s Hope, I didn’t know author Ginger Monette, and alternate eras are not my favorite type of variations, so I wasn’t sure of what to expect of this book when I started reading it. Now that I’ve read it, I can honestly say Darcy’s Hope is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had while reading JAFF.

This alternate era variation will take us to the middle of WWI where Captain Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, after briefly meeting in Heartforshire, will be stationed at “The Ritz”, a private chateaux turned into a hospital, assuming their roles as a Captain of his Majesty’s army and VAT nurse. But do not be scared or alarmed if you think the surroundings of the war will be too harsh on our characters or inhibit the romance. They will not. Ginger Monette did a prodigious job at balancing the historical notions she clearly obtained during her investigation, and the romance we are so used to when it comes to JAFF. The synchrony between the historical aspects and the romance is perfect, giving the reader a pleasant reading experience.

The scenario was actually very comforting as we could clearly imagine the characters’ lives in the chateaux and surrounding fields, but not only did I love to see these characters living in the same place and having several opportunities to observe each other and learn to appreciate the other’s attributes, thus, slowly falling madly in love with each other, but also loved their interactions, their dialogues and arguments. They were mature and logical and I could clearly understand the points of view of both characters and imagine them saying those words and sentences.

The dialogues designed by the author were not created with the single purpose of creating conflict between the characters, they were true and very much in character with both Darcy and Elizabeth. The arguments they used while arguing showed a deep understanding of the others character and we could see them act, without even realising it,  as the others conscience, which was something beautiful to see. Both Darcy and Elizabeth opened the others eyes about their own behaviors and fears, and that knowledge of the others soul was magical. I particularly loved to see how, with only one sentence, Mr. Darcy showed Elizabeth that her father’s behavior shaped her view of man and life, and to see her recognize he was right and that her fears could be overcome and her life’s goals could be different if she conquered that inner fear.

I particularly loved this Darcy! He was not too proud or too distant, just enough to make him perfect! I felt he was a very balanced Darcy that fully corresponded to my ideals of him. I loved the struggles he had to overcome, and I’m not only talking about his feelings for Elizabeth, but also the fear of letting himself feel and open his heart to others after it had suffered so much with the impacts of war. Plus, I loved the militarized version of Darcy who could protect Elizabeth in every way possible, I thought it incredibly sexy.

The writing was very fluid and diversified and I was so immersed in the book that I spent my days eagerly waiting to come home, continuing reading it, and getting into this story and these characters lives. I impatiently anticipated the moment I could get lost in this story, and I think that says a lot about the quality of the book.

And of course, I could not believe my eyes when I saw that John Thornton had a cameo on this book! I absolutely loved seeing him with Darcy, and even if he has a small role in this book, I absolutely loved that he was the one opening Darcy’s eyes regarding a man’s worth. It was Thornton who made Darcy realize that a man’s worth is in his actions and his character and not in his station in life. I could not picture a better person to make Darcy realize that. I have often thought of how perfect it would be to have a crossover between Pride & Prejudice and North & South, but because the stories are in different eras it is difficult to create a story with all my favorite characters. This alternate era story allowed that to happen, and I can only hope that in Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, I will have the pleasure of Darcy and Thornton establishing a more solid friendship!

Even if this book has a sort of happy ending, it does have a continuation and when I finished it I could not believe I would have to wait until January to read it! I’m really, really eager to read Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, so much, that it is even hard for me to read something else in between. I just wish I could read it straight away!

Summing up, I highly recommend Darcy’s Hope, it is an extremely well built and well written book full of history, intrigue and romance which captured my heart and mind to the point of not wishing to do anything else apart from reading it.

 

Darcy’s Hope is available at :

Amazon.com – Darcy’s Hope – Beauty From Ashes

Amazon.co.uk – Darcy’s Hope – Beauty From Ashes

 

I think you can tell by my review that I absolutely loved this book, so if my comments got you curious, you can find out more about this book through Lizzie’s Scrapbook where you can find the people and places Lizzie encountered through her time in the continent, the book trailer (yes, there is a video trailer, yey!), the audio excerpt (what if instead of reading an excerpt you could listen to it?) and the blurb.

