Oct 152018

Hi readers, it has been over a year since my last Austenesque Top Ten list, and I’m really happy to be sharing a new list (and a new list category!) with you today! I thought it would be fun to make some new categories besides favorite sequel, favorite variation, etc. I hope you like it!

Just like with my Pride and Prejudice Variations Top Ten lists, it is impossible for me to settle on just 10 books that feature amazing Austenesque angst! IM-POSS-I-BLE!!!!!

Do you know how many stellar emotionally turbulent Austenesque tales are out there!?!

And while most stories have some level of angst (light, moderate, heavy) this list focuses on those books that are on the heavier end of the spectrum. Stories that pull hard at the heartstrings, bring tears to our eyes, and overall make the reader feel anguish, anxiety, and intense emotions for these characters.

I am not talking about stories that have needless melodrama or that just keep throwing obstacles and misunderstandings around like they are going out of fashion. I am talking about the stories that deliver high levels of angst with plausibility and skill.

And since there are so many fantastic stories that do that, this list is broken into separate lists (more to enjoy, right?) 😉

Today’s list is for my favorite Austenesque works with high angst published from 2007-2014 – and for those who are good at math, yes this list has 14 books on it not 10. 😉

*I’ve included only books I’ve read on these lists, if you think a book is missing, it may be because I have not read it yet. 🙂


(in alphabetical order)

A Fair Prospect Trilogy (Volumes I-III)

Author: Cassandra Grafton

Type of Novel: Variation

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (for all three!)

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“If you are an ardent admirer of Pride and Prejudice variations, then you need to do yourself a favor and devour this expressive and eloquent trilogy, if you haven’t already! Filled with soul-searching, slow-paced exhilaration, and sweeping romance, Cassandra Grafton’s A Fair Prospect is definitely one of my favorites!”


By Force of Instinct

Author: Abigail Reynolds

Type of Novel: VariationMature Audiences

My Rating: *

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

*I read this one before starting my blog, but I do remember loving it and the emotionally wrought premise. Looks like I am way overdue for a reread! Will add a rating and review snippet when I do.



Author: C. P. Odom

Type of Novel: Variation

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

‘My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“Loved that this book was 2-in-1! The Road Not Taken, while completely heart-wrenching sort of reminded me of an Austenesque version of It’s A Wonderful Life – we got to see what Elizabeth’s life would have been like if she never encountered Darcy again after rejecting him… I loved how The Sleeper Wakes explored Elizabeth’s feelings and ideals. Elizabeth goes against her natural grain in this one and wrestles between Charlotte’s practical and prudent beliefs and her own partial and prejudiced ones.”


51nRaIxYZxL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Fitzwilliam Darcy: An Honorable Man

Author: Brenda J. Webb

Type of Novel: VariationMature Audiences

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“The premise had me spellbound; and the intense drama, evil plots, and danger were all well-constructed and skillfully executed. I enjoyed the author’s style and thought there was a great balance of dialogue, action, and flashbacks. The descriptions were vivid and the story was presented with just the right amount of detail. This adventure definitely had me consumed and when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about these characters and mulling over the drama in their lives.”


Morning Light

Author: Abigail Reynolds

Type of Novel: Modern AdaptationMature Audiences

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“In the second installment of her contemporary Austen-inspired series Abigail Reynolds brings readers back to the charming seaside village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts and paints a love story full of passion and pathos. A story about second chances, finding happiness, and healing. In Morning Light readers are introduced to Annie Wright, a widowed young woman with a sad and painful past, and Jeremy Matthiesen, a man who, after ten years of forced separation, is back again in Annie’s life and trying to tear down the barriers that surround her heart.”


Mr. Darcy’s Forbidden Love

Author: Brenda J. Webb

Type of Novel: VariationMature Audiences

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“Sure there are many times we’ve seen Darcy unable to follow his heart – either because of rejection, competition, family interference, etc. But this has to be one of the few times where I’ve seen Darcy’s hands truly tied. As a married man, he can’t pursue Elizabeth – he isn’t the type to have a mistress and his horribly wicked wife threatens ruin for Georgiana and the Darcy name if he divorces her.”


