Austenesque, Book Reviews, Holiday Reading, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

A Hopeful Holiday: A Pride and Prejudice Novella, by Heather Moll — A Review 

From the desk of Sophia Rose: 

What if Lady Catherine never makes her infamous visit at Longbourn? What if Mr. Darcy never returns to the neighborhood? Can Jane Austen’s most iconic pair still discover a way to ‘only remember the past’ with pleasure together? It might take a bit of yuletide mischief and interference orchestrated by a talented writer, Heather Moll, whose tales I have enjoyed in the past.

A Hopeful Holiday opens with Elizabeth Bennet looking forward to the holiday season with a tired, dreary spirit. Her family has noticed and happily encourage her to accept Charlotte Collins’ invitation to visit Hunsford. Elizabeth accepts and is full of regrets over the outcome of her last visit and the heated speech she delivered to Mr. Darcy having no idea at the time that her feelings would be quite the opposite a half year later. If only he had come with his friend back into Hertfordshire so she could make him see that her feelings were all for him.

Fitzwilliam Darcy endures quiet misery that he must be forever parted from the one woman he could ever love. He is convinced that she could never look on him the way she had last summer at Pemberley after her sister ran off with Wickham and it was Darcy’s attempt to protect his family pride that prevented word to get out what a scoundrel was in their midst. And, if his aching heart were not enough, now he has drawn the short straw with his cousin the colonel to represent the family at Rosings for Christmas and Lady Catherine’s annual masquerade ball this year. Wouldn’t it be a lovely dream to discover that the Collinses had a special guest like the last time he visited his aunt?

A Hopeful Holiday is a Pride and Prejudice variation that picks up at a place late in the original story. With such a set up, it is most definitely written for those who are already familiar with the story. The setting is festive with each dwelling decorated so lovely and several scenes of jolly making including a game of Snapdragon, snowball fights, Christmas meals, and a lavish masquerade ball.

There is a feeling of second chances because Darcy and Elizabeth are meeting after the close of major events and in a new place during a time of reflection and renewal. I enjoyed this and appreciated that it fit well with the well-developed shorter story and faster-pace of the already existing romantic feelings.

I appreciated that it wasn’t all clear sailing, however. There are their own hesitating feelings about speaking up for fear the other person doesn’t feel the same, but yes, Lady C must have her say and doesn’t even realize that she is de trop. A new character arrives, Sir Hugh de Bourgh, Lady C’s nephew on her husband’s side, and he is definitely not a fan of Darcy’s. He has his own agenda for the Christmas holidays that include scotching Darcy and Elizabeth’s chances and promoting himself with his aunt.

All in all, A Hopeful Holiday was a light, entertaining, holiday romance pleaser that caught the spirit of the season and the magic of a second chance romance. Sweet holiday historical Austen fans settle in and click this one onto your reader.

4 out of 5 Stars

  • A Hopeful Holiday: A Pride and Prejudice Novella, by Heather Moll
  • Excessively Diverted Press (November 1, 2021)
  • eBook (116) pages
  • ASIN: ‎B09H534MRN


We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. is an affiliate. We receive a modest remuneration when readers use our links and make a purchase.

Cover image courtesy of Excessively Diverted Press © 2021; text Sophia Rose © 2021,

Austenesque, Book Previews, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Charlotte’s Story: A Novel from the World of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, by Carolyn Korsmeyer

Happy Black Friday, dear readers! Here is a new Austenesque book to pull you away from your online holiday shopping featuring one of Jane Austen’s most pragmatic minor characters from Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas.

Author Carolyn Korsmeyer’s new novel, Charlotte’s Story, was released last month by TouchPoint Press. It gives us an insider’s view of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the Charlotte Lucas. An unmarried spinster at the beginning of the novel, she soon after agrees to marry the Bennet’s odious cousin Mr. Collins. Along with heroine Elizabeth Bennet, we cringe at her choice of husband and don’t have much hope for her. It will be interesting to see how Korsmeyer continues her life, and hopefully gives her some happiness.

The author has kindly offered an exclusive excerpt to give our readers a peek inside the story. Enjoy!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and are enjoying the leftovers from your turkey dinner! Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Charlotte’s Story: A Novel from the World of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, by Carolyn Korsmeyer”

Austenesque, Book Reviews, Holiday Reading, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

His Perfect Gift, by L.L. Diamond — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

Sometimes all that is required to convince a person to pursue their heart’s desire is to present evidence that it is not, in fact, an impossible achievement. In His Perfect Gift—the latest Pride and Prejudice variation from prolific Austenesque author L.L. Diamond—our hero considers the possibility of becoming the kind of man who is capable of pleasing a woman worthy of being pleased and earning her esteem.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has escaped Hertfordshire with great haste, along with his friend Bingley, following the ball at Netherfield, keenly feeling the danger he’d been in and hoping to soon forget the cause: the enchanting Miss Elizabeth Bennet. “Was there nothing that would spare him the torment of her memory?” (Loc 84) In an attempt to lighten Darcy’s dismal disposition, his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam persuades him to journey to Cheapside for Continue reading “His Perfect Gift, by L.L. Diamond — A Review”

Austenesque, Book Lists, Book Previews, Editor's Picks, Historical Romance, Holiday Reading, Regency Romance

My 15 Favorite Christmas Historical Romance Novels of 2021

Happy Friday, dear readers! ‘Tis the season to read Christmas-inspired stories, and this year there is an amazing line-up of new historical romance novels, novellas, and short stories to deck your halls or fill up your eReader.