Click here to see Lyzzy’s Scapbook 🙂

lizzies-scrapbook

And on the video below to see the trailer 🙂

 

But, if you prefer to read about the book instead of seeing the images or the video, there is always the blurb, of course 🙂

 

***Book Blurb***

_______________________________________________________

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside literature’s iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. You’ll watch their tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences amidst the carnage of war.

_______________________________________________________

1916. World War I has turned French chateaux into bloody field hospitals, British gentlemen into lice-infested soldiers, and left Elizabeth Bennet’s life in tatters.

Her father is dead and her home destroyed. Never again will Elizabeth depend on a man to secure her future!

But when an opportunity arises to advance her dreams of becoming a doctor, she is elated—until he arrives….

Heartbroken. Devastated. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy is left rejected by the woman he loved and reeling from the slaughter of his men on the battlefield. “Enough!” Darcy vows. “No more sentimental attachments!”

But arriving at a field hospital to pursue a covert investigation, Darcy discovers his beloved Elizabeth training with a dashing American doctor and embroiled in an espionage conspiracy.

With only a few months to expose the plot, Darcy is forced to grapple with his feelings for Elizabeth while uncovering the truth. Is she indeed innocent? Darcy can only hope….

  • Cameo appearance by John Thornton (of Gaskell’s North & South).
  • Rated PG. Clean romance, mild language, some war scenes.
  • Darcy’s Hope has a happy ending but will continue in Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, coming in January 2017. In the sequel, readers will experience the full resolution of the mystery, and our beloved couple’s love will face a new, tragic test.

 

Would you like to listen to an excerpt of Darcy’s Hope?

.

***Author Bio***

gingerThe teacher always learns the most. And in homeschooling her children, Ginger Monette learned all the history she missed in school. Now she’s hooked—on writing and World War I.

When not writing, Ginger enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.

Her WW1 flash fiction piece, Flanders Field of Grey, won Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2015 Picture This grand prize.

Ginger lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she happily resides with her husband, three teenagers, and two loyal dogs.

Website: GingerMonette.com

Author’s Facebook: is here

Goodreads: here

Amazon Page: here

 

***It’s giveaway time***

With Darcy’s Hope set during the era of Downton Abbey and the tour being right before Christmas, Ginger Monette thought it would be fun to use Downton Abbey ornaments as the giveaway. Therefore she would like to offer seven ornaments of Downton Abbey.

The ornament giveaway is open to US residents in the continental US. The prize for residents of the continental UK is a Downton Abbey mug.

All you have to do to apply to the giveway is click here.

Entrants will get additional entries for commenting on this blog.

.

***Blog Tour***

There are still many stops on the blog tour, so don’t forget to check all the other blogs for more information on this book and chances to win the giveway 🙂

tour

20 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

Darcy By Any Other Name Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

DBAON5 stars

Darcy By Any Other Name was the best surprise I had this year when it comes to reading. I didn’t know the author and the premise led me to believe this would be a funny easy read perfect for the summer time. But the book is much, much more than that and it turned out to be one of my favorite books this year!

Laura Hile drove away from canon and created the most humorous variation possible! What if Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins swapped bodies after getting hit by a lightning? How would each of these man react when placed in the others shoes? What about the people around them? How would they view each man if their actions were different from what was expected?

When waking up in Mr. Collins body, Mr. Darcy learns a valuable lesson: humility. But that is not all he learns in this book as we go from a diverting humorous story to a romantic subplot and an adventure which will keep us holding our breaths until the end. Mr. Darcy is forced to see how other people’s lives are, and not just Mr. Collins, but also the servants life. He is forced to see how his life was easy compared to others, and how privileged he was for being born in such a situation in life. This new perspective starts to change him and the way he acts towards others but always remaining faithful to his old self.

The greatest surprise for me in Darcy by Any Other Name was the romance. This book made me laugh from the beginning until the end, but it was not just humorous! It becomes romantic and passionate with Mr. Darcy being everything he should be: intelligent, honorable, romantic yet guarded, fervent, flirtatious but firm and strong in his ideals and convictions.

The first kiss we see between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth is so perfect that I could not put the book down after that. I stayed up reading until 4h in the morning and I just wanted more and more!

