Jan 022017

For over 13 years now I’ve been a reader and admirer of Austenesque literature and for the past 7 years Austenesque/JAFF novels have been the bulk of what I read.  I’m so grateful that there are so many authors who are continuously supplying this small, niche of a sub-genre with so many wonderful and beautiful stories!  They truly are a special gift to us readers!

For me this year, the happiness these books brought was, indeed, a very special and timely gift.  2016 was a little bit of a challenging year in someways due to Mr. Bingley’s surgery and recovery and some work challenges I faced.  Some days I would come home pretty dejected and worn.  Reading these happy stories of Jane Austen’s characters became a big solace and comfort to me throughout these harder days and weeks.

I imagine this might be true for a lot of us at some point in our lives.  Thank you so much authors for helping us through tougher times!!

I loved so much of what I read in 2016!  62 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!

Here are my 12 (ahem…technically 14!) Austenesque Reviews’ Favorites for 2016!


…and the awards go to…


for Favorite Pride and Prejudice Variations

A Fair Prospect Series by Cassandra Grafton

Thank you, Cassandra!  This has to be one of the most eloquent and captivating series I’ve ever read and am completely enamored with your portrayal of Mr. Darcy!!

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Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile

Thank you, Laura!  You did the unthinkable with this imaginative story – you made me wish for Elizabeth Bennet to fall in love with Mr. Collins!!

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Miss Darcy’s Companion by Joana Starnes

Thank you, Joana!  You put the shoe on the other foot and gave us a beautiful, sensitive, and gloriously impassioned story of Elizabeth Bennet falling impossibly in love with Mr. Darcy!

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The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet by Caitlin Williams

Thank you, Caitlin!  I am utterly in love with this unconventional and dynamically different variation you crafted!  What an emotional journey!

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 for Favorite Austenesque Retelling

Longbourn’s Songbird by Beau North

Thank you, Beau!  I love how deep, thoughtful, and stirring this unique retelling is, it definitely had me completely consumed!

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for Favorite Austen-Inspired Originals

Jane Austen Lives Again by Jane Odiwe

Thank you, Jane!  I adored seeing Jane Austen alive in 1925 with a house full of young heroes and heroines to manage!  Such an inventive tale!

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The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James

Thank you, Jenetta!  This enchanting and remarkable story was utterly beautiful!  I completely loved your creative concept, dual story-lines, and brilliantly-drawn characters.

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for Favorite Austenesque Sequel

Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne

Thank you, Pamela! I loved seeing the continuation of these lovable and engaging characters!  I admire your creativity, fearlessness, and entertaining twists!

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for Favorite Non-Austenesque Novels

A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner

Thank you, Cat!  I cherish this story and the amazing characters you lovingly crafted!  It was such a moving, emotive, and poignant romance!

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Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Thank you, Julianne!  I am completely in love with this exquisitely sincere romance and I simply adore Philip and Marianne!

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The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Thank you, Julie!  This is a breathtakingly beautiful Regency romance and I was completely absorbed by the complex and delicate situation in which you placed your hero and heroine!

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Venetia by Georgette Heyer

Thank you, Ms. Heyer!  I adore Venetia, I think she must be one of my favorite Heyer heroines and Damerel was such a lovable hero.  It was just perfect!

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And as you may remember, I asked for write-ins votes from the readers of this blog to help me award some very special Austenesque novels that were published this year.  Thank you to all who voted, I loved learning what your favorites were!!

Well, there were 35 different Austenesque books nominated in total for this award and the top three that got the most votes which will be specially recognized as Austenesque Reviews Readers’ Choice Favorites are…

The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet by Caitlin Williams


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Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes


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The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James


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Woot woot for these fabulous books and authors!!!!

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

~ Past Awards ~

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

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

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  57 Responses to “Austenesque Reviews’ Favorites of 2016!!!”


    Wow! Thank you, Meredith! I’m honored to see Longbourn’s Songbird among so many amazing titles like ‘The Elizabeth Papers’ and ‘The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet’ (two of my favorite reads of 2016). Happy New Year and here’s to many great reads in 2017!


