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Review – The Other Bennet Sister

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The Other Bennet Sister

by Janice Hadlow

Genres: Literary Fiction, Regency, Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Pages: 481
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

What if Mary Bennet’s life took a different path from that laid out for her in Pride and Prejudice? What if the frustrated intellectual of the Bennet family, the marginalized middle daughter, the plain girl who takes refuge in her books, eventually found the fulfillment enjoyed by her prettier, more confident sisters? This is the plot of Janice Hadlow’s The Other Bennet Sister, a debut novel with exactly the affection and authority to satisfy Jane Austen fans.

Ultimately, Mary’s journey is like that taken by every Austen heroine. She learns that she can only expect joy when she has accepted who she really is. She must throw off the false expectations and wrong ideas that have combined to obscure her true nature and prevented her from what makes her happy. Only when she undergoes this evolution does she have a chance at finding fulfillment; only then does she have the clarity to recognize her partner when he presents himself—and only at that moment is she genuinely worthy of love.

Mary’s destiny diverges from that of her sisters. It does not involve broad acres or landed gentry. But it does include a man; and, as in all Austen novels, Mary must decide whether he is the truly the one for her. In The Other Bennet Sister, Mary is a fully rounded character—complex, conflicted, and often uncertain; but also vulnerable, supremely sympathetic, and ultimately the protagonist of an uncommonly satisfying debut novel.

Review – Condescension and Condemnation

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Condescension and Condemnation

by Perpetua Langley

Series: The Sweet Regency Romance Series, Book 8
Genres: Regency, Romance, Literary Fiction
Release Date: October 15, 2016
Pages: 320
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Lizzy and Jane visit the Gardiners in London and receive an extraordinary introduction to Mr. Charles Bingley while attending the theater. Bingley is taken with Jane and invites Elizabeth, Jane and the Gardiners to a ball at his residence. Mr. Darcy, handsome, but too serious for Elizabeth, insists on claiming the first. Jane’s attention is wholly engaged by Mr. Bingley. All looks promising until Lady Catherine de Bourgh discovers she has just been introduced to a man in trade. Insulted, the Gardiners take Jane and Lizzy from the house.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bennet has received an extraordinary communication from Mrs. Polly Merriweather and Mr. Archibald Merriweather, recently of New York and currently residing in Berkeley Square. The Merriweathers claim relation to Mr. Bennet and Mr. Gardiner is asked to investigate.

Lizzy and Jane return to Longbourn, dispirited from their adventure with Lady Catherine, only to find that the house will host the Merriweathers and Mr. Collins, the regiment has taken up residence in Meryton and somebody has taken Netherfield.

Review – Understanding Elizabeth

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Understanding Elizabeth

by Robin M. Helm

Understanding Elizabeth cover

Genres: Literary Fiction, Regency, Romance
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Pages: 293
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Mr. Darcy is tempted beyond what he can endure when Elizabeth Bennet leaves her private journal entries in the parlour of Netherfield. Upon reading her writing, he is appalled to find that she overheard his unflattering remarks at the Meryton Assembly and despises him for his thoughtless comments. He wishes with all his heart that he could undo the damage.

During a restless sleep, he dreams of two powerful beings who can give him his heart’s desire – Elizabeth’s admiration, respect, and love.

Will he take the offer to change the past so that he never makes the offensive statement? Will he make a deal with the Devil, or is the price too dear?

What would you do to get exactly what you want? How much would you be willing to pay?

Review – The Earl’s Granddaughter

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The Earl’s Granddaughter

by Ola Wegner

The Earl's Granddaughter

Genres: Romance, Regency, Pride & Prejudice Variation
Release Date: June 7, 2021
Pages: 147
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Pride and Prejudice variation.

What- if scenario of the most beloved novel. Elizabeth, an orphan raised at Longbourn, is not the daughter of Mr. Bennet but his niece. Shortly after Hunsford proposal Elizabeth learns that her late mother was the daughter of the earl. With her life circumstances suddenly changed Elizabeth has to learn how to handle herself as a wealthy young woman with noble connections.

Series Review – The Denton Connection

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As I mentioned previously, because I’ve read so many of Sydney Salier’s books, I’m grouping my reviews of their works. This post covers The Denton Connection series. Be aware, there are spoilers in some of these reviews. There is a note at the beginning of each review that contains spoilers, as well as an asterisk on the links below.

Multi-Review – Books by Sydney Salier

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I recently read through nearly the entirety of Sydney Salier’s oeuvre. Because I read so many books, and because I don’t want to dedicate my blog to just book reviews for the next couple of months, I’m going to group my reviews of Sydney Salier’s works. This post covers all of their “one-off” books. There will be separate posts for The Denton Connection series and the Unconventional Education diptych — or duology, depending on how you want to look at it. Be aware, there are spoilers in some of these reviews. There is a note at the beginning of each review that contains spoilers, as well as an asterisk on the links below.

