Jan 012018

Hi friends!  Happy first day of 2018!!  But before we kick-off the new year, I wanted to share one of my favorite posts of the year, my Favorite Reads of 2017!

I love recap posts, it is always fun to look back and reflect. 🙂  And it is always better when those reflections are about all the books you read! 😉

I loved so much of what I read in 2017!  70 books were new reads for me and I thought it would be fun to recognize some of my special favorites!

Which to be honest…was really hard because I read sooooo many superb stories this year!  I rated 25 books 5 stars alone!

Here are my 12 (ahem…technically 13!) Austenesque Reviews’ Favorites for 2017!


…and the awards go to…


for Favorite Pride and Prejudice Variation

(it’s impossible to pick just one, or three…)

A Man with Faults by Lory Lilian


Thank you, Lory! You said I’m partly to blame for the angst in this book, but I think you have a natural talent for poignant and heart-rending prose!

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A Quest for Mr. Darcy by Cassandra Grafton


Thank you, Cassandra!  This enchanting and imaginative sojourn to Derbyshire was everything that is delightful!

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Conceit and Concealment by Abigail Reynolds


Thank you, Abigail!  What an exceptionally inventive tale brimming with action, adventure, and romance!!

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Mistress: by Sophie Turner


Thank you, Sophie!  This was a daring premise, and it was sensitively and beautifully executed.

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Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes


Thank you, Joana. This story stirred my soul and is one of the most compelling and magnificent works I’ve read by you!

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The Best Part of Love by Amy D’Orazio


Thank you, Amy.  I adored everything about your expressive and sensitive debut release.

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for Favorite Austenesque Retelling

Darcy’s Hope Saga by Ginger Monette



Thank you, Ginger!  Your thoughtful and beautifully crafted war-time romance is an incredible gift to the Austenesque genre.

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for Favorite Austenesque Short Story Anthology

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rogues Edited by Christina Boyd


Thank you, Christina!  This insightful collection pays lovely tribute to Jane Austen’s bad boys and shows true perception, skill, and creativity.

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The Darcy Monologues Edited by Christina Boyd


Thank you, Christina! This collection is such a tremendous feat, and to see all these authors collaborate together is a dream come true.

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for Favorite Austenesque Young Adult

Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson


Thank you, Kate!  This is one of the best YA Jane Austen adaptations I’ve ever read!

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for Favorite Austenesque Sequel

Side by Side, Apart by Ann Galvia


Thank you, Ann! This debut release was emotive, articulate, and exquisitely rendered!

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for Favorite Austenesque Secondary Character Story

Mary and the Captain by Nancy Lawrence


Thank you, Nancy!  This beautiful story of strength, inner beauty, compassion, and heart is everything I want for Mary Bennet!

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*Honorable mentions go to I Could Write a Book by Karen Cox, Particular Attachments by L.L. Diamond, and The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn.  It was so hard to cut down my list from 25 to 13- I’m truly so thankful for all these splendid, memorable, and engrossing reads that I was able to enjoy in 2017!!


And now time to share the Austenesque Reviews Readers’ Choice Favorites!

Thank you to all who voted, I loved learning your favorite reads of the year!!  It felt like seeing a list of recommendations from dear friends!  I am so appreciative of your input – I know it was extremely hard!!!

There were 59 different Austenesque books nominated in total for this award and the top 4 (I went with 4 instead of 3 since the top 4 were one vote apart) that got the most votes which will be specially recognized as Austenesque Reviews Readers’ Choice Favorites are…

Mistaken by Jessie Lewis


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Conceit and Concealment by Abigail Reynolds


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These Dreams by Nicole Clarkston


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The Darcy Monologues Edited by Christina Boyd


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Woot woot! Congrats to the Readers’ Choice Winners!  I’m especially excited about these winners because I’ve only read two of them, I have the other two on my TBR pile though!


And now…without further ado the winner of 1 Readers’ Choice Vote Favorite (in paperback) of their choice is…Stephanie Mudd Carrico!!!


Stephanie, when you get a chance send me an email to let me know which of these 4 lovely books you’d like me to send to you and what address I should send it to!


