Saturday, August 19, 2017

REVIEW: Mr. Darcy's Bride(s) by Regina Jeffers

Book Blurb:I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.

ELIZABETH BENNET is determined that she will put a stop to her mother’s plans to marry off the eldest Bennet daughter to Mr. Collins, the Bennet heir to Longbourn, but a man that Mr. Bennet considers an annoying dimwit. Hence, Elizabeth disguises herself as Jane and repeats her vows to the supercilious rector as if she is her sister, thereby voiding the nuptials and saving Jane from a life of drudgery. Yet, even the “best laid plans” can often go awry.

FITZWILLIAM DARCY is desperate to find a woman who will assist him in leading his sister back to Society after Georgiana’s failed elopement with Darcy’s old enemy George Wickham. He is so desperate that he agrees to Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s suggestion that Darcy marry her ladyship’s “sickly” daughter Anne. Unfortunately, as he waits for his bride to join him at the altar, he realizes he has made a terrible error in judgement, but there is no means to right the wrong without ruining his cousin’s reputation. Yet, even as he weighs his options, the touch of “Anne’s” hand upon his sends an unusual “zing” of awareness shooting up Darcy’s arm. It is only when he realizes the “zing” has arrived at the hand of a stranger, who has disrupted his nuptials, that he breathes both a sigh of relief and a groan of frustration, for the question remains: Is Darcy’s marriage to the woman legal?

What if Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet met under different circumstances than those we know from Jane Austen’s classic tale: Circumstances that do not include the voices of vanity and pride and prejudice and doubt that we find in the original story? Their road to happily ever after may not, even then, be an easy one, but with the expectations of others removed from their relationship, can they learn to trust each other long enough to carve out a path to true happiness?

My Review: So this was an interesting book to be sure. I have never read a book where Elizabeth tries to save Jane from marriage to Mr. Collins while pretending to be her and ends up marrying the wrong man. Mrs. Bennet's scheme to marry off Jane like that wouldn't have worked anyway because it was the father who controlled stuff like that back then. Plus why would Jane go along with it anyway? I get that she is a dutiful daughter but there is a limit. You have to draw a line somewhere. I know that Mr. Bennet was sick but that didn't give Mrs. Bennet any right to do that.

The situation of rather or not Lizzy's and Darcy's marriage was legal turned out to be quite entertaining. However, it is solved very nicely by the end of the book. I have to say I enjoyed this book as I have with all the rest of her novels. It was a fresh tale in the world of JAFF and I recommend that you read it.

Rating: 4½ stars out 5

Saturday, August 12, 2017

REVIEW: Colorless by Rita Stradling

Book Blurb: In Domengrad, there are rules all must live by: Fear the Gods. Worship the Magicians. Forsake the Iconoclasts.

To Annabelle Klein, the rules laid down by the Magicians are the mere ramblings of stuffy old men. As far as she’s concerned, the historic Iconoclasts, heretics who nearly destroyed the Magicians so long ago, are nothing but myth. She has much more important matters to worry about.

Heiress to a manor mortgaged down to its candlesticks and betrothed to her loathsome cousin, sixteen-year-old Annabelle doubts the gods could forsake her more.

Then Annabelle is informed of her parents’ sudden and simultaneous deaths, and all of the pigment drips out of her skin and hair, leaving her colorless. Within moments, Annabelle is invisible and forgotten by all who know her.

Living like a wraith in her own home, Annabelle discovers that to regain her color she must solve the mystery behind her parents’ murders and her strange transformation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of the Magicians’ monks, with their all-black eyes and conjoined minds, have usurped control of Annabelle’s family manor. An Iconoclast is rumored to be about—a person who they claim goes unseen, unheard, and lost to memory, yet is the greatest threat to all of Domengrad. For the first time in a hundred years, the monks plan to unleash the dire wolves of old.

Their only target: Annabelle.

My Review: I went into this book very hopeful and it didn't disappoint. I found the concept to be original and to be honest very refreshing in the world of YA. I hate reading the same old story just from different authors. This book left off on a cliffhanger and I'm hoping the author writes a second book.