But if you’re used to reading my reviews, you know there is something that always makes me completely and utterly in love with a book, and that is angst! Now, I would never believe this book had so much angst but it is full of it. So much that it made my heart ache to the point I wanted to tear it out! Well, that or kill Mr. Collins and get over with it, because along with the angst, comes the hate for Mr. Collins. What a lying coward that man turned out to be! I just wanted Darcy back to his own body, happy with Elizabeth by his side and Collins long gone, but of course that would take all the fun of the book, so my only choice was to avidly read every single page to finally reached the HEA.

But don’t be put down if you’re not so much into angst as I am because you will have a lot of romantic moments, in fact, the complicity and intimacy Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth share is so beautiful that we can feel true love blossoming I their hearts. I love books that allow me to see the love between these two characters grow and that is precisely what happens in Darcy By Any Other Name.

I loved this book from the first page to the last and no matter how much I praise it, I don’t think it will be revealing of how much joy it gave me to read it. I obviously recommend this to anyone in need of a beautiful love story between Darcy and Elizabeth.

You can find Darcy By Any Other Name at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

Curious about this novel? Do you wonder what it was like for Darcy to swap bodies with Collins? Well, you have an opportunity to know all about it in first hand as Mr. Darcy himself decided to share with my readers what this experience was like for him 😉

 

.

Ebenezer Scrooge had it Easy!

A guest post by Fitzwilliam Darcy

.

colin-firth-darcyThe life of the fictional hero is fraught with difficulty. Let me tell you, I know all about it. How we suffer at the hands of writers!

Our authors give reasons—plausible-sounding rationalizations!—that are all of them base and self-serving. “Without conflict there is no story,” the writers bleat, as if this is an adequate explanation. Please. Even more contemptible is this whopper: “We women love seeing a handsome, desirable man writhing in the throes of love.”

Writhing? Lovely.

Truly, I do not understand women. We men find no joy in seeing them thwarted in love. No, men relish the thrill of the chase–a literal chase, such as horses racing or devious espionage with gunshots. For us a gripping tale involves the conflict of sport or hard-won victories on the battlefield (or the trout stream). And at the end of a successful endeavor, a kiss from the beloved heroine.

Writers also enjoy being “inventive,” and this is the most galling of the authorial excuses. I thought Ebenezer Scrooge had it bad when Dickens invented ghosts with which to plague him. Ha! Laura Hile went exponentially beyond that when she made me switch bodies with Collins.

You read that right, with Mr. Collins—that podgy, pompous, prosy blighter who can empty a room simply by opening his mouth! Moreover, Hile had me switch places with Collins at the time he was a guest at Longbourn. My bedchamber was three doors away from adorable Elizabeth Bennet’s, for pity’s sake!

Woo Elizabeth? Forget that! As Collins I hadn’t a chance. For two hundred years women have been shuddering at Collins’ courtship techniques. The man puts the “ick” in “romantic”!

Poor Scrooge had to look on as he was shown Christmases past, present, and future, but I had a harder road. I had to endure Collins’ foolish past decisions, walk through his reprehensible present, and look forward to his baleful future. Even worse, I had to watch Collins attempt to fill my shoes—as Fitzwilliam Darcy. It was beyond galling—and once I stopped laughing, I took Hile sternly to task.

She gave me a pitying look and kept writing. Confound the woman, she even had Collins (as me) propose to Elizabeth! This bit of information is, I believe, called a spoiler. You’ll have to read the book to see how that turned out—but not while you’re swallowing hot coffee, I beg you.

Hile went on to sweeten the pot. She promised me that I could kiss Elizabeth (or at least give it a go), and this stunner caused me to reconsider. After all, I would never have the chance to kiss her as myself, not at that point in Pride and Prejudice. And then Hile told me I would be crossing swords with my Aunt Catherine, giving a set-down to Caroline Bingley, and rearranging George Wickham’s face. Yes, blood would be involved. Yes, Wickham would scream like a girl. Oho!

My response was instantly transformed from tacit cooperation (“Oh, very well”) to heartfelt enthusiasm (“Tally-ho!”).

Darcy By Any Other Name turned out rather better than my best expectations—although I do wish it was my face, not Collins’ mug, on the cover. You will sigh, cry, laugh, and cheer me on when (as Collins) I kosh George Wickham. And don’t forget that promised kiss…

Give this book a go. You won’t be disappointed.

