Dangerous Magic: A Pride & Prejudice Variation (Mr. Darcy’s Magic Book 1), by Monica Fairview — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

The world of Austenesque stories has expanded exponentially in recent years, and now enthusiasts of Jane Austen fan fiction (JAFF) can treat themselves to fantasy versions of their beloved novels. There’s even a delightful new Facebook group dedicated to the subgenre: Fantasy Reads for Austen Fans. Bestselling author Monica Fairview is the latest creator in this whimsical realm with her imaginative Pride and Prejudice variation, Dangerous Magic.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has the weight of the Kingdom on his shoulders. As an elite and formidable Royal Mage, he is destined to help save England by winning the war against Napoleon and his ever-increasing army of French mages. “Darcy wondered if there had ever been a moment in his life when he could have forged his own path. He had always been guided by duty, honor, and good principles, and he had never thought to question their hold on his life.” (17) Trained from childhood as a true-blooded mage at the exclusive Royal Academy, Darcy is well-versed in the textbook spells—but they’re not strong enough, and England is on the verge of being overtaken. Darcy needs to Bond with a Janus Twin—an equally powerful mage, thus doubling their magical strength—if the Kingdom has any chance of surviving Napoleon’s attack. But such mages are exceedingly rare, and time is running out.

Elizabeth Bennet has been raised in the countryside, instinctively developing her magical skills without any formal training and only vaguely aware of the war being fought on English soil. Her life changes dramatically on the day the Royal Mages arrive to enlist her services for King and Country. “Conscripted. A heavy sense of dread had lodged inside Elizabeth, along with a prickling of fear. What if she had to be in a battle? What if they sent her to fight in France?” (95) Although she is not a true-blooded mage, she is extraordinarily talented, and she has become their last, best hope for saving England from the French.

The challenging circumstances escalate when it’s decided that, due to the extensive amount of training time they must spend together, an unmarried man and woman cannot form a magical Bond as Janus Twins without utterly ruining the woman’s reputation, and therefore, Darcy and Elizabeth will be forced to marry for the benefit of the war effort. Darcy is bitter. “An insignificant young lady, from an insignificant family, and an even more insignificant village? …All I can hope for is that she is at least tolerably pretty.” (54) Elizabeth feels trapped. “Serving as a mage for a few years was one thing. Being bound to a stranger for a lifetime with no possibility of escape was quite another.” (249)

Sparks fly—literally—and the volatile situation becomes ever more dire as they fight with each other, as well as against mysterious forces determined to keep them apart, and the French mages continue to hunt for a battle. When the dust settles, will Darcy and Elizabeth reign victorious?  

This book was an absolute page-turner from start to finish. My only complaint is that it felt like it ended too soon—mostly because I read it so quickly and couldn’t put it down—and I want to read a sequel posthaste. Imagine my delight when I discovered that this book, although easily a stand-alone story, is the first in a series and a sequel is, in fact, forthcoming. The story was so immersive and had such a cinematic feel to it that I wish I could see a film adaptation. The creative yet believable world-building was enhanced by beautifully descriptive explanations of the magic used. It was fascinating to see the wealthy, upper-class ladies and gentlemen working together with a real purpose, instead of their usual leisure pursuits. I also enjoyed the apt depiction of Janus, the Roman god with two faces, representing beginnings and transitions. Our courageous Lizzy was her usual obstinate, headstrong self, with some impressive magical talents making her a truly accomplished young lady. Taciturn Darcy was just as proud and prejudiced as ever, with the added bonus of his role as an esteemed Royal Mage to make him that much more dutiful to tradition and reluctant to change. Their fiery interactions were, dare I say, magical. 

Dangerous Magic is an enchanting tale that will charm both Austen enthusiasts and fantasy fans in equal measure.     

5 out of 5 Stars

  • Dangerous Magic, A Pride & Prejudice Fantasy, by Monica Fairview
  • White Soup Press; 1st edition (March 15, 2021)
  • Trade paperback & eBook (242) pages
  • ASIN: B08W4CFT4Y

AMAZON | GOODREADS

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. Austenprose.com is an Amazon.com affiliate. We receive a modest remuneration when readers use our links and make a purchase. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cover image complements of White Soup Press © 2021; text Katie Jackson © 2021, Austenprose.com

A Preview & Giveaway of A Life Worth Choosing: A Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Anngela Schroeder

Happy Friday dear readers. Do you have your reading lined up yet for the weekend? I am working my way through Jane Austen & Adlestrop, by Victoria Huxley. It is a detailed history of the Leigh family of Adlestrop, a village in Gloucestershire, and Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire, the ancestral seat of Jane’s mother Cassandra Austen nee Leigh. I highly recommend it for those interested in Austen’s many family connections and how they influenced her writing.