Thanks so much for checking out my favorites!  Please feel free to share yours!!

Wishing you all happiness, health, and lots of fantastic reads for 2018!! 🙂


~ Past Awards ~

2009   I    2010    I    2011   I   2012   I   2013   I   2014   I   2015   I   2016

*Thank you, Loren for making some brilliant new awards for me to use this year!  You are so talented!

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  65 Responses to “Austenesque Reviews’ Favorite Reads of 2017!!!”


    Happy New Year Meredith!!! I completely agree that it was very difficult to choose just one, two, three, etc as I read most of these books as well that were 5* and beyond! We as readers are very fortunate to read such fabulous books from a wealth of talented authors! I plan to read 3 of the books on your favourite lists that I haven’t gotten to yet this new year! May the Muse continue with all our talented authors and new ones to discover in 2018!


      Happy New Year to you, my friend!! I’m so glad to hear that we both thought the same about some of these reads! It WAS such a great year for Austenesque!!! So many praiseworthy books!!! Hope you enjoy those 3 as much as I did! Happy reading in 2018!


    Oh I forgot…CONGRATULATIONS Stephanie!!!! Your difficulty will be choosing which one!!!


    Congratulations to the winner. And thank you for this list. I have read most of them and they are all worthy winners. I really struggled to pick just three. I had a long list but on checking publication dates had to rule some out as being 2016 so that did make it a little easier (a very little!). Keep up the good work in 2018 Meredith


    I am on the mountain today skiing and just saw this. Joyful Tears are freezing on my face! Thank you so much. My DreamTeams are amazing and I am blessed!


      You are too funny, Christina! Thank you so much for everything you did to make these anthologies possible! They were definitely a highlight of my reading year!


    Wow! I’m absolutely delighted that Mistaken has been voted a readers’ favourite! Thank you so much to everyone who voted, I’m over the moon! What a fabulous beginning to 2018 🙂


    Big congratulations to all these wonderful authors! I’m particularly excited to see Mary and the Captain, The Best Part of Love, and Mistaken on the list along with some JAFF vets. Thanks for another great year, Meredith!


      Thanks for checking out this list and for sharing your thoughts, Pamela! I’m excited about all the lovely debut releases too – I hope there is more in store for these authors in 2018! Thank you for all your kind friendship and support! I hope you have a wonderful 2018!


    lovely list Meredith, thank you for your commitment to JAFF which is wonderful. I haven’t yet read Quest for Mr D but definitely plan to! Thank you for featuring both The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous To Know, they were great projects to be included in:-)


      Thank you, Jenetta! I’m so very grateful for these books and all the enjoyment they brought this past year! I hope you enjoy A Quest for Mr. Darcy as much as I did – it made me wish I could go live in Derbyshire with the Bennets and Darcys!


    Congrats to the winner! SO MANY amazing books on this list!


    I have read all but Seeking Mansfield & Mary and the Captain. I have to say those you selected are wonderful reads. Congratulations to Stephanie on her win. Happy New Year to all. Thank you for sharing with us, Meredith. Your selections reinforce my own opinions about those books.


      Thanks so much for checking out my list, Sheila! I’m glad to hear that your opinions match my own on many of these reads. 🙂 Hope you enjoy a wonderful 2018, my friend!


    Thank you for this impressive favourites list! It’s great for finding new JAFF ideas, especially in subgenres I don’t often turn to. I’m glad one of my favourites made it to the Readers’ Choice winners!
    A note: the “buy the book” link for Sophie Turner’s Mistress is wrong and points to another book on Amazon.
    Happy New Year to everyone!


      Thanks for checking out my list, Agnes! I’m so glad to hear it may give you some new ideas! And that’s great that one of your favorites won the Readers’ Choice!

      Thanks for letting me know so I could fix it. 😉


    Love this 2017 recap. Well. I have some particularly wonderful reads ahead of me in 2018, because I haven’t read many of these on the list….some, but many still on the TBR. And when I voted my Three Top Choices I KNEW I had a funny feeling about the ones I owned but hadn’t read yet. But that just makes me excited to get cracking in ’18. Congrats to Stephanie, happy reading! And Happy Reading New Year to you all.


