Lily of the Valley: The Gents (Book 2), by Sarah M. Eden — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

Historical romance readers, rejoice! Sarah M. Eden has graciously reunited us with those best friends who are like brothers in Book 2 of her Georgian-era The Gents series, Lily of the Valley.

Grumpy Uncle

The Gents were something of a miracle in his life. They’d saved him from a lifetime of loneliness and seen him through times of sorrow. They were like brothers to him. And yet, he often wished them to Hades.” (Loc 204)

Continue reading “Lily of the Valley: The Gents (Book 2), by Sarah M. Eden — A Review”

Her Country Gentleman: Timeless Georgian Collection (Book 1), by Sian Ann Bessey, Sarah M. Eden, and Rebecca Connolly — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson: 

“Country roads, take me home . . . To the place I belong” were the song lyrics that meandered through my mind as I read these three stories about fine London ladies discovering the unexpected people and places they never knew they needed. This collection is the first book in a new Georgian-era series from Mirror Press, which is well-known for its other Timeless Romance Anthology® series that are set in the Regency Continue reading “Her Country Gentleman: Timeless Georgian Collection (Book 1), by Sian Ann Bessey, Sarah M. Eden, and Rebecca Connolly — A Review”

Forget Me Not: The Gents (Book 1), by Sarah M. Eden — A Review

Forget Me Not by Sarah M. Eden 2020From the desk of Katie Jackson: 

I unabashedly admit to gasping with delight when I first heard about a new Georgian-era book series being crafted by one of my all-time favorite historical romance authors, Sarah M. Eden. Then I discovered that the stories begin with none other than the elusive Lucas Jonquil, father of the delightful brothers in the Jonquil Family series. Commence a jubilant pirouette! Forget Me Not is the first book in the new series The Gents that will be centered around six, close-like-brothers friends, supporting each other through life’s varied challenges. Continue reading “Forget Me Not: The Gents (Book 1), by Sarah M. Eden — A Review”

Who Wants to Marry a Duke: Duke Dynasty Series (Book 3), by Sabrina Jeffries—A Review

Who Wants to Marry a Duke by Sabrina Jeffries 2020From the desk of Pamela Mingle:

Romance, mystery, and a most intriguing hero and heroine are what you’ll find in Who Wants to Marry a Duke. This is the third entry by Sabrina Jeffries in the Duke Dynasty series and can also be read as a standalone.

We first meet young Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock, at a ball, where his older half-brother Grey—Duke of Greycourt—warns him about the marriage-minded mamas lurking about. Ignoring this wise advice, Thorn quickly finds himself caught in a compromising position with a young lady. Continue reading “Who Wants to Marry a Duke: Duke Dynasty Series (Book 3), by Sabrina Jeffries—A Review”

A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of A Dash of Romance (Romantic Encounters: An Anthology Book 1), by Paullett Golden

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Hello readers! Please help me welcome historical romance author Paullett Golden to Austenprose today in celebration of the release of her new anthology, A Dash of Romance, the first book in her new Romantic Encounters series.

The anthology contains a novella set in 1795 Devonshire, England, the love story of Percival Randal and Abigail Walsley, two dreamers who enter into a marriage of inconvenience for both of them. Also included is a special bonus collection of flash and short fiction—all stand-alone stories. This is a series that the author intends to produce annually. Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of A Dash of Romance (Romantic Encounters: An Anthology Book 1), by Paullett Golden”

Say Yes to the Duke: The Wildes of Lindow Castle (Book 5), by Eloisa James—A Review

From the desk of Pamela Mingle:  

The Wildes of Lindow Castle is a Georgian romance series penned by the elegant writer, Eloisa James. Say Yes to the Duke, the fifth entry in the series features Viola Astley, whose mother is married to the Duke of Lindow. By her own reckoning, Viola is “…the opposite of a Wilde…timid, tongue-tied, and fairly useless.”

At her first ball, an apprehensive Viola retreats to a corridor used mainly by servants. She accidentally comes upon a couple having a liaison. When the man realizes he and his lover are no longer alone, he accuses the woman of arranging for a witness so he’ll be forced to marry her. He speaks cruelly, and long Continue reading “Say Yes to the Duke: The Wildes of Lindow Castle (Book 5), by Eloisa James—A Review”

Love & Friendship, by Whit Stillman – A Review

Love and Friendship Wit Stillman 2016 x 200From the desk of Tracy Hickman: 

Lady Susan is my favorite of Jane Austen’s minor works. A scheming widow who also happens to be “the most accomplished coquette in England,” Lady Susan Vernon is intelligent, attractive, and unscrupulous, agreeing with her immoral friend Alicia Johnson that “Facts are such horrid things!” (256) Her letters to Alicia detail her plans to snare wealthy husbands for both herself and her daughter Frederica while causing pain and suffering to those she deems detestable. As she includes her own daughter in this camp, calling her a “stupid girl,” she has no qualms in forcing Frederica to marry a decidedly silly man with a large fortune. Lady Susan is a terrible person, but a wonderful character. While the novella lacks the depth of later works, it is a wickedly funny short story in epistolary form; its tone is reminiscent of the snarky comments found in many of Austen’s letters.