Review – So Material a Change

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So Material a Change

by Amy D’Orazio

So Material a Change

Genres: Regency, Romance, Pride and Prejudice Variation
Release Date: October 11, 2021
Pages: 382
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

“If the thought of us being destined for one another is what caused you to laugh, then I shall laugh with you. Ours is more a story of mutual desperation than of love.”

MATRIMONY IS THE LAST THING on Elizabeth Bennet’s mind when she arrives at Netherfield Park to tend to her ill sister. When proud Mr Darcy acts rashly to thwart a compromise and tells her that the entire household believes they are engaged, she dismisses him outright and refuses his offer of marriage.

BUT MORE SURPRISES AWAIT her at Longbourn. Mr Collins is ready with an offer of marriage and it is not only her mother who thinks it a fine match; Mr Bennet is willing to press the point until Elizabeth makes clear such a connexion is impossible—because she has accepted an offer of marriage from Mr Darcy.

IT IS AN INAUSPICIOUS BEGINNING, an engagement neither desires, driven to by the machinations of others. Yet what begins as a forced alliance soon changes into something quite different. Will it be enough to lead them into love?

Review – The Marriage Bargain

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The Marriage Bargain

by Lucy Marin

The Marriage Bargain

Genres: Romance, Regency, Pride & Prejudice Variation
Release Date: April 18, 2022
Pages: 374
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

“You can sell Pemberley and settle as many debts as possible. Or you could marry a wealthy woman and use her fortune to restore it.”

Fitzwilliam Darcy, heir to a mountain of debt, a tarnished family name, and a crumbling estate finds himself confronted by an unthinkable choice. Knowing it is a last chance to save his birthright, he agrees to an arranged marriage with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, ward of her wealthy but vulgar uncle, Mr Gardiner. Despite entering into the marriage understanding what he is giving up, he soon finds himself resenting the actions of his forebears and the choices he feels he was forced to make.

Elizabeth Bennet knows that marrying a gentleman of high birth would allow her to reclaim the social status she lost when her father died. Having been approached by men falsely proclaiming their affection for her, she embraces the opportunity to set the terms of her marriage openly and honestly. After meeting Mr Darcy and his sister, Elizabeth is determined to give them the home and care they deserve. Believing she and Mr Darcy have a common understanding of what their union will be like, she has high hopes for a happy future.

A friendship between them soon promises to bloom into something more romantic but Darcy has unresolved issues in his past that will not remain hidden. Dismayed, Darcy at last confronts his errors…but is it too late for he and Elizabeth to find happiness together?

The Marriage Bargain is a forced or contracted marriage variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and will be enjoyed by fans of Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract and other regency romances.

Review – Total Want of Propriety Volumes 1 & 2

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Total Want of Propriety Volumes 1 & 2

by Cherith Boardman

Total Want of Propriety volumes 1 & 2

Genres: Pride and Prejudice, Regency, Romance
Release Date: November 1 & 15, 2021
Pages: 710 & 724
Purchase from: Amazon Volume 1 | Volume 2
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Total Want of Propriety, Volume 1: At the first light of dawn the morning after the dance at Netherfield, a carriage speeds north as Fitzwilliam Darcy flees the temptation wrought by Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s pert opinions and fine eyes. His heart yearns for the intelligent beauty, but he knows his duty to Pemberley, and his family, and cannot risk exposing his beloved sister to the total want of propriety evidenced by the rest of the Bennet family.

A month later – and now resolved to follow his heart – Darcy hastens towards Bath after Darcy learns of Elizabeth’s expulsion from her family for refusing to marry Longbourn’s heir, Mr Collins.
Soon confronted with the truth of his own family’s wanton lack of propriety – and Elizabeth’s dislike of him – Darcy must do all he can to protect his sister from her own folly, while hoping to earn Elizabeth’s forgiveness for his arrogant presumptions…

And ultimately win her heart.

Review – Heart of the Impaler

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Heart of the Impaler

by Alexander Delacroix

Heart of the Impaler

Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Release Date: December 7, 2021
Pages: 347
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google PlayKoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Alexander Delacroix’s darkly romantic debut Heart of the Impaler is perfect for fans of Kiersten White’s And I Darken.

Vlad Dracula has long lived in the shadows cast by his bloodthirsty father, the voivode, and his older brother, Mircea. Despite their cruelty, Vlad has yearned to prove himself worthy of the throne his whole life. In the cold halls of the voivode’s palace, Vlad can only rely on his cousin and closest friend, Andrei Musat.

