REVIEW of “Jane Austen and the Archangel” by Pamela Aares

Jane Austen and her novels are inspiration to hundreds of people aroung the world: writers, bloggers, actors, readers, etc. Therefore we could say that she is a bit of a goddess or at least she belongs to the heavens.

This is the idea that I got after reading Jane Austen and the Archangel. What if Miss Austen, after having loved Mr. Lefroy but nothing else, would have been able to find love again? From our modern perspective you may think; who is good enough for Jane Austen? Darcy and Knightley are already taken and are her characters. What if I tell you that Jane can only deserve someone who is heavenly, pure, celestial, glorious?

This is what Pamela Aares is showing on Jane Austen and the Archangel. Jane, Cassandra and their mother have moved to Chawton and Jane is not able to write at all. She is worried about the fact that her inspiration is gone but another worry that she has is related to her friend Serena, she is very unhappy as her parents want her to marry a scoundrel when she is still engaged to a man who is MIA in Spain for two years now.

The other main character is Michael, the Archangel, he has been punished for being a bit of a naughty angel and he encounters Jane Austen while in earth. Michael Grace is the letter carrier and he brings all Serena’s letters to Jane. One of Michael’s powers is to know anything that has been written. (As you may imagine, this is a powerful tool to have in that period and with JA.)

Michael and Jane see each other a couple of times when he brings the mail and one day he is invited to go into the house for tea. This is an important scene as it is when Michael offers his help to find Serena’s fiancé, Darcy. The feelings are very powerful for both of them. Jane tries to deny her feelings, she considered herself a spinster as she is 37. Micheal has never felt that way in all his eons. There is a connection between them but the one who is against anything is Jane as she is too stubborn to feel as she leaves feelings to her characters in her books.

I will not tell you much more as I want you to enjoy this heavenly love story and discover all the perks of being an angel but also all the disadvantages of not being a man to be with the woman you love. Will Jane have finally a happy ending? Will Serena’s fiancé come back to her? Are rules always correct or are they made to be broken? Will Jane Austen write again in this book?

A teaser:

He wished he could put her ar ease, but he was a bit nervous himself. (Jane Austen and the Archangel)

 

4.5out5 stars

 

If you would like to read this book, you can buy it on Amazon UK or Amazon US. If you want to follow Pamela Aares and her writing you have several options: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

 

(cover picture from her website)

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“Second Impressions” Cover Reveal from Meryton Press & A Giveaway

I think this may be one of my favourite JAFF novels. I really like when a few years have passed and they have been apart.
If you want to participate on the giveaway, visit justjane1813.com (a great blog to follow!)

Just Jane 1813

Good morning to my Just Jane 1813 readers, and welcome to the cover reveal for Amy George’s novella, “Second Impressions.” You’re going to meet some intriguing new characters in this story, as you meet up with Darcy and Elizabeth two years after his failed marriage proposal at Hunsford Parsonage.

Don’t you love the play on Austen’s original title for “Pride and Prejudice,” which was “First Impressions?” Of course, we know why that was the original title of her book, but what can second impressions mean for Darcy and Elizabeth in Amy George’s new story?

I love when we get to explore alternate paths that take them both a few years down the road after Darcy’s failed marriage proposal. Time, maturity and the ability to reflect on their past actions gives us two characters who are altered, and yet, fundamentally the same people they were when they met years ago in…

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REVIEW of “Northern Rain” by Nicole Clarkston

Northern Rain by Nicole Clarkston is the first variation of North and South that I have read and I cannot be happier to have started with this book. I was very lucky to win an e-book on a giveaway organised on an amazing blog that I follow: From Pemberley to Milton. I highly recommend you to check it out.

It is a tender story where you can see John’s  powerful feelings and even teasing moments. At the same time, Margaret is even more selfless and generous than in the original book.

Everything starts in a raining day, 17th October, when we can find Mr. Thornton in deep reflexion looking at his father’s tombstone.

logo1-cemetery-in-rain-or-fog (source)

Margaret Hale sees him and even with all the awkwardness she feels, her generous heart binds her to show comfort to that man that makes her uncomfortable after everything that they have already lived together. John is moved by other things apart from the anniversary of his father’s death. His mind and heart go back to the only woman he will only love and of a sudden, she appears next to him much to his chagrin but also to his delight.

