REVIEW of “Captain Wentworth: Home from the Sea” by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Persuasion  is perhaps my second favourite novel by Jane Austen. Therefore, I am always looking forwaard to reading variation or what ifs related to that novel.

The two novels that I have read by Mary Lydon Simonsen are about Elizabeth and Darcy (it is time to reread them and review them!) and I have liked them very much, for this reason I was eager to read Captain Wentworth: Home from  the Sea.

This version starts on the same moment as the novel it relates to: Sir Walter Elliot is forced to move to Bath because he does not have a penny. Anne stays at Kellynch Hall to accommodate the Crofts but the twist comes here as the Admiral and his wife are coming with Captain Wentworth as he is living with them… since he is not fit for the navy as he has lost part of his memory. He cannot remember a lot of people or places who have been in his life or where he has travelled before.

As you can imagine, if you have read Persuasion, Anne is unsettled at first but when Frederick arrives, they engage in a nice friendships that evolves into a stronger relationship where the Captain asks Anne to marry him as he is sure that she will be a good wife and a good mother to his children.

The Anne that we read about can be more selfish but not in a mean way, she thinks about herself and what she wants, instead of running off to Uppercross when her “poor” sister is ill or when (in this version) she is told to go to Bath because Mr Elliot wants to be with her.

Anne accepts Frederick without hesitation but she tells him nothing about their past. I am not going to spoil this short novel as it is worth reading. You need to discover what happens if Frederick recovers his memory, what happens if Lady Russell was not only once in the middle of their lives and what happens if Frederick is even more amazing in this version!

I would have loved to read 150 pages more!! Although I have just read three of Mary Lydon Simonsen‘s novels and novellas, I can state that I really like her style and her way of writing. I will reread When they fall in love and you will read about it 😀

 

4out5 stars

 

(cover picture from Amazon UK)

REVIEW of “Behind the mask” by Bronwen Chisholm

What would happen if Darcy and Elizabeth knew each other (kind of) before Bingley arrived to Netherfield Park? 😉

Behind the mask (a Pride and Prejudice novel)  by Bronwen Chisholm has its starting point in a erotic encounter. I am pointing it from the very beginning in case someone does not like to read erotic scenes involving our dear characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

The masque ball is set before the story by Jane Austen but immediately Behind the mask catches up with Pride and Prejudice. It is obvious that there will be changes, but those changes, in my opinion, follow an interesting retelling of P&P.

We can read about a passionate Darcy and an adventurous Lizzy, a lot of the events are reversed in this novel but with a great imagination and skill, Bronwen Chisholm hits the target when she decides that Darcy actually helps Bingley to get back to Jane and he makes Miss Bingley to go to London in order to protect the Bennet family. It is also great to see that Darcy, again, loves Elizabeth beyond everything.

I have to say that during this novel Lizzy has mentioned several times that “she will not marry” AT ALL. Is that something to be worry about? YES!! How difficult is to have this obstinate, headstrong girl on the right path!! Even after what happened at the Hunsford Parsonage…

I keep talking about William and Lizzy but I need to mention other characters who change a bit from their “moulds”. Colonel Fitzwilliam is a lovely infuriating busybody that makes the story of our heroes a rollercoaster where they do not help at all as they are too stubborn (Lizzy) and too honourable (Darcy). Mr Bingley is great in this story as we can read more about him, he is more protagonist in a way as he is more observant and insightful. Lydia, what could I say about Lydia? She follows her own ruin but she is even lucky at the end! Mrs Bennet’s nerves are worse than in P&P but I have to say that Elizabeth gives her more than one reason for having a bad health, you will eventually sympathise with her (poor Mrs Bennet and Mr Bennet)! Mr Bennet still needs a bit of drive towards his daughters, he cares a lot but he needs to show it more! Charlotte is as usual a great friend and one of the most perceptive characters together with Anne!

I have to mention Lady Susan, oops, I mean Lady Sarah, one of the oldest friends that Jane and Elizabeth have. She is key in this story and I have to say that I really like how the novel ends for her.

One quote from the book that I have loved (read it properly):

“Miss Elizabeth, would you do me the pleasure of being my partner,” for the rest of my life? His breath caught in his throat. “For the next dance?”

 

 

By the way, who is Lucinda? I am not answering this question, you must read the book and discover it!