Rating: ★★★★☆

*I received an advanced reading copy from NetGalley.*

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Book Series that I Love

I know that I haven't posted anything in months now but I've been busy. I started a new job and it's twelve-hour shifts so once I get home from work all I want to do is crash and not do anything. Plus I also started dating this guy and well he's a major distraction too. And I've gotten addicted to my PS4. Where I used to average reading about four or five books a week I'm only maybe finishing one now.

So this a list of the book series that I love in no particular order. I will have a mixture of genres on this list and I will not be going into detail about them. I have so many series that I love that it would take forever to write about them. So without further ado here we go.

  • Lois Lane by Gwenda Bond
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Dark-Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • The Carpathians by Christine Feehan
  • Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole
  • Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole
  • Tairen Soul by C.L. Wilson
  • Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  • Hook and Jill Saga by Andrea Jones
  • Hunter Legends by Lindsay Mead
  • Origin of Love by Jendela Tryst
  • A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Lords of the Underworld by Gena Showalter
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • Frederick Wentworth, Captain by Susan Kaye
  • Rochester by J.L. Niemann
  • Bridgertons by Julia Quinn
  • Fever by Karen Marie Moning
  • Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
  • Great War Romance by Ginger Monette
  • California Legends by Glynnis Campbell
  • Savage by Cassie Edwards
  • Manifestations of a Phantom's Soul by Michelle Rodriguez
  • Seven Brides by Leigh Greenwood
  • These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
  • The Moralities of Marriage by Elizabeth Ann West
  • Seeds by M.M. Kin
  • Jane Austen's Dragons by Maria Grace
  • The Queen of Rosings Park by Maria Grace
  • Yours by Design by Robin Helm 
  • Kingmaker Chronicles by Amanda Bouchet
  • Weathermages of Mystral by C.L. Wilson
  • Five Hundred Kingdoms by Mercedes Lackey
  • Memory by Linda Wells
  • Fairy Tales by Eloisa James
These are all the series that I can think about right now. I'm sure I'll remember more later on. Until next time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Mendacity and Mourning by J.L. Ashton

I'm excited today to have up on the blog today an excerpt and review of J L Ashton's newest novel Mendacity and Mourning.

Book Blurb: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gossip in possession of misheard tales and desirous of both a good wife and an eager audience need only descend upon the sitting rooms of a small country town in order to find satisfaction. And with a push from Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins sets alight a series of misunderstandings, rumours, and lies that create obstacles to a romance between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

This slightly unhinged romantic comedy follows Darcy as he sets off to find himself a wife and instead finds himself pulled into the mire of his aunt’s machinations and his own fascination with Elizabeth, whom he believes betrothed to another. As Meryton judges him the grieving groom of Anne de Bourgh and a caddish dallier with the hearts of others, Darcy must ferret out the truth behind his cousin’s disappearance, protect his sister from the fretful fate of all Fitzwilliam females, and, most importantly, win Elizabeth’s heart.

