Sep 152017

A Thoughtful and Reverent Retelling of Emma

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

While she may be “handsome, clever, and rich,” Emma Woodhouse finds herself living a life not entirely of her own choosing. In 1973 she left the university that was her mother’s alma mater to come home and live with and care for her father who suffered from a debilitating stroke. And even though she is soon to be graduating, she doesn’t have the ability to up and go live a new city or begin a full-time career. But Emma isn’t one to complain. Her family is her world and she would happily sacrifice her freedom to take care of them and be what they need – no questions about it! However, sometimes, Emma cannot help but feel a little envious towards those that are able to lead a different life – whether it be moving away from their hometown, having a noble profession, or just following their dreams…

Even though Emma keeps herself pretty busy with her course work, managing her father’s house, and tending to her father’s care, she has time to lend assistance and guidance to those in her circle of dear friends and family. She touts herself as a “born matchmaker,” but as Emma will soon learn the game of love is often more complex and risky than it seems… Continue reading »

Apr 252016

unfrontSpies and Speculation

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

CIA, the Cold War, counterintelligence spies? Doesn’t sound like your typical Pride and Prejudice retelling, does it? Oh no, my friends, it certainly is not!

Freshly minted officer Elizabeth Bennet, who specializes in linguistics, is assigned a covert mission to investigate the famous and memorably arrogant William Darcy. Chosen because of her fluency in Hungarian, Elizabeth travels to Budapest to be Darcy’s interpreter, all the while studying his actions to determine if he is indeed a double agent botching up missions and leaking information to the enemy.

Very true to their natures, Darcy and Elizabeth don’t think very much of each at their first meeting. Darcy assumes Elizabeth is too “wet-behind-the-ears” and Elizabeth believes he is an infuriating jerk with no heart. Now of course, Elizabeth’s opinion may be slightly colored by the incriminating tale she heard from fellow counterintelligence officer, George Wickham. Who was quick to share how Darcy’s actions (and inaction) in Prague, makes him believe Darcy might be going rogue… Will Elizabeth be able to discover the truth or is Darcy’s career in the CIA virtually over? Continue reading »

Nov 152013

ATEOTS14iA Young Man’s Coming-of-Age

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Note: I know this book isn’t marketed or labeled an Austenesque novel, but I found it to be one. It isn’t a tradition retelling or modern-day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but readers can clearly see that this story was inspired and influenced by Pride and Prejudice and it’s characters. Similar to Find Wonder in All Things, At the Edge of the Sea definitely felt Austenesque.

In Pride and Prejudice,Darcy and Elizabeth are separated by social standing, upbringing, and wealth – in At the Edge of the Sea, Karen Cox creates an even bigger chasm between her principal characters by making Billy Ray the son of an evangelist preacher and Lizzy Quinlan the town’s “sadder but wiser girl” with a reputation for being “fast and loose.” Taking us back to the summer 1959, Karen Cox tells the story of a young man and how his decision to show compassion to another person changes him, changes her, and changes the course of their lives. Continue reading »