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Willoughby's Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistible Temptation

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  535 ratings  ·  83 reviews
A lost love returns, rekindling forgotten passions...

In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby in the past.

Three years later, Willoughby's return throws Marianne into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings of uncertainty. Willoughby is as charming, as ro
Paperback, 345 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
“Sense and Sensibility” is such a lovely, honest, and entertaining novel; it such a shame that not many authors have attempted to compose a sequel for it. I have greatly enjoyed “Colonel Brandon's Diary” by Amanda Grange (S&S told from Colonel Brandon's point-of-view) and “Reason and Romance” by Debra White Smith (a modern adaption with Christian undertones); but neither of those are sequels or include a continuation story for Margaret. But now, having read “Willoughby's Return,” I feel I have f ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was intrigued by this book and while I am a strong Brandon fan, I was interested to see how the author brought back the selfish Willoughby.

Needless to say I wasn't too impressed. For one the author took far too long to get to the point. In a way that is fine for it shows the relationship of Brandon and Marianne better, but if you advertise it to be about Willoughby trying desperately to win Marianne back then the story should, I don't know, be about Marianne and Willoughby a bit more than a p
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: austenesque
Enjoyably delightful sequel to Sense and Sensibility

While the Jane Austen sequel industry abounds with numerous books inspired by Pride and Prejudice, regretfully there are very few sequels to Austen's first published novel Sense and Sensibility. Why? Possibly because some readers have been disappointed with half of Austen's unsatisfactory ending for her two heroines. While the two Dashwood sisters do marry: staid and stoic Elinor to Edward Ferrars and impulsive and free-spirited Marianne to Col
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it
I have to admit up front that although Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite book I have never read Sense and Sensibility. I have only seen the movie and since I really enjoyed it, especially Mr. Willoughby, I couldn't resist picking up this book.

It starts off a little slow but I did get drawn into the plight of Marianne's sister, Margaret, and her love for Henry Lawrence. In fact, I felt this romance more so than the tension between Marianne and Mr. Willoughby was the focus in the book. T
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always loved Sense and Sensibility so I picked this up. All women come across a Willoughby some time in their life - he is the quintessential bad boy. I enjoyed that he came to regret losing Marianne and that the nice guy won out over the bad boy in the end. The author gave Willoughby some redemption in the end even if he did not win Marianne.
Maria Grazia
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've always wished a second chance for Marianne Dahwood and John Willoughby. I've never totally accepted the common judgement of Willoughby as a dashing scoundrel, a libertine. Then, let's say that Jane Odiwe made my dream come true: Willoughby returns into Marianne's life now that she is Mrs Brandon as well as little James's mother.
Three years later, when she has put her heartbreak over him in the past, Willoughby comes back with all his charming ways. He is as roguish and as much in love with
Becky R.
Sep 06, 2009 rated it liked it
While my three stars might be deceptive, I think my response had more to do with some key factors, and not the quality of the writing itself.

Overall, I felt that Odiwe's story of Willoughby returning into Marianne Brandon's life to be pretty difficult. As a huge fan of all things Austen, I (like many fans) loved Colonel Brandon for seeing Marianne as she was and loving her unconditionally. In the end, I wanted to see Marianne step up to the plate and demonstrate her appreciation for Brandon's s
Aug 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, austen-esque
Disappointing read, after Odiwe's Lydia Bennett's Story. While the plot was promising, I was not convinced in her characters. Lydia I believed; this Marianne -- not so much. Sometimes she blurts out whatever she is thinking. It's described as a part of her frank personality. But then, she won't talk to Colonel Brandon about her feelings and disappointments, etc. That doesn't make sense to me.

The premise is good, though. About five years has passed from the end of Sense and Sensibility and Margar
Overall, a good spin-off of Sense and Sensibility. I think I enjoyed this more than I should have considering Marianne's saccharine internal dialogues because I really haven't encountered any S&S spin-offs previously. I enjoyed the novelty of revisiting Elinor and Marianne. ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I would give this 2 stars but I like the author's other works too much to do so. I found this book to be very dull. I had a hard time getting through it. Let's just leave it at that! ...more
Hylary Locsin
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

This sequel to Jane Austen's classic novel Sense and Sensibility (1811) picks up three years after the events of the original story. Marianne Dashwood, now Mrs. Brandon, is happily married to the devoted Colonel Brandon, and has a child of her own. Her sister, Elinor Dashwood, now Mrs. Ferrars, lives nearby with her husband Edward and their children. This novel focuses more, however, on the younge
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen is one book by her I have not read, however, I love the movie with Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, and yes - I'm saving the best for last - Alan Rickman. Colonel Brandon and Marianne's relationship is one of my favorites. When Willoughby's Return was offered for review, I snatched it, excited to return to that world again.

Willoughby's Return starts a few years later. Colonel Brandon and Marianne have a two year old son and Margaret still lives at hom
Oct 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Willoughby's Return by Jane Odiwe reunites readers with Mr. and Mrs. Brandon and Marianne's sisters Margaret and Elinor from Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen.

