Archive for 'Romance'

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentlemen – These Three Remain


by Pamela Aidan

Book 3 of the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentlemen series.

Darcy’s annual visit to his Aunt Lady Catherine De Bourgh is due.  He is still struggling to distract himself from the unacceptable attractions of the lovely Elizabeth Bennet and so embarks on the visit to his Aunt accompanied by his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Believing the visit will help him beat his affliction, he is both mortified and exultant to find Elizabeth Bennet staying at the home of his aunt’s clergyman.  When he succumbs to his affections and unsuccessfully proposes to Elizabeth he is again faced with the challenge of forgetting her.  Returning to his home and his sister, Darcy battles the dark clouds that have enveloped him.  With help from his family, friends and the bollocking administered by Elizabeth he emerges as the gentleman he should have always been.  A chance encounter with Elizabeth gives Darcy opportunity to show her how he has strived to change and renew his addresses but something else descends to prevent their union.. he old enemy George Wickham.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series by Pamela Aidan.  She has been faithful to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and offered up an entertaining look into the life of Mr Darcy both with and away from Elizabeth Bennet.  His heart and mind revealed, his struggles laid out.  I recommend it to any fan of Austen.

Posted on 21 January '10 by , under Historical Fiction, Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews, Romance. 6 Comments.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman – Duty and Desire – Book Review


by Pamela Aidan

Book 2 in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series.

Darcy is following his own advice.  He has successfully separated his friend Bingley from the allurements of Miss Bennet and now he must do so for himself.  It is time he found himself a wife.  A wife equal to his station in life will cure him of his infatuation with Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

When an invitation arrives from an old school friend to attend a party at a country estate, Darcy, out of character, accepts.  He cannot accept just any woman of good breeding for a wife though.  She must be of his level in society but she must also possess the qualities he has recently discovered to be essential to his happiness. Will anyone compare to the witty, clever Hertfordshire beauty with the sparkling eyes?  He may be looking for wife but others, more desperate, are also looking for a husband.  Little does he know what he and his trusted valet Fletcher must do to survive that week.     His quest for love will put Darcy is danger for his life.

I was very surprised by this book.  At first I was a little confused as it steers away from the story we know in Pride and Prejudice.  However, it soon makes sense.  What did Darcy do in those months of separation from Elizabeth?  What could have happened to create the desperation that flavoured his offer to her.

I enjoyed this surprising 2nd book in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series.

Posted on 29 December '09 by , under Historical Fiction, Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews, Romance. 1 Comment.

Sense and Sensibility – Book Review


by Jane Austen

Written in 1790′s and published 1811 Sense and Sensibility was the first of Jane’s novels to published.

This insightful study of human nature focusses on Elinor and Marianne Dashwood.  The Dashwood women, Mary (mother), Elinor, Marianne and Margaret are wrenched from their privilaged life after the death of their husband and father.  The estate is passed to his son by his first marriage and John Dashwood does nothing to aid his father’s 2nd family.  The Dashwood women are left with very little to live on.  Their sudden demotion in society complicates the sisters’ chances of marrying well.

Mrs Dashwood’s cousin, Sir John Middleton, comes to the rescue with the offer of a cottage on his estate Barton Park for a cheap rent.  Settling at Barton Cottage finds the family included in a good-hearted but eccentric social circle.  The sisters have to suffer match-making and teasing from Sir John and his mother-in-law,  Mrs Jennings.     The interferrence of the well-meaning Mrs Jenning is made more unbearable when both girls lose their hearts to men beyond their reach.  They learn painful lessons about love and the loss of it.

Sense and Sensibility highlights the precarious position of women of that era.  They weren’t able to earn their fortune and if they lost it, as the Dashwoods did, then their attractiveness is significantly reduced. Jane gives us a clear view of her opinion of the situation of women, being dependent on men, undervalued and censured for being independent.  She creates wonderful characters who masterfully make what they can of their oppressed  lives.