      Oh thank you for saying so! I know this was last year’s book and this year everyone is celebrating The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy! But I do LS so much and it was such a fantastic read! Wishing you a happy 2017!!


    Wonderful list with some wonderful books, Meredith! I’ve read some of them, but as always, so glad there are more out there 🙂 Thanks for the list, and for your blog – and Happy New Year!


    I’m happy to see one of my favourites made your Reader’s Choice awards, Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter was a fabulous read. I just wish I had shares in tissues before it was released!!!! I have read most of the JAFF books – all great and I have been reading and re-reading Georgette Heyers’ books for many many years and this is one of my also many favourites. I will be reading A Moment Forever at some point this year because I absolutely love all the other books Cat has written. The only reason I haven’t read it yet is because it isn’t about Darcy & Elizabeth 🙁 but I know I will love it anyway.) Thanks for all your lovely posts in 2016 and I look forward to 2017. The only problem I have is on your new site there is no box to tick to get follow up comments so i sometimes lose track!


      Hi Glynis! Thank you so much for voting! I cannot wait to read that one by Joana Starnes! To see it receive so many votes made me wish I could read it straight away! Will make sure I have some tissues handy!

      You will love A Moment Forever! Cat is such a talented writer she does so much in that story! It quite a comprehensive journey!

      LOL! That is one of my goals for January 2017! I do want to make that feature available to you and there are ways to do it, I just have to set up time to do it and make sure I install the plug-in correctly! (I’m not the most tech-savvy!) But hopefully I can fix this soon!


    Yay!! Thank you, Meredith! I’m so happy and grateful that you enjoyed Family Portraits as much as you did. Thanks for grouping me with these fantastic ladies. I hope you have a wonderful 2017!


      Absolutely, Pamela! You do such wonderful things with these characters and I adored how you told this story through chunks of time and letters! Wishing you all the best in 2017!


    Thank you so much, Meredith, for including Darcy By Any Other Name on your Favorites list. It was a gamble, allowing my quirky sense of humor free reign, and I did not know how the Austen community would respond. Astonishing to see how many readers have enjoyed this story.

    It’s because of reviewers like you that we discover so many enjoyable reads. On behalf of all of the Austen fiction writers (and readers too) , I thank you.


      Of course, Laura! Your wonderful and inventive story belongs on this list! I love your sense of humor and I’m so glad to see how many readers enjoyed this story! Very well deserved!

      Thank you for such lovely words! I hope you have a fantastic 2017!!


    Someone needs to hit me over the head with something, I must be dreaming. I’m honoured to be one of your favorite reads of 2016, Meredith, particularly as it has been such a bountiful year for JAFF, with some beautiful, original stories on offer. It is even more thrilling that your reader’s took the time and effort to vote for ‘ The Coming of Age’ too. I will raise a glass to celebrate tonight, and thank you.


      Oh it was such a definite thing – your being on this list, Caitlin! Your story shook me up and had me riveted! I’m very excited that it won the reader vote too! Glad to know I’m not the only one who is supremely in love with it!!! Very big congrats to you, all this recognition and validation is well-deserved! Happy 2017!


    Meredith, I am very honoured to be included in your Austenesque Reviews’ Favorite List of 2016 along with a fabulous list of authors I admire. Thank you so much for considering my novel – you’ve truly made my year!


      Hugs, Jane! I loved this story so much! It was so original, so much fun, such a brilliant cross of things I love like Mary Poppins and Downton Abbey! It totally belongs on this list! Wishing you a wonderful 2017!!


    Fabulous list, Meredith! I’ve loved every story you have read here and your list is amazing. Thanks for bringing some great new reads to my attention!!

    I hope 2017 brings you more wonderful reads.


      Thank you, Claudine! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed my list! I still need to go check out yours, but I’m sure it has many terrific reads! Wishing you all the best in 2017!


    Excellent selections, Meredith. Those that remained on my TBR list just moved to the top, thanks to you!


