The Price of Pride: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Abigail Reynolds — A Review

The Price of Pride by Abigail Reynolds 2020From the desk of Katie Jackson:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that unbridled pride can result in unintended consequences. Much to the dismay of those who realize it too late, it often requires an event of heart-wrenching significance to stir them from their self-righteous stupor. But what sobering fates will befall them due to their untimely awakening? Prolific and bestselling Austenesque author Abigail Reynolds explores the uncertain destinies of two such prideful characters in her latest Pride and Prejudice variation, The Price of Pride.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy had returned home to Pemberley in Derbyshire a broken man following the stunning refusal of his marriage proposal to Miss Elizabeth Bennet at Hunsford parsonage in Kent. “The four months since then had not been enough to begin to erase the traces of her from his heart. Instead, losing her had only deepened his feelings for her, the woman he loved so passionately but could never have.” (33)

In an effort to prove himself to be a better person than the arrogant, unfeeling gentleman he had been, Darcy reaches out with an olive branch to his younger brother Andrew, who had been disowned by their father many years before under mysterious circumstances. Now a clergyman and active abolitionist, Drew warily accepts Darcy’s offer of the generous living at the parsonage in Kympton. Darcy “was determined to change, to become a better man, one who could be worthy of a woman like Elizabeth.” (52)

In a cruel twist of fate, Drew arrives at Pemberley bringing glad tidings of his own unexpected betrothal. Although envious of his brother’s happy news, Darcy wishes him well, wanting only to repair the estrangement that has plagued the brothers for far too long. And then … Drew unknowingly informs him that the bride-to-be is a lady formerly acquainted with Darcy. “It could not be. Drew, engaged to Elizabeth? How was such a thing possible. How had his brother even met Elizabeth? Why had she never mentioned him? But all the questions in the world could do nothing to calm the agonizing pain ripping through him.” (77) Continue reading

A Preview & Giveaway of Mr. Darcy’s Persuasion: An Austen-inspired Tale of Pride, Prejudice, and Persuasion, by Cass Grafton & Ada Bright

Mr Darcys Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright 2021Happy Friday, Gentle Readers. It is full-on winter here, however, there is hope.  My tulips are starting to sprout despite the cold and pounding rain, so Spring is on its way. This ebullience of nature, despite the challenging conditions, is reassuring during a difficult time. I hope that things look brighter in your corner of the world too.

I am delighted to welcome Cass Grafton and Ada Bright back to Austenprose today to share their forthcoming release, Mr. Darcy’s Persuasion. The premise of this novel is intriguing—it combines characters from two of Jane Austen’s beloved novels, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion. How creative! I was so curious how they would pull this off.

As you will see in the book description, this story is a variation from Austen’s original novel of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s romance that pivots after the electrifying events at the Netherfield Ball.

Cass and Ada’s publisher has kindly supplied an exclusive excerpt and a generous giveaway chance for three Kindle copies of the book. Please check the details at the end of this post. Mr. Darcy’s Persuasion publishes on March 9, 2021, and pre-orders are available.

Thank you for visiting today, and best wishes to Cass and Ada for its success.

BOOK DESCRIPTION 

Two of Jane Austen’s classics collide in this intriguing tale of pride, prejudice, and persuasion, set in England’s beautiful West Country.

In the aftermath of the Netherfield Ball, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are determined to find respite—Darcy from the allure of the lady and the feelings she evokes in him, and Elizabeth from the drama unfolding at Longbourn.

Fate is not done with them, however, as they both—unbeknownst to the other—take refuge on the Kellynch estate in Somersetshire, home to Sir Walter Elliot and two of his daughters.

Whilst Elizabeth takes solace from her friendship with Anne Elliot, Darcy finds little comfort in his reacquaintance with the woman fast taking hold of his heart—or, indeed, in the eldest Miss Elliot’s company, whose fluttering eyelashes make her intentions plain.

As for Anne, it is five long years since she last laid eyes upon Frederick Wentworth, and though her regret lingers, she has found some contentment in life… until distressing news of the captain arrives.

When hints of deep secrets emerge—some recently stolen, others harboured for decades—the mystery begins to wrap tendrils around Darcy as he struggles to free himself from its ever-tightening bonds.

Can Darcy discover the truth before it is too late? Will Elizabeth even care if he does? And just what has become of Captain Wentworth?

If you enjoy Austen-inspired variations, then you’ll love Mr Darcy’s Persuasion—a tale of romance, friendship and mystery from award-winning writing duo, Cass Grafton and Ada Bright.