 

5out5 stars

(picture from https://bronwenchisholm.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/cover.jpg)

 

REVIEW of “Revisit Mansfield Park: How Fanny married Henry” by Sarah Ozcandarli

When I read the title, I could not conceive the idea of Fanny marrying Henry. It went against my idea of Fanny, my dislike of Henry and my love for a happy ending.

Mansfield Park is one of my favourite Jane Austen’s novels and I find Fanny too sweet to end up with someone different from Edmund. However, I wanted to read Revisit Mansfield Park: How Fanny married Henry because it was a challenged not to be biased by my ideas.

It is true that I spent more than half of the book waiting for the author to show that everything was a lie, that Henry is still despicable and untruthful as Jane Austen showed us. I was being a bit mean with Sarah Ozcandarli‘s book because although I was enjoying the letters that Henry and Fanny wrote to each other in order to have a better acquaintance, I kept thinking that it was not possible that Henry was actually in love with Fanny.

However, he was and he wanted to show her how he could changed just to deserve her love. It is a lovely way the book is written because as I wrote before, the love story is mainly seen through the letters they send to each other. There is a great change between the first letters where they write in a very sensible and polite manner and the last ones, where feelings and emotions are so clear and evident.

There are more stories around the courtship that Henry and Fanny have, the Bertram’s do not have really happy news or events but those events are very important to complete the story. We can find Maria and Julia, Tom and Edmund together with their parents. I like Susan, Fanny’s sister, as an important character in this story, we also have Fanny’s parents on Revisit Mansfield Park.

I was lucky to get the story for free on Amazon, but I recommend it, mainly if you dislike the Henry Crawford from Mansfield Park as I do.

4out5 stars

Why JAFF is so great!?

Have a look at this nice article that tells us why JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) is so important and why we need even more!

5 Reasons the World Needs More Jane Austen Fanfic

I totally agree with Elizabeth Ann West on this matter but I will add another reason: the people involved in JAFF.

Obviously I have to thank the writers, they are absolutely amazing and creative. Taking as a reference, Pride and Prejudice, authors are telling us what if, what happened after the wedding, what happened before the wedding, they are meeting in different situations or they are taking the personality of the characters and changing the era.

I started reading JAFF books several years ago, thanks to Amazon USA and UK, I bought paperbooks, at that time mainly by Abigail Reynolds, highly recommended to read The Man who Loved Pride and Prejudicemy first JAFF book. Back then, I was not aware of the huge experience that the JAFF universe is nowadays.

However, my point does not only involve amazing authors writing great stories. I have been following JAFF authors, JAFF bloggers or befriending readers of JAFF stories and I have to say that I have felt extremely welcomed. Around two years ago, when I was commenting on blogs or groups, I felt like an invader because I could read and realise that they knew each other quite well and I was just a newbie. In addition to that, I started mainly on websites and groups with people from the USA and it seemed to me that I was the Spaniard living in England who “dared” to “invade” a new universe.

Needless to say, I was totally wrong, it was just a silly feeling that I had as I was just new in a cybernetic and “geeky” world. (By the way, I love to consider myself geeky, so please do not take any offense).

After participating on a few giveaways, I realised that the authors and the people behind some amazing blogs were just very pleasant and generous as well. I believe I will never forget the first ebook that I won: The Madness of Mr Darcy by Alexa Adams, a giveaway on The Calico Critic. It may sound silly but I felt really happy to win it, not only for the prize (a lovely and tender book) but for starting to be part of that universe. I have been lucky enough to win a few more books but what I adore above all on the JAFF universe is the contact with the writers and also with other JAFF addicts. Being able to write to authors on a post or on their twitter or facebook account is great! They answer you, you can give your opinion or leave a comment, etc. and it goes from “cybernetic”, that normally is related to impersonal, to personal and human.

I just want to thank everyone who belongs to this universe, and I have kept writing universe because it is vast and it is just great. Thank you for being so welcoming and for sharing so much with me and with everyone insterested in Jane Austen.

Keep being so awesome! Authors, carry on writing! 😉 and the rest of the people (readers, bloggers, editors, supporters), keep spreading the JAFF universe!

Thank you very much. Muchas gracias. 😀

Ana

picture of gracias

REVIEW of “Mr Darcy’s Rival” by Kara Louise

What would happen when you love someone but it looks like you are not the only one?

