Kim’s Guest Review of The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle

tpombpmIf you’ve often thought that Mary Bennet from Pride and Prejudice has been neglected in the Austen fan fiction world, listen up. My latest review for Austenprose is on The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle and it’s all about Mary!

I can happily tell you that Mingle gives Mary a story well worthy of her character.

For a direct link to my review, click here!

This is my thirteenth completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

This is my twenty-third completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

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Kim’s Guest Review of Steampunk Darcy by Monica Fairview

Steampunk Darcy Cover SMALL AVATARYou can find my latest guest review over on the Austenprose blog! It’s on Monica Fairview’s Steampunk Darcy, a steampunk novel inspired by Pride and Prejudice. If you’re wondering what steampunk is, let me tell you.  It’s a mixture of the Victorian Era, steam inventions of the industrial revolution, post-apocalyptic/dystopic worlds, and a modern sense of invention.  It’s an amazing genre to say the least.  Check back in on Wednesday, when Fairview will be on the blog discussing the genre.

For a direct link to my review, click here.  As an added bonus, Austenprose has six copies you can win!

This is my eleventh completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

Kim’s Guest Review of Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship by Fitzwilliam Darcy & Emily Brand

mdgtcfdMy latest review went live over on the Austenprose blog! This time I reviewed a HILARIOUS book entitled Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship.  Guess who wrote it? None other than Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy himself!

Complete with guest sections from Caroline Bingley, Mr. Collins, and George Wickham – this was one book that had me laughing from cover to cover.

For a link to my complete review, click here.

This is my tenth completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

Kim’s Guest Review of When They Fall in Love by Mary Lydon Simonsen

wtfilmlsMy latest review is up on the Austenprose blog today! It’s on Mary Lydon Simonsen’s newest novel When They Fall in Love.  The book gives Elizabeth and Darcy a second chance several years after Darcy’s disastrous first proposal!  The book primarily takes place in one of my favorite places…..Italy! (My review includes a few photos from my own trip to Florence!)

For a direct link to my review click here

This is my ninth completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

This is my eighteenth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

 

Kim’s Review of Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance + GIVEAWAY

saptvPride and Prejudice meets spies? HELL YEAH.  When I first heard about Talia Vance’s Spies and Prejudice my first thought was, “How is this the first time someone’s thought of this?!”  With the ever-growing popularity of James Bond and other spy thrillers, it makes sense that we introduce the world of young adult readers to Jane Austen’s most popular work with exploding tennis bracelets and walkie-talkie watches.  Teens imagining a world of corporate espionage that they can take part in!? I’d say you’ve caught them as readers – hook, line, and sinker.

As a private investigator, Berry Fields has seen it all.  She specializes in cheaters, men who have affairs and think that they can get away with it.  Within her own personal life she has little use for men.  This is partially because of her profession and partially because of a spin the bottle incident in eighth grade that left her as somewhat of an outcast after pepper spraying a boy in the face.  So, when the handsome Tanner Halston catches her eye, she immediately dismisses him, as is her usual standard procedure.  This is fine for Tanner, who calls Berry “nothing amazing.”  However, despite this seemingly nonchalant attitude that they share, both Berry and Tanner seem to be running into each other more and more often as Berry attempts to investigate her mother’s mysterious death.  Will she be able to stay focused or will Tanner’s insistence on barging into her activities drive her crazy?

First and foremost I have to give Vance major kudos for not beginning Spies and Prejudice with a variation of the opening line of Pride and Prejudice.  As much as I love P&P, I feel like the continued use of its opening line is no longer creative or unique.  Therefore, when I tell you that I enjoyed this book from page one you’ll know I’m not lying.  Berry (the Elizabeth of the story) is a lot of fun.  She’s quirky, smart, and an awesome PI.  Her investigating methods are not always the most morally correct actions, but she does what she has to for her cases.  Tanner (the Darcy) is definitely adorable and completely socially awkward.

I have to say – Spies and Prejudice is an extremely enjoyable read.  It’s a cleaned up version of P&P.  What I mean by this is that it’s been modernized and anything deemed too extraneous has been cut out.  What’s left is a fast paced spy thriller complete with spies, gadgets, explosives, mystery, and danger!  One slight detraction was that there were times that I felt the characters’ spying/hacking abilities were slightly unrealistic, but this didn’t derail the adventurous spirit of the novel.  The story flows quite well from page to page, making it difficult to put down.  It’s the perfect book for your teen to bring to the beach this summer!