This first encounter works little miracles as Margaret sees a different side of John and also John battles between pleasure and discomfiture because he knows that he still loves her even if she dislikes him so much as to refuse him plainly “three months, twelve days, and four hours” ago (Mr. Thornton, Northern Rain).

As the Spanish saying says “familiarity creates affection”, that is exactly what happens with these two lovely characters. They see each other more and they start sharing precious time together. There are many great moments shared and a few previous misunderstandings that get clear during this book, for instance, the mysterious man at the train station. I have liked how John gets to know the truth and how  that leads to the high point to their relationship, or the starting point, that is just a very endearing scene in the kitchen, maybe similar to this one:

19TH-CENTURY-KITCHEN

(source)

Fortunately, they start understanding each other:

Where at first she had seen only a man business, set upon bending the world to his will, she now saw a quite different person.

 

(…) he began to truly comprehend the oppressive weight placed upon Margaret’s fine shoulders.

When they become sort of friends, complications appear to make this pair suffer and it does not look good at all: problems at Marlborough Mills, charity fraud involving Margaret, explosions with casualties, a raider only interested on his own profit that would give his own daughter to enhance his benefits, untrusting police, health problems, and a bit more!!

SPOILER ALERT!!

 

 

 

 

There is a happy ending but how will they overcome all the problems and obstacles?

 

You need to read Northern Rain, it is a great book and you will adore the epilogue!!

5out5 stars

If you would like to follow a bit more about this lovely author, follow her on Facebook and you can buy Northern Rain or her other books on Amazon UKAmazon US or CreateSpace.

 

 

 

 

cover picture from amazon.com

REVIEW of “Mansfield Restored” by Ronald McGowan

Mansfield Restored: Miss Crawford’s Return by Ronald McGowan tells the story a few years later after the story of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. However he makes a change and in his story, Mr. Henry Crawford does the honourable deed and marries Maria. However they are outcasts from Mansfield Park and its residents. Julia is also persona non grata at Mansfield together with her husband Mr. Yates.

As you can gather from the full title, Mary Crawford is the main character, mainly because she is the key element for this story.

MaryCrawford

I have never really liked her; she is vain, opportunistic, capricious and a busybody. However, I wanted to give this book an opportunity and read how she becomes after a few years after all the event at Mansfield.

Mansfield Restored is made of collected letters between the characters, some of those writers are: Mrs. Bertram (Fanny), Miss Crawford, Mr. Crawford, Captain Price, Mrs. Price, Lady Bertram (not the one that you know, you have to read it), Mrs. Grant, etc.

Miss Mary Crawford has a task set: to reunite the Bertram and Crawford and Yates families.

Will she succeed? Will she employ her arts and allurements to achieve her goal? Will she be a different person? Will she actually want to do a selfless deed?

I do not want to give any spoilers, so I am going just to give you my opinion of this book and I hope you give it a chance. I have enjoyed these letters and the “gossip” and the plots going around between some characters and others. I recommend it for a change of perspective regarding Mansfield Park.

4out5 stars

If you want to read this book or more by Ronald McGowan, you could find his books on Amazon UK, Amazon US or Bookdepository.

REVIEW of “Swimming in Rain” by Heather C. Myers

Swimming in Rain is a modern variation of Pride and Prejudice written by Heather C. Myers.

I have liked this book a lot but I have to be honest and mention that at the beginning I was not liking Ronnie Bixby 100%. Marion or as she prefers to be called, Ronnie, is our “Elizabeth Bennet”. She is a 18-years old girl who studies a major in English Lit. She is a Obstinate, headstrong girl! but there are a few moments on the first half of the book where his stubbornness or misapprehension of Aiden Shawe (aka. Darcy) is not totally 21st-century-realistic. Heather C. Myers has tried to be as true to the text of Jane Austen as possible and twice or thrice I have found it a bit unnatural for the modern version.