Who better to capture Austen’s witty social commentary than filmmaker and writer Whit Stillman?  His first Continue reading “Love & Friendship, by Whit Stillman – A Review”

Q&A with Love & Friendship Writer/Director/Author Whit Stillman

Love and Friendship Wit Stillman 2016 x 200Austen scholar Devoney Looser joins us today during the Love & Friendship Janeite Blog Tour to interview ‘Friend of Jane,’ writer/director/author Whit Stillman, whose new hit movie Love & Friendship, and its companion novel, are on the radar of every Janeite.

Welcome, Ms. Looser and Mr. Stillman to Austenprose.com.

Devoney Looser: We Janeites know that you go way back as a Janeite yourself. (Would you label yourself that? I see you’ve copped elsewhere to “Jane Austen nut.”) You’ve admitted you were once dismissive of Austen’s novels as a young man—telling everyone you hated them—but that after college you did a 180, thanks to your sister. Anything more you’d like to tell us about that?

Whit Stillman: I prefer Austenite and I consider myself among the most fervent. Yes, there was a contretemps with Northanger Abbey when I was a depressed college-sophomore entirely unfamiliar with the gothic novels she was mocking — but I was set straight not many years later. Continue reading “Q&A with Love & Friendship Writer/Director/Author Whit Stillman”

A Preview of Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated, by Whit Stillman

Love and Friendship Wit Stillman 2016 x 200Writer, director, and friend of Jane Austen, Stillman has written a companion novel to the film also entitled Love & Friendship with the added subtitle: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated.

For those who have read Austen’s original novella, you will remember that Lady Susan Vernon is described by Reginald De Courcy as “the most accomplished coquette in England.” and by others as devious, wicked and “with a happy command of language, which is too often used, I believe, to make black appear white.” To vindicate her scurrilous behavior is an intriguing premise indeed!

Love & Friendship, the novel, is told from the perspective of a new character, Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca, Lady Susan’s nephew. His voice throughout the book is very Austenesque, with tongue-in-cheek humor and inside Austen jokes that will delight Janeites.

Released in hardcover, ebook and audiobook, Love & Friendship debuted on May 3, 2016, by Little, Brown & Co. Here is the publisher’s description: Continue reading “A Preview of Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated, by Whit Stillman”

A Man of Genius, by Janet Todd – A Review

A Man of Genius Janet Todd 2016 x 200From the desk of Shelley DeWees:

Once as a child he’d had himself electrocuted to see how it would feel. He’d let the current course through him. He’d felt vibrant.

Perhaps he’d never been the same since, just full of sparks. Perhaps touching him she’d taken on some of his electricity, only instead of making her more alive, it had singed and dulled her.

Confident, theatrical, and opinionated, the genius anti-hero of Janet Todd’s novel—which is a departure from her well-known nonfiction work on Jane Austen and others—positively reeks of potential for unusual behavior, right from the start. He’s fussy and aloof; he gets upset if he is forced to walk through pale-colored soil in dark boots; he balks at teacups that are “coarse” or “thick” and favors a more delicate model of his own choosing. He is Byronically volatile and tense, but in Ann’s eyes, Robert James is the picture of Continue reading “A Man of Genius, by Janet Todd – A Review”

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, by Winston Graham – A Review

Ross Poldark A Novel of Cornwall, 1783 to1787 2015 x 200From the desk of Tracy Hickman:

Never having watched the original series on Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970s, I was unfamiliar with Ross Poldark and a little curious about the buzz surrounding the new BBC/PBS series starring Aidan Turner. I wondered whether there was more to Ross Poldark than his good looks. When Laurel Ann Nattress assured Austenprose readers that Ross was a hero every bit as worthy of their warm regard as Mr. Darcy, John Thornton or Mr. Rochester, I decided to read the first novel in Winston Graham’s saga and decide for myself.

Ross Poldark is subtitled “A Novel of Cornwall 1783-1787” and is strongly rooted in the geography, people, and events of the Cornish countryside. The wind and the sea figure as characters in their own right. In the book’s prologue, six months before Ross returns from fighting in America, his father Joshua is close to death. Continue reading “Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, by Winston Graham – A Review”

A Preview of Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham

     Ross Poldark A Novel of Cornwall, 1783 to1787 2015 x 200         Demelza A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790 by Winston Graham 2015

It’s always a red-letter day to bibliophiles when books originally published eons ago get a new life and a new audience. It usually takes a major television series or movie for this to happen. In the case of Jane Austen, we have seen new tie-in editions for Pride and Prejudice in 1995 & 2005, and Sense and Sensibility in 1995. Just the other day I saw a beautiful new movie tie-in cover for Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd in my bookstore. A good story is a good story no matter what generation it is introduced to. Continue reading “A Preview of Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham”

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