Reading Jane Austen is such a pleasure.  Her characters are rich and sure and I never feel happy to finish a book.  She has such an indepth understanding of human behaviour and the human heart.  Jane made a point of only writing what she had knowledge of, so let us hope that she did experience some of the love she so generously gifts to her heronines.

Essential reading for all young women.  It is humbling to know that even at that time someone was working to highlight the challenges of women.

Posted on 17 December '09 by , under Classic Lit, Historical Fiction, Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews, Romance. 8 Comments.

Killer Bunny Hill – Book Review


by Denise Robbins

Samantha Spenser has been shot.  Her dad summoned her home urgently but isn’t there to greet her, she is shot while snowboarding; temporarily loses some of her memory; is kidnapped; escapes and doesn’t know who to trust.    She is a capable woman but as she can’t even remember her name, she may have to accept help from the amber-eyed angel-man who patched up her wounds.

Maximilian Stone has enough to worry about.  He is trying to find his missing FBI agent brother, Kevin, when he is delivered with a shot up snow bunny.  The snow bunny claims to have lost her memory but is it just a coincidence that this gorgeous, green-eyed woman arrives, shot, at his door, when his brother went missing investigating a case in the area?

Sam and Max manage to join forces to find her father and his brother, despite being distracted  - a lot – by their mutual sexual attraction.

Killer Bunny Hill is a fun and easy read.  I hope and pray that if ever I am in need of rescuing, that the rescuers aren’t so easily distracted from the job by their ‘need’ for each other!  However, their numerous distracted moments make great entertainment for a reader of novels!

It is deliciously sexy, so have fun with Killer Bunny Hill.

Posted on 31 October '09 by , under Reviews, Romance, Thriller. 1 Comment.

The Man Who Loved Jane Austen – Book Review


by Sally Smith O’Rourke

ISBN-13: 9780758210388

(Re-Print) Published: January 2009

First Published: April 2006

I was feeling pretty ordinary this week, so decided to self-medicate with a nice romance novel and to kill two birds with one stone, I chose a Jane Austen inspired book for the Everything Austen Challenge.  I’m so glad I picked this book up from the library, it was like soaking in a warm bath and was just what I needed.  Sally Smith O’Rourke has written a lovely, uncomplicated fantasy romance.

Eliza Knight is an artist from New York and is looking to add a standard lamp to her unit decor.  Her shopping trip results, like so many good shopping trips do, with no lamp but her bringing home a beautiful 200 year old antique vanity for her bedroom.   While inspecting some damage on the vanity, she moves the wood backing and two letters fall out.

One letter was sealed but the other was open and reads:

“May 12th 1810.  Dearest Jane, the Captain has found me out.  I am being forced to go into hiding immediately.  But if I am able, I shall still be waiting at the same spot tonight.  Then you will know everything you wish to know. F. Darcy.”

The unopened letter was addressed “Jane Austen – Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Chawton Great House.”

Could the letters be real?  Was Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice a real man?

The letters are found to be authentic, so Eliza is now the owner of, not only two Jane Austen letters but also her bedroom vanity.  Being the owner of these items is not enough for Eliza, she has to discover more about the real Fitzwilliam Darcy.  Why is he a mystery? Why is there no mention of him in history?  Were he and Jane Austen lovers? Why did Jane Austen’s family destroy so many of her personal letters after her death? Eliza determines to find answers to these questions and her life is forever changed by the attempt.

Let this book pamper you and take you on a lovely journey into Jane Austen’s time.  The story moves along at a pleasant pace and I never felt the need to skip ahead.  It is not a book that I would want to pick apart and look at the details too closely.  I simply accepted the characters as presented and was comfortable with the way Jane and Darcy were depicted.  The Man Who Loved Jane Austen is a peaceful book and was just the presciption I needed for my maladies.

Posted on 13 August '09 by , under Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews, Romance. 1 Comment.