Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Mistaken by Jessie Lewis ~ Review + Excerpt

I have on the blog today Jessie Lewis who is a new author in the world of JAFF. Mistaken is her debut novel and I have a review and excerpt from the book.

Book Blurb: Fitzwilliam Darcy is a single man in possession of a good fortune, a broken heart, and tattered pride. Elizabeth Bennet is a young lady in possession of a superior wit, flawed judgment, and a growing list of unwanted suitors. With a tempestuous acquaintance, the merciless censure of each other’s character, and the unenviable distinction of a failed proposal behind them, they have parted ways on seemingly irreparable terms. Despairing of a felicitous resolution for themselves, they both attend with great energy to rekindling the courtship between Darcy’s friend Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth’s sister Jane.

Regrettably, people are predisposed to mistake one another, and rarely can two be so conveniently maneuvered into love without some manner of misunderstanding arising. Jane, crossed in love once already, is wary of Bingley’s renewed attentions. Mistaking her guardedness for indifference, Bingley is drawn to Elizabeth’s livelier company; rapidly, the defects in their own characters become the least of the impediments to Darcy and Elizabeth’s happiness.

Debut author Jessie Lewis’s Mistaken invites us to laugh along with Elizabeth Bennet at the follies, nonsense, whims, and inconsistencies of characters both familiar and new in this witty and romantic take on Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice.

Excerpt
Thank you so much, Tina, for hosting this part of the blog tour for Mistaken. I’d like to share an excerpt from the story with your readers from Part Two of the book, in which Mrs. Bennet and her daughters attend an assembly in Meryton. It gives an early insight into Elizabeth and Jane’s changing perspectives post Hunsford. After reading Darcy’s letter, Elizabeth is reassessing all her preconceptions about her family. Jane, with her self-esteem in tatters, is beginning to suspect Mr. Bingley is slipping through her fingers a second time. That, and a few unwelcome faces (some familiar, some new) make for an interesting beginning to the assembly for the two eldest Bennet sisters. I hope you enjoy this small snippet, thanks for reading, everyone!

***

Saturday, 9 May 1812: Hertfordshire

The carriage jounced into the High Street, its windows rattling and its driver bellowing at his horses. Mrs. Bennet flapped at the tangle of legs in the foot well, shrieking at anyone who stepped too near Jane’s new gown. Mary and Kitty argued. Lydia and Elizabeth laughed. Jane turned away to peer at the looming façade of the assembly rooms.

Not even she had truly known how badly Mr. Bingley’s abandonment had affected her until he returned, whereupon she discovered her confidence in both the sincerity of his affections and her ability to secure them had been reduced to nothing. Four visits, his request for the first set this evening, and Elizabeth’s constant encouragement had buoyed Jane’s faith in him just enough to allow a measure of anticipation for the evening ahead, but it was a fragile faith, and her grip on it was tenuous.

She and Elizabeth stepped down first and walked towards the entrance. “Once more unto the breach,” her sister said, grinning.

“Pray, tax me not with Wordsworth this evening, Lizzy. I am determined to be sanguine, but it will only stretch so far.”

Elizabeth gave her an odd look but said nothing more.

“I hope it is not too warm inside this evening,” Mary said behind them.

“As do I,” Mrs. Bennet agreed, catching up with them. “It was unbearable last month with all the fires lit.”

“Oh, I have left my fan on the seat,” said Jane, checking her person to confirm its absence. “One moment.” She turned to fetch it from the carriage but stopped short of the door when she heard Lydia and Kitty still gossiping within.

“All that fuss over a stupid dress!” Kitty exclaimed.

“She does not look as well as Lizzy in any case,” replied Lydia. “Or me.”

“Would that she hurry up and secure Mr. Bingley. Then we would not have to hear any more of her new dress or slippers or any of it.”

“She had better hurry up and catch him soon anyway, for she is practically an old maid. I should die if I were three-and-twenty before I found a husband.”

Jane re-joined the rest of her family sans fan or equanimity and now fighting back tears. Lydia’s words echoed her own fears precisely. If Mr. Bingley would not have her, who would?

“Look, Jane,” her mother said in a none-too-quiet whisper as soon as they went in. “There he is! Look at the silk of his waistcoat! Oh, you are a clever girl!”

Jane looked. Mr. Bingley did indeed look fine in full evening dress, but then she had always thought he did—just as she had always admired his ingenuous, affable smile, which to her relief, he then turned on her.

“Good evening, Miss Bennet,” he called, coming immediately to greet her. He bowed; she curtsied. He beamed; she smiled. Then the moment was lost as her mother pounced upon it.