      Thank you, Suzan! I appreciate you checking out my list and sharing your thoughts! I hope you love any new reads you try!


        I forgot to mention that the readers choice awards are not surprising to me. So not surprising that I voted for some of the 35 “sleepers” knowing most would vote for these excellent books and their position was secure! Leap of faith, of course, but I had to acknowledge some books I adored that had less of a buzz. There were just too many exceptional books this year! Thanks for hosting this excellent opportunity for us readers.


    Thank you Meredith. I’m going back to work in the morning (it is about 8pm UK time) and I will now do so *on a cloud*! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed reading The Elizabeth Papers and that others have enjoyed it too. Its a real honour to see “her” there among all of these excellent books. Congratulations to you on your prodigious reading, thoughtful reviewing and the continuing excellence of AR!:-)


      Oh, hugs, Jenetta! I’m so happy you feel that way! The Elizabeth Papers was such a fantastic idea and the way you told the story was so brilliant! I’m so grateful you wrote and published such a beautiful story! Thank you for all the kind words and visits to AR! I love having you join in our discussion!


    I am so happy for all these writers. #ILoveBestOfListSeason I really do. What a fantastic list. So many of my favorites! I’m thrilled you loved “Longbourn’s Songbird” too and that “The Elizabeth Papers” was also a Readers’ Choice. Both books are still finding their legs and this is such validation for the authors’ efforts!

    Thank you, Meredith, for supporting the genre as you do and for sharing your love of dear Jane. Happy New Year!


      It has been a busy week for you, my dear! 😀 Thank you so much for sharing the works for these lovely authors and for encouraging them to write such fantastic stories! You do so much to support this genre and make it thrive! I know I’m a year late for Longbourn’s Songbird, but it truly is one of the most remarkable and memorable books I’ve read this whole year. I love it!

      Thanks for all you do, Christina! I’m so grateful!


    Congratulations to the wonderful authors who produced such amazing works this year. I was delighted to read the list and always compare mine with yours, Meredith. One that particularly pleased me was Edenbrooke. I LOVED that story from the first word to the last. It’s one of my go-to books when I’m needing distraction for one medical treatment or another. In fact, it’s probably time to take it out and dust it off again.

    As a lover-of-lists, thanks for your excellent work after such a long trip.


      Hi Joy! Thank you so much for checking out my list!!! I’m thrilled to hear you loved Edenbrooke! *sigh* whenever I come across the title I just stop and think of all my favorite parts of the story! It really is so lovely, isn’t it?

      Thanks so much for all your support and kindness, Joy! I hope 2017 brings you lots of happiness and love!


    Blessed the books which become our best friends in our routine life!
    I like your awards a lot, they’re great choices 😉


      Thank you, Teresa! There were a few more I could mention here (I gave out 25 5 star ratings this year!) But I think these are the ones that most deserve a special spotlight. Hope you are having a lovely 2017 so far!


    Amazing books up there along with a few I missed but look forward to reading soon!


    What a fantastic list,Meredith.

    Thank you for sharing!

    This month I hope to read Cat Gardiner’s ‘A Moment Forever’.

    Happy reading,Metedith.


    Wow. Wow! Thank you, Meredith! <3. I'm floating on cloud nine with happiness! Congratulations to all the authors included in this impressive list. Just writing and publishing a novel is an amazing accomplishment, but to receive such recognition … wow. I'm so happy that A Moment Forever touched your heart! Wishing you and Mr. Bingley a blessed 2017!


      Hi Cat! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, beautiful story! It is one I will remember and cherish and most definitely reread! I cannot wait to see what you write next! Hope your 2017 is off to a wonderful start!


    I love when you do lists and reviews like this, Meredith! Thank you! It helps direct me to great reads.


    Triage! Such a help in the glutted world of Austenesque and JAFF fiction. We all appreciate everything you do to guide us through the maze, and lead us to expected and unexpected delights! Happy new year to you and Mr. Bingley.