Nevertheless, I have already mentioned that I have enjoy the book so I will tell you a bit about it.

Ronnie and her older sister Taylor are looking for a roommate and a lovely 18-years-old Hannah is the “chosen” one. The sisters became very quickly attached to the newcomer, she comes from England to study at UCI and she is as “crazy” as Ronnie and they share a lot of interests. Hannah invites them to a party at her brother’s best friend’s house. At the party Ronnie and Taylor meet Hannah’s brother, Aiden, and his friend, Stephen, as well as Stephen’s sister, Farrah.

Stephen has a instant crush on Taylor and he does not leave her side. Hannah and Ronnie go straight to the dance floor and enjoy themselves. When Ronnie stops to have a short rest, she ends up nearby Aiden and she simply ask him if he dances. He is apparently an arrogant stupid man that slights her with a no. She is furious but she tries to avoid him.

This party does not go very well as Taylor has food poisoning and Aiden is the one that has to take them home and Stephen quickly invites them back as soon as Taylor is recovered.

They say first impressions are not always right but here you have Ronnie and Aiden’s first impressions or each other:

Ronnie after a couple of encounters with Aiden she says:

This is all Aiden Shawe’s fault. I mean, I don’t like him. In fact, I loathe him. I hate him. I detest him and everything in between.

Aiden’s description of Ronnie or Marion as he always calls her:

Marion Bixby was the rudest, most ridiculous person he had ever met in his entire life and he hoped he would never have to see her again.

As you can imagine, their paths are going to cross more than what they wish for. Ronnie’s best friend becomes the girlfriend of Ronnie’s neighbour who used to have a crush or Ronnie. He is a bit of a silly, ridiculous person but Kelly likes him a lot. Paul is his name, he works for a Mrs. Solomon that happens to be Aiden and Hannah’s aunt. When Kelly follows Paul to the opening of the last art gallery that Mrs. Solomon has. Paul is like a teacher’s pet with her and the reason why Kelly is travelling with him is because Kelly needs the approval of Paul’s boss!! However, the important part of this trip is that Ronnie and Aiden get together again and a lot of very interesting and nice things happen, well not all of them. Here you have a couple of pictures to enlighten, or confuse you about those days that they spent together (I will ot tell you more because I do not want to make any spoliers). I will just mention that a karaoke can be a very funny activity when you have people visitin your Pemeberley.

alcawheel

More about other characters: there is a Wickham but he does not seem as awful at the end as he may be seen at the beginning. As you may have deduced, Lady Catherine is Mrs. Solomon and she is despicable and old-fashioned in a snob way. The rest of the sisters are Erin,  and the twins Kat and Megan. They are a handful but you may be surprised about who is who compared to Pride and Prejudice. Mr. and Mr. Bixby are quite interesting although they do not have a major role but I have to say that Mrs. Bixby at the end is even moving.

4out5 stars

If you want to know more about this young writer, you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also buy her books on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

I highly recommend the other novel that I have read so far by Heather: The Four Sides of a Triangle. I have not review it yet, I think I will reread it again for you to have a good review.

REVIEW of “Love at First Slight” by J. Marie Croft

What if instead of being five Bennet daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet would have been blessed with five Bennet sons? If you are interested, just read Love at First Slight by J. Marie Croft.

I have really enjoyed reading this upside-down of Pride and Prejudice. If you are reading this entry and you have not read Pride and Prejudice, I will recommend you to read it before hand as you may not understand everything I comment here.

The writing is really good and I have enjoyed reading a lot of Shakespeare within the book. From my humble opinion, I believe the author has been dutiful on following Jane Austen’s tone while emulating the whole story, from Netherfield is let at last to the wedding. Yes, sorry for the little spoiler but there is a happy ending as it happens in P&P. However, I will tell you a bit more about it.

Let me introduce the Bennet Brothers:

Bennet Brothers(images created with dolldivine.com – Regency Hero Doll)

Martin Bennet is the heir, Charles the second son, William the third son and the twins Christopher and Laurence. If you know Pride and Prejudice you can relate the names to the girls: Martin (Mary), Charles (Jane), William (Elizabeth), Christopher a.k.a. Kit (Kitty) and Laurence (Lydia).