“Mr. Bingley! How wonderful it is to see you—” She was allowed no further raptures. Elizabeth had urgent need of her elsewhere in the room, apparently. Which was very thoughtful, except it left Jane the sole focus of Mr. Bingley’s attention before she had thought of a single thing she might say to him. She managed to answer his few enquiries with equanimity, but by the time he led her to join the line for the first set, her hands were shaking from the fear that she would never be easy with him again.

***

After all her recent revelations, Elizabeth could not but observe her family with new eyes, and she was vastly dissatisfied with what she saw. Mrs. Bennet doggedly and vociferously directed all her neighbours’ attention towards Jane and Mr. Bingley, Lydia and Kitty drew attention to themselves with their shameless flirting, and Mary, in her bid to avoid any attention at all, had slighted Mr. Winters by turning down his request to dance.

How she could previously have been blind to such behaviour she knew not, but in acknowledging their impropriety, she better understood the depth of Mr. Darcy’s affections. He had been willing to expose himself to the ridicule they were certain to earn him—ridicule he had once told her it had been the study of his life to avoid—so as to be with her. Rather than dwell upon it, she marched across the room to demand that Lydia relinquish Lieutenant Connor’s sabre and to extract a large glass of wine from Kitty’s greedy clutches and give it to Mary in the hope it might embolden her to accept the next offer of a dance.

“Good evening, Miss Elizabeth,” Mr. Wickham said, stepping out from the shadows, instantly trebling her indignation. “You look exceedingly well this evening. Would you do me the honour of the next dance?”

She gave him the most perfunctory of curtsies and looked past him, searching for her partner. “I am already engaged for this one, sir,” she replied, grateful it was true.

“Another then? I have not had the pleasure of your company since you returned from Kent.”

His arrogant, presumptuous smirk only made Elizabeth more determined not to be compelled to talk to him. She pursed her lips and held her tongue.

“You look as though you did not enjoy your stay there,” he said, quite mistaking the reason for her displeasure.

“On the contrary, I found myself in excellent company in Kent. By comparison, this evening’s society feels distinctly wanting.”

He pulled a face that he presumably thought was charming. “Ah, but you have not yet danced with me. Pray allow me to change your mind with the set after this one.”

“I cannot oblige you there either, sir, for I have promised that one to Mr. Bingley.”

“I shall begin to think you do not wish to dance with me,” he said, laughing in such a way as bespoke his complete assurance to the contrary. “Perhaps you fear my company would also prove wanting compared to your new friends in Kent?”

“No indeed,” she replied with a full smile. “I could never think any less of you.”

It was a moment before he recovered his smile. “I am relieved to hear it. Evidently, somebody has impressed you on your travels, though. I confess I am intrigued.”

Elizabeth at last espied her dance partner coming towards her through the crowds. With her escape guaranteed, she had no qualms in satisfying Mr. Wickham’s curiosity. “There is no intrigue, sir. I believe you are acquainted with every person I saw there. Mr. and Mrs. Collins, of course, Maria Lucas and her father, Sir William, Lady Catherine and her daughter”—she turned her smile over Mr. Wickham’s shoulder to her approaching partner—“Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy. Good evening, Mr. Greyson.”

“Miss Elizabeth!” Mr. Greyson replied. “Pray, forgive my tardiness. Sir William delayed me. Shall we?”

“With pleasure,” she said, accepting his arm and walking away as Mr. Wickham finally found his voice and spluttered, “Who…what…Darcy?”

***

“Sister, will you look at Lizzy,” said Mrs. Philips. “Does she not dance beautifully?”

“Well, you know, she always has!” replied Mrs. Bennet. “And do they not make a fine pair?”

“Indeed they do, but did you know Mr. Greyson was returned? I heard nothing of it before this evening.”

“Not a whisper! He was gone so long I began to think he would never come back, but see how he looks at Lizzy still, as though he never went away! There is no doubt he is here for her. I knew some good must come of her refusing Mr. Collins.”

“As did I, Sister, as did I! But pray, is Jane not pleased Mr. Bingley is come back?”

“What is your meaning? Of course she is pleased.”

“Well, she might like to show it. I have not seen her say two words to him all evening.”

“Nonsense! She simply does not rattle on like her other sisters, and with her countenance, neither does she need to! Oh, look at Kitty dancing with Captain Denny!”

“Now there would be a happy match,” Mrs. Philips agreed, “if only Colonel Forster was not taking his regiment away to Brighton next month.”

It soon became clear that this was news to Mrs. Bennet, for the remainder of the first set was passed listening to her violent lamentations over the militia’s imminent removal from Meryton.

