Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke

I was very happy to find out what happened to Eliza Knight and Fitzwilliam Darcy in Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, the delightful sequel to The Man Who Loved Jane Austen. Again, Sally Smith O’Rourke makes the whole idea of time travel believable. In the beginning, I was a little worried that Sally would have Jane pass through the portal and into the future and then relieved when instead it was her brother’s stable hand, Simmons. Simmons’ reactions to many changes in the future were fun to read. Yes, poor Eliza spends quite a bit of time worrying about whether Darcy could actually be in love with her, but who wouldn’t be jealous of his relationship with Jane? Almost as fun to read as the first, I definitely recommend Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen.

Blurb: Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!

His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?

Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

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I won this book as part of a promotion for AustenAdmirers.coma smartphone application designed to bring together authors, bloggers and fans of Austen in one

easy-to-use RSS application.

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This review is part of my commitment towards

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

hosted by AustenProse.com.

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The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke

Wow! I knew this was going to be good, but what I found in the pages of The Man Who Loved Jane Austen was not what I expected – in an Oh-So-Delicious way! Did I ever tell you I adore time travel stories? How could I not love a novel that includes a sweet, contemporary Austenesque-type romance, a Regency romance including Jane Austen herself, AND time travel, all wrapped up into one? Sally has a beautiful way of describing scenes; I saw what the characters were seeing.

If it weren’t for a lack of commas, which every once in a while made me stop reading and start editing the text in my head so I was able to understand what was meant by the sentence, I’d say this was perfect! In the end,  I was able to accept them. Putting that aside, I LOVED this book.

Once I got started, I had trouble putting it down and read it within a 24-hour period.

Off I go to begin reading “Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen” the sequel! Can’t wait!

Official Blurb:

When New York artist Eliza Knight buys an old vanity table one lazy Sunday afternoon, she has no idea of its history. Tucked away behind the mirror are two letters. One is sealed; the other, dated May 1810, is addressed to “Dearest Jane” from “F. Darcy”–as in Fitzwilliam Darcy, the fictional hero of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Could one of literature’s most compelling characters been a real person? More intriguing still, scientific testing proves that the second, sealed letter was written by Jane herself.

Caught between the routine of her present life and these incredible discoveries from the past, Eliza decides to look deeper and is drawn to a majestic, 200-year-old estate in Virginia’s breathtaking Shenandoah Valley. There she meets the man who may hold the answer to this extraordinary puzzle. Now, as the real story of Fitzwilliam Darcy unfolds, Eliza finds her life has become a modern-day romance, one that perhaps only Jane herself could have written. . .

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This review is part of my commitment towards

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

hosted by AustenProse.com.

None But You and For You Alone: Frederick Wentworth, Captain

As a Jane Austen and sequel fan, I enjoyed both None But You and For You Alone by Susan Kaye immensely. Both volumes are quick reads, and I loved seeing Persuasions experiences through Wentworth’s eyes. I highly recommend this two-volume story.

Hooking me right from the very start, the beginning follows Wentworth’s life before canon, and I found it to establish his character solidly. We truly get to know the Captain, and how he has lived his life since he had last seen Anne Elliot, in a way I have never read before. It made all of his reactions after it (during canon happenings) much more understandable.

(Originally reviewed at Amazon.com on June 9, 2011)

None But You (Frederick Wentworth, Captain: Book 1)

by Susan Kaye

Blurb for None But You: Eight years ago, when he had nothing but his future to offer, Frederick Wentworth fell in love with Anne Elliot, the gentle daughter of a haughty, supercilious baronet. Sir Walter Elliot refused to countenance a marriage and Anne’s godmother, Lady Russell, strongly advised Anne against him. Persuaded by those nearest to her, Anne had given him up and he had taken his broken heart to sea. When Jane Austen’s Persuasion opens in the year 1814, Frederick Wentworth, now a famous and wealthy captain in His Majesty’s Navy, finds himself back in England and, as fate would have it, residing as a guest in Anne’s former home. Now, it is the baronet who is in financial difficulties, and Anne exists only at her family’s beck and call. For eight long years, Frederick had steeled his heart against her. Should he allow Anne into his heart again, or should he look for love with younger, prettier woman in the neighbourhood who regard him as a hero?