As you may be thinking, this family is not so worried about the future of these five gentlemen but you are mistaken there! Mrs. Bennet does not care but Mr. Benner, he is nervousness itself, he wants his sons to be married as soon as possible and with wealthy women. Benjamin Bennet is extremely happy when a widow, Mrs. Jane Devonport comes to her state, Netherfield. Mr. Bennet is sure that the lady will want to remarry and who is better than his second and handsome second son, Charles?

“What a fine thing for our sons!” In a flutter, Benjamin Bennet relayed the news to his wife.

Jane arrives with his two brothers and sister-in-law, and joining the party, her best friend Miss Elizabeth Darcy.

Mr. Bennet was happy to meet the party at the Meryton assembly. However, he had to check his neighbour’s attention to the newcomers as he was sure that his neighbour wanted his two sons to be the suitors to the widow.

A man’s world might be, but women had the almighty power of refusal, and Benjamin was determined to further his sons’ chances against all other suitors.

Mr. Charles Bennet believed Mrs. Devonport to be an angel. However, there was someone on that assembly that was not observed as an angel, just the opposite, her friend Miss Darcy was soon considered an ill-mannered haughty lady after she slighted Mr. William Bennet:

“Miss Darcy, if you are not otherwise engaged, may I request the honour of sharing the next set with you?”

“I thank you, but no,” said she. “I would rather not.”

She then made a comment about him being tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt her. That though changed quite quickly on the same night.

The main interaction or the main time together for Miss Darcy and the third Bennet son is when William goes to Netherfield to take care of Charles, who fell ill after a downpour. Those days makes William dislike her even more and those days makes her to be more interested in his “smouldering eyes”.

Mrs. Devonport, as amiable as she was, wanted to host a ball at Netherfield. Just a few days before the ball, the Bennet brothers met a charming girl that came with Mr. and Mrs. Foster and the militia, Miss Felicity Wickham. She singled out William Bennet and he was glad to have the attention of such a lovely and beautiful lady, when another lady did not find him tolerable enough. Miss Wickham told him all her sorrows and difficulties she has to endure due to the mistreatment that she declares has been done to her by Miss Darcy. *roll eyes* 

During the Netherfield Ball, William expected to dance with Miss Wickham and he was disappointed when he discovered she was absent as she wanted to avoid Miss Darcy. William did not know exactly how but he eventually danced with Miss Darcy and the conversation was not very adequate to a ballroom. Sparks were flying around them when talking or even when silent but maybe not the appropriate sparks.

Just after the ball, all the Netherfield party left to London, not to come back as a letter from Casper Bingley sent to Charles Bennet declared. (Yes, Casper, that is the name of Jane’s unmarried brother, yes Casper, like the ghost! but he is not nice.) Charles was heartbroken. William though the fault was Jane’s brothers and he encouraged his brother to go to town with their uncle and aunt and maybe encounter her. Charles went as he preferred to work in business with his uncle instead of carr yon with the profession of law.

I am not explaining some scenes that are better read in the book that read on a review but I will just mention that William and Elizabeth met again in Rosings Park, the state of Lizzy’s uncle whose priest is William’s cousin. Something very important happens there and I will just give you a teaser of it:

By God! She slapped me! “Ouch.” The sharp, stinging sensation brought him to his senses. Bloody well deserved. I’ve been a monster. (William Bennet)

What if the twins are wild and bring shame to their family? What if Miss Wickham is not as charming as William believes when he meets her? What if Jane does not love Charles? What if William and Elizabeth meet in a very “funny” situation? What if William is a rake in the eyes of a peer? What if hide and seek is a very entertaining game?

You need to grab this book in order to answer all those what ifs, and discover how the happy ending reaches our main characters.

“We are both guilty of forming mistaken first impressions.”

