Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Falmouth Connection Giveaway Winners - By Joana Starnes

Hello everyone!
Today I announce the lucky winners of The Falmouth Connection, giveaway! 

I would like to say thank you to Joana Starnes for writing yet another wonderful story about my favorite couple D&E. Thank you Joana for kindly giving away a copy of this delightful book! I love Regency JAFF  & as it is Thanksgiving I am joining in with the holiday spirit along with my friends from across the pond and adding two Amazon Gift vouchers to the giveaway! 

Lastly I would like to thank everyone who stopped by and everyone who entered the giveaway. I hope you all get to read The Falmouth Connection very soon! So without further ado!

Congratulations ladies!!!
BrendaNZ you have won a e-book copy of The Falmouth Connection. Arjanne & Artamisa you have both won a $5 Amazon gift Voucher!

Please contact me with your details, (see my 'contact me' page at the top of my blog)

Thank you again to all that participated :)
(Winners picked using

    PaperBack              Kindle 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Falmouth Connection by Joana Starnes plus Giveaway!

Almost from the very beginning, I knew that I would like this book, if the size of my grin was anything to go by!
I have recently been reading modern JAFF and if done well they can be great reads. However it is books like 'The Falmouth Connection' that totally encompass my love for Regency JAFF and the great ones put me in D & E literary heaven :)

"That a grown man could be so put out by the vagaries of the English climate was bordering on the ridiculous. One would have thought he had been blessed with perpetual sunshine over the hills of Derbyshire!" - Joana Starnes

Beginning at Hunsford we get straight into the thick of the story, Darcy has yet to propose and Elizabeth has been summoned to Falmouth to join her family at the request of Mrs Bennet's aunt.
Mr Darcy and the Colonel are only too happy to offer escort to Elizabeth and her maid, albeit it be all the way to Falmouth. I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that Lady Catherine was displeased at the impropriety of two young men escorting Elizabeth alone, the maid not worthy of the title chaperone!

Despite Lady Catherine's objections,  Darcy and the Colonel are to escort Elizabeth. The latter aware that the former intends to propose and the former aware the latter will feign sleep on their journey. Not that a gentlemen of Mr Darcy's sensibilities would dream of proposing in a carriage with an audience, however when and how does he propose to do it? Lets just say there's no getting away from the 'last man in the world' speech when it comes to a good JAFF and it will eventually come, even if it is not in Hunsford but along the lovely coast of Falmouth. If Darcy is to win Elizabeth he's going to need more staying power than Bingley, all the amiability of the Colonel, a kind and compassionate author, all the while encroaching on the ambiguous hospitality of his love rival, Lord Trevellyan!

"As for the carriage, heaven help us! Aye, he would gladly have Fitzwilliam wait out in the rain - and perforce the poor blameless maid, into the bargain - but how the deuce was he to bare his soul to her, propose to her and, with any luck, kiss her - in his carriage, for goodness' sake? Or by the side of the road, like a common ploughboy? Or worse still, in the courtyard of a country inn, milling with all and sundry?" - Joana Starnes

I love books like this and I'll share why, as soon as the aforementioned carriage ride was confirmed I was skipping down a country lane in a bright summer dress, singing in a nursery rhyme manner, 'she's going to share a carriage with Darcy!' Most Janeites will be able to relate to the anticipation, excitement and joy that is rendered from such an event! "What will happen in the carriage?", "Will they speak?","What will they talk about?" & "Will he hand her into the carriage?" The delight that comes from observing, the inevitable close proximity that is an unavoidable consequence of sharing a carriage, is a delight that is barely related to in this day and age and is one of the many reasons I love reading books based in Jane's era. Joana created a seemingly innocent carriage journey with minimal dialogue, yet it conveyed a significant part of the story through body language, significant deductions of ones character, Mr Darcy's self reflection, the humour of the Colonel and Elizabeth's ready wit and kind nature. All from a carriage journey from Hunsford to Falmouth, just think what Hunsford to Gretna Green would be like, they'd go from Pride and Prejudice to married all in one day! ( I grant you not one day by carriage but by car, to be sure! )

The dialogue is delightful, Mr Darcy is amiable for most of the book! Although we know him to be taciturn in nature, this Darcy is Firth all the way, that smile when he told Mrs Gardiner (1995) that he used to run to Lambton as a little boy, the Darcy that rests his eyes on Elizabeth at the pianoforte at Pemberley (1995).