.

***It’s giveaway time***

This excerpt took me back to the pleasurable moments I spent reading Darcy By Any Other Name! This Darcy is just irresistible, but now it’s giveaway time!!!

Laura Hile would like to offer one of my readers an e-book copy of Darcy By Any Other Name, all you have to do is comment this post and share with us your thoughts on this story.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 10th of September.

Good luck everyone!

48 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Northern Rain Review & Giveaway

NR Final FC4 071516 nobld SM5 stars

Hello everyone,

I could not be happier when I was told Nicole Clarkston had released a new North and South variation novel, so I bought it immediately and from the moment I started reading it I could not put it down. Nicole Clarkston sure knows how to captivate readers with a stunning beginning!

Northern Rain begins on a cold rainy day with Mr. Thornton visiting his father’s graveside on the anniversary of his death. He is heartbroken thinking of Margaret and what he lost, when the lady herself passes by and, seeing a sad Mr. Thornton on the rain, decides to be kind and offers him protection under his umbrella. In this initial scene they do not communicate with verbal words, but much is said and perceived. I absolutely love when and author makes me feel the intensity of the characters feelings without even making them say a word, and that is precisely what happens in this intense and emotional scene. On their walk home Margaret tries to clear her name and reputation in Mr. Thornton’s eyes as this story is set after Mrs. Hale’s death, and this is the first step for a growing friendship between them, that will obviously turn into an angst filled romance very soon.

This small change in the plot will have some important impacts: Mr. Thornton begins to wonder about Margaret’s indiscretion, Mr. Hale has John’s company and with Margaret’s support and medical intervention survives, and Margaret’s love and admiration for Mr. Thornton begins much sooner in the story.

However that does not mean that all the angst, tribulations, internal and external struggles will not come in the way of John and Margaret, by the contrary. The story has villains we will not see coming, and subplots that are a page turner until the end.

I believe Nicole Clarkston has an incredible knowledge of Gaskell’s characters and that is shown in this book. Mr. Thornton and Margaret’s characters are so true to themselves, so well developed that I believe Gaskell herself could have written this story. He is honorable, just, strong and vulnerable at the same time and she is independent, and also strong and vulnerable in different ways, just as Elizabeth Gaskell portrayed them.

Dixon is the same grumpy person, Hanna Thornton remains herself but we get to know her a little better as she is exposed to new situations. In fact, Hanna’s reaction at the drapers store is absolutely perfect and in accordance to the character. It also allowed us to know that Margaret would have an ally in Mrs. Thornton once she realizes that this is the woman who will make her son happy. The consequences of her reaction made this book an agreeable read and it gave us a glimpse of a brighter future in the Thornton household.

Fanny remains the silly creature we know her to be but in this book we also get to see a little more of Watson, and he reveals himself as an insecure besotted man. This was an interesting addition as these secondary characters are not always approached or developed. Watson remains a minor character, but the fact that Nicole Clarkston decided to let us know more about him, and many other characters was definitely a plus.

The new characters were also essential to the success of the book. Even though I love North and South, there is not a lot of variety in terms of characters and that makes it especially hard for writers to create new scenarios. But Nicole Clarkston had a perfect equilibrium between the canon story and its own characters and new characters who gave a new life to Milton’s society and made this new plot possible with all its trials.

I felt Mrs. Clarkston brought the best there is to offer in a Jane Austen novel and added it to Gaskell’s already rich prose. This was a risk but perfectly executed. All relevant aspects of North and South were kept by the author, but the reading became more light, pleasing and romantic. Thornton’s reaction when he discovered who Frederick is was so genuine and passionate that I could not stop reading. And then all the kitchen moments followed and I felt myself swoon with the romance and intimacy in it! Of course the tea set present was the cherry on top of the cake for me 🙂

I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book, and can only hope the author releases a new N&S variation soon. The vignettes posted during the blog tour had me craving for more 🙂

I could not end this review without mentioning the cover. Isn’t it just absolutely marvelous? I have said several times that I love Janet Taylor’s covers, and this one is just another pearl she has created 🙂

You can find Northern Rain on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

***It’s giveaway time***

 

Apart from being a great author, Nicole Clarkston is a very generous person and she would like to, once more, offer one of her books to my readers.