When Vlad and Andrei meet Ilona Csáki, the daughter of an influential boyar, they each find themselves inextricably drawn to her. But then Ilona is betrothed to Mircea as part of a political alliance, and Vlad’s resentfulness of his brother begins to seethe into something far darker.

Ilona has no desire to marry the voivode’s eldest son, but love and marriage are the least of her worries. The royal family’s enemies have already tried to put an arrow through her back—and if anyone discovers her blossoming feelings for Andrei and Vlad, she may just wish they’d succeeded.

Beneath the shadow of impending war, the only battle that will be deadlier than the one for Ilona’s life will be the one for her heart.

Review – Fatal Throne

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Fatal Throne

by Candace Fleming, M.T. Anderson, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, and Deborah Hopkinson

Fatal Throne

Genres: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Tudor, Young Adult
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Pages: 388
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

If you were one of King Henry VIII’s six wives, who would you be? Would you be Anne Boleyn, who literally lost her head? Would you be the subject of rumor and scandal like Catherine Howard? Or would you get away and survive like Anna of Cleves?

Meet them and Henry’s other queens–each bound for divorce or death–in this epic and thrilling novel that reads like fantasy but really happened. Watch spellbound as each of these women attempts to survive their unpredictable king as he grows more and more obsessed with producing a male heir. And discover how the power-hungry court fanned the flames of Henry’s passions . . . and his most horrible impulses.

Whether you’re a huge fan of all things Tudor or new to this jaw-dropping saga, you won’t be able to get the unique voices of Henry and his wives–all brought to life by seven award-winning and bestselling authors–out of your head.

This is an intimate look at the royals during one of the most treacherous times in history. Who will you root for and who will you love to hate?

Review – Miss Lucas: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

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Miss Lucas: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

by A.V. Knight

Miss Lucas Cover

Genres: Regency, Historical Romance, Pride and Prejudice, Adult
Release Date: December 16, 2018
Pages: 180
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman of 27 is doomed to remain an old maid.

Charlotte Lucas knows this better than anyone. 

Mr. Collins is Charlotte’s last chance at becoming a wife, but when he leaves Meryton without proposing, Charlotte is determined not to let this last opportunity pass her by. 

The greatest challenge to Charlotte’s changes isn’t securing an invitation to Rosings Park, battling Lizzy’s temper, overcoming Lady Catherine’s unfathomable disapproval, or even Mr. Darcy’s odd behavior: it’s the distracting presence of Colonel Fitzwilliam. The man is neither handsome nor charming, but he’s honest and clever, which are enough to tease Charlotte with romantic notions that have never troubled her before.

Join Charlotte Lucas in this novel-length variation on Jane Austen’s classic, where practical Charlotte finally earns her own happy ending. Though a lover of clean regency romance, Miss Lucas is AV Knight’s first Pride and Prejudice variation.

Review – Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World

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Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World

by Abigail Reynolds

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy Cover

Series: Pride and Prejudice Variations
Genres: Regency, Historical Romance, Pride and Prejudice, Adult
Release Date: January 1, 2010
Pages: 258
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

What if…

The last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry…is her husband?

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet tells the proud Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy that she wouldn’t marry him if he were the last man in the world.

But what if she never said the words? What if circumstances conspired to make her accept Darcy the first time he proposes?

In this installment of Abigail Reynolds’s acclaimed Pride and Prejudice Variations, Elizabeth agrees to marry Darcy against her better judgment, setting off a chain of events that nearly brings disaster to them both…

Review – An Unwitting Compromise

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An Unwitting Compromise

by Sue Barr

An Unwitting Compromise

Genres: Regency, Historical Romance, Pride and Prejudice, Adult
Release Date: March 5, 2021
Pages: 254
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Can a woman have two great loves in her life?

All it takes is one night for Elizabeth Bennet’s life to change forever. Finding herself pregnant with Mr. Darcy’s baby, she is forced to make decisions that will have an impact on the rest of not only her life but her family’s.

Mr. Darcy, who cannot remember the night in question and therefore does not believe he is the father of Elizabeth’s child, soldiers on in his pride and arrogance until he’s forced to admit – he is the father.

His realization comes too late. She is now married and not only is she unattainable, but so is his son.

**Warning** There is a hint of what some might feel is sexual violence in the first chapter. It is not graphic, but some readers who are sensitive to this type of scenario should read with caution.

