REVIEW of “The Juggling Act” by Carol Maloney Scott

This is my first review outside the JAFF world and I have enjoyed to read a romantic comedy, although it had more the side of romance or relationships than comedy. I received a copy of The Juggling Act in exchange of my honest review and I hope you enjoy it.

Carol Maloney Scott tells us the story of the married couple Claire and Brandon.

Claire: 38 years old, work in a publishing house, she has a sister, she is not able to have babies

Brandon: 30 years old, musician and writer, he was adopted and has a sister, he wanted to adopt with Claire

Brandon fell in love with Claire really quickly and he made a rush move when he promised her a family. Claire has the desire of becoming a mom and after a short period being together they get married and adopt a baby boy, Aiden.

Brandon works from home but he is not a househusband and he is always surrounded by women: their hot single mum tenant who brings her daughter Ruby to play with Aidan, the hot Russian nanny and the female singer of his band; Diamond, Tatianna and Zoe respectively.

Claire is super jealous of the two first women and how they go around his husband. Although there is sexual tension between Diamond and Brandon, he does not succumb to her.

Claire also has his “moons” gravitating around her, well just one but a powerful one, Justin. His work colleague who is very into her. To make things worse: he is super cute and super gentleman-like, obviously Brandon does not like it. (there is a lot more story before this trip that you need to know to understand better this triangle)

Turning point: Claire has a work trip to a lovely and romantic place with Justin.

Justin behaves, in spite his desires. Claire overcomes some fears but what she still knows what happens at home and it is burning her.

The problem with Brandon is that he tries to avoid conflict and if that means to wait ages to tell something to Claire, he will. It does not matter if it is something as important as an meeting with Aidan’s biological mum, or big changes with his band, or what is his book about, etc.

After the trip, Claire tries to overcome her jealousy and after a really good night and a deserved rest, she founds in her bed and bedroom: feminine underwear and a pregnancy test.

I will not tell you more but what happens during the trip and what happens after these discoveries is very interesting.

I have enjoyed the book and I will recommend to read it. I will be posting soon the review of Afraid of her Shadow.

4stars

If you want to know more about Carol Maloney Scott, follow her on Twitter or Facebook. You can also buy her books in Amazon UK and Amazon US.

wiener dogs

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REVIEW of “The Subsequent Proposal” by Joana Starnes

“Mind-blowing” is the word that I used after just reading the prologue of The Subsequent Proposal by Joana Starnes.

Where Pride and Prejudice meets Persuasion and where all my favourite characters of Jane Austen live together or fight together.

It is so difficult to review this book because I do not want to do any spoilers. I will do my best. However, I am starting with the first shock for me: Mr. Darcy after believing that Elizabeth is lost for him, he proposes to Anne Elliot!! They talk and they know that their hearts belong to someone else but they are also practical. Darcy wants to take Anne from her horrible relatives and Anne can give Darcy the heir that he needs for Pemberley.

If you have read Persuasion, you will know that Anne’s father, Sir Walter Elliot is a vane and selfish man who only cares about his appearance and also about titles and wealth. I simply do not like him  but Joana Starnes has showed me the only time that I cannot resent him for something done against Anne in favour of his elder sister: he imposes a six month period before announcing the engagement in order to give Elizabeth Elliot time to find a husband. Although Darcy does not agree with him, he cannot do otherwise.

Darcy is content with the arrangement and he decides that it is time to write Charles Bingley about his involvement on separating him from Jane Bennet and how she may love him in return.

Some weeks past and Bingley appears at his town house, he has just read the letter and asks him to accompany him to Netherfield. Eventually Darcy accepts and takes Georgiana with them.

The word awkward is an understatement to describe the first meeting of Darcy with Elizabeth but at the same time they way Joana writes Darcy’s feeling is adorable. However, Elizabeth is not herself, Georgiana describes her as “shy” (can you believe it?).

Every contact that Elizabeth and Darcy have is very “romantic” from the desperate point of view of Darcy who loves Elizabeth beyond boundaries but at the same time he is an honourable man who is engaged to another.

In case you have forgotten, characters from Persuasion are included and who else if not Captain Frederick Wentworth is here and he is very interested in Elizabeth Bennet!! Yes, as you read it, “what is going on here?”. (Read it and enjoy!)

To make things more complicated, the annoying Mr. Wickham has to be the baddie, again. Lydia, again, is the black sheep of the family and she needs protection. She is not going to be left alone as Mr. Darcy starts his journey to save her and another gentleman as well, Captain Wentworth. I will just mention that there is a duel with guns and it does not end very well :S The danger is great and people get hurt in duels.

