7 Historical Suspense Novels Inspired by Jane Austen

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

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 Continue reading “7 Historical Suspense Novels Inspired by Jane Austen”

With Love, Louisa: A Regency Romance (Larkhall Letters Book 3), by Ashtyn Newbold — A Review  

From the desk of Katie Patchell:

When I was younger, I hated Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte’s tale of passion and self-discovery seemed a wasteland to my teenage self—bleak in Yorkshire moor and stark in romantic love. I watched every adaptation and read the novel countless times, but the results were the same. Until one day, in the midst of 2021, I was stunned to encounter colorful beauty where once I saw only monochrome. Evil cousins and madness in attics no longer reigned. What captivated me as never before was the magnetism of Rochester and Jane’s equal meeting of heart and mind. Enter With Love, Louisa, Ashtyn Newbold’s latest Regency novel. A tale set in the open skied Yorkshire moors that Charlotte Bronte loved. This novel Continue reading “With Love, Louisa: A Regency Romance (Larkhall Letters Book 3), by Ashtyn Newbold — A Review  “

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. Continue reading “Faults of Understanding: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Jennifer Altman — A Review”

Charming Artemis, by Sarah M. Eden — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart,” as Jane Austen once wrote. But when tender hearts are hidden behind protective shields, will their charm ever be revealed? Bestselling author Sarah M. Eden explores the promises and pitfalls of tender hearts in the highly anticipated finale of her acclaimed Jonquil Brothers and Lancaster Family series, Charming Artemis.

Miss Artemis Lancaster had been utterly neglected by her widowed father through most of her impoverished childhood. “Oh, how she’d needed someone to see her, to understand the tears that sat on Continue reading “Charming Artemis, by Sarah M. Eden — A Review”

A Longbourn Entanglement: A Comic Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Monica Fairview — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

“O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!” said Sir Walter Scott, and such were the words that ran through my mind when I found myself entwined in the uniquely amusing events of A Longbourn Entanglement by prolific Austenesque author Monica Fairview.

On the day after the Netherfield ball, Fitzwilliam Darcy is tormented by thoughts of his charming dance partner, Miss Elizabeth Bennet. “He had known with absolute certainty that if he stayed a day longer, he would find it impossible to leave. And leave he must, because duty and position and the weight of Continue reading “A Longbourn Entanglement: A Comic Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Monica Fairview — A Review”

A Seaside Summer: Timeless Regency Collection (Book 17), by Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, and Heather B. Moore — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

As summertime meanders through our calendars each year, with its slower pace and often unbearable heat, it is natural to dream of the refreshing breeze and the tranquil sounds of the perpetual waves at the seashore. A Seaside Summer invites readers on a soothing journey to the shore through a trio of sweet romance novellas in the latest addition to the Timeless Romance Anthology® collection from Mirror Press. Continue reading “A Seaside Summer: Timeless Regency Collection (Book 17), by Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, and Heather B. Moore — A Review”

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque: A Novel, by Todd M. Johnson—A Review

From the desk of Sophia Rose:

Crusaders come in all shapes and forms and some don’t even realize they are such a person until they face down injustice at the expense of reputation, career, and even life to see a wrong is righted.   The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson, a historical mystery that balances Regency backdrop with legal thriller, contains a crusader that captivated me from page one.

A Regency period barrister, William Snopes, who champions the commoner in his clever and cunning way Continue reading “The Barrister and the Letter of Marque: A Novel, by Todd M. Johnson—A Review”

Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words, by Shannon Winslow — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

In a November 1814 letter to her niece, Jane Austen wrote that “nothing can be compared to the misery of being bound without love.” She had brilliantly illustrated her point with many unenviable couples in her novels serving as warnings of what her protagonists should strive to avoid. Likewise, readers found in her most famous story, Pride and Prejudice, a hero dutifully resigned to such misery and a heroine determined to evade it. Prolific Austenesque author Shannon Winslow explores that hero’s path from misery to love in her latest Pride and Prejudice adaptation, Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words. Continue reading “Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words, by Shannon Winslow — A Review”

In the Shadow of Croft Towers: A Novel, by Abigail Wilson — A Review

Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail WIlson 2019

From the desk of Katie Patchell: 