Review – A Case of Some Delicacy

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A Case of Some Delicacy

by KC Kahler

A Case of Some Delicacy

Genres: Regency, Historical Romance, Pride and Prejudice, Adult
Release Date: September 22, 2019
Pages: 420
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

A secret alliance grows from an unwelcomed olive branch…

When rumours of Jane Bennet’s impending betrothal to Mr. Collins begin spreading at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet vows to save her dearest sister’s happiness from being sacrificed in marriage. She finds an unlikely ally in Mr Darcy, the taciturn man whose heroics on the cricket field have made him the target for Lydia’s affections.

Overhearing a heated exchange between Elizabeth and Mr Bennet, Darcy is stunned not only by her devotion to her sister, but also by her defiant words to her father. An inexplicable desire to help Elizabeth draws Darcy into the match-breaking scheme, despite knowing that he should want nothing to do with a family like the Bennets.

As the new allies work together, they begin to understand and admire each other. But they must navigate a complicated web of sisters, parents, friends, cousins, aunts, and new acquaintances, all of whom seem contrary to being manipulated. A few of them may even be attempting their own manipulations and romantic schemes. Eavesdropping and jealousy abound, cricket balls go astray, and love blooms in spite of Mrs. Bennet’s mismatched matchmaking.

This humorous Pride and Prejudice re-imagining is novel length and pays homage to the wit of Jane Austen.

Review – Pride & Perception

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Pride & Perception

by Sue Barr

Pride and Perception

Genres: Regency, Historical Romance, Pride and Prejudice, Adult
Release Date: March 5, 2021
Pages: 363
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

What if…

The entail on Longbourn had been broken?

The Bennets owned Netherfield Park?

Jane Bennet had firm opinions?

Lizzy overheard the second derogatory comment Darcy made about her beauty? After the Bennets had dined at Netherfield Park, he said, “Her a beauty? I should as soon call her mother a wit.”

Yeah – that one.

This is a story where we explore all these beautiful what-ifs.

Review – Mrs. Perivale and the Blue Fire Crystal

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Mrs. Perivale and the Blue Fire Crystal

by Dash Hoffman

Mrs. Perivale and the Blue Fire Crystal

Series: Mrs. Perivale
Genres: Fantasy
Release Date: March 1, 2017
Pages: 335
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

“People your age belong at home.” 73 year old Mrs. Perivale is told when she tries to volunteer. With her son grown and gone, and her community turning their backs on her, the gravity of no longer being needed sinks her spirits deeply. She wonders if she has outlived her usefulness until a mystical little creature sneaks into Alice Perivale’s home and begs her to come with him; there is a prophecy about her, and she must help save his world!

Finding herself in a magical place she had no idea existed, committed to a dangerous mission far more vital than helping out in her neighborhood, Alice dusts off her courage and bravery, rediscovering the feisty, sassy, powerhouse woman she is deep inside. She is determined to find the stolen Blue Fire Crystal before the imbalance between elements destroys all of the magical land of Corevé. Together with her extraordinary family of six cats and her skeptical-yet-devoted butler Henderson, she takes on the tremendous challenge.

With time running out and the world falling to pieces, Alice’s precious companions are pulled away from her, and she is faced with impossible choices. Does she choose what she wants most of all, does she rescue her family, or does she save the world that will not survive without her?

Review – Mistaken

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Mistaken

by Jessie Lewis

Mistaken Book Cover

Genres: Romance, Regency, Pride and Prejudice Variation, Historical Romance
Release Date: February 10, 2019
Pages: 585
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

A tempestuous acquaintance and disastrous marriage proposal make it unlikely Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet will ever reconcile. Despairing of their own reunion, they attend with great energy to salvaging that of Darcy’s friend Mr Bingley and Elizabeth’s sister Jane. People are rarely so easily manoeuvred in and out of love, however, and there follows a series of misunderstandings, both wilful and unwitting, that complicates the path to happiness for all four star-crossed lovers more than ever before. Re-edited with new and extended scenes for 2019 publication.

Review – Elizabeth Bennet: Heiress

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Elizabeth Bennet: Heiress

by Don H. Miller

Elizabeth Bennet: Heiress Cover

Genres: Pride and Prejudice Variation, Historical Romance, Regency, Romance
Release Date: February 4, 2021
Pages: 247
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

This story takes up the lives of Darcy and Elizabeth and their family and friends soon after Bingley holds the ball at Netherfield Park. Mr. Bennet receives news that Mr. Collins has died, and, there being no other living male descendants of the grandparent who created the fee tail on Longbourn, Mr. Bennet may will Longbourn to the daughter of his choice. He chooses Elizabeth, with the full agreement of Jane, her elder sister. Thus, although the family fortune is not affected, Elizabeth’s personal standing is raised because she is now the heiress of a desirable estate. This story explores the effects this may have on Elizabeth’s life and her somewhat contentious relationship with Darcy.