I'm not sure what is more interesting about this story - how it is written, or what is in the story. Luckily, we have our protagonist, Chris, who seemI'm not sure what is more interesting about this story - how it is written, or what is in the story. Luckily, we have our protagonist, Chris, who seems to mirror the same internal struggles in her life.
Chris is an academic expert on Jane Austen speaking at a convention in Baltimore when a very handsome dark-haired gentleman in Regency clothing interrupts her panel claiming to be Fitzwilliam Darcy. He says he's traveled through time to find her and to for help winning Elizabeth's hand after his disastrous proposal in Huntsford. Of course, she thinks he's crazy, but she just can't resist the chance to meet her favorite characters. Setting aside all logic, Chris follows him to London. And what was the one thing that Austen got wrong? Colonel Fitzwilliam is quite handsome and charming...
Simonsen's historical descriptions once again shine in this story. Chris immerses herself in the era, and the author's descriptions of the Prince Regent's tastes in decorating along with the condition of the Thames. It's also very funny to imagine Darcy in Hooters or Georgianna buying a red push-up bra.
Chris' acceptance of Darcy's plight seems to be a bit out of character at first. But, as the story progresses, we see examples where the pragmatic Chris has taken leaps of faith with her heart before. The author asks the same of us in the book's 'Note to Readers.' The hows or whys of time travel are not as important as the Chris journey through it.
What I appreciated most was Chris friendship with Darcy and Georgiana. All three had to set aside logic and embrace each other for who they are, and not judge them because of where they are from. I hope I would put aside my logic for a chance at a hug like Chris experienced!...more
Elizabeth Bennet, along with her aunt and uncle, are enjoying a picnic in the Derbyshire countryside when she spots a familiar silhouette on a cliff.Elizabeth Bennet, along with her aunt and uncle, are enjoying a picnic in the Derbyshire countryside when she spots a familiar silhouette on a cliff. What happens when she accepts Darcy's offer to climb to that spot she wishes so desperately to see? Will her views about Darcy change when she 'views' this spectacular vista?
This story is what Abigail Reynolds does best. She juxtaposes emotions, passions and miscommunications into a sweet story about how Darcy's parents met. If you need a short escape, this novella is your passport!...more
Twists, turns, loves, betrayals, misunderstandings, passion...and above all else, the need for propriety. Abigail Reynolds' latest novel takes Austen'Twists, turns, loves, betrayals, misunderstandings, passion...and above all else, the need for propriety. Abigail Reynolds' latest novel takes Austen's beloved couple, Darcy and Elizabeth, and sets them among the elite of the 'ton,' the family of Bentham Park, providing the reader with an entirely new cast of characters, whose antics make the residence of Longbourn seem subdued by comparison.
Immediately after Darcy's disasterous proposal at Huntsford, Elizabeth receives an urgent message from her childhood friend, Lady Eleanor, begging for her to come to Bentham Park. Eleanor is being forced to marry a dull aristocrat instead of her true love, Paxton, whose fortune was made by trade. The lovers devise a plan to meet under the assumption that Paxton will be 'courting' Elizabeth. What will Paxton's friend and Bentham relative, Darcy think of this scheme when he sees his true love again at one of the most elite estates in England?
What makes this story different from the rest of the authors stories is that Darcy and Elizabeth are not necessarily the main characters in the novel. Equal time is given to learning about Lord Carlisle, his prodigal brother, Edward, their stepmother, Lady (MacBeth), and other members of the ton. I defy you to not see Maggie Smith when we meet the dowager marchioness. This does mean less screentime for our favorite couple. But, oh do those scenes pack a punch. This sudsy soap opera will leave you staring at the page saying...he/she did WHAT?!?
What was the first thought I had when finishing this novel? This story should come with a bag of popcorn and a package of Twizzlers.
Pirates and PrejudWhat was the first thought I had when finishing this novel? This story should come with a bag of popcorn and a package of Twizzlers.
Pirates and Prejudice takes Austen's beloved characters and sets them on the high seas. Darcy has let himself go after Lizzy's refusal of his marriage proposal. No, seriously...he's let himself go. So much, that he's mistaken for a ruthless pirate. Darcy agrees to help the authorities capture the pirate by impersonating him. Soon, his path crosses Elizabeth and her father. She doesn't recognize him, but he sure reminds her of someone with which she once had mistaken impressions.