Excerpt
You could put Cupid into the poorhouse.” Bingley offered a brimming glass to Darcy, who shook his head in refusal.
Shut it, Bingley,” he growled. “You find beauty and loveliness wherever you go.”
And you are a far harsher judge of your own needs, Darcy.” Bingley glanced at Hurst as though making a private joke. “A pretty girl with a happy disposition, a dislike of dancing, a love of books, and patience for your dark moods and odd ramblings on Greek philosophy and chess manoeuvres should be easy enough to find, eh?”
Darcy pretended not to hear Hurst’s roar of laughter. “Right.”
After all, your friends have likely lined up a multitude of eligible ladies at their estates. I wager you will be betrothed before me.” Bingley smirked. “However, if you meet no one, do remember there is always my sister waiting in the wings.”
Good lord,” Darcy muttered. “Charles Herbert Bingley, I believe I must call you out.”
What?” Bingley’s voice cracked.
Pour me half a glass, and I shall find it in me to forgive you,” Darcy grumbled. He pulled a book off the shelf and strode over to the windows.
Bingley prepared a nearly full glass, walked over to his friend, and handed him the drink. “You will stay until after the ball?”
Yes, of course. The following afternoon, I shall be off to Kenilworth. I have delayed my visit already, and my friends await.” He sipped the brandy and placed it on the table near his favourite chair.
As do their sisters, I have no doubt.”
Darcy glared at him then sighed. “Yes, as you have already stated. Their sisters and their sisters’ friends.” He sat down, stretched out his legs, and stared out the window. Black clouds were rolling in, and he could feel the temperature dropping as a cooling breeze blew. A rumble of thunder could be heard in the distance.
You seem less than enthusiastic, my friend.” Bingley fell into the room’s other reading chair and stared at Darcy. “Do you wish to keep to your practice of avoiding eligible young ladies? Or would you like to find love and happiness as I have?”
Both men disregarded Hurst’s snort of laughter. “Cupid’s arrow indeed!”
Bingley…”
What harm can come to you? It is a late summer sojourn. You may meet a pretty girl or two.”
Yes. This has been a comfortable respite.” Darcy’s eyes moved back to the window and the roiling clouds outside. “I am not averse to enjoying the company of intelligent young ladies.” I have already enjoyed the company of one and can only hope to find another to match her wit and beauty.
The clock chimed. Hurst looked over and squinted at it, then stood up a bit straighter and adjusted his waistcoat. He took a final gulp of brandy and set down his empty tumbler. “Excuse me, gentlemen. I shall rely on you not to drink all the brandy. I shall return at a later time, undoubtedly in need of a glass or three.”
Darcy and Bingley watched him stroll briskly out of the room.
Where is he off to?” Darcy asked. Hurst rarely moved with much intent and never with such speed.
Bingley’s cheeks reddened. “Er, Louisa.” He stood up and walked to the doors, closing them firmly before returning to his seat. “It is Thursday.”
Thursday…” Darcy repeated, his face reddening as realisation dawned.
Have another brandy. He should be back within the half hour. Or quarter hour.”
Darcy’s eyebrows rose as far as they could.
I know,” Bingley cried. “It is an absurd amount of time. The walk up the stairs alone…”
Bingley.”
Every so often, he does not return. Most often, though, he is absent for at least thirty minutes.” Bingley looked beseechingly at his friend. “I do not care to think on it.”
But you do like to talk on it.”
It is just…not quite the way I foresee marriage. If that is all the time I can give my wife, or she give me, I can handle things faster by myself.”
Bingley! For goodness’ sake, shut it.”

My Review: Misunderstandings and complex situations abound in this newest JAFF offering from J. L. Ashton. This book did start off a bit slow for me but it did pick up once I got about thirty percent into it. The Fitzwilliam and Darcy families end up having a crisis where Anne de Bourgh is dead but not dead. Darcy thinks that Elizabeth is engaged to her Uncle Gardiner (he doesn't realize that he's her uncle) and Collins is an idiot like usual. 

I really enjoyed this book even though some parts of it did drag for me. Specifically it was about the first thirty percent of the book. Things end up like they should by the end of the book with two surprise couples. I found Colonel Fitzwilliam to be the best character in the book with his snarky comebacks and observations. 

Rating: ★★★★☆

Author Bio: Jan Ashton didn’t meet Jane Austen until she was in her late teens, but in a happy coincidence, she shares a similarity of name with the author and celebrates her birthday on the same day Pride & Prejudice was first published. Sadly, she’s yet to find any Darcy and Elizabeth candles on her cake, but she does own the action figures.

Like so many Austen fans, Jan was an early and avid reader with a vivid imagination and a well-used library card. Her family’s frequent moves around the U.S and abroad encouraged her to think of books and their authors as reliable friends. It took a history degree and another decade or two for her to start imagining variations on Pride & Prejudice, and another decade—filled with career, marriage, kids, and a menagerie of pets—to start writing them. Today, in between writing Austen variations, Jan lives in the Chicago area, eats out far too often with her own Mr. Darcy, and enjoys membership in the local and national chapters of the Jane Austen Society of North America. 