"But three years of married life had done little to really change her. Marianne still had an impetuous nature, she still retained a desire for impulse and enterprises undertaken on the spur of the moment." (Page 3)

Truer words were never spoken about Marianne. She is the same impetuous girl from Austen's book, even though she is married t
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: austenesque
I just finished reading Sense and Sensibility for it's 200th birthday, so I thought I'd top it off with Willoughbly's Return. It is a fantastic sequel to S&S! I'm so glad I read it!
It’s roughly three years later, Marianne is very much in love with her husband Colonel Brandon. Things are not always smooth sailing for the couple. Whenever a letter arrives from Eliza, Colonel Brandon’s ward, the Colonel is off to Lyme to take care of whatever is ailing her or her daughter. Marianne is jealous and
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is my first adventure into something other than "Pride and Prejudice" fan fiction!! I have to admit this was a wonderful story!! The story starts out a few years after Marianne and Col Brandon get married. They have a 2-3 yr old. They are settled into married life and are very happy. But Marianne being Marianne, she's still self centered and things don't always go the way she wants. And into the mix of a little misunderstanding; Mr Willoughby returns into the neighborhood. And to boot he's ...more
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jane Austen sequel lovers
For my first Jane Austen Sequel novel it was everything I could have expected. I'm sure Ms Austen herself would be proud. This rendition involved all our favorite characters from Sense and Sensibility. Marianne is happilly living with Colonel Brandan and their child. Elinor, Edward and their children are enjoying quiet life at the parsonage near by. Mrs Dashwood and Margaret are still living at the comfortable cottage with the Middletons and Mrs Jennings involved in their lives as constant as ev ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Definitely a fan of Austen, I can't help but be tempted by fan-fiction that carries on her characters and her style. Most of the time I'm just a little disappointed. Then again, who can possibly capture Austen today? Her writing is a product and a reflection of her times.

Jane Odiwe captures well the feeling if not the essence of Austen's times and writing, but for me the characters didn't ring quite true. Colonel Brandon, so attentive in Sense and Sensibility, is off mark with his obsession over
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jane-austen
This Austen spinoff focused more on the courtship and eventual engagement of young Margaret Dashwood than it did on any real "threat" to Brandon and Marianne's marriage posed by Willoughby's return to Delaford and Barton society. However, for what it was intended to be, this was an enjoyable what-if S&S scenario. Willoughby descends, tries to seduce Marianne into running away with him, then ultimately plays the hero in Margaret's own blossoming love story. Part of me, however, can never truly fo ...more
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
The fun of reading a sequel pastiche - and no doubt the fun in writing one - are spotting those sentences you are certain Austen would never have written. So Odiwe pushes the boundaries in an entertaining but respectful way. And it was enjoyable seeing how the younger sisters behave, given a little more freedom, while the men as usual are rushing off to take care of their ‘responsibilities’.

Some entertaining scenes, especially those that included the suitably ghastly & delusional Anne Steele.
Kari Stidger
As much as I love Austen; I had never read Sense and Sensibility. Having rectified that situation earlier this summer I picked this book up because I loved Brandon and wanted to see how Odiwe would handle his relationship with Marianne in this novel. Only problem is, I can't stand Marianne Dashwood and John Willoughby should just disappear. Odiwe did a fine job weaving her tale but I would have rather been in the Delaford parsonage with Elinor and Edward. ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Overall, I really enjoyed the way this book was written — I feel like the author emulated Jane Austen’s style without copycatting her. The title is misleading though, as the story is hardly about Willoughby at all. It mostly focuses on Margaret Dashwood and her foray into society and husband-hunting with Marianne’s help. I was also disappointed with how tidily the story was wrapped up at the end, and how quickly everything fell into place — it was a little too perfect.
D. Barretta
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natalie Duvall
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I’ve spent four weeks with this book. Plodding through and avoiding it alternately. I wanted to know how the story transpired, but I didn’t want to read it. I made it 138 pages and honestly it wasn’t good enough to make me lose anymore time on trying to get through to the end.
Angie Fehl
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Yet again, left feeling just meh about a Austen spin off / retelling. Why do I keep getting sucked into these lol?!
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: jaff
A plausible and interesting continuation of Sense and Sensibility. Nice character development for Margaret. A fairly well-written and enjoyable read.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: atw
I wasn’t impressed with this story. It didn’t have that Jane Austen feel and it felt forced, like the author was trying too hard. I’m glad I read it but I won’t be keeping this book in my library.

ATW challenge. # 39
#PemberLittens Buddy Read on Litsy - July 2020
Lisa Maxwell
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
(And so my Austen follow-up fest continues...)

"Willoughby's Return," a carefully-crafted sequel to Austen's beloved "Sense and Sensibility," finds Marianne Brandon (nee Dashwood) front-and-center of the action, with Miss Margaret Dashwood clamoring at the bit to assume her middle-sister's romantic heroine role. Our beloved and worthy Elinor, settled happily at last with Rev. Edward Ferrars, is hardly a footnote to the text; but lovable blow-hard Mrs. Jennings has a major role in this true-to-for
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you’ve been to my blog before you know that I adore Jane Austen and I have a serious obsession with Austen fan fic. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this book not only due to my love of all things Jane Austen but also because I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Odiwe’s previous effort, opportunity to review this book not only due to my love of all things Jane Austen but also because I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Odiwe’s previous effort, Lydia Bennet’s Story.

Ms. Odiwe again took a secondary c
Jaime H
Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dashwood sisters fans, Sense and Sensibility fans, Jane Austen fans,
Sense and Sensibility was such an awesome book by the fantastic Jane Austen starring the wonderful Dashwood sisters, the heartbreaking Willoughby, the brooding Colonel Brandon and an array of other wonderful characters.

I have been enjoying the selection of Jane Austen sequels, and Willoughby's Return by Jane Odiwe is right there leading the pack. Marianne,in my opinion, was spoiled, vivid and full of life and Jane Odiwe has maintained that spirit as she brings us to Marianne's life and her marr
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Jane Odiwe is a British author with a special interest in writing novels inspired by Jane Austen's works. Her books continue the stories of beloved characters like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy in Mr Darcy's Secret, or tell Jane Austen's own story, as in the novels, Searching for Mr Tilney, Jane Austen Lives Again, Searching for Captain Wentworth, and Project Darcy. Other works include the novels ...more

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