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my eighth completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge.

Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
EgmontUSA (2013)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN: 9781606842607

Special thanks to EgmontUSA for my review copy!

Giveaway:

Two lucky winners will have the opportunity to win a paperback ARC copy of Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance!  For your chance to win simply leave a comment in the thread below.  Comments will be accepted through midnight of Sunday, June 16, 2013.  Winners will be picked at random and announced on Monday, June 17, 2013.  Open to US residents only.  Good luck!

Kim’s Guest Review of The Passions of Dr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan

tpoddslMy latest guest review, The Passions of Dr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan, is up on the Austenprose blog today.  Fans of Lathan’s Darcy Saga will be excited that this, the seventh book in the series, is focusing on Dr. Darcy!

If you’re a fan of books that focus on character development, you need to add this one to your list.

A direct link to my review can be found here

This is my sixteenth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

This is my sixth completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge.

Kim’s Review of Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen (The Man Who Loved Jane Austen #2) by Sally Smith O’Rourke

16064895A bajillion years ago (read: three years) I read The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke.  I was at once fascinated by a story that was able to take time traveling, Jane Austen, traditions of horse farms in Virginia, and newly discovered letters authored by Jane Austen to Fitzwilliam Darcy work.  The main plot followed a young man (named Fitzwilliam Darcy!) from preset day Virginia who ends up traveling back to Jane Austen’s time!  I won’t tell you all the plot details, but suffice it to say Jane and Fitzwilliam shared a brief romance before he headed back to the future, a future in which a woman named Eliza found unread letters from Jane Austen to a Fitzwilliam Darcy in her vanity. Her search leads her to Virginia to try to discover who the inspiration behind the character of Fitzwilliam Darcy was.  Fast forward to a few months ago when I found out that O’Rourke decided to write a sequel! Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen thrusts us back to present-day Virginia, and Regency England and back to the lives of Eliza, Fitz, and Jane to show us that sometimes happily-ever-afters take some work.

I’ll let Goodreads do the talking for the plot:

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?

Those of you who have been reading my reviews for a while know that I will love most books inspired by P&P, regardless of what form they take.  This series has been no different, for although time travel is in the mix, reading about Darcy still makes the story just as fun and exciting as it was the first time I read P&P.  Add to this though the fact that we get to get inside Jane’s head, as well as see a whole new relationship evolve between Fitz and Eliza and I was drawn in from page one.  I especially loved Jane’s involvement in the whole story, adding in her thoughts and input was a great move that added a complexity to the novel and an alternate point of view that we don’t usually see in P&P inspired novels.  The only two downsides I would have to point out was the fact that Fitz’s character seemed to be all over the map emotionally at times and the fact that Jane’s scenes were a bit confusing chronologically.  Other than these points, O’Rourke should be commended for her strong follow-up work in her The Man Who Loved Jane Austen series.  Between the exciting love story between Eliza and Fitz and the intriguing point of view from Jane’s incorporation in the story, it’s a great read that will make fans of the series eager to move on to the next work!

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my fourth completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke
Victorian Essence Press (2012)
Paperback 380 pages
ISBN: 99781891437038

Special thanks to Ms. Smith O’Rourke for my review copy!

Kim’s Review of Sons and Daughters (Darcy and Fitzwilliam #2) by Karen Wasylowski

sddfI remember the first time I read Pride and Prejudice and chuckled to myself at the little tongue-in-cheek humor that Austen used.  Elizabeth’s observations and statements (especially about Mr. Collins) regarding those around her were always sure to get a rise out of me.  It’s this memory that makes me so happy that there is an author in the Austen fan fiction world that can continue to make me laugh with these characters.  Karen Wasylowski is this author and it was her first book, Darcy and Fitzwilliamthat really got me laughing.  Between the over-the-top (in a good way) personality of Lady Catherine and the hysterical brotherly relationship between Fitzwilliam and Darcy, I was hooked.  When offered the chance to review book two in the series Sons and Daughters I immediately said yes!  For who would ever turn down a chance to add humor to one’s life? 