    There were definitely some fantastic books released this year. I have no idea how you narrowed it down. 🙂 These are all worthy books and authors and glad to see them getting a shout out. I’ve read most on the list, but there are a couple still needing my attention.

    Wishing you a happy 2017!


      Hi Sophia! It was not easy to narrow it down! Goodness, I want to list so many more phenomenal books! Thanks for checking out my list!! Hope you have a lovely 2017 filled with many terrific reads!


    Meredith!! Thank you SO much! <3

    I've only just properly returned to social media after the long break and just seen this! I am so so happy you loved reading A Fair Prospect! <3

    Thank you for all you do to support and promote those who love to write Austen inspired works! I adored your reviews!


      HI Cassandra! You know I did! That trilogy is so fantastic! Thank you so much for writing it and sharing it with the world!

      Hope you enjoyed some lovely travels and a very happy start to 2017!!


    I have read almost all of those and they are certainly on the top of my list of favorites for 2016. I love so many it would be very difficult for me to select just a few…but you seem to have done so and I applaud your choices. I have not read The Painter’s Daughter although I have read other books by that author. And I have not read Jane Austen Lives Again or Family Portraits…on my TBR pile.

    Thanks for sharing with us. Happy New Year.


    Glad to see we share some of the same favorites! Happy new year!


    The three volumes of A Fair Prospect were one (!) of my Desert Island Five two years ago, you may remember, Meredith. It’s still there today, though it’d probably have to be a Desert Island Ten or Twenty nowadays. So much good stuff has been published in the past two years.

    I’ve read three of the others, two more are on my TBR list and the rest as ever are on the Wish List. I’m currently comparing my TBR list to the size of a small moon and continuing that analogy, my Wish List is probably nearer the size of Jupiter! Of the Readers’ Choice books, Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daighter is the only one I’ve read so far, but the other two are on the TBR list. It’d be interesting, at some point, to see the list of all of the titles that we suggested for the Readers’ Choice.


      Yes, Anji!! It truly is a special trilogy, isn’t it? I just adore it!

      I love your analogies! This year especially seemed a banner year for quantity and quality Austenesque!! How lucky for us readers!

      I thought of doing that for the Readers’ Choice, I was worried it might make the post super long though.


    I enjoy your blog a great deal– and your lists are so great.. I haven’t read any of these, but I will now! Thank you so much for the time you invest in writing about your experiences with these types of books. Also wondering if you are on goodreads with them all listed? Thanks- have a great day!


    <3 Thanks EVER so much, Meredith <3

    What an absolute delight it was to come back from the hols and find this!!! You and your readers are SO kind! Huge thanks, I'm over the moon to see 'Miss Darcy's Companion' and 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' on the 2016 faves list – WOW! THANK YOU!

    Have a fabulous New Year! Hope 2017 brings you and Mr B nothing but happiness, and that it brings you back to the UK. It'd be so great to see you again!


      Hugs, Joana! <3<3

      Miss Darcy's Companion was such a terrific read! I love the obstacles you placed and the beautiful way you describe the emotional turbulence and introspective moments both Darcy and Elizabeth face! Thank you for writing such wonderful stories!

      Congrats on being one of the Readers' Choice favorites! I'm thrilled for you! I can't wait to read Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter! I'm sure I will agree!

      Hope you and the family had a lovely holiday season and I hope 2017 brings you all the best!!

      Would l


    Needless to say that those books are all on my TBR list! 😀 I’m glad you added Edenbrooke to your favourites of 2016 (because I loved that one too ;)) and what can I say about dear Georgette Heyer? I loved every book I have read by her so far! Can’t wait to dive into my 2017 reading schedule! LOL!


      Oh both Edenbrooke and Venetia were such favorites with me, this list wouldn’t be complete without them! 🙂 Glad to hear the others are on your TBR list! 🙂 I can’t wait to read more Georgeette Heyer this year! Hope your 2017 reads are fantastic!!


    I looove posts like these! I’m gonna get everything here that I don’t already have yet 🙂

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