Today I am delighted to feature a new Austenesque novel written by the exceptionally talented Anngela Schroeder. A Life Worth Choosing is a unique Pride and Prejudice variation—unlike any that I have heard of. Imagine the plot of Austen’s tale at the point after the failed first proposal by Mr. Darcy and then add in the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Yes, this is a fantasy story so to speak, and a very clever one at that.

Anngela is a seasoned author who has written several popular Austen-inspired novels including The Goodness of Men, and A Lie Universally Hidden. She has also contributed short fiction to three anthologies: Yuletide, Rational Creatures, and Then Comes Winter. I hope that you will be as intrigued as I was by the creative concept of A Life Worth Choosing and give it a try this weekend.

The publisher has generously shared an exclusive excerpt from the novel and offered a giveaway chance to our readers. Check out the details at the end of the post. Good luck to all and happy reading! 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

“You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.” Jane Austen

Reeling from the unexpected rejection of his proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy prepares to quit Hunsford for London but not before he defends himself against Elizabeth Bennet’s accusations. He cannot forgive her harsh words; her assertion Mr. Wickham would have made a better son has cut him to the core.

Suffering an accident while delivering the fated letter, he wakes to a world he does not know—and to those who do not recognize him. With a new life, a different name, and a fresh chance at winning the woman he loves, Darcy must decide which is “A Life Worth Choosing” ––the past he remembers or a future he has created for himself.

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A Preview & Giveaway of Forget Me Not, Elizabeth: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Jennifer Joy

Hey-ho dear readers. I am happy to feature bestselling author Jennifer Joy on Austenprose today to share her next Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel, Forget Me Not, Elizabeth.

Now, can you guess from the title what this novel might be about? If you thought memory loss, then, you are absolutely correct. It’s While You Were Sleeping meets Pride & Prejudice in a second chance romance!

Second chance romances are one of my favorite tropes—Jane Austen’s Persuasion topping the list. Other enjoyable historical romances containing this plot device are Bath Tangle, by Georgette Heyer, and recently, Someone to Remember, by Mary Balogh. Since everyone loves a do-over, especially in love, the combination of these hooks in Jennifer Joy’s capable hands is sure to be a winner.

We have an exclusive excerpt to share with you and a generous giveaway chance by the author to win a digital copy of the book. Please check out the details listed at the end of this post. Good luck to all!

Forget Me Not, Elizabeth is the 4th novel in the Mysteries & Matrimony series of standalone novels and releases on February 28th, 2021.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Can the heart remember what the mind cannot recall?

Elizabeth Bennet’s Happily-Ever-After is shattered when calamity strikes on her wedding day. Unable to remember the man she promised to marry, Elizabeth soon comes to appreciate that Mr. Darcy is the best ally she could have when a series of disasters put her life in peril.

After one failed proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy is finally confident that Elizabeth returns his love … until she shows up for their marriage ceremony with no memory of him.  Proving his constancy, Darcy sets about courting his betrothed, determined to win her heart — again — but his wooing is interrupted when a mysterious malefactor conspires to keep them apart for good.

Working together, the amnesia-struck bride and her disgruntled groom discover an attachment more profound than the love stolen from them. But will they catch the murderous thief before it is too late?

If you can’t get enough of Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth, then you’ll love this thrilling post-canon, sweet romance based on Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice.

Forget Me Not, Elizabeth is the 4th book in the Mysteries & Matrimony series of standalone novels.

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A Preview & Giveaway of Dangerous Magic: A Pride & Prejudice Fantasy, by Monica Fairview

Dangerous Magic by Monica Fairview 2021Happy Friday dear readers. I am delighted to share a preview with you today of a new Austenesque novel from one of my favorite authors, Monica Fairview. Dangerous Magic is an Austen-inspired fantasy involving characters from Pride and Prejudice. In this creative reimagining of the courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, our favorite couple are mages who must marry to unite their powers to save their kingdom.

For the benefit of those who may not know what a mage is, according to the Urban Dictionary, they are “A skilled magic user who, unlike wizards and sorcerers, needs no staff as an outlet of his magic, but instead uses his hands.”  Mages populate many role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, World of Warcraft, and Dragonlance. So, in reference to Dangerous Magic, just imagine a fantasy world, Darcy and Lizzy with magical powers, and the classic “hate at first sight” trope all wrapped up in an intriguing package.

We are pleased to offer our readers a short glimpse into this magical world with an exclusive excerpt from the publisher and a chance to win a digital copy of the book. Check out the details at the end of the post. Enjoy!

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A sparkling tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two mages who must work together to save the Kingdom.

Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans.

But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.

Join the author of Fortune and Felicity in this enchanting story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.

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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