My Review: This book is a sort of a unique premise where Bingley wants to marry Lizzie after coming back to Meryton because Jane is acting coldly towards him and Lizzy does not. However, he ends up marrying Jane when she accidentally compromises him. Most of this book deals with Jane's jealousy towards Lizzy and the consequences of that and Bingley's obsession with Lizzy. I really enjoyed the relationships between all the characters even the ones that were destructive. I have to say that Mrs. Sinclair was one of my favorite characters in this book. I loved her sassiness. This book did lag for me for a good portion of the book and I wished it would end but I stuck it out and I started to enjoy again towards the end of it. I really recommend this book if you want to read something different and long.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Author Bio: I’ve always loved words—reading them, writing them, and as my friends and family will wearily attest, speaking them. I dabbled in poetry during my angst-ridden teenage years, but it wasn’t until college that I truly came to comprehend the potency of the English language.

That appreciation materialised into something more tangible one dark wintry evening whilst I was making a paper-mâché Octonauts Gup-A (Google it—you’ll be impressed) for my son and watching a rerun of Pride and Prejudice on TV. Fired up by the remembrance of Austen’s genius with words, I dug out my copy of the novel and in short order had been inspired to set my mind to writing in earnest. I began work on a Regency romance based on Austen’s timeless classic, and my debut novel Mistaken is the result.

The Regency period continues to fascinate me, and I spend a good deal of my time cavorting about there in my daydreams, imagining all manner of misadventures. The rest of the time I can be found at home in Hertfordshire, where I live with my husband, two children, and an out-of-tune piano. You can check out my musings on the absurdities of language and life on my blog, Life in Words, or you can drop me a line on Twitter, @JessieWriter or on my Facebook page, Jessie Lewis Author, or on Goodreads, Jessie Lewis.

Buy Links:
Mistaken (Amazon US)
Mistaken (Amazon UK)
Mistaken is also available on Kindle Unlimited

Blog Tour Schedule:
10/03 My Jane Austen Book Club; Vignette, Giveaway
10/04 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway
10/05 Just Jane 1813; Review, Giveaway
10/06 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
10/07 My Love for Jane Austen; Character Interview, Giveaway
10/08 Of Pens and Pages; Review, Giveaway
10/09 From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, Giveaway
10/10 Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt
10/11 Savvy Verse and Wit; Review, Giveaway
10/12 So little time…; Guest Post, Giveaway
10/13 Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway
10/14 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Giveaway
10/15 Laughing With Lizzie; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
10/16 Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, GA

15 comments:

  1. Jane still not giving Bingley any encouragement

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    1. She's definitely too meek and anxious after he abandoned her once already. The pair of them are in a right muddle! Thanks Vesper :)

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  2. Good review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Maria, and thank you Tina, for having me here at Half Agony Half Hope, it's a pleasure to get to talk to your readers :)

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  3. Thank you for the review and excerpt. With the other excerpts I have read, I have come to love the character of Mrs. Sinclair. I love stories that have humor and it seems like she provides lots of this.

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    1. Ah, Mrs. Sinclair definitely adds some spice to every scene she's in. She's a minx! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  4. Thanks for the great excerpt, such an intriguing book.

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  5. An interesting review which I mostly agree with. I enjoyed the length of the book and found the time spent with D & E after the wedding to be very worthwhile. It is a pleasant change to find an author who is brave enough to eschew a page-turning romp in favour of taking the time to explore those early days of getting to know one another. The excitement certainly builds again as we get closer to the end, but the 'lull before the storm' makes the finale all the more thrilling.

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    1. Aw, thank you Katie P. Your 'lull before the storm' comment made me smile - there certainly is a bit of a tempest at the end of Mistaken! Thanks for popping in to comment :)

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  6. Wonderful excerpt! Love it Jessie!

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    1. Thank you Amy! I love that you love it :)

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  7. Tina,

    I really enjoyed your post and review of this book. I'm glad you enjoyed it even if it lagged a little in the middle.
    I've heard great things about it and look forward to reading it.

    Jessie-I loved this excerpt. Poor Jane! Such pressure to snatch Mr B,to be married and relinquish her title of Miss B. Her discomfort with Mr B. is very understandable and I can well imagine how difficult it must be spending time in his company,dancing and exchanging pleasantries with him after such an absence. To feel discarded and then after due consideration,to be judged worthy,must be highly vexing,very hurtful and quite humiliating.
    Thanks to all concerned for this post!
    Wishing you the best of luck with it,Jessie!

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    1. Thanks Mary! Jane certainly has good reason to be wary of Bingley's sudden reappearance. I always thought she let him off a bit too easily in canon ;) I do hope you enjoy the story - good luck with the draw!

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  8. Thanks for the excerpt. Oh Jane, what are you about... I'm looking forward to reading the novel.

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