You can choose any of Nicole Clarkston’s books and even the format!

Let us know what you think about Northern Rain, if you ever read anything from Nicole Clarkston, and of course, which book and format you prefer. You can choose the e-book, paperback or audible.

For more information on the different formats available for each book please see the links below:

Northern Rain

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck

.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 29th of August.

Good luck everyone!

35 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, North and South

Blog Anniversary and giveaway!

1st year anniversary

Hello everyone,

Until one year ago I had no idea there was such an amazing JAFF community out there and felt alone in this addiction to Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

I remember re-watching the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice by Andrew Davies probably for the 100th time when I felt an incredible urge to have more of Darcy and Elizabeth, so I decided to search for something on Amazon. I mean, I couldn’t be the only one in need of more right? That is how I discovered Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife from Linda Berdoll and the doors of Jane Austen Fan Fiction were opened to me. With that book I discovered there were authors writing sequels and variations of Pride & Prejudice and soon I got addicted to this genre of literature. I started reading so much, that at a certain point I didn’t know which were the great authors I had loved and which were the ones I wasn’t so fond of. I also realized there were too many sub genres of JAFF and that I preferred some to others, even if Amazon didn’t distinguished that when it presented the recommendations to me.

When I started buying duplicate books and spending too much time in Amazon trying to discern which of those books being recommend to me would actually be the sub genres I preferred, my frustration increased and I started sharing this with my friends and even co-workers. One of them asked me if there was any place where I could find a list of these books by subgenre with a small description that would help me choose my next read, which prompted me to search for websites that could have these lists. I found some web sites with JAFF lists, but none of them would separate them by subgenre and rating, so I told him there was nothing of the sort, and that is when he suggested I did it myself. I started thinking on what I could do and that is how I imagined my Pride and Prejudice and North and South tabs where I have a list of all the books I have read per genre.

Before you tease me, I must confess I’m not very good with technology, so obviously in my initial search I did not discover one single JAFF blog. It was only after launching my blog and posting my first reviews that I discovered Meredith’s Austenesque Reviews, and with it all the other existing blogs.

When I saw Austenesque Reviews I thought that maybe my blog would not add anything to anyone so I was going to give it up, but then, I was so welcomed into the community and everyone was so very nice to me, including Meredith herself, that I decided to continue with my blog, even if it was just another blog dedicated to JAFF.

That was the best decision I have ever taken because until this day From Pemberley to Milton allows me to connect with people who share the same passion for P&P and N&S that I do. It allows me to talk and share experiences with people who understand me, and above all, it has allowed me to make friends that are now an important part of my life.

I am pretty certain Jane Austen never considered her books could one day have such an impact in the life of an unknown Portuguese girl, but she did, and for that I must thank her! Well…for that and for creating the most perfect, passionate, dashing gentleman ever known to mankind of course.

So, here we are, one year later celebrating the first anniversary of From Pemberley to Milton!!!

I hope to have the chance to celebrate many more blog anniversaries with all of you and many more readers who have not yet connected with our community.

From Pemberley to Milton still gives me much joy and today I would like to share that joy with you, by offering a giveaway of the 2 first books reviewed on this blog: Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections by Abigail Reynolds and The Subsequent Proposal by Joana Starnes.

The giveaway is for paperback copies and is international so that everyone across the globe can have an opportunity to read these 5 star books.

The Subsequent Proposal was offered and signed by Mrs. Starnes, so this is your opportunity to have a signed by the author copy.

To be entitled to the giveaway just leave your comment on this post. Let me know what you think of From Pemberley to Milton, if it meets your expectations or how I could improve it. Share your own experience of how you discovered JAFF, who are your favorite authors and genres or just share your love for Jane Austen. Everything is accepted 🙂

Thanks to all of you for taking this journey with me so far! And I hope we can continue to discover more of Darcy and Elizabeth and Thornton and Margaret adventures together.