The author at times seems more like a cinematographer and screenwriter. I stopped in the middle of the book to look up the Isle of Scilly, because I wanted to see the sunrise David, Elizabeth, and Melanie saw. This isn't so much a Pride and Prejudice variation as much as a summer popcorn movie. Does the premise seem a bit silly? Yes! Do we care? Heck, NO! Just pass the popcorn and watch Darcy/Errol Flynn sweep Elizabeth/Olivia de Havilland off of her feet.
It's a good thing that I don't have to wait till the novel comes out on DVD to 'see' it again!...more
Elizabeth Bennet sprains her ankle in the woods. Of course, the last man in the world she would ever marry, Fitzwilliam Darcy, rescues her and returnsElizabeth Bennet sprains her ankle in the woods. Of course, the last man in the world she would ever marry, Fitzwilliam Darcy, rescues her and returns her safely to Longbourn. But now, she finds her heart is in danger of falling in love. And we, the readers, are falling for Darcy right along with her.
What I enjoyed most about the book was the way the author flips the personalities of some of the main characters in Austen's original novel. Bingley is more Darcy-like in his courting of Jane. Elizabeth is heartbroken when Darcy leaves Netherfield without any word to why or if he will return. Will visiting her relatives in London give her a chance to see him? Mr. Bennet and Lady Catherine are much smarter and craftier. Georgianna taking Darcy 'wife shopping' is the highlight of the book.
The author's pedantic characterization of Wickham slows the story near the end. I wish she would have given him as many new layers as she did the Austen's other icons.
This book is all about romance, romance and romance - I would definitely recommend it to Austen fans!...more
I'm going to miss Bon Temps. The fictional town in Louisiana is just as much of a character as Eric, Sookie, Jason, and Bill in Harris' novels. The coI'm going to miss Bon Temps. The fictional town in Louisiana is just as much of a character as Eric, Sookie, Jason, and Bill in Harris' novels. The connection between the regular folk is what grounds the series. I just love that Michele brings over a casserole. That is what people do.
The author does a good job winding up the Supes' storylines. Sookie ends up with with the only person that makes sense - someone that can live a life with her. The only weak spot in the story is the tie up of the mystery. She seemed to open a portal that in her previous books, was permanently closed.
Thank you, Charlaine, for giving me a glimpse into such an amazing town. I could live there, but only if there was a supply of Tru Blood available....more
At the 11th book in the series, the fact that Harrison is able to mine new and compelling stories from 'The Hollows' is amazing. Though the first thirAt the 11th book in the series, the fact that Harrison is able to mine new and compelling stories from 'The Hollows' is amazing. Though the first third of the book is a bit slow, 'Ever After' takes off like gangbusters, bringing Trent, Al and Rachel together to save the demon realm from destruction.
Spoiler time, and author plea.
This is the third time that Harrison has killed off a major character off screen. Please stop. This is a battle that I wanted to see. Ceri deserved her death to be more than an after note. I beg the author to consider writing it and publishing it somewhere. It makes sense that characters have to die to move the story forward; I get that. As a person who lives in the Cincinnati area, I have a connection to these characters and where they reside. I've grown to love them, and look forward to each book as a family reunion of sorts. Harrison's tremendous writing has made this possible. I'm not even a fan of urban fantasy. I started this series in 2007 because a guy who kind of looked like Malcolm Reynolds recommended the first book to me in a bookstore in Newport, KY. I knew nothing about ley lines, salt circles, etc. And today, my biggest fear is that in future books, the author may kill off a pixie or living vampire off screen.
The scene with Felix and Ryan was the strongest in the book, and brings us full circle. Can Rachel save Ivy's soul?
Love my Hollows family. Thank you again, Kim Harrison!...more
In this Pride and Prejudice variation, Anne is just as desperate as her mother, Lady Catherine, to legitimize her engagement to Fitzwilliam Darcy. AftIn this Pride and Prejudice variation, Anne is just as desperate as her mother, Lady Catherine, to legitimize her engagement to Fitzwilliam Darcy. After watching many dinners at Rosings Park, Anne observes that Darcy values Elizabeth's good opinion, and precedes to enlist her new acquaintance to 'seal the deal.'
No one does romance in the rain quite like P.O. Dixon. And does she deliver. "A sudden burst of light - a resounding boom of thunder, and before Elizabeth new what she was about, she found herself atop Mr. Darcy's steed, practically in his lap!" It is interesting that Darcy's pride to assure Elizabeth's safety, even after his disastrous proposal, is the first step to his change of heart.
Darcy soon learns just how 'accidentally oblivious' he is to everyone around him. It doesn't even occur to him that people around him may have a heart or feelings. Then, when he starts to express them, it is almost becomes the boy who cried wolf.
Anne and Elizabeth's friendship seemed a bit threadbare at first. She asks a lot of Elizabeth for someone knows only through Georgiana's letters and from a friendship with Charlotte. But, it is Dixon's romance that shines in this novel. "Indeed - an inane tempt to discourage Bingley's attempts to have me dance with you. How could I when the very sight of you rendered me breathless?" Swoon!...more
Jane Austen? Miss Edith Wharton would like to make your acquaintance.
Cassandra Grafton's novel begins with Darcy's ill-fated proposal to Elizabeth BenJane Austen? Miss Edith Wharton would like to make your acquaintance.
Cassandra Grafton's novel begins with Darcy's ill-fated proposal to Elizabeth Bennet. Smarting from her rejection, Darcy returns to with his curricle to save her from the rainstorm. The scene that follows is a smoldering confrontation that changes the perceptions and awakens new feelings.
Much like Wharton, the author plays the inward struggles of the characters with the external constraints of Regency England. Small gestures make for erotic moments. The setting of the story and the interaction of the main players almost become a bigger player than Darcy and Elizabeth. Grafton does a great job of detailing the etiquette and customs of era.
Note: the story is in the first of a series. With little resolution to any of the plot threads, I would recommend having the next book loaded in your Kindle. It felt more to me like finishing a chapter versus finishing a novel. I can't wait to see where Grafton/Wharton/Austen takes the story next!...more
Elizabeth Bennet, dismayed by her ill words to Fitzwilliam Darcy after his disastrous proposal at Hunsford, has reluctantly accepted her lot in life fElizabeth Bennet, dismayed by her ill words to Fitzwilliam Darcy after his disastrous proposal at Hunsford, has reluctantly accepted her lot in life for her refusal of him. She's serving as a governess/aunt to Jane and Charles Bingley's daughter, Cassandra - and she's not happy about it. Realizing that Charlotte's practicality in marriage was valid, Elizabeth is grateful (and a bit bitter) that she is dependent on her sister and brother-in-law for survival. While in France, the Bingleys are invited by a widowed Darcy to visit Italy. Because of her station, Elizabeth has no choice but to once again face the man she so arrogantly dismissed. Once in Italy, Elizabeth is reunited with a grieving Darcy and his daughter, Alexa. But, who exactly is he grieving for?
If you are a fan of Mary Simonsen's works like I am, you'll be happy to note that her vivid descriptions of the English countryside transfer seamlessly to the Italian landscape. Simonsen's historical anecdotes serve to provide depth and connection between Austen's innately English characters and a country where, as Jane Bingley puts it, 'people wear their hearts on their sleeves.' Oh, to be witness to the schemes pulled on tourists to Pompeii.
What I found interesting in this novel is the unexpected character transformations that happened when Austen meets the Renaissance. Lizzy, who wants to soak up every morsel of food, art, wine, church and vistas actually holds on to her English pride, much to her detriment. Darcy's proposal taught her very little - she still has made up her mind about everyone around her and knows how they think. "...for an intelligent woman, you get a lot of things wrong." The true metamorphosis actually comes from Jane Bennet. Recovering body and soul from her daughter's traumatic birth, Florence teaches Jane how to live life openly. I just love how Simonsen fleshes out secondary characters.
One thing of note - I know very little about Italian culture and fine art. With the exception of Michaelangelo's works and Titian's painting, most of the works and places referenced in the novel were new to me; I would suggest having Google and Google Earth handy when reading, which I will be doing soon. I want to be able to see the vistas Elizabeth saw climbing all of those steps!