This book has it all, scoundrel Wickham, up to no good as per. An adorable and gullible Bingley who has his work cut out, when Jane does not welcome him with open arms (I do not blame her)! A witty Mr Bennet, who after witnessing his daughters being kissed, turns into the disciplinarian he should have been overnight! Lord Trevellyan, a rival for Elizabeth's affections, created the most heart rendering of scenes, between Lord Trevellyan and Darcy I did not know who to feel more sorry for. Mrs Bennet was great, I loved her matchmaking for once and she had my full approval. A fantastic Colonel who follows an unusual path to a happily ever after.
It is not often done but when authors make me like Lydia, it's gold stars all round, a surprising twist led me from shock to reconciliation, towards an idea so novel I had to smile.

"Mrs Bennet nervously prattled as she struggled with the daunting task of entertaining the most taciturn gentleman of her acquaintance, and holding him in place until she could ascertain whether her suppositions were in any way justified." 
"Heavens above, how positively vexing! Just how long can anyone stretch a picnic? Where on earth are you Lizzy? For goodness sake, come home now. enough is enough!"- Joana Starnes

 My absolute favourite part of the book is the night garden scene and from there I was sighing up until the last page. Joana sets the scene beautifully, the fear and adrenaline Elizabeth is feeling as a result of her walk through the woods in the pitch black of night sets the stage for a kiss that is executed perfectly.

"He did not linger there. Cards had never sparked his interest and were not likely to begin tonight. So he took another cup of punch from the obliging footman and returned to the parlour, steadfastly keeping his back to the great hall throughout - for he knew full well how badly he would have needed this final act of kindness, had the scales of Fortune been tipped the other way" - Joana Starnes

I was blissfully content to marvel in the absolute pleasure that I attained from the propriety and constraints of the Regency era which governed the direction of this book. 'The Falmouth Connection' has all the ingredients that a great P&P JAFF story should possess and I was hard pressed to find fault. Darcy & Elizabeth are adorably lovely in this heart warming story of true love.

This book is worthy of 5 Hearts - Mr Darcy!


Joana Starnes is kindly giving a copy of 'The Falmouth Connection', as a giveaway prize, comment on one reason you love Regency JAFF or leave a comment about the book. (open internationally)
Winner to be announced on the 27th Nov 14. Good Luck everyone! Thank you again Joana Starnes for the giveaway!

I received an Arc copy for my honest review.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Happy November/December Reading!

Happy November Reading everyone! I am doing a monthly update which also includes December! Christmas is fast approaching and my life is so busy Amazon has become my new best friend, tis a shame they do not cook and clean, I would have more time to read:)

Are you a Christmas early bird?  Did you have Christmas wrapped up and ready months ago or like me did you get a wake up call when you heard it was 40 days till Christmas!

I have been snatching moments whenever I can in order to read recently, trying keep some sort of semblance of balance in my life.
I recently read The Trials of the Honourable F. Darcy by Sara Angelini, it was a laugh out loud modern P&P that had me grinning for days, I hope to post the review soon.

Drop by on the 21st November when I will be posting my review of The Falmouth Connection by Joana Starnes. It has been a most delightful read. Joana is kindly giving away an international ebook copy of The Falmouth Connection! Stop by for a chance to win :)

On the 1st December join me on the first stop on The Muse Blog Tour kindly brought to you by Leatherbound reviews.  Jessica Evans will be sharing an except of The Muse, which has an extraordinary concept for our favourite couple to fall in love.

On the 17th November Jane Austen's First love Blog Tour by Syrie James begins, Join me on the 6th December for an excerpt, leave a comment on  any of the blog stops to enter a giveaway, increase your chances by leaving comments on multiple blogs.  There is a wonderful grand prize of Austenesque goodies to be won,  five prizes in total.

Click for full details

On the 10th December I will be posting my review of 'Lucky 13' by Cat Gardiner, a modern tale of  executive Elizabeth and fireman Darcy, SWOON!

New York City advertising executive, Elizabeth Bennet is determined to find a respectable date to take to Christmas dinner with her insane family. So, what’s a girl to do with only 26 days remaining? She and her best friend embark on a mad-cap dating blitz.

Speed dating and blind dates become a source of frustration when one man continually shows up, hell-bent on either annoying her or capturing her heart. William Darcy, wealthy, hunky, part time New York City firefighter is Elizabeth’s new client, one of thirteen men chosen for a fundraising, beefcake calendar. " - Cat Gardiner

Join me on the 23rd December for an excerpt and giveaway of Rose Fairbank's new book 'Letters from the Heart' due to be released in December. An on going project, the story was originally posted as 'The Best Laid Plans' it then grew in word count to become 'Knowing you by Heart' until it finally became 'Letters from the Heart'.