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Ladies of the House: A Modern Retelling of Sense and Sensibility, by Lauren Edmondson — A Review

The Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmondson 2021From the desk of Sophia Rose:

Some might quote that old chestnut about ‘when life tosses you lemons…’ to those who are going through life’s trials, but in the cutthroat world of DC politics in this exciting new release, one learns the only thing to do with lemons is cut them up and put them in a cocktail while saluting backstabbing one-time friends. Lauren Edmondson chose to retell a classic and portray three women going through the refining fires of grief, loss, and political scandal. While The Ladies of the House stays true to the heart of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility it also accurately portrayed life in America’s capital and politics that will resonate with many.

Daisy Richardson is at the top of her game as chief of staff for a progressive, up and coming senator from Maryland and the admiring daughter of a senior senator at the top. All that comes crashing down when her dad dies in the bed of his secretary! In addition, it has been leaked in the news that he was misappropriating funds. Her mother, Cricket, needs her to sort out life after scandal and death. Her best friend, Atlas, a star journalist who has been her secret love for years is back in the states and wants to do an expose’ into her father’s life and seems to only want friendship. And her sister, Wallis, who has been doing relief effort works in Southeast Asia, has come home only to fall for the son of a senator from across the political aisle, making Daisy’s already tenuous job even harder. The family must learn to live on less and live under the disapproving eyes of those who were once friends down to total strangers on the street. Daisy is a fixer and discovers that there are not enough Band-Aids in the world to fix the mess her father left behind him. However, she also discovers that in this adversity that she didn’t know herself and those around her like she thought she did, and here-in lies the beginning of something more if she has the courage to accept a new path.

Ladies of the House introduces a world that I have watched from a distance on TV or in fiction—the world of Washington DC. That said, I felt that the author captured it so well that natives of the town and the political world would nod in appreciation for the setting of the story. Daisy has grown up in this world and chooses it for her own career. Her sister is an activist, and her mother is a political wife. All three women are integral to the story even though Daisy does the sole narration of the story.

In the early pages, I was not as taken with Cricket or Wallis. They seemed content to let Daisy shoulder the load, and this is true to a certain extent. However, later, they grew on me when insightful scenes and dialogue between the Richardson women showed other sides to them. It becomes obvious that what is Daisy’s strength is also her weakness. She lives for work and responsibility and must lose all this before she sees her own worth as not just in how she can serve others—or, sadly, make up for her dad’s failings by serving penance to others—and the worth of her mother and sister. Cricket teaches Daisy that a woman can bend and not break while Wallis shows her that her daring to take chances in love and be herself completely takes more courage than playing it safe and hiding her true self. Wallis tells Daisy, “Be the Brick!” in reply to Daisy’s fear of what others think and that another brick might get thrown through their window. Continue reading

A Preview & Giveaway of Lovers’ Meeting: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Catherine Lodge

Lovers' Meeting by Catherine Lodge 2021Happy Friday, dear readers. We are pleased to welcome author Catherine Lodge to Austenprose today during the blog tour of her new novel, Lovers’ Meeting.

This new Austenesque book’s title and description intrigued me. There appeared to be a Shakespeare connection from Twelfth Night by using “lovers’ meeting” in the title, and later by opening the book description with a direct quote. Here is the original Shakespeare passage from Act II, Scene III:

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming? 

O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming 

That can sing both high and low; 

Trip no further, pretty sweeting, 

Journeys end in lovers’ meeting—         

Every wise man’s son doth know.     

This is one of Shakespeare’s most romantic passages, therefore, I was curious to know if the author used it as an inspiration for her Pride and Prejudice variation. She did. Those of you who are familiar with Jane Austen’s classic story will be amused to discover how she merged the meaning of Shakespeare’s quote into the story of the romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

Here is the complete book description, an exclusive excerpt from the novel, and a chance to win a copy of the book.

Have a great weekend and happy reading!

BOOK DESCRIPTION

‘Journeys end in lovers’ meetings, every wise man’s son doth know.’ — William Shakespeare

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the disastrous first meeting of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly provided each with a ready-made set of prejudices to apply to the other. But when a horrific rural accident reveals Darcy to be a man of active, intelligent benevolence, and Elizabeth, in the absence of her appalling family, to be an extraordinary lady of courage and decision—then surely the course of true love will run smoothly.  

But alas, the lovers’ meeting is not the end but a new beginning. For though they have found each other, a seeming multitude of complications—a catastrophic flood, the last wishes of a dying friend, Lydia’s misfortunes, a dastardly Member of Parliament, and even their own fears— contrives to come between them and their ‘journey’s end.’