For You Alone (Frederick Wentworth, Captain: Book 2)

by Susan Kaye

Blurb for For You Alone: How could he have failed to know himself so completely? Captain Frederick Wentworth, lately returned to England from a distinguished naval career fighting Napoleon, had re-visited the scene of his romantic defeat of eight years previous at the hands of Miss Anne Elliot to find his former love a pale, worn shadow of herself. Attracted by the lively young ladies in the area who regarded him as a hero, he had ignored Anne and entangled himself with Louisa Musgrove, a headstrong young woman who seemed all that Anne was not. Now, because of his careless behavior and Louisa’s heedlessness, his future appeared tied to her just at the moment when it had become painfully clear that Anne was still everything he truly wanted. In honour, he belonged to Louisa, but his heart was full of Anne. What was he to do?

Loving Miss Darcy (Brides of Pemberley)

Loving Miss Darcy (Brides of Pemberley)

by Nancy Kelley

You know it’s a really good story when you hit the end and you still want to read more. If one listened closely when I finished this book, they would have heard a very audible, “Awww! There’s no more?!” and noticed that I kept flipping to see if there was any mention of a sequel.

In Loving Miss Darcy, Elizabeth and Darcy are very happily married. Richard Fitzwilliam is now out of the army at half-pay and has been taking care of his father’s estates in lieu of his brother, who does not really care for the land. His brother decides to take an interest after all—mainly, it seems, in order to spite Richard. Wanting nothing to do with his brother, Richard leaves Matlock and heads over to Pemberley.

Upon arrival, he finds that, after putting off Georgiana’s season in order for Elizabeth to be presented, it is now time for Georgiana’s coming out. The gentlemen are rather reluctant about it—as is Georgiana. As Mary Bennet has no interest in having a Season, and Kitty is all for it, the Darcys ask Kitty to accompany them to London to be presented at court as well, hoping some of her enthusiasm will wear off on Georgiana.

As the Season begins, Richard can’t understand the extreme discomfort that comes over him whenever he thinks of Georgiana having suitors, and heaven forbid anyone should mention that the purpose for a Season is so that she shall marry!

Although at times I wanted to shake some sense into poor Richard, experiencing his confusion was all part of the fun—an Austen-inspired story would be nothing without misunderstandings!  I think this is one of my favorite Colonel Fitzwilliam characterizations, and I really loved Georgiana, too. I enjoyed all the new characters that Nancy Kelley came up with, as well.

A big “thumbs up” from me for Loving Miss Darcy!

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I read this novel as part of the

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

at Austenprose.com

A Return to Sanditon – Review

A Return to Sanditon, A Completion of Jane Austen’s Fragment

Anne Toledo. Kindle, $4.99, ASIN: B004LX0J1C

 

At the time of her death in 1817, Jane Austen had written twelve chapters of a book that would later be dubbed Sanditon. While Austen had introduced the characters and the background of the story, generations of fans have been left wondering where she would have taken them.  Toledo explores one possibility in her debut novel.

While driving in the English countryside, Mr. and Mrs. Parker are involved in a carriage accident. Mr. Heywood and his family come to their aid, taking the couple into their home for several days.  The two families become close, and when the Parkers are able to depart for their home in Sanditon, where Mr. Parker is involved in making over the community into a seaside resort town, they offer to take the eldest daughter, Charlotte Heywood, along with them.

Austen’s contribution ends just after the heroine arrives in Sanditon and is introduced to the Parker’s neighbors, including Mr. Parker’s younger brother Sidney, the man who is easily identified as the hero of the story.  Toledo seamlessly resumes the storytelling from this point, continuing the tone and language of the original.

The plot takes a mysterious turn when Charlotte’s new friend, the beautiful Clara Brereton, and Sidney leave Sanditon together with no reason given, and gossip begins.  Over the course of more than a year’s time, we follow Charlotte home to Willingden and then to London, where Charlotte and her sister, Arabella, investigate the disappearance of Clara.

Overall, this is an excellent effort at completing Austen’s unfinished work, blending and enhancing the original author’s characters, locations, and language with unique ideas.

Wendi Sotis