The highwayman: A mysterious figure riding on cloudless nights, a man whose purpose goes beyond treasure for wealth’s sake. There’s something about the highwayman that captures our imagination and has done so for centuries. Is it his inevitable strength and beauty (if he’s the novel’s hero)? Is it because he’s misunderstood by those who know him within the pages, so our sympathy reaches out? Or is it because he’s a figure in the vein of Robin Hood, a romantic symbol of a freer, wilder, more dangerous age? In Abigail Wilson’s 2019 debut, In the Shadow of Croft Towers, a masked highwayman appears once again, this time with gray eyes narrowed in laughter behind his mask, and a quest in his heart for something stronger than diamonds but as insubstantial as the mist: The truth.  Continue reading “In the Shadow of Croft Towers: A Novel, by Abigail Wilson — A Review”

Miss Austen: A Novel, by Gill Hornby — A Review

Miss Austen, by Gill Hornby (2020)From the desk of Tracy Hickman:

Austenesque fiction has produced numerous works told by supporting characters from Austen’s novels, using these fresh viewpoints to breathe life into familiar and beloved stories. Similarly, the title character of Gill Hornby’s Miss Austen is not the famous author, Jane, but her devoted elder sister, Cassandra. In many Austen biographies and surviving family letters, Cassandra figures as an exemplary daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, her quiet fortitude and domestic competence contrasted with her younger sister’s more volatile temperament and creative talent. But what happens when an author shifts the spotlight from Jane to Cassandra? How would a fictionalized retelling of her view of Austen family life engage readers?

Jane Austen once wrote to her niece Anna, “Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on” and Ms. Hornby has taken Jane’s advice for Miss Austen. In a narrative that alternates masterfully Continue reading “Miss Austen: A Novel, by Gill Hornby — A Review”

The Clergyman’s Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel, by Molly Greeley — A Review

The Clergyman's Wife, by Molly Greeley (2019)From the desk of Tracy Hickman:

Readers of Pride and Prejudice often compare Charlotte Lucas unfavorably with Elizabeth Bennet who bravely resists financial and familial pressure to accept a proposal from the comically inept Mr. Collins, the man who stands to inherit Longbourn upon her father’s death. While nothing but the deepest love will induce her into matrimony, her closest friend Charlotte decides that she does not have the luxury of waiting for love and quickly catches Mr. Collins on the rebound. Lizzy’s bold refusal stirs our hearts; Charlotte’s pragmatic and calculated choice elicits feelings of resignation and dismay. But I’ve often thought that Charlotte is unfairly maligned by readers, who seem to expect her to possess courage equal to that of Jane Austen’s daring heroine. Could a P&P-inspired novel offer Charlotte something other than a loveless marriage of convenience?

Molly Greeley’s debut novel The Clergyman’s Wife explores Charlotte’s married life in the village of Hunsford. The main storyline takes place three years after Charlotte becomes Mrs. Collins. Her life is quiet, Continue reading “The Clergyman’s Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel, by Molly Greeley — A Review”

The Watsons, by Rose Servitova and Jane Austen — A Review

The Watsons, by Rose Servitova and Jane Austen (2019)

From the desk of Debra E. Marvin:

Author of The Longbourn Letters, Rose Servitova’s candid preface in The Watsons intrigued me as much as the concept of someone taking on an incomplete Austen manuscript. It’s believed Miss Austen began the story around 1803, but it was no more than a partial manuscript at the time of her death. Published in that form by her nephew in 1871, the original document is safely archived ‘as is’ with her edits and revisions. Once I began Ms. Servitova’s novel, I immediately trusted her efforts—dare I say chutzpah—to be the latest to co-author with Jane Austen. What delicate kid slippers to fill!

You’ll not be surprised to learn the story centers on a particular family of a kind, well-read, possibly dying gentleman lax in providing for his adult daughters. Around them, a circle of friends and acquaintances carries on with the business of gossip and country balls. Our protagonist is nineteen-year-old Emma Watson who’s returned Continue reading “The Watsons, by Rose Servitova and Jane Austen — A Review”

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