Mr._Fitzwilliam_Darcy_CoverMr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Last Man in the World/Last Man in the World

Author: Abigail Reynolds

Type of Novel: VariationMature Audiences

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“Abigail Reynolds is a very talented and gifted author that clearly loves Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice with a passion!…This is one of my favorite variations by Abigail Reynolds, I love how heartbreaking and emotional the story is.”


The Falmouth Connection

Author: Joana Starnes

Type of Novel: Variation

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“Brooding, fervent, persevering, frustrated, protective, and brave – Ms. Starnes’s depiction of Darcy in this novel is everything that is admirable and worthy, proving that Mr. Darcy is indeed the ultimate romantic hero!”


The Journey

Author: Jan Hahn

Type of Novel: Variation

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“Oh my, what a riveting and heart-pounding adventure! With a magnetizing and dangerous bad boy, a couple who believes their love for each other is unrequited, a damaged reputation, and the threat of scandal this novel had me consumed!”


The Madness of Mr. Darcy

Author: Alexa Adams

Type of Novel: Variation

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“Alexa Adams created a compelling and unique journey for our dear couple to traverse and I truly loved every minute of it! The ending was pure satisfaction in every sense of the word – all past sorrows were erased and I felt each character experienced healing and peace. I highly recommend this exquisitely crafted variation!”


The Subsequent Proposal

Author: Joana Starnes

Type of Novel: Variation

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“Achingly romantic and exquisitely expressive – The Subsequent Proposal is a beautifully blended story with our favorite, albeit mismatched, couples.”


Twilight of the Abyss

Author: Casey Childers

Type of Novel: Variation

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review   I   Add to Cart   I   Add to Shelf

“Oh what a poignant and heart-wrenching tale for our dear beloved Darcy and Elizabeth! There are many variations that create a torturous situation for Mr. Darcy, and there are several that give Elizabeth a healthy dose of suffering and yearning. But this scenario put both of them in despairing states as they are both in love and both understand the impossibility of a future together.”

If you liked this list and are a fan of stories with strong angst, check back next week as we will share the second part of this list!!


Have you read any of my favorite Austenesque Angst stories from 2007-2014?

Are any of them your favorites?


This is my fourteenth Austenesque Top Ten list.  You can find my other Top Ten lists HERE.

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  49 Responses to “Favorite Austenesque Angst (2007-2014) – Austenesque Top Ten”


    Hi Meredith

    I struggle with reading angst however, I have read The Journey and Joana Starnes’ books and managed to get through them and greatly enjoyed them too!


      That’s great, Michelle! I think it’s good to know that these authors will never make us suffer so without giving a happy ending!! Otherwise, I’m not sure if I’d read anything this angsty!!


    Great idea for a list! Abigail Reynolds’ angsty stories helped inspire me to read–and eventually write–JAFF. And I’ve enjoyed many of the other authors on your list.


      Thanks, Victoria! I thought it would be a fun category to group together. 🙂 I love hearing that you were inspired by Abigail Reynolds’s stories! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!!!


    SO many of my own favorites in this wonderful list! I especially have a special affection for Consequences by C P Odom! Such a powerful story. Made me weep! Then weep for joy.

    And I loved ABigail Reynold’s Morning Light. That’s my quote on the cover from when I reviewed at Austenprose way back when!


      Yay! I’m thrilled to hear that! 🙂 Yes, I think the reason I’m such a fan of angst (not just because I enjoy seeing my favorite characters tortured) is the powerful emotions they evoke. I love it when stories can do that!

      Oh awesome! Brilliant quote, love that you thought so highly of that story! I am still hoping one day for more Woods Hole stories!!! <3


    Oh my goodness! As you know I’m not a huge angst lover but I have actually read all but 4 of those!
    Apart from the last one, which I had never heard of, the other 3 are on my list so I hope to read them at some time.
    I do love your lists Meredith, thank you so much. I look forward to seeing how much angst I have read in your next list 🙂


      That’s awesome to hear, Glynis! I am very glad to hear you enjoyed so many on this list…I will be curious to hear what you think of the next list.

      So glad you enjoyed this list, my friend!!!


    I have read all but Twilight of the Abyss and I found that it is no longer available…sadly. I enjoyed all these stories. Thanks for sharing your list – I don’t know that I could narrow my list down to even 14 books since I read so many each year. Good for you – and thanks for all your hard work putting these lists together.


      The reason I’ve read Twilight of the Abyss was having it recommended to me by other readers and reviewers at the time. I am glad I did read it and I so wish the author would write more!! 🙂

      Thanks so much for checking out my list!


    I was humbled and surprised to find two of my books on the list. I do love writing and reading angst but there are so many good ‘angsty’ books available now that to make the list is an honor. Thank you for providing another great list because I found two I haven’t read yet. Off to grab them! Hugs.


      There was no way I could make this list and not have you on it, Brenda!!! Your angst is just the right blend – turbulent, believable, and inventive! Love it!! I’m so happy you found a couple of new stories to check out!!


    Thanks for doing these lists, I always find one or two I have missed. They get added to my never ending TBR list….


    Ah, the sweet pleasure of suffering! 😉 Great category for a list, Meredith!


    Fabulous list Meredith!
    Several of my favourites are on this list, especially Brenda Webb, Abigail Reynolds and C.P. Odom. A couple if them I haven’t read yet, the last one and the Alexa Adams. Perhaps they deserve to be pushed up on my TBR.
    I missed one book that to this day is the only one I have sneak peaked at the end because the angst was nigh on unbearable… The Darcy’s: The rulings of passion by Linda Berdoll.


      Thank you, Elin! I appreciate you saying so! I hope you enjoy the ones that you haven’t read yet.

      I did read The Darcys: The Ruling Passion, but I am sad to say I did not love it as much as I did Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife.


    Wow, Meredith! Thanks SO much for including ‘The Falmouth Connection’ and ‘The Subsequent Proposal’ in your Favourite Angst List 2007-2014! I read and loved all those books (except Morning Light, I haven’t read quite as many modern ones yet) and what a treat they’ve been! Thanks, Meredith, and thanks everyone for your wonderful stories!


    I would describe myself as angst-averse, yet I’ve read all but one of these books (go figure). This is a great list!


      That’s wonderful! I think readers who aren’t such a big fan of angst like most Austenesque stories with angst because authors do such a good job of making the angst plausible and then they gratify readers with a beautifully happy ending!


    What a splendid idea for a top 10! And, I do appreciate your distinction about unnecessary stuff not making the list b/c that is what generally gets me shying away from angsty books fast as can be. 😉

    I think there are only two that I haven’t read here and they are ones I hope to read at some point. Most of the ones I read are top books for me, too. So neat to see Morning Light on your list, it was one of the first Austenesques I ever read.


      Thank you, Sophia!! I’m glad you have read and enjoyed so many books on this list. 🙂

      That is lovely that Morning Light was one of your first Austenesque reads, it seems like it may be an unusual choice. I’d love to hear the story behind you discovering Austenesque!


    I love your top ten lists



    Great list, Meredith! As you know, I love your lists. I am a little surprised that The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice didn’t make this list because if I recall correctly, it’s the book before Morning Light and I felt like my organs had been put through a mangle when I read it! As a rule, I’m not keen on angst, but I think that’s sometimes because the angst is artificial, if the author has added more than is reasonable. If it’s believable angst it’s uncomfortably enjoyable if that makes any sense. Looking forward to the next list 🙂


      I agree with Ceri about angst and “The Man Who Loved…” “Morning Light” is the only book on the list I’ve read. I loved loved loved that heroine and hero of “The Man Who Loved…” appeared in in “Morning Light”… with the heroine stealing the show.