Onegin_by_Repin

Remember one thing while reading the duel: there are no rules in hate and rancour. Wickham is not a gentleman even if he wants to believe he is.

I am not going to tell you anything else about the story, only remember that in this story we still have around Lady Russell, Mrs. Bennet, Bingley and Colonel Fitzwilliam among others.

 

Go an grab a copy of this book or any of Joana’s book on Amazon UK or Amazon US. They are just awesome!!

Follow Joana on Twitter and Facebook. You can also check her blog and page on Austen Authors.

 

SPOILER ALERT!

 

 

There is an amazing happy ending after a lot of “need-to-be-honourable” moments, aching hearts, misunderstandings and “Caroline Bingley, my bad”.

By the way, walks in the park are very entertaining!  😉

“We must endeavour to subdue our minds to our good fortune: we must learn to brook being much happier that we both deserve!” (said by a character in the book)

 

 

5out5 stars

REVIEW of “From Admiration to Love” by April Floyd

The only regret that I have is that From Admiration to Love by April Floyd is just a novella. I would have liked to read the admiration to love in more detail, with more encounters and more feelings before the nightmare.

My highlight from From Admiration to Love is Lady Anne DarcyI have read several variations where Mr. Darcy, the father, has an important role but I was missing reading about Lady Anne Darcy, the mother of our beloved Mr. Fiztwilliam Darcy.

Elizabeth lives with Mr. and Mrs. Bingley in a state that borders Pemberley. As Elizabeth is very fond of walking she goes to Pemberley grounds quite a lot. She has not seen Mr. Darcy since the day of Jane’s wedding and she only knows that something horrible has happened to make him and his mother mourn. The haughty Darcy is just “a shadow” of that man that picked her interest even when he was uncivil.

In one of her ramblings, she decides to refresh her feet in one of Pemberley lakes, she trips and she sees herself “fished” by some footman at the order of Lady Anne Darcy. The lady barely left her rooms during her mourning but from a window she saw Elizabeth in danger. Elizabeth is rescued and fortunately Mr. Darcy is not at home. I write fortunately because Elizabeth wants his good opinion. The following morning, Darcy encounters Elizabeth in his house! He sees how good Elizabeth is for his mother in only a few hours and his admiration, that comes from his time at Netherfield, grows.

During the days that Elizabeth stays at Pemberley, including visit of Jane Bingley, the admiration from Darcy and Elizabeth becomes love and Darcy is so bold as to ask:

“Miss Elizabeth, I hope you do not find my question impertinent, but is there a young man in all of Hertfordshire with any claim to your heart?”

Before their love can be continued at Pemberley, Elizabeth receives a letter from her father urging her to come back to Longbourn, he does not state the reasons but she reckons it will not be anything awful as he does not mention it.

Lady Anne and Mr. Darcy go to London while Elizabeth and the Bingleys go to Longbourn. Darcy will go to Hertfordshire to speak to Mr. Bennet after finishing in the capital city.

However, problems start here, felicity and joy stops in the novella to find: family mistakes, kidnapping, attempts to marriage without consent, lies, danger, frustration, threats, death, etc.

I am not going to explain more but the baddies are multiple and poor Elizabeth suffers a lot and she faces danger. Would Mr. Darcy save her on time? Would Lady Anne have another daughter to cheer her up and take care of? Would Elizabeth survive it all?

April Floyd has been so kind as to give copies of this novella to several fans. You can also follow her on twitter and you can buy her books both on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4.5out5 stars

REVIEW of “How to mend a broken heart” by L.S. Parsons

I am always honest with my reviews and I am not going to change that, so to start with I have to pint out that I have really enjoyed the story of How to mend a broken heart; however there are a couple of scenes that I dislike due to the way they are written. I do not mind passion between Darcy and Elizabeth, but I do not like crude and a bit vulgar descriptions. In this book there are a lot of erotic/sexual innuendoes or descriptions but two or three of them I found them quite lacking.

Said that, I need to repeat that the story, the plot is really good. L. S. Parsons has made really intriguing twists on How to mend a broken heart where, obviously, Darcy and Elizabeth are the protagonist but we also see other Pride and Prejudice characters in a different light and she invents new characters who are key in this story.

What if Mr. Darcy is engaged when Elizabeth comes back to his life after three years of separation? What if Elizabeth has endured a horrible time with so many tragedies that she has decided not to marry at all? What if Elizabeth has he first season and her sponsor is Lady Matlock? What if Georgina becomes a non-shy girl anymore because she is in love and loved in return?