Mendacity & Mourning is her second book with Meryton Press. She published A Searing Acquaintance in 2016.

Contact Info: 

Buy Links:

Blog Tour Schedule
06/19 Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, GA
06/20 My Jane Austen Book Club; Author/Character Interview, GA
06/21 Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt
06/22 From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA
06/23 More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, GA
06/24 Just Jane 1813; Review, GA
06/25 Margie’s Must Reads; Guest Post, GA
06/26 Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt, GA
06/27 Tomorrow is Another Day; Review, GA
06/28 Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, GA
06/29 My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, GA
07/01 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, GA
07/02 Laughing With Lizzie; Vignette, Excerpt, GA
07/03 Diary of an Eccentric; Review

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks ~ Review

Book Blurb: Which would you pick: the person you love or your own dreams?

What would you do if given a second chance at that decision?
Eight years ago Emma Shaw picked her career and family over the man she loved, Fredrick Wentworth. Since then she has built a career in publishing and spends her free time making sure her father and sisters are taken care of.

Fredrick has spent the same years building his career as a screenwriter under increasing public scrutiny as a celebrity. When the editor of Fredrick’s first book is injured, Emma is forced to travel with Fredrick on his book tour.

Tension builds for the two former lovers over the course of the tour. Emma and Fredrick must face their emotional baggage and their misunderstanding about how their break-up impacted the other. Will they be able to find their way back together for a second chance at love?

My Review: When I was first approached about joining the blog tour for this book I was excited. Persuasion is my second favorite novel from Jane Austen, if I didn't love Pride and Prejudice so much it would be my favorite novel of hers. We don't get to see a lot of books based on Persuasion so I jumped on the chance to read this newest book.

First of all I have some issues with this book. Almost everybody gets to keep their original name except for our dear Anne. She is renamed Emma in this book and some minor characters got name changes but they don't really signify. Karen Russell in this book is holding Emma back in the publishing field but Emma chose her career over Wentworth so why would she do that? Fredrick is almost always drunk and high in this book. The man is thirty years old I think he should have better coping strategies by now. And her nephews don't even have proper names they're just called Thing 1 and Thing 2. I get that it's a Dr. Seuss reference but geez the author could have told us their real names even once.

The book was fast paced and towards the end we get to see the events of the book through Fredrick's eyes when he writes Emma a "story" for her to edit. I have to say that I didn't really hate this book but I didn't love it either. Parts of this book did make me smile and laugh. Emma herself is a much stronger character than Anne ever was but the Fredrick in this book doesn't really have much in common with the original. This book is worth checking out if you are a die hard Persuasion fan but I probably won't be reading it again.

Rating: 3½ stars out of 5

Author Bio: Sara Marks is an author, knitter, Wikipedian, and librarian from Massachusetts. After over 10 years of participating in National Novel Writing Month, she is releasing her first novel, Modern Persuasion, with Illuminated Myth Publishing. When she isn’t writing, she is an academic librarian at University of Massachusetts Lowell. She has a masters degree in library science and another in Communications. She spent 6 years as a member of Toastmasters International where she twice earned the status of Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest status members can achieve. She is one of the local organizers for National Novel Writing Month.

Blog Tour Schedule
5/22 Most Agreeably Engaged http://moreagreeablyengaged.blogspot.com/
5/23 Half Agony, Half Hope http://halfagonyhalfhopelove.blogspot.com/
5/24 JustJane 1813 https://justjane1813.com/
5/24 The Ardent Reader http://www.theardentreader.net/
5/25 From Pemberly to Milton https://frompemberleytomilton.wordpress.com/
5/26 Diary of an Eccentric https://diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com/
5/26 My Love for Jane Austen http://forloveofausten.blogspot.com/
5/27 Babblings of a Bookworm http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot.com/
5/28 Musings from the Yellow Kitchen https://musingsfromtheyellowkitchen.wordpress.com/
5/29 Austenesque Reviews http://austenesquereviews.com/