There are funny moments, a few jokes, a lot of alliteration and a great deal of new situations that will make you keep reading even if it is 2am *smile*

Let me introduce you to Miss Elizabeth Darcy, the background, where she is, is not a random one *chuckle*. I could not find a necklace with a pendant that describes her own but the two jewels she has at the end, the necklace may not be the most important one.

miss elizabeth darcy (image created with dolldivine.com – Dress up a Regency Bella)

5out5 stars

 

If you want to read this book or other books by J. Marie Croft, go to Amazon US or Amazon UKYou can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

 

REVIEW of “Bewitched, body and soul” by P.O. Dixon

P.O. Dixon is one of the JAFF authors I have read the most. I may have read around 80% of her writing, that is quite extensive, and I keep liking everything she writes.

Bewitched, body and soul is one of my favourites by P.O. Dixon, I have just reread it to write this review. In this book you can see the strong willed Elizabeth Bennet who goes to town in order to look for Mr. Bingley and tell him or make him understand that her sister Jane is in love with him.

She is not very successful because she encounters Miss Bingley and also Mr. Darcy but there is no way of finding her sister’s heart’s desire. Jane Bennet is not the same one as she was since he left the neighbourhood, she rarely is in company of her family members and she does not even dares to go to Meryton.

Elizabeth is determined and after going to Mr. Bingley’s house and have no success on seeing him, she decides to go to Mr. Darcy’s house to seek assistance from the serious and haughty friend of Bingley. You can imagine how inappropriate was this visit for two reasons: she was unchaperoned and he was the only person in his house. They are totally alone and she collapses due to a temporal illness. He takes care of her and she wakes up in the mistress’ bedroom without recalling any event from the previous night.

She is ill but as she is a headstrong girl, she flees from Darcy House to her relatives. She is fuming and very angry with Darcy for two reasons, again: he does not want to help her regarding her sister’s relationship with Bingley and she realises the unladylike behaviour she had going to the house of an unmarried man.

However, she has seen a different man, still a bit arrogant but caring as well. She is a bit confused but avoids thinking about it. At this point  Elizabeth is “indifferent” to Mr. Darcy or that is what she wants to believe but there is already something not clear for her.

What must it be like seeing him again? Elizabeth frowned. Why am I always thinking of him?

Elizabeth’s aunt, Mrs. Gardiner, has a family member, Lady Susan, that wants to be like a sponsor for Elizabeth. Elizabeth accepts with the hope of finding Mr. Bingley in any social event during the Season. Among other people, Lady Susan introduces Lady Gwendolen Helmsley to Elizabeth and they get on well with each other.

Lady Gwendolen is the sister of one of Mr. Darcy’s oldest friends and she is hoping to catch Mr. Darcy, she fancies herself in love with him. She is actually quite nice until she sees some rivalry and tries to overcome it. This rivalry is seen during the getaway in her country house and the person that seems to get Mr. Darcy’s attention is her new friend Elizabeth Bennet. Lady Gwendolen is not happy and seeks, as usual when Darcy is concerned, help from his brother.

Rumours can destroy the reputation of a person and even more if those rumours point to a fallen woman, Elizabeth Bennet… When Darcy is informed about those gossips he is as usual, honourable and asks Elizabeth to marry him, to placate the malicious reports and also because he loves Elizabeth.

Nevertheless, Elizabeth refuses him! why? on what account she refuses the person who wants to protect her and claims a profound admiration and love for her?

Does Elizabeth see Mr. Bingley? When and where do they meet again (both Charles and Jane and Elizabeth and Darcy)? Do they solve their problems? Lady Catherine is going to be around, how will she behave? Is Wickham going to make an appearance as usual or not?

 

Read the book and see what else is happening to the eternal Darcy and Elizabeth.

 

A teaser to get you into the book:

“I must confess I am relieved to hear it. I had not put the matter completely out of my mind.”

“Trust me, Miss Elizabeth, I am relieved, as well, much more than you know.”

“Why is that, sir?”

“Because, the next time I offer you my hand in marriage, I intend to go about it entirely differently.”

 

If you want to find out more about this book and P.O. Dixon‘s work, check her Twitter and Facebook. If I have to choose my favourite book by her, I will choose Still a young man: Darcy is in love. I will reread it, for the third time, and review it for you to like it at least half as much as I do like it 🙂

You can buy her books on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

4.5out5 stars