This variation of Pride and Prejudice is full of apologies, envy, wise people and love. If you enjoy reading about Elizabeth and Darcy but you prefer when Darcy suffers a bit more than in Jane Austen’s book, you will love Mr Darcy’s Rival.

What if a female character is the “baddie” instead of Wickham who is almost a puppet? What if Anna de Bourg hides her real self and her real feelings? What if the past helps the future just for reading it? What if Charlotte is as clever as always? 😉

Kara Louise has add a lot of intrigue to P&P but having always the main couple. SPOILER ALERT: at the end they marry but the important thing is: how do they arrive to that point? 🙂

Elizabeth carries on with her bad impression of Darcy’s behaviour and she lets her vanity again to be flattered by someone new in her life. Mr Rickland is not exactly what she thinks… at the beginning.

Lizzy still despises Mr Darcy, she believes he only looks at her to find fault, how mistaken she is! Elizabeth discovers Darcy’s feelings when she should not have, this makes a small change on her perception of the arrogant gentleman, but will it be enough to fall in love with him? No! He really needs to redeem himself of his faults but it is not easy as there are too hurdles to win Elizabeth’s affections. (Mr Darcy is so charming and sweet!)

After reading Pride and Prejudice, we already know the main characters, however, I have really like some minor characters who are Kara’s ideas: Mrs Brooks and Mr Jenkinson: with so little, they are really good assets.

What if you go and grab a copy of Mr Darcy’s Rival and enjoy this fantastic book?

I was very lucky to win a giveaway of this book. Thanks to Kara and Meredith for giving and organising the giveaway 🙂

(picture from http://www.karalouise.net/)

REVIEW of “Amelia Elkins Elkins” by A. M. Blair

I am used to read several variations or sequels of Pride and Prejudice every month and I simply love them. However, I found last months a very interesting book on a website whose author was giving her retelling of Persuasion free. Who can resist a freebie and who can resist a free of a retelling of one novel Jane Austen?

Amelia Elkins Elkins is a retelling of Persuasion from a contemporary point of view. We are not any more looking at the 19th century but the 21st. From my point of view, A. M. Blair shows a great variation of the love story of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth but adding all the implications and “dramas” that we may face (well I am not in possession of a large fortune) in our lives.

Amelia is determined to save her family house after her mother’s death, complicated passing away. She finds out family “treasures” and the “black sheep”.

All the characters are very similar to the ones that Jane Austen wrote but in this novel with the 21st century turn. A like them or dislike them exactly the same. However, our Mr William Elliot, here he has a different name, is very creepy and a baddy (you need to read it to know his dark side).

You may think that I am missing one of the protagonist but no, I have not. You want to know how our Captain Wentworth is but I will only write that Michael is as loveable as Frederick.

“Please let me know”

You really need to grab a copy and read it, I only hope that you enjoy Amelia Elkins Elkins at least as much as I have enjoyed it. It is a really nice novel and you may enjoy also the description of all the clothes that Amelia is wearing ^^

In order to know more about A. M. Blair, go to her blog The Misfortune of Knowing or follow her on twitter A.M.B.

(Picture from https://misfortuneofknowing.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/amelia-elkins-elkins-a-retelling-of-jane-austens-persuasion/)

COVER REVEAL: Romantic Noir #Suspense THE WIDOW @Scarletxxo @IARTG #IARTG

I cannot wait to read this book. I think David Álvarez is going to be really nice 😉

Scarlet's Letters

cover reveal banner
“When truth is buried underground it grows, it chokes, it gathers such an explosive force that on the day it bursts out, it blows up everything with it.” – Émile Zola, J’accuse

In this thrilling romantic noir suspense, DEA agent David Alvarez invested four years in deep undercover infiltrating the ruthless Sonora Drug Cartel only to have his primary target gunned down by a rival gang. Now his only hope in salvaging the operation and bringing the largest drug trafficker in the world to justice lies with the man’s beautiful, young widow Catherine, whom he cannot bring himself to trust.
Catherine would do anything to break free from the clutches of the cartel, but despite her desperate efforts, she can never escape the mistakes of her past that continue to haunt her.
Even though he cannot deny their mystical, mutual attraction, David must carry out his orders –…

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