L.S. Parsons shows a desperate Darcy who proposes to an old friend because he has lost all hope to conquer Miss Bennet’s heart because she is nowhere to be found. Without talking to anyone, he proposes to Mrs. Wagstaff because he knows he needs an heir. Just a week after his engagement, he goes to visit his aunt to give her the news, Lady Matlock, to find Elizabeth living with her!

Darcy could do nothing but stare intensely at Elizabeth, though his agitation was noticeable to all by the tremor of his hand and the saucer clinking of his cup upon its saucer. (chapter 6)

When Darcy is able to return to his normal self and after not being able to believe his fate, he decides that he will improve Elizabeth’s opinion of him as he cannot win her heart anymore. Remember: Mr. Darcy is above all an honourable man and he will not disgrace his family breaking his engagement.

There is a tiny problem: his idea is to become friends with Miss Bennet but as the Spanish saying states “when there was a fire, embers remain” and Darcy is as in love with her as he was three years before when he proposed at the Hunsford Parsonage. Nobody apart from them two knows about that time together, so apart from, now General Fitzwilliam, everybody at the beginning think that he is being a gentleman when he offers to help his aunt to teach everything that Elizabeth needs to have her first season in London and to be presented at court.

Darcy’s betrothed is the widow of one of his friends, so you can imagine that after having had two sons, she is not a naive girl anymore, she wants to bed Darcy as soon as possible. Virginia, Mrs Wagstaff, is the opposite to a virtuous woman, she is provocative and she likes to have all men looking at her. Fortunately, Darcy is not complying and he actually has a good “excuse”: focusing on Georgiana who is having finally her first season. As usual, Darcy and Georgiana’s relationship is a nice as always but in this book we can read about a grown up Miss Darcy who becomes a woman.

Lady Matlock is suspicious and she finds Darcy and Lizzy almost kissing in public! Darcy was just comforting her after an encounter with Mr. Collins (I think you will hate him as much I do in this book). Lady Matlock talks to both and tries to put some sense on both heads, mainly in Darcy’s. However, Elizabeth’s feelings “had undergone so material a change” that it is also difficult for her to avoid him.

Mrs. Wagstaff dislikes the attention that his betrothed is paying to a “country chit” and she has her own “abilities” to get rid of the problem, but does she succeed?

You will see how the attraction between Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet grows and how Miss Bennet intends to go away from him but having him at the same time ❤

Will they find their happy ending?

 

3out5 stars

REVIEW of “Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit” by Elaine Owen

What if Elizabeth Bennet was civil on her refusal at the Hunsford Parsonage? What if Mr. Darcy discovers his own “guilt” without Lizzy yelling at him? How is he going to win her heart when she is “civil” and very polite?

Mr. Darcy´s Persistent Pursuit by Elaine Owen is a variation of Pride and Prejudice that has a starting point the first proposal. Here Elizabeth contains herself and the only thing that she expresses in order to show her dislike is the “not handsome enough to tempt me” comment.

Mr. Darcy quickly realises that there is more than that and as the book progresses he is able to see that she knows about his meddling with Bingley and Jane. As he is determined to win her, he flies from Rosings to talk to his friend. In the meantime Elizabeth starts having mixed feelings as his regards and her opinions about the man who has just proposed in a very annoying manner.

You need to read about a beautiful courtship in Derbyshire where Darcy can be calm and comfortable surrounded by his people, or may be not… How despicable is Caroline Bingley!! (I am not even mentioning what she did!) Once that “problem” is out of the way, Darcy shows how different he is from what Elizabeth thought that day at the Meryton assembly. Take into account that once Darcy is determined, he cannot be persuaded, even less when it comes to the love of his life who gives him hope!

“This is your final answer? Obstinate, headstrong boy! Very well, then I shall know how to act.”

I have really liked Mr. Bennet as he shows better judgement and a really good mood, always teasing but also very caring. I am actually a fan of Mr. Bennet and in every variation or sequel that I read I pay a lot of attention to his personality and his acts.

Do not forget about the baddy! Mr. Wickham obviously cannot be missing from this book and he is despicable!! You really need to read his letter explaining all his actions and reasons against Darcy (infuriating!).

The pace of the book is really calm but without being tedious at all, I believe it has the correct amount of descriptions and explanations. Elaine Owen goes to the point in every event or scene and she takes the reader to a paradise of Lizzy and William’s endearing love. Darcy is so lovely and affectionate that you will love his words and you will want to read more about his faults and how he atones himself for them.

There is a second part for this book, this time focused on Lydia and the consequences of her acts in Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit: Love´s fool: the taming of Lydia Bennet. I have read a comments on Goodreads and it must be really good.

This is my first novel by Elaine Owen but I highly recommend her and I have on TBR list Love’s fool and I may start reading fanfiction of North and South with her.

