Category Archives: Favorites

The Journey

I have to start this review by saying that The Journey is absolutely perfect! There isn’t one single aspect I disliked in this book, in fact my feelings are quite the opposite as I loved pretty much everything in it. If I could give it a 10 star rating I would, but as that is off the scale, let me say this is a solid 5 star book that will keep readers entertained for an entire day.

The beginning of The Journey is worthy of an Hollywood production. The first page is so exciting that it made me want to read more of the book, and as I continued reading it, I could not stop because the more I read the more I wanted to read. This book is probably one of the biggest page turners I have ever read in my life, I’ve read it twice and the need to continue reading non-stop did not abade the second time.

In this story, right after the Netherfield Ball, Elizabeth begins a journey to visit her relations in London in Mr. Bingley’s carriage with his sisters and Mr. Darcy, when they encounter  a band of highwaymen who threaten to abduct Elizabeth for their own amusement. Mr. Darcy immediately steps forward and offers himself as a hostage in her place, but when this is ineffective, he proclaims she is his wife in order to protect her. The highwaymen then decide to abduct them both to request a ransom, and this is how the most exciting and passionate journey begins.

Darcy and Elizabeth are forced to spend a lot of time together while confined in the room they are being held and there they learn more about each other and their own feelings, but that is not the entire story. The book will go beyond their abduction, and once they are back in society, they will be faced with very difficult choices that will keep the story as exciting as it was until this moment.

The dialogues in this book are witty and interesting and Mr. Darcy assumes the role of a protector than can only be described as the sexiest thing possible. He is the perfect gentleman in this book, but he is not perfect and by respecting his imperfections, Jan Hahn has mastered the art of creating the perfect Darcy. Plus, he is faced with jealousy in this book which is always a plus in a JAFF novel for me.

With this premise it comes as no surprise that Darcy and Elizabeth have many interactions with one another and that it allows them to slowly fall in love with one another, but the art in this book is that we are not just told by the author they love each other, we can see and feel it happening in the pages we are turning as if the pages themselves were pouring feelings.

I could feel my heart break into a million pieces at a certain point in the book and until this moment I cannot explain how it is possible for an author to convey so many emotions, and so intense, as the ones Jan Hahn created with mere words. I don’t know how a scene could be more perfect than the one that made me feel this way, and I have to congratulate Ms. Hahn on her mastery.

I love the connection Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth establish in this book and the fact that Darcy discovers about Elizabeth’s refusal of Mr. Collins proposal very early in the story. I always love books where that happens because I think it is crucial for Darcy to better understand Elizabeth and to speed up his admiration for her, also it could be the trigger for him to realize he could lose her to someone else, so adding this detail to the story made me love it even more.

The entire book is told from Elizabeth’s perspective but in the end we can see Darcy remembering what he felt or thought during the journey which was a sweet gift the author offered us.

The book is filled with angst, but after the turbulence Jan Hahn takes the time to show readers how blissful Darcy and Elizabeth’s lives can be. Nothing is rushed or out of place in Jan Hahn’s books and this is no exception. After a very angsty story, with many Darcy/Elizabeth moments, we are gifted with their happy reunion and can enjoy it for several chapters before it ends. We also get to know what happened to all the other characters in the book, which gives us some contentment when reading the last phrase.

I could not recommend this book enough for any reader looking for an exciting, romantic and passionate tale.

 

You can find The Journey at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

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19 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Favorites, Pride and Prejudice

Collide

 

When I saw Van Gogh mentioned on the first line of Collide I knew I would like the book, but I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. Modernisations are not my favourite sub-genre and even though sometimes I like them, I seldom love them, but Collide was a page turner book that kept me glued to it for two whole days and that completely changed my perspective. I absolutely loved this modernisation!

In this North & South variation Maggie Hale leaves her small town of Hillstone to pursue her dream of becoming a contemporary dancer in Las Vegas and it is in Sin City that she will meet Jay Thornton, someone she will misunderstand but who will intrigue her more than she would like to admit.

In Collide each chapter is focused the point of view of each of these two characters, so we will get to know each one of them very well, and this is one of the highlights of the book for me. The way Melanie Stanford organised and wrote the book made it absolutely irresistible and readers will keep wanting for more and more. The fact that the point of view changes with each chapters makes it a very dynamic book and there is not one dull moment in it.

I loved the Vegas environment and how real these characters felt in their own little world. I could picture their every move and imagine each scene in my head, I felt transported into that reality and I don’t believe there is anything better in a book.

I wasn’t too sure about Jay Thornton’s character in the beginning, but those doubts faded very quickly as I started falling in love with his character. He is compelling, and I could feel myself being drawn to him with every page I turned. But to be honest, I loved all characters in the book, Nico was an excellent modernisation of Nicholas, and I loved how the author made his relationship with Jay so similar to the original, in fact, It is astonishing how well Melanie Stanford translated the original story into this new setting. Everything was put together with a lot of care, and every little detail seemed to flow in the right direction every single time.