90 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Abigail Reynolds, giveaway, Joana Starnes, Pride and Prejudice

Miss Darcy’s Companion Review & Giveaway

Miss Darcy's Companion front cover_V4_m5 stars

Joana Starnes is one of those authors whose new releases I’m always impatient to read, so it is no surprise that I could not resist to read Miss Darcy’s Companion nonstop shortly after its release date, and guess what? I loved it! But of course, that is also no surprise as Mrs. Starnes has become one of those authors whose books I always love to read.

In this variation Mr. Bennet dies and Mr. Collins loses no time in sending his cousins to the hedgerows. Or that is where they would have been were it not for their uncles assistance and Elizabeth’s resilient character. Being thrown out of her house, Elizabeth seeks employment as a governess and her employer is none other than Col. Fitzwilliam’s sister in law, Lady Stretton.

This is the point where the book starts and we soon realize that Lady Stretton is a snobbish, insupportable person who treats others as inferior beings. So, it comes as no surprise that when Georgiana Darcy requests her guardians to hire Miss Bennet as her companion instead of Mrs. Younge, and they acquiesce, Elizabeth finds herself in the position of Miss Darcy’s Companion.

Joana Starnes starts this book by teasing us! She places Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in the same house, in close proximity, and we spend the entire first chapter eagerly waiting for them to meet, but that pleasure is delayed, and we only see them together when the position as Miss Darcy’s Companion is proposed to her.

From there, the book continues with a structure that I personally like very much. The first chapters will focus on the day to day activities at Pemberley and the interactions between all characters. The authors knowledge of all things regency is transmitted in these first chapters, and it is also during this first part of the book that we, as readers, get to know the characters and that they get to know each other. We are given the pleasure to see Elizabeth falling in love with Mr. Darcy by getting to know his true character, we see her pining for him (yes, yes, yes), and we see Mr. Darcy unknowingly falling in love with Elizabeth.

After this pleasurable peaceful time, the twists and angst appear. And even though this is a lighter book compared to others Mrs. Starnes has written before, we do have action, suspense, fear and angst, or this would not be a Joana Starnes book.

I could point out numerous scenes I loved in the book, but what I loved the most about it was Mr. Darcy. The character remained true to the original, and Joana Starnes created what I call the perfect imperfect Darcy! He was still proud, stern and firm, yet charming all the same.

He was portrayed in this book exactly as I imagine Mr. Darcy to be, and that is something that doesn’t occur that frequently. I loved Mr. Darcy’s reactions towards unpleasant situations and his attitudes. The entire scene after he sees Elizabeth leaving the inn was just heart breaking. The carriage ride that follows was one of those scenes that pulled me into the book and made me read fervently! There was so much emotion present in that scene, his jealousy and anger so adoringly painful, that I knew I was reading a Joana Starnes book. Scenes like this are the reason I still love reading JAFF and they are a boost to my addiction and love for Mr. Darcy.

Another detail that I enjoyed in this book were the letters from Mr. Wickham and Miss Bingley. They were clearly an added value, and it was interesting to see how Mr. Wickham applied to the Kympton Parsonage after having accepted the money instead of it. This is something we rarely see in JAFF novels, and Mrs. Starnes did a beautiful job in including it through a letter.

There wasn’t anything I disliked in this book, and I would only add a few more self-conscious scenes between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to make it absolutely perfect.

As always, Mrs. Starnes has wrote a book that cannot be missed by any JAFF reader! If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend it.

 

Miss Darcy’s Companion is availabe at:

Amazon.com – Miss Darcy’s Companion

Amazon.co.uk –Miss Darcy’s Companion: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

 

 

Blog tour banner

Find out more about Miss Darcy’s Companion on the other stops of the blog tour:

Austenesque Reviews: 8 – 14 May 2016 – Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Austen Authors: 11 – 18 May 2016 – Excerpt and Giveaway

Just Jane 1813 – 15 – 22 May 2016 – Review and Giveaway

Historical and Regency Romance UK – 17 May 2016 – ‘Playing Quoits with Miss Darcy’s Companion’

My Jane Austen Book Club – 25 May 2016 – ‘Music, Magic and Miss Darcy’s Companion’ – Guest post and Giveaway

Diary of an Eccentric – 27 May 2016 – Guest post and Giveaway

From Pemberley to Milton – 30 May 2016 – Review and Giveaway

Laughing With Lizzie – 2-3 June 2016 – Guest post and Giveaway

Babblings of a Bookworm – 10 June 2016 – Excerpt and Giveaway

A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life – 25 June 2016 – Excerpt and Giveaway

More Agreeably Engaged – 28 June 2016 – Guest post and Giveaway

Austenesque Reviews – 13 July 2016 – Guest post and Giveaway

.