Interestingly, the prevailing theme this year appears to be kissing brought on by standing under the mistletoe! I wonder what ambitious mother thought up that tradition to get her daughter married?

I always look forward to the research involved in curating my annual Christmas/Holiday “best of” list. I hope you give more than a few a try. You won’t be disappointed. Continue reading “My 15 Favorite Christmas Historical Romance Novels of 2021”

Austenesque, Book Lists, Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal & Gothic Fiction, Editor's Picks, Historical Fantasy, Paranormal & Gothic Fiction, Holiday Reading, Jane Austen Sequels, Northanger Abbey Sequels

7 Spooky Jane Austen Inspired Novels to Read this Halloween Season

Happy Friday, dear readers. All Hallows Eve is this weekend. Have you chosen a costume and stocked up on candy yet? I don’t have trick or treaters visiting me in the country, however, that has never stopped me from celebrating the holiday by decorating with pumpkins and eating candy corn!

If you are seeking recommendations for great Jane Austen-inspired reading to put you in the mood for the spooky season, look no further. Here is a short list of six novels and one adaptation to help you become as addicted to Gothic fiction as heroine Catherine Morland in Austen’s Northanger Abbey.  Remember, it’s never too late to seek adventure abroad!


Continue reading “7 Spooky Jane Austen Inspired Novels to Read this Halloween Season”

Austenesque, Book Reviews, Editor's Picks, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

Faults of Understanding: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Jennifer Altman — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet impertinently tells Mr. Darcy that his “defect is a propensity to hate everybody” to which he replies that hers “is willfully to misunderstand them.” Austen enthusiasts everywhere delight in this flirtatious battle of wits over the topic of natural defects. With a title inspired by Mr. Darcy— “I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding”—Jennifer Altman’s second Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel, Faults of Understanding, follows Elizabeth and Darcy as they become better acquainted with each other through unforeseen trials.

At the Netherfield ball, Mr. Darcy is informed that Mr. Collins—a distant cousin of the Bennet family and heir to neighboring estate Longbourn—expects to receive a favorable reply to his planned marriage proposal to the second-eldest Bennet daughter at Longbourn. Darcy is shocked and dismayed by the revelation. “It could not be true. Elizabeth Bennet—his Elizabeth!—married to such a man?” (132) He wants to Continue reading “Faults of Understanding: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Jennifer Altman — A Review”

Austenesque, Book News, Short Story Anthology

Jane Austen Made Me Do It’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway

Happy Monday dear readers! It is a special day for me. Ten years ago on October 11, 2011 my short story anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It was published by Ballantine Books.  I can’t believe how the years have flown by.

The collection includes 22 original short stories and reading group material from bestselling authors Jo Beverley, Syrie James, Adriani Trigiani, and Lauren Willig; top Austen sequel writers Stephanie Barron, Pamela Aidan, Elizabeth Aston, Amanda Grange, Alexandra Potter, and Laurie Viera Rigler; mother and daughter (Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway) and husband and wife (Frank Delaney and Diane Meier) teams; and a brand new voice in Austenesque fiction—Brenna Aubrey, the Grand Prize winner of the anthology’s  short story contest.


  • “An Austenesque box of bonbons,”The Seattle Times
  • “…this anthology is bang on the money.”— Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine
  • Jane Austen Made Me Do It is the rare short-story compilation in which each and every one of the twenty-two stories manages to shine. Each contains a new take on Austen, a new concept of what Austen hoped to do with her life and work or even a new take on modern romance from Austen’s viewpoint.”— Romance Junkies

Continue reading “Jane Austen Made Me Do It’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway”

Austenesque, Holiday Reading, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of A Hopeful Holiday: A Pride and Prejudice Novella, by Heather Moll

Happy Friday dear readers!

It’s official. The holiday reading season has begun on Austenprose. First out the gate is Heather Moll’s forthcoming novella, A Hopeful Holiday.

Heather is the popular author of four Pride and Prejudice variations including: Nine Ladies, Two More Days at Netherfield, and His Choice of a Wife. A Hopeful Holiday is also a variation of Jane Austen’s classic, spinning a new story from her characters and settings. This time Moll creatively mixes up Austen’s timeline offering new obstacles to keep Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s romance churning. Here is a book description and an exclusive excerpt from the author to give you a feel for the story.

While the competition for your holiday reading is fierce, I hope that you will add A Hopeful Holiday to your list. I found it to be a perfect introduction to the season to help us get in the mood and eager to deck the halls and plan our family gatherings.

Best, Laurel Ann Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of A Hopeful Holiday: A Pride and Prejudice Novella, by Heather Moll”

Austenesque, Book Previews, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of As a Proper Lady Would: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Bronwen Chisholm

Happy Friday, dear readers. Fall is in the air and it is a great time to curl up with a cup of tea and a new book.

Please help me welcome Austenesque author Bronwen Chisholm to Austenprose today. She has a new Pride and Prejudice inspired novel that was just released this week. As a Proper Lady Would is the first book in the Defying Propriety Series.

Chisholm specializes in variations. Since 2014 he has has written seven novels and novellas, such as The Ball at Meryton (2015), Missing Jane (2020), and Georgiana Darcy, Matchmaker (2016).

Here is the book description and an exclusive excerpt from the author. Enjoy!


We are formed by experiences of our childhood. Family and friends influence our character. Decisions, wise and foolish, direct our path. Through chance encounters and early introductions, our beloved Pride and Prejudice characters come together on a slightly different path which may, to some, defy propriety. Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of As a Proper Lady Would: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Bronwen Chisholm”