Mrs. Thornton does not exist in this book, and I confess that only made it better for me, I never really like her character in North and South books and Jay Thornton’s family life was much more interesting and modern, it made me love him even more,

The relationship between Maggie and Jay is incredible, I felt sparkles between them every time they were together and even though the first time he sees her dancing Song of the Cage Bird is one of my favourite scenes, it doesn’t stand out so much in comparison to the others because they are all great!

Collide is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year, and if I could give it a higher rating I would, I loved everything about it, the characters, the setting, the story, the writing… Every single aspect of this book contributed to it being a compelling, intense and wonderful book that I recommend to absolutely everyone, not just those who like North and South, but to everyone who likes a love story that carries along with it real life struggles. I’m sure most people will not have gone through the situations these characters went through as they are too extreme, but I could relate to their struggle to get a better life, Nico was the best example, but I could also relate to Maggie fighting for her dreams and for a career on something she likes and to Jay for fighting to get out of the loop kind of life he got himself into.

In short terms, bravo Mrs. Stanford! This is a book I will not forget anytime soon. Oh…and the cover is perfect for the story!!!

 

You can find Collide at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

7 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Favorites, JAFF, Modernisation, North and South

Haunting Mr. Darcy

In New Year’s eve, after returning from Netherfield to London, Mr. Darcy realises he is completely bewitched by Elizabeth Bennet. He starts comparing all other woman to her and in an attempt to forget her, he wishes to find a woman who meets all his standards of the perfect Mrs. Darcy and to see Elizabeth Bennet one last time.

At the same time, when returning from an Assembly in Meryton, Elizabeth wishes Mr. Darcy may wish something he will never have. A few minutes later, the carriage transporting Elizabeth and Jane Bennet has an accident and Elizabeth is left inconscient.

She wakes up in a beautiful library some time later and believes she is dreaming… until she sees Mr. Darcy. Then her worse nightmare happens and she realises she is in a spirit like manner and attached to none other than Mr. Darcy. On the other hand, he believes he is becoming crazy by seeing and hearing Elizabeth when no one else is able to. After some time and some disagreements, they agree they are neither crazy nor dreaming, but living something very real.

Elizabeth’s spirit is indeed bound to Mr. Darcy and he is the only one able to see or talk to her, but her body remains inconscient in Longbourn and we start wondering if she will ever get her soul and body together in one piece.

In this book Elizabeth is impertinent and witty just as she should be. No more and no less! Karalynne Mackrory did a wonderful job with her character, but she also designed a perfectly proud but charming Mr. Darcy. They are perfect and I fell in love with these characters as much as I fell for Jane Austen’s

I’ve read this book 3 times by now and I’m sure I will read it many more. It is one of the best JAFF books I’ve ever read, in fact, it made of my all time favourites list published a couple of months ago. I love it this much because it has a perfect balance of romance, tension, flirting and angst. Throughout the book we see Elizabeth getting to know Darcy in his intimacy and gradually falling in love with him, just as we see Darcy realising how Elizabeth’s wit, intelligence, good humour, compassion and good sense make her the perfect match for him. While this is happening we also see their failures exposed and their hurt feelings towards one another, we see their perfect reactions and we cannot avoid connecting to them

I’m convinced this book is a masterpiece and I have to congratulate both the writer and the editor for it. Books like this make me want to read non-stop 24/7. The author captures Elizabeth and Darcy’s feelings and expressions so intensely that his declaration of love literally took my breath away. The entire scene was pure perfection and I could clearly picture every single moment in my head.

The way these two characters connect is beautiful, and in this book the author creates the necessary scenes for them to feel angst, anger, disappointment, love and hope. By doing so, she didn’t need to explain the characters feelings in a cold, descriptive manner because we know exactly what they were feeling considering we are feeling it in our hearts as well.

Haunting Mr. Darcy is a rollercoaster of emotions. In one minute we are reading the most romantic scene we could imagine and before we know it we are dreading what may happen and suffering the characters sorrows in the most acute way. The easiness with which the author engages our emotions makes us completely glued to it, and readers will only be able to let go of this book once they reach the end, and some of them like myself, will not even be able to let go by then as the need to re-read it will definitely overcome them.

I found myself not wanting this book to end but at the same time I could not stop reading it until it was over. It is a MUST read JAFF book.

You can find Haunting Mr. Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

14 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Favorites, Pride and Prejudice

2016 Favourite Books & 2017 TBR list

favorite-book-2016-copia

Good Morning fellow Janeites,

Welcome to From Pemberley to Milton’s first post of 2017!

I hope you all started this new year with your right foot and that you are as excited as I am to discover which new books our dear authors will present us with this year.

2016 was a particularly hard year for me in terms of time. I had an increase of activity at the office in the middle of the year that consumed much of my free time, so I could not dedicate as much time as I would like to From Pemberley to Milton. On the other hand, the increase of work stress led me to take reading as a refuge that allowed me to relax, so I pretty much read in every  single moment I had free, meaning I ended up reading more than I thought I would.

I’m probably not a fast reader, and certainly I’m not capable of reading as many books as most of you, but I’m quite proud of myself for finishing 2016 with 45 new books read. I re-read some great books this year, but I’m not including them on this list.