***It’s Giveaway time***

As a sign of appreciation for her readers, Mrs. Starnes would like to offer a copy of Miss Darcy’s Companion to one of lucky winner.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 9th of June, all you have to do is comment this post and share your opinion with all of us.

Good luck everyone!

51 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Joana Starnes, Pride and Prejudice

The Falmouth Connection Review & Giveaway

91Vq0Np4Y3L5 stars

The Falmouth Connection is a breath-taking love story that begins with Darcy’s visit to the Hunsford Parsonage a few days before he intends to propose to Elizabeth.

During this visit, Mr. Darcy discovers Elizabeth is to leave Kent the next day to join her family in Cornwall, and visit a mysterious great aunt. He offers to assist Elizabeth in her travel, and Col. Fitzwilliam, finding this strange, is able to get Darcy to admit he intends to ask for Miss Elizabeth’s hand. It is during this confession that Col. Fitzwilliam discovers how Darcy could ruin everything if he were to propose with his current mind set, and tries to make him see how Elizabeth would react to such a proposal. I liked this turn of events as it prevented Mr. Darcy from ruining his proposal without changing him in essentials.

Elizabeth agrees to travel with Mr. Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam and during the carriage ride she is able to see, for the first time, multitude facets of Mr. Darcy, which is something I always find delightful. I love to read a book that allows me to understand how, why and when Elizabeth started to change her mind about Mr. Darcy. For me, as a reader, it is important to know why she loves him or to see her fall in love with him, and that is something we encounter in The Falmouth Connection.

After their voyage, they arrive at Basingstoke to meet with the Bennet family, and Elizabeth finally realizes Mr. Darcy loves her and will most likely propose to her. I must tell you that this scene is one of the best moments I have ever read! I loved every single moment of it; from thinking exactly what Mrs. Starnes wrote, to laughing out loud at the third “good heavens”!

Seeing Elizabeth relieve every moment she shared with Mr. Darcy in a different perspective, and seeing her realize everything that was right in front of her eyes all along, was marvellous. I also loved the chemistry and intimacy of their last scene at the inn in Basingstoke, it is one of those I will hardly forget.

But of course it is too soon for our beloved characters to find their HEA and Elizabeth leaves to Falmouth. Mr. Darcy is so passionately in love with her that he decides to follow her to Cornwall, and it is in this part of the country that we will find romance, broken hearts, a rival for Mr. Darcy, but also adventure, suspense and mystery.

Mrs. Starnes takes this plot into a whole different stage and creates an innovative different story that completely deviates from the original but that keeps the characters as truthful to themselves as Jane Austen wrote them. The book is chaste and clean but overly romantic and emotional with a depth that can only be found in Mrs. Starnes books.

The Falmouth Connection is very focused in Darcy and Elizabeth which is also something I truly love in a book, but some of the other characters were exceptionally written as well.

I don’t think I have enjoyed a scene with Mrs. Bennett so much as the one Joana Starnes wrote on the day Mr. Darcy paid his first visit. I loved reading everything about it. Mrs. Bennett’s reaction to the first unexpected visit was fun to read, but adding the second unexpected visit was brilliant. In this passage we will see Mrs. Bennet’s perspective, and being in her head and seeing the way she constructed her thoughts on the eligibility of her daughters, to see how she contrived the idea that it was Lizzy that would suit Mr. Darcy, and to see that she would aid in their reconcile was absolutely wonderful.

The way this character was described in this scene made me love her for everything that she was, and to have her prattle knowing she was doing so out of an inability to entertain a gentleman such as Mr. Darcy, was magnificent.

The scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth are electrical. Joana Starnes surely knows how to transmit their chemistry into the pages of her novels, and this was no exception. Between the encounter in Landennis, the meetings at the cove and the balls, I wouldn’t know how to choose my favourite moment. In fact, this review was one of the hardest I have had to write because there were too many things I wanted to talk about, and I ended up cutting many paragraphs because the review was getting too long.

I’m looking forward to read Mrs. Starnes next book as I am certain it will be just as good. Joana Starnes is, in my opinion, one of those writers with an innate talent who just cannot get it wrong, her books are always a turmoil of emotions and a pleasure to read, with something that is definitely an added value: a quality writing that is hard to see nowadays.

The Falmouth Connection did not disappoint and I recommend it to any reader looking for a quality book to read.

 

The Falmouth Connection is available at:

Amazon.com – The Falmouth Connection

Amazon.co.uk – The Falmouth Connection

Amazon.fr –The Falmouth Connection

 

***It’s Giveaway time***

Next month I will have the chance to meet with Joana Starnes for the first time. I’m looking forward to it as it’s not every day we have the opportunity to meet with one of our favourite authors 🙂

I am so happy with this encounter that I decided to share my good fortune with you. So, we will offer a personalised signed paperback copy of The Falmouth Connection to one reader of From Pemberley to Milton.

All you have to do to be contemplated is comment this post. Let us know what you think of The Falmouth Connection or Mrs. Starnes other books, we are looking forward to hear from you.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 3rd of May. The winner will be announced on the 5th of May in this blog.

84 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Love Never Fails

loveneverfails5 stars

The first chapter of Love Never Fails was a true surprise for me. I have read almost every book Jennifer Joy has published, and for that reason I am quite familiar with her writing, but the tone of this latest release is very different from her previous works and her writing versatility surprised and amazed me.

In this book Mr. Bennet dies before the Meryton Assembly occurs and the first scene is at his funeral. I was immediately drawn to the environment, the story and the characters. There is an intensity and sadness in these first chapters that transported me into the book and I could not stop reading, it felt as if I was compelled to do so. I have enjoyed many, many scenes in the book, but the first scene was definitely my favorite as it was the one that marked me the most.

Of course the characteristic humor in Jennifer Joy’s writing is still present, namely in the comments Mrs. Bennet makes about Elizabeth’s marriage prospects. I really laughed when she said ”Lizzy shall marry whomever she pleases, so long as she marries. With her being so choosy, I tough it best for her to have a wide selection from which to choose”, but there is also a deeper and insightful component in her writing that I truly loved.

With Mr. Bennet dying before the Meryton Assembly, the storyline changes and the first encounter of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is quite different. They meet at Oakham Mount, there are no words exchanged, yet everything is said through their eyes and their actions. I would describe this encounter as perfect! We can feel the intensity of this scene as if we were living it, and if you are used to read my reviews, you know there is nothing more I like then a book that has the ability to make me feel.

Love Never Fails is in my opinion, one of Jennifer Joy’s most romantic books. Apart from the initial chapters, the scene where Elizabeth hurts her ankle is one of my favorites. I felt she and Mr. Darcy connected in a very intimate way. They shared a moment that was not only very important for both, but also private, shared between them and no one else.

Considering the events, Elizabeth is not her joyful self, but her character remains very much the same. She still refuses Mr. Collins, and after so many variations where Elizabeth sacrifices herself to save her family, knowing that she would still refuse Mr. Collins in these reduced circumstances is refreshing. I never believed Elizabeth to be so altruist to the point of marrying him to save her family, so this choice felt very natural to me.

I have also enjoyed Mrs. Bennet in this book, especially in the months following Mr. Bennet’s death. She was not hysterical as usual; she was her true self but in a state of mourning, she was still invested in marrying her daughters but is a less hysterical and more organized and reasonable fashion.

Love Never Fails is a story of hope in a better future, of believing that love is worth waiting for and that it will come, sooner or later. The best example of this is Mrs. Bennet, who was also entitled to her prince charming 🙂

I enjoyed this book very much and I’m curious to see how Jennifer Joy’s writing will evolve in her next novel.

 

Love Never Fails is available at:

Amazon.com – Love Never Fails

Amazon.co.uk – Love Never Fails: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

Amazon.fr – Love Never Fails: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

Also, Jennifer Joy is offering 4 e-books to some lucky readers, so if you want to enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment this review or the excerpt published on the 9th. Comments on both posts will increase your chances 🙂

31 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Pride and Prejudice