      Thank you, Michelle! That’s how I feel about Mistaken and These Dreams – seeing them win the Readers’ Choice votes has me even more excited to read them soon!

      Hope you enjoy all your reads, my friend! Happy 2018 to you!


    Oh man, yes, its a bear to narrow down this past year’s gems. Glad it was you and not me who had to do it. LOL I didn’t read as much Austenesque this year, but I am tickled to see several I read or at least bought to read in your favs. And woohoo to seeing both Dangerous to Know and The Darcy Monologues make yours and the readers’ vote lists.

    Looking forward to another wonderful year of books! 🙂


      LOL! It was! 😉 Thank you so much for your contributions to both those anthologies – they were such special collaborations and I am thrilled they came to fruition! <3

      Hope you enjoy a wonderful 2018, my friend!


    Meredith, how awesome! Congratulations to all the authors that won. Several I have not read yet and the others… I agree completely. Yep, they should win. Thanks Meredith.


    I’m thrilled Mary and the Captain made your list of favorites this year, Meredith! What a wonderful way to kick off 2018. Happy New Year and thank you!


    Wow, I am over the moon to see These Dreams as a reader pick! Deeply honoured, everyone, thank you. There are so many fantastic books listed here. What a year 2017 was for JAFF!


    Oh goodness. When I see these books I realize how far behind in reading I am! Thanks for the recs, Meredith. I’m particularly thrilled to see a couple of my faves from their AHA days making your top 2017 list. These authors started out humbly sharing with readers for free and have gone on to wonderful success as published books. Congrats to all!


      I’m very behind too, Suzan! Too many great authors to keep up with! 😉 It is great that so many authors are publishing their books!! I’m so thankful for these stories, they bring such happiness and entertainment to the JAFF community!


    Congrats to all the authors on your year-end list! And thanks for including the anthologies (Dangerous to Know, and The Darcy Monologues). Have a great 2018, Meredith!


      The anthologies were such amazing collaborations – both so different from each other! Loved each and every story and cannot wait for more! 🙂 I’m so thankful to you all for all the stories you’ve shared this year! Wishing you all the best in 2018!


    I loved Mary and the Captain so glad to see it was one of your favourites too. I love it when lesser characters get a chance to shine!


      Yay! Absolutely, this was such a great Mary story – it didn’t change her completely, but some of her propensities were softened or channeled differently. I really enjoyed it, and I’m so glad you did too!


    Happy New Year, Meredith! Fantastic choices! I haven’t read all of those books but I definitely plan to!
    My favourite Austenesque reads were: The Other Mr. Darcy, Sway, Venetia and book #2 and #3 of A Fair Prospect. Plus, I re-read Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. 🙂


      Happy New Year to you, Maria! I love seeing your favorites!!! Such great choices! I think in years past I’ve listed The Other Mr. Darcy, Venetia and A Fair Prospect as my favorites too! Wishing you many wonderful reads inn 2018!


    So touched to see A Quest for Mr Darcy on your list, Meredith!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! <3

    Congratulations to all the authors who made it to the list and also who were voted for by readers! What an amazing year 2017 was for JAFF!!


      Absolutely, Cass! It was such a fantastic story!! Loved your characters, the fun premise you invented, and the swoony romance *sigh* Thanks for sharing such a gem!


    What a great way to start the New Year! I’m so thrilled so many readers chose Conceit & Concealment as a favorite and that it made your list, especially since year must have been a really tough year to choose favorites. Congrats to all the other authors as well!


      It is always fo much fun to reflect back on which stories are the most memorable and special to you! Fond memories! 🙂 Congrats on being not only one of my favorites, but a favorite of many others!! Thank you for sharing your lovely story with us!


    great choices! congratulations to the winners!