 

2016-year-sum-up-copia

Just like last year, I thought it would be nice to give a shout out to some of my favorite books from 2016. This list is not based on published books in 2016, but on the books I actually read in 2016. I thought this would be fair because I don’t always read books on their release year, and it would not be fair not to include them amongst my favorite just because their publication year was prior to the year I read them. Unfortunately I decided I would only select 10, or I would have no criteria whatsoever, but it was hard and some books that are not in this list come immediately to my mind as The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, Northern Rain, Miss Darcy’s Companion , Shadows Over Longbourn and A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories. But I should stop, or I’ll just continue mentioning books I loved… So, without further ado, my favourite 2016 reads are, without no particular order, the below:

favourites-list-final

 

darcys-hope-favouriteDarcy’s Hope – Ginger Monet

Publication year –2015

Number of Pages – 278

What I loved about it – The writing, the surroundings, the historical aspects, the romance, the intensity, Darcy and of course, Thornton 🙂

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

mbdd-favourite-2016Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter – Joana Starnes

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 322

What I loved about it – The growing stout love, the intimacy, the intensity, Darcy and of course, the angst!!!

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

tcoeg-favouriteThe Courtship of Edward Gardiner – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 182

What I loved about it – Little Lizzy, Little Fitzwilliam, Little Bingley and Madeleine! Overall the entire feeling the book transmitted 🙂

Review link – Coming soon…

Amazon link

 

 

 

darcy-by-any-other-name-favouriteDarcy By Any Other Name – Laura Hile

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 662

What I loved about it – The humour, the complicity and intimacy, the romance, Darcy and angst! OMG, the angst!

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

elizabeth-papers-favouriteThe Elizabeth Papers – Jenneta James

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 210

What I loved about it –The writing, the writing and the writing! I love the tone Jenetta James transmits in her books and this one was just breathtaking!

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

love-never-fails-favouriteLove Never Fails – Jennifer Joy

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 348

What I loved about it –The intensity and sadness of the first chapters, the humour in the next chapters, Elizabeth and Mrs. Bennet!

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

remembrance-of-the-past-favouriteRemembrance of the Past – Lory Lilian

Publication year – 2011

Number of Pages – 432

What I loved about it – ODC’s journey throughout the book, Darcy’s honour, Darcy himself and Elizabeth’s jealousy 🙂

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

when-mary-met-the-colonel-favouriteWhen Mary Met the Colonel – Victoria Kincaid

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 98

What I loved about it – Mary, Mary and Mary! And the Colonel of course 🙂

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

nstal-favouriteNo Such Thing as Luck – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2015

Number of Pages – 326

What I loved about it –The entire journey, but the ship scenes…sigh… They were worth the entire book! I should say that this is a favourite “in exequo” with Northern Rain, but I could only add one 😦

Review link – Coming Soon

Amazon link

 

 

best-part-of-love-front-favouriteThe Best Part of Love – Amy D’Orazio

Publication year – 2017 (I read the ARC copy)

Number of Pages – To be disclosed

What I loved about it – The stout love, the intensity and the angst!! I’m ready to re-read this book and I just finished it last week 🙂

Review link – Coming soon

Amazon link – Coming Soon

 

 

 

Are any of these amongst your favourites too? And which amazing reads am I missing? I have seen some people talk about their favourites in the last days and I know for sure that I probably didn’t read some truly good books that are amongst the hearts of my fellow Janeites, so any suggestion is welcome 🙂

2017 will be a true challenge because I don’t think I will be able to read as many JAFF books as I did this year, especially because I do want to read other genres this year, but I’m also very curious to see what is coming, and which books will carve my soul 🙂

I have a TBR pile that keeps growing, particularly because every time someone suggest a really book I tend to read it leaving my TBR pile exactly as it was, so this time I decided to make it public! Maybe this way I will feel obliged to stick to it and actually read the books I had chosen to read 🙂

So, you are all my witnesses, this year, I must read these books:

To Be Read JAFF & NSFF

Darcy and Elizabeth – A Promise Kept – Brenda Webb

Sketching Character – Pamela Lynn

Pulse and Prejudice: The Confession of Mr. Darcy Vampire – Colette L Saucier

Love Letters from Mr. Darcy – J. Dawn King

Master of Her Heart – Julia Daniels

The Rainbow Promise – Lory Lilian

The Darcy’s of Pemberley – Shannon Winslow

The Sheik of Araby – Lavinia Angell

***

To re-read JAFF & NSFF

Disappointed Hopes – Cassandra Grafton

The Second Chance – Joana Starnes

Mr. Darcy’s Diary – Amanda Grange

A Heart for Milton – Trudy Brasure

***

Non JAFF:

The BookThief – Marcus Zusak

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Julie Klassen

The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George

Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami

Bucky F*cking Dent – David Duchovny

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

 

What about you? What are your reading plans? Would you like to suggest anything, JAFF or Non-JAFF?

I know this was an extensive post, but I hope you have liked it and that you’ll keep visiting and talking to me about JAFF 🙂 I have some news that I’m looking forward to share with you, so speak to you soon 🙂

 

 

44 Comments

Filed under 2016 Favourites, Favorites, JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice