Jun 272019

A Dangerous and Romantic Adventure for Mr. Edward Gardiner

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Prequel, Secondary Character

TIME FRAME: Begins around 11 years before Pride and Prejudice

SYNOPSIS: A young Mr. Gardiner comes across an injured boy (named Matthew) in the woods in Derby in need of some aid. After spending some time with the boy and learning his circumstances and remarkable gift with numbers, Mr. Gardiner decides to bring on the young man as his assistant. However, Matthew has some odd quirks about him and offers very little information regarding his past. But what puts Mr. Gardiner perhaps more at ease is when Matthew’s friend Miss Grant sends Mr. Gardiner a letter…and that letter progresses into a relationships of sorts. One that embroils Edward in an unexpected and dangerous adventure!


  • Featuring the Gardiners!: I love when authors turn to secondary characters and tell readers what happens next, but it is equally as enthralling when they tell readers what happened before. Which I am sure it is a little more challenging because the author doesn’t have full freedom and there is a bit of a spoiled ending (since readers probably know what happens in the future). I read The Courtship of Edward Gardiner just a few months back (and loved it) and I am happy to read another tale that spotlights this dear couple!
  • An Admirable Hero: Oh yes, we know he is a doting husband, an intelligent businessman, and affable company, but here is where readers can see Mr. Gardiner as a hero. His kind concern towards others, his selflessness and sympathy, and his honorable integrity are all traits readers see Mr. Gardiner employ in this tale. Edward Gardiner is indeed worthy of our admiration and I very much approved of both his sterling character and his very human reactions to the situations he in which he was placed.
  • More to Mrs. Gardiner: In P&P we learn that Mrs. Gardiner is amiable, beloved by her nieces, and a reliable informant about current fashions. But in this story readers encounter someone who is so much more…I loved that Mrs. Gardiner’s character was so unorthodox and spirited! She shares some impertinent and outspoken habits with her niece, but also has some surprising proclivities and abilities of her own. This version of Mrs. Gardiner (before she was Mrs. Gardiner) was an unexpected delight and I think readers will marvel at her unknown history and character.
  • An Exhilarating Adventure: I greatly enjoyed all the riveting action in this story! Aside from young Matthew being rescued and the mystery surrounding him, there is a masquerade ball, clandestine meetings between lovers, sinister attacks, and travels overseas to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I greatly appreciate the engaging blend of elements and events. And I was thrilled to take a trip to a new place and learn about its history.
  • Senior Mr. Darcy: Those Darcy men cannot help but earn our devotion… Mr. George Darcy is featured quite excellently in this tale. While he isn’t a key player, he takes an active role in investigating some mysterious activity at a nearby estate. Showing us with his determination, just sense of right, and indefatigable attention to duty that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


  • The only thing I can comment on is that one or two circumstances/relationships in this story are not reflected/don’t tie in to Pride and Prejudice, but that really cannot be helped as I wouldn’t have wanted this story to go any differently.


The Assistant is a fantastic and enthralling Pride and Prejudice prequel that features Jane Austen’s beloved characters, some Heyer-esque and Shakespearean plot twists, and exquisitely detailed backdrops of Georgian England and Nova Scotia. A perfect choice for readers who adore Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner!

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  24 Responses to “The Assistant – Riana Everly”


    This sounds like a wonderful read. Another book added to my very long wish list.


    This has been on my list for a while, thank you so much for this lovely review Meredith.
    As you know I usually concentrate my reading on Darcy and Elizabeth stories but my favourite secondary characters are the Gardiners and Colonel Fitzwilliam so I will read this eventually.


    This was a delightful review Meredith. I have it on my wish-list. Thanks for sharing. Say hello to your Mr. Bingley.


    Interesting. I have always admired the Gardiners except in one story in which Mrs. Gardiner was trying to marry Elizabeth off just as Mrs. Bennet usually does. Thanks for your review…excellent as usual.


    Insightful and intriguing review. Well done!


    Absolutely loved this one too! Great review and love your enthusiasm!


    Thank you so much for the lovely review. I’m trilled you enjoyed the book.


    I forgot about this one and remember being very excited to read it. Thanks for putting it back on my radar, Meredith. Enjoyed your review!


    I’m so glad you liked this and rated it so highly. I love P&P stories that heavily feature the Gardiners. And I too just loved The Courtship of Edward Gardiner. I have The Assistant in my TBR and I’ve just got to get to it soon. When it first came out I was very excited about the story. I think for a golden handful of months then we had an enormous number of top shelf authors publishing their new works and in a lot of cases I’m still catching up on those. Thanks for the great review.


      Awesome! I’m glad this is one you want to read! I think you will love it! We are so lucky that these wonderful authors are keeping us forever busy with their terrific stories! We will never catch up, but I don’t think that is too terrible!


    The author shared this exciting story while working on it and it was full of mystery, love and surprises. I enjoyed how this filled in the backstory for two well-loved characters, almost a bit of a prequel.


    I’m so glad to see another story about the Gardiners! . In fact, for my birthday in September I’ ve asked “The courtship of Edward Gardiner” as I remember you liked it so much 😉
    And now , with this new novel of Riana Everly I’m going to put it in my wishlist (maybe for Christmas?LOL).
    A friend of mine is currently reading “Teaching Eliza ” and enjoying it a lot so with her opinión and yours I have no doubt the new novel of Riana Everly will be a fantastic choice! .
    Have fun this weekend!


      Me too! That is a wonderful choice for your birthday, Teresa! You will love both these books I think! And they both are quite different from each other so that is fun. 😉

      Teaching Eliza was wonderful too! I cannot wait to read more by Riana Everly!


    Thanks for another thoughtful review! Looking forward to reading this, though first on my list of books about P&P secondary characters is The Courtship of Edward Gardiner, which I added to my list after your review of that book. So many good books, so little time… 🙂


      Thanks for checking out this review, Christina! Excellent choice! I loved that one. So happy there are stories written about these dear characters!

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