    This is tremendous! For both “The Darcy Monologues” & “Dangerous To Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues” to make her best of 2017 list … And then also be in the Reader’s Choice awards…I feel like Miss Bates. No words but haven’t stopped talking about it! Loved seeing Karen M Cox’s “I Could Write a Book” get an HONORABLE MENTION, too. It really is an honor to be acknowledged and I hope my DreamTeam of authors feels proud of these projects. I am so blessed to have worked with them. What #DreamTeamMoments! #ILoveBestOfListSeason

    Thank you, Meredith, for this and for supporting Indie books and the genre. My heart is full.


      LOL! So cute to imagine you as Miss Bates! 😉 You set the bar high with your anthologies this year – they truly are magnificent works! And I’m so glad to see I’m not the only one who thought so!! Congrats to you and your DreamTeam all the praise and recognition is very much deserved!!!!


    Congratulations, Everyone! Thanks, Meredith, for including Particular Attachments in your honorable mentions!


    Happy New Year Meredith! A great list congrats to all the finalists and to Stephanie! Looking forward to more reading fun this year!


    Thanks for sharing your favourites for last year with us, Meredith and many congrats to the lucky winner.

    I’ve read six of your thirteen and the remainder are on my planet-sized TBR list. My favourites were, in order:

    1. A Quest for Mr. Darcy – although it became nicknamed “The Beast”, it was a long book that simply didn’t seem like one. Cas writes Regency so beautifully and I just love her characterisations of Darcy and Elizabeth in this.

    2. The Darcy Monologues – an entire set of stories from Darcy’s POV. What’s not to like? Can’t wait to listen to the audio version.

    3. The Darcy’s Hope Saga – WWI was a new setting for me and it fitted so well. Very much looking forward to more Great War tales from Ginger Monette.

    Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter was one of my favourites from 2016, and I’ve only just finished Dangerous to Know, so that’s my six from your list. Must bump Conceit and Concealment up that TBR list!


      Aw, thank you, Anji. ❤️ I’m so touched Quest was a favourite for you last year too! ❤️


      I know what you mean about planet-sized TBRs!!! 😉 I’m hoping I can catch up a little more in the next few months. With the cold winter weather it is so much better to stay inside and read! ; Thanks so much for sharing your favorites! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the ones that you’ve read! I hope you like Conceit and Concealment just as much…I have a feeling you will! 😉


    Fantastic list! Mine will be posted tomorrow, and we have some similar ones! 😉


      Tomorrow Anna? I got the email and have tried 3 times to open the post but got ‘page not found’ . Well at least I now know why. I’ll try again tomorrow


      I greatly enjoyed checking out your list, Anna! So fun to see which books we both share and to get some recommendations from you on which ones I need to read soon! 😉 Thanks so much for your comment!


    What an honor to have the the Darcy’s Hope Saga chosen alongside so many other great stories! Thanks so much, Meredith, and congrats to all the other authors!


    Thank you so much for including ‘The Darcy Monologues’ and ‘Dangerous to Know’ among so many wonderful reads! It really was a banner year for JAFF!


    Thanks SO MUCH for your wonderful words, Meredith, they mean the world to me!! I can’t tell you how happy I am that you felt as you did about ‘Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter’, and that ‘The Darcy Monologues’ and ‘Dangerous to Know’ are among your 2017 faves. Huge thanks to you and your readers and congrats to all the authors on your 2017 Austenesque Reviews and Readers’ Choice lists!


      It was a gorgeous story, Joana! One I adore. Thank you so much for sharing it with the world! And thank you for sharing all your wonderful stories in both TDM and D2K! 😉 Love seeing anything you write!


    I want to read…Mary and the Captain!


      Great choice! I think you will love it! Just saw your list and was so happy to see we shared some favorites! I can’t wait to read some on your list that I haven’t read yet! 🙂


    Thanks for sharing your list of favourites with us Meredith! I always love to see if we have some in common or not, and of course, we always do 🙂 It’s funny because we both add to our lists books we read in the current year but that were published in previous years, so we always have some books in common on our lists that were the others favourites on a different year like MBDD for example.
    There are a couple on your list that I have not read yet, such as Conceit and Concealment, but that I will read now for certain.
    I am also going to move Mistaken up in my TBR list because if it is on your readers top 3 it has got to be goooood!

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