      Thank you, Ceri and Kirk! 🙂

      It is funny you both mention that book since it was the one I was debating myself about. I may have to reread that one to see if I feel the same as you do…If so, I’ll be sure to add that book here. My memory of it may be a little fuzzy, I remember thinking Morning Light was more gut-wrenching than “The Man Who Loved” which is why I have that one on this list.


    I’ve read all of Abigail Reynolds’ titles listed here; I borrowed them from the library so I don’t have my own copies. I’ve just reordered a few from the library to revisit them as I am a devoted re-reader of books. 😉

    I’ve also read Cassandra Grafton’s A Fair Prospect series and have been considering a re-read, too. I’ve read several books by Brenda J. Webb and Joana Starnes, but not these titles, so I’ve added them to my shelf and will check with my library first. I love writing reviews of them, too! 😀

    I wish I could just buy all the Kindle JAFF books I want, but my book budget is severely limited (as in little to none), so the library and Kindle sales are my saving grace. 😉

    Thanks for this amazing list, Meredith! I’m bookmarking this page so that I can return to it to order more books from the library!

    Susanne 🙂


      So happy to hear you enjoyed this list, Susanne! 🙂 I so want to reread these stories and many others! I’m hoping I will be able to slowly start doing that soon! I hope you enjoy all your rereads and enjoy the ones that are new to you! I do recommend Brenda’s and Joana’s books highly!!


    Love all of these books and I’m happy to see so many of my favorites here!


    Great list, Meredith. I have read most of these books and loved them too. I will be looking forward to reading the others. Most are on my TBR list, but I am not familiar with the last one.

    Thanks for sharing your favorites.


      Thank you, Janet! It is so sweet of you to check out this list and share your thoughts! 🙂

      That last one seems to be the most rarely read on this list. 😉 I hope others get a chance to read it soon!


    Meredith, I’m thrilled and honored! When I saw the topic of your new list, I came over to see it, thinking that Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World might have made your list, but I didn’t expect to see three of my books! And to think that when I first started writing, I was determined to avoid angst in my stories. Well, that phase didn’t last long. Good thing, as angsty JAFF seems to be in style right now. 🙂 You’ve got some other great ones on that list, too, and a couple I still need to read. Thank you!!!


      LOL! Yes, that book was maybe the first I read of this more emotional angst sort and I sooooooo loved it! It would not be possible for me to make this list without it! Gah! What you do to us. 😉

      I love learning that you were at first not wanting to write angst, looks like your muse and characters had other ideas! 😉

      Thank you so much for sharing about the list, I’m very honored!


    I’m honored to have The Journey included among your favorites, Meredith! So many good books and good writers out there, I don’t know how you ever pare these lists down to ten. I’m thrilled to see a list of angst books. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that type of list before.


      Thank you, Jan! I love your stories and I’m so thrilled you’ve shared them with world! 🙂 I’m glad you like this new category of lists! Sometimes the lists are hard to make, but most of the time they are fun! 🙂


    Oh wow! Thank you so much, Meredith, for including The Madness of Mr. Darcy on this list. And what a list it is, too! So many great books by some amazing authors and good friends. I’m thrilled for them all.

    I’m sorry to read the Casey Childers book is out of print. It’s a really powerful story.

    This new list idea is super intriguing. I can’t wait to see what else you contrive, Meredith. You are undoubtedly the queen of lists.


      I love the unique story you shared – it was just wonderful, Alexa! I’m not surprised to hear your praise for the books on this list – I remember seeing your reviews. 🙂 And it is because of you that I read Twilight of the Abyss! And yes, it is a shame as it is such a worthy read!!

      Thanks so much for sharing this list and for your kind words about it! I greatly appreciate it! LOL! I like that title! 😉


    Brenda Webb and Jan Hahn write books that are great reads–angst or no. So delighted to see three of the books I’ve edited acknowledged on your list, Meredith.


    I’m stunned to be included in this list, Meredith, and alongside so many amazing authors! Thank you for including me! (Sorry to be late to read this, I’m travelling!)


    Wow, I own most of the books listed on this list. They are most certainly tear jerkers. The last book on this list was unknown to me and not available on Kindle.

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