 

(picture from Goodreads)

4.5out5 stars

REVIEW of “Captain Frederick Wentworth’s Persuasion” by Regina Jeffers

Each lover has a theory of his own about the difference between thee ache of being with his love, and being alone. (W.H. Auden, “Alone” – Regina Jeffers uses poems or parts of poems in every chapter.)

I have to admit that I was really eager to read Persuasion from Captain Wentworth’s perspective because after reading Darcy’s P&P and Edmund Bertram’s MP, I could not wait until reading lovely Frederick’s account of the story: when he decided that Anne was his soul mate after arriving at Kellynch, his thought about the Miss Musgroves or Anne´s family, his almost extreme jealousy, etc.

From my point of view Regina Jeffers has recreated his thought well enough. However, the part that I have enjoyed more is what is not told by Jane Austen in Persuasion: what happens after the engagement?

Could you imagine Anne standing up to his father and Lady Russell? Could you imagine Anne being a bit cheeky when talking about Mrs Benwick with Frederick? Could you imagine Anne being secretive? Maybe you could but I highly recommend reading how Regina Jeffers has described her and how her personality glows when she is with her love, Frederick.

How do you think Anne deals with the life in a ship during war time? What happens if she almost loses his husband? What happens when she is facing a better life than she ever expected?

I like the way Anne is developed and obviously I enjoy the adoring Captain Wentworth and his undying love for Anne.

As you could have realised my favourite part is the sequel to Persuasion, this sequel is intertwined with the story by Jane Austen, Regina Jeffers starts on the same point as the original but mixes that story with the sequel. It is a good idea as Wentworth is thinking about his life with Anne while he is severely wounded.

I have read several JAFF books by Regina Jeffers and I highly recommend them, have a look on Amazon for instance and check the reviews, I will post reviews of her books as soon as I can. However, I have already reviewed one of her books that I really liked: Mr. Darcy’s Fault. I have read a few that I would like to reread but I have also taken advantage of her amazing sale for Mother’s Day and I bought three more that I did not have!

(picture from her website)

4out5 stars

 

REVIEW of “The Houseguest” by Elizabeth Adams

What a torture if you have the love of your life at home during three weeks and you are clueless of how to behave! (apart from a gentleman-like manner, obviously!)

The Houseguest by Elizabeth Adams is a very nice variation of Pride and Prejudice that starts after the Netherfield ball and we can see an active Georgiana asking her brother permission to go and visit him and Mr Bingley in Hertfordshire. As usual, Mr Darcy cannot deny anything to her lovely sister, so she arrives to visit looking forward to meet Miss Elizabeth Bennet, a neighbour who has been mentioned several times in Darcy´s letters.

Elizabeth and Georgiana become “besties” quite quickly as Georgiana is in need of female companionship. Darcy is content for her sister as she is happy having a friend to share things with.

What we know next is Darcy coming back to London after a trip to Somerset where he helped some family members to manage their state. Darcy is always the perfect relative… yes and no, he totally cares about his family but he also needs to forget Elizabeth as he thinks he must do his duty and marry properly. As I mentioned, he arrives to Darcy House in London and he has a guest, his sister’s best friend and the woman he loves.

Fitzwilliam Darcy struggles as he tried to be polite but not too involve with his houseguest. However as the Spanish saying more or less says “with the contact, affection grows” and in this case Darcy cares about her and having her in his house it is a big torture. After some time, he realises that he is his own master and he should not care what other people thinks about his choice, he chooses love, he chooses Elizabeth. Here starts his plan to conquer her heart but we know how Darcy is, very determined but sometimes he does overlook the feelings of others. How is he going to react when there are possible suitors for Elizabeth encouraged by his own aunt Lady Matlock? How is he going to behave in a silly snow game? How is he going to react when Elizabeth disappears without leaving any explanation apart from a short note to Georgiana? How is he going to act when he realises that he is the only one to blame for her running away?

“I merely heard something that I was not meant to hear and it was not pleasant, and now I find myself rather disillusioned.” (Elizabeth said)

You need to buy and read The Houseguest by Elizabeth Adams in order to answer all this questions and see if Elizabeth and Darcy are able to find love together and if so, how are they going to do it?

“Would you like to hear about naughty little Lizzy, or troublesome Elizabeth?” (Elizabeth)

“I think I’d like naughty little Lizzy best.” (Darcy)

I would like to mention Lady Matlock as she has been a very nice character to follow and she is quite similar to Mrs Bennet in “hobbies”.

Here I leave you with one lovely dress. Why do I put this picture? Read the book 😉

red dress

 

 

4out5 stars

(pictures from: cover, red dress)