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Nine Ladies:  A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Heather Moll — A Review

Nine Ladies by Heather Moll 2021For Jane Austen fans the possibility of meeting their favorite author or living in one of her novels is the ultimate fantasy. While time-travel is not available to us, creative and imaginative stories are. Recent books such as The Jane Austen Project and the Austen Adventures series have given us in-person meetings with Jane Austen during her early nineteenth-century life. In Nine Ladies, Heather Moll’s latest release, we experience the awe-inspiring ingenuity of Diana Gabaldon’s time-travel Outlander series combined with the classic hate at first sight love story of Jane Austen’s famous novel Pride and Prejudice, but with a twist.

In 2011 Elizabeth Bennet has returned to England after decades to attend to her estranged father, leaving her mother and elder sister Jane back in America. While touring the Derbyshire countryside, she unknowingly steps into an ancient stone circle called the Nine Ladies and awakens 200 years in the past at Pemberley, the country manor house of Mr. Darcy.

Aware of the power of the stones, and of other visitors from the future, the Darcy family has guarded their secret and dealt with those few who have appeared over the centuries. Taking authority Darcy presents the puzzling and outspoken new traveler with a plan. He will hide her until she can return through the stones during the next solstice in three months’ time.

After spending months alone with her dying father, Elizabeth will not be imprisoned in an outbuilding on the Pemberley estate and rejects his plan. Instead, she offers her own solution. She will stay at Pemberley with him by becoming a fictitious distant relative of the housekeeper Mrs. Reynolds. Darcy begrudgingly agrees, though as time advances both are challenged by their decision and their growing attraction to each other: Darcy by the convoluted story he must spin to keep her and Pemberley safe, and Elizabeth with the trappings of nineteenth-century life, the attitudes toward women—and especially the information that she knows about the bleak future facing the Darcy family and the estate. Continue reading

A Preview & Giveaway of Elizabeth and Darcy Beginning Again: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Elaine Jeremiah

Elizabeth and Darcy by Elaine Jeremiah 2021Happy Friday dear readers. I hope that you have some fun plans in store for your weekend—like reading!

I am happy to welcome Austenesque author Elaine Jeremiah back to Austenprose today. We last visited with her in 2019 when she published By Time Divided, her second novel in her Love Without Time series. Next up for Elaine is also a Jane Austen-inspired story, Elizabeth and Darcy Beginning Again which releases on February 2, 2021.

This Pride and Prejudice variation spins a different narrative from the original from the point at which Elizabeth Bennet is walking to Netherfield Park and she unexpectantly meets Mr. Darcy. Things take a surprising twist.

Elaine has kindly shared an exclusive excerpt for your enjoyment to give you a finer understanding of the beginning of her novel.  Be sure to leave a comment to qualify to win an eBook of the novel.  Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting today. Best, LA

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Little does Elizabeth Bennet think the journey across muddy fields from her home at Longbourn to Netherfield Park will change her life forever.

But an unexpected encounter with the proud and haughty Mr. Darcy leaves her injured and vulnerable. Worse still, she is left alone with him for a significant amount of time. Her reputation at risk, she is forced to make a decision about her future. Now her life will never be the same again.

Can Elizabeth ever be happy? Or will she always loathe Mr. Darcy?

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

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A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Ladies of the House: A Modern Retelling of Sense and Sensibility, by Lauren Edmondson

The Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmondson 2021Hey-ho gentle readers. Like touring Pemberley, discovering great new books is a hard business. I am a passionate subscriber to Publisher’s Marketplace for the latest book deals. I troll through publisher’s catalogs, scour Amazon for Indie books, and follow way too many authors newsletters than is humanly possible to read all in pursuit of the next great read to share with you all.

Lately, the new book landscape has been resplendent with authors eager to grab my attention with gorgeous covers, intriguing descriptions, and…the always fateful Jane Austen connection. My latest find in that category is Ladies of the House.

Written by debut author Lauren Edmondson it is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. YES. I heard you gasp. Not Pride and Prejudice. Huzzah. I am all for diversity from the Austen canon.

I could write a whole blog on how overlooked S&S is by contemporary Austenesque authors, but instead, I will let this new novel be your springboard. It is thoughtful, moving, and brilliantly crafted. My takeaway was that Edmondson emotionally delivers the payload that Austen was aiming for—the unbreakable bond between sisters.

The author and her publisher have generously supplied an exclusive excerpt for our readers. It will give you only a glimpse of what is in store for you in the novel. Be sure to return on February 8th for our full review.

Ladies of the House releases on February 9, 2021, so be sure to add it to your TBR pile. Marianne Dashwood passionately entreats you to do so.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

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