From Goodreads:

Sons and Daughters, a sequel to Karen V. Wasylowski’s Darcy and Fitzwilliam (which was itself a continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), again follows the iconic Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. Now we see the two battling best friends as loving husbands and doting fathers, older and a bit wiser, making the sacrifices, the difficult (and frequently unpopular) decisions that men must make for the good of their families and we see their large brood of offspring – the ‘Fitzwilliam Mob’ – grow from childhood to adolescence then on into adulthood. Along the way, Darcy and Fitzwilliam are viewed by their children first as heroes, then as the enemy, but eventually as mortal human beings and the children’s adored champions once again.

I knew from reading book one of this series that I was in for some seriously funny stuff.  Wasylowski is a master at writing humor.  It’s obvious from the title that the Fitzwilliam and Darcy children play a large part in the plot.  Getting the opportunity to see Darcy and Fitz in parental roles was hilarious.  Especially Fitzwilliam! His brood runs roughshod all over him, especially his twin sons who are major practical jokers.  The only detraction I would have to list is the fact that there were so many characters, which caused some of the story lines to feel rushed and incomplete.  It was a little difficult to keep everything straight because of all the new characters, but once I got the hang of it all was well again.  I have to say that this was easy enough to overlook because of how well Wasylowski was able to hold my attention.  The combination of abundant humor and unique storylines was a delight to read and has cemented my interest in this series as a whole.  I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us in the future!

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my eighth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

This is my third completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

Sons and Daughters by Karen Wasylowski
CreateSpace (2012)
Paperback 416 pages
ISBN: 9781480002913

Special thanks to Ms. Wasylowski for my review copy!

Kim’s Review of Loving Miss Darcy (Brides of Pemberley #2) by Nancy Kelley

lmdY’all know by now that I love Pride and Prejudice.  You also know that I love reading books that explore the lives of the characters from that wonderful work, and one of my favorite characters to explore happens to be Georgiana.  I always feel bad for her in the P&P fan fiction world, as she is often relegated to being a minor character, and never the heroine.  All this changes with Nancy Kelley’s second work in the Brides of Pemberley series, Loving Miss Darcy (for my review of the first work, His Good Opinion, click here).

Georgiana Darcy is conflicted.  On one hand she is elated that her brother, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and his lovely bride, Elizabeth, are happily married and fully in love.  On the other hand, her own personal love life is the complete opposite.  After the disastrous events that led her to almost elope with Wickham previously, she hasn’t had the drive to face another Season full of potential suitors in London.  Enter Richard Fitzwilliam, tasked by Darcy to watch over his little sister and find a suitable match for her.  The problem is that Richard feels that no one is deserving of Georgiana, even though they may be a perfectly good match.  Even Richard’s closest friends are no match for his stony demeanor.  Behind this mask, however, a growing attachment is forming, and it seems that Richard is keeping others out in the hopes that he may have a chance, however slight.  Will he give in to this growing attachment?  Will Georgiana return his feelings?

One major item that I have to commend Kelley on is her ability to portray the angst of the teenage mind via Georgiana.  Obviously, Georgiana is a teenager, and with that comes feelings of angst, confusion, and general awkwardness.  Kelley is able to tap into that mindset and describe Georgiana’s unwillingness to enter the Season due to a variety of factors, chief among them her trepidation at what others will think of the “Wickham scandal”.  On the opposite end of the spectrum is Richard, whose mindset is an unsettled war zone of nerves.  He is confused about his feelings for Georgiana, and cannot separate his duties as her guardian from his desire to want to be with her.  He also wonders if he should even voice his innermost feelings for her, as he fears that she will reject him due to the age gap between them, along with several other factors that keep his feelings in check.  Again, Kelley shows that she is in tune with her characters in writing Richard, and together with Georgiana, she made this story one that I couldn’t put down.  I can’t wait to read the story of Elizabeth’s sister, Kitty, next in the series.  If it’s as good as these other two works have been, I’m in for a treat!

5 out of 5 Stars

This is my second completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

This is my sixth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

Loving Miss Darcy by Nancy Kelley
Smokey Rose Press (2013)
eBook 244 pages
ISBN: 2940016048345

Special thanks to Ms. Kelley for my review copy!

Kim’s Guest Review of Pride, Prejudice, and the Perfect Match by Marilyn Brant

pppmMy first guest review of 2013 hit the Austenprose blog yesterday.  I reviewed Pride, Prejudice, and the Perfect Match by Marilyn Brant.  It’s a contemporary adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that takes us into the world of online dating and the like.  Personally, I really enjoyed it, so much so that I even delayed viewing the season premiere of Downton Abbey!

My full review can be found here.

This is my first completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge