Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Authors
When I heard that authors from Indie Jane Press were collaborating together to create an Austen-Inspired short story anthology, I thought it a terrific idea! Then, when I learned the stories were to be holiday-themed and full of “Christmas Cheer,” I was thrilled (who doesn’t love Christmas stories?!?) And… when I discovered that the stories were to be modern-day adaptations, one story for each of Jane Austen’s major novels, I was…excessively excited! How perfect and brilliant! What more could we ask for?
I hope you find this breakdown helpful!
THE WORK OF AN INSTANT – Jennifer Becton
The Premise: Anne Elliot spots her former fiancé in a coffee shop – does she run and hide or stay and face the man who stole her heart…
What I Loved: The clever way all these characters were updated – Anne is a doctor on a naval base, Dr. Russell is her superior, and Louisa and Henrietta are nurses. I also loved Frederick’s email, Camo Santa, and the enchanting and whimsical Christmas magic that surrounds this tale of second chances!
MISCHIEF AND MISTLETOE – Melissa Buell
The Premise: Cate Morland has new adventures and experiences when she is asked to create a set of costumes for a Dickens’ Christmas Festival in Santa Barbara…
What I Loved: That Cate remakes dresses! I loved learning about the fabrics and designs she was using as well as the orders from her Sew-Easy site she had to fill (one order was for three sisters by the name of Dashwood!) Cate was adorable with her innocence and artlessness – I’d love her for a BFF.
A TALE OF THREE CHRISTMASES – Rebecca M. Fleming
The Premise: After their father’s death, Maggie discovers one last gift from him in her special hiding place. However this gift comes with instructions and bit of Christmas magic…
What I Loved: What a unique way to tell the story!! I loved seeing everything through Maggie (Margaret’s) eyes. 🙂 Her connection with her father was so sweet and moving. Their words to each other were so heartwarming and I loved learning of their relationship. One of my faves!
WITH LOVE, FROM EMMA – Cecilia Gray
The Premise: At her friend wedding Emma finally comes to terms with her feelings for flirtatious, probably-a-play-boy, Lance Knightley, but Emma is positive Lance only thinks of her as a friend…
What I Loved: How it was written! The story takes place in present-day at Taylor and West’s wedding, but has a flashback every so often that reveals Emma’s history with Lance. The flashbacks were filled with lovely “moments!” Loved sexy Lance and I loved how Emma was so clueless around him (so endearing)!! Loved the bee theme too! One of my faves!
IT’S A WONDERFUL LATTE – Jessica Grey
The Premise: An angel named Jane is sent to help out Evie St. Laurent, a manager at Mansfield Perk, who has her head turned by a gorgeous man…
What I Loved: That Jessica Grey, who I know has an intense aversion for Mansfield Park, wrote this!! Such a great concept with the gender swap and Clarence-like guardian angel! I’ve loved seeing Jane’s chats with Evie about her novels and I loved the witty repartee between Jane Austen and Mr. Clemens.
PRIDE AND PRESENTS – Kimberly Truesdale
The Premise: The Bennet family run Longbourn Community Center, Liz encourages her father to retire early because she is confident she can handle everything for the Christmas season, including renewing their lease and non-profit status…
What I Loved: How the whole family worked together at Longbourn Community Center and seeing all the holiday festivities everyone was involved with. Their crafts and kids performance sounded adorable. I enjoyed the twist with Mr. Collins and Wickham, and seeing our hero come in and save the day!
CONCLUSION: Six holiday-inspired tales that are warm, merry, and bright crafted by six creative and skilled story-tellers, who I can tell, admire Jane Austen and her novels as much as I do! I enjoyed discovering all the ways these stories echoed and paid tribute to Jane Austen’s six beloved novels and characters. And I absolutely loved how the stories were connected to each other with Mansfield Perk (an awesome coffee chain that I so very much want to visit in real life!!! Pretty please…can I?) and other businesses. A splendid collection that was exceptionally executed!