 A tentative synopsis by Rose Fairbanks

"Resolved to forget Elizabeth Bennet while wintering in London, Fitzwilliam Darcy writes a letter in bitterness of spirit. Annoyed at her growing obsession with the arrogant man, Elizabeth journals her thoughts. Unfortunately, tormented minds are not always the clearest".- Rose Fairbanks

I hope you all have great reads lined up for the festive season!

As always feel free to have your say :)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Welcome to the last stop on the Boots to Backpacks Blog Tour, As part of the tour I will be reviewing  a copy of Boots and Backpacks written by K.C. Kahler. I would like to thank Jakki at Leatherbound Reviews and Meryton Press for allowing me to be part of the blog Tour and to K.C.Kahler for writing another JAFF story.

The prologue had my attention; when chapter one began with "Distance from new York: 25 miles. forced matrimony: in 85 days" I was eager to see where this going? Darcy is a playboy bachelor, his deceased parent's will stipulates he is to marry by the age of thirty or forfeit his inheritance. Trying to escape a fierce paparazzi blogger by the name of Gwen, Darcy finds himself on the Appalachian trial about to hike for weeks without the basics amenities his lifestyle has made him accustom to.

Elizabeth Bennet is strong, witty and kind hearted. The hike with Darcy is a perfect time to bond, even if one's hiking partner is only barely tolerable. Elizabeth is definitely more giving and compassionate than Canon Elizabeth and I enjoyed seeing her less prejudiced and kinder towards Darcy.
The trail taught Darcy a lot about compassion, the simplicity of interacting with nature and taking steps to reconnect with another person.

"Problems?" Darcy asked, not expecting an answer. He had started making short comments, hoping she might forget her anger and reply just once. so far, he'd only received stony silence - K.C.Kahler

This is the third modern I have read and I laugh at the different ways authors describe Darcy's first impressions of Elizabeth. The story is told from Darcy's perspective which is sweet and probably goes a long way to softening you towards the Darcy we know is beneath the fa├žade.

'Apparently, Miss Nice ass was a bit of a smartass to.' - K.C.Kahler

I liked the author's incorporation of technology such as Twitter, messaging and email, she even manages to fit in a short, hand written note from Darcy to Elizabeth. Elizabeth was definitely the antagonist in this but surprisingly I disliked Darcy more, his total number of conquest is still something I am unable to reconcile myself to. However the fact Darcy was listening to gangsta rap scored him eight points on my likeability chart and the fact it was Dr Dre and Ice Cube moved it up to a ten! Darcy Polkaed with Elizabeth and I was pleased to see he was ballroom trained! I always like to see a nod toward the Regency era, it was a shame that Darcy did not echo some of these gentlemanly ways. It did not sit well that Elizabeth kept calling him 'Pervo' and I found those parts difficult.

"I guess irresistible hotness is just that: irresistible" - K.C.Kahler

If you can look past the follies and vices of modern day Mr Darcy then this is a funny light hearted read. At times I did laugh out loud, especially the references to Twilight, their light banter and Elizabeth's whistling, every time she gave Darcy the silent treatment. This book has the funniest sentence spoken by Elizabeth, which encapsulates, the Bingley, Jane & Darcy mess!

This book is worthy of  Three and a half Hearts - Colonel & Mr Bingley

As always feel free to share your thoughts!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Madness of Mr Darcy - Review & Giveaway winners!

Having read two previous excerpts of this story I was left exceedingly intrigued. A Mrs Bennet was working in what I assumed to be today's equivalent of a mental health institution and Darcy in what I
can only describe as a moment of madness, threw Wickham into a raging fire!!!!!! Therefore it was imperative that I got my hands on this book.

From beginning to end this book had my full attention, leading on from one of the pivotal moments in canon, Elizabeth imparts the disastrous news of her sister and Mr Darcy's subsequent attempts to discover Lydia are met with little success! Hence twenty years on, tragic life events and without Elizabeth by his side, Darcy is the ghost of the man he once was, lost, lonely and merely existing.
When Wickham is accused of starting a fire that has caused the death of a villager Darcy, in a moment of madness hurls him into the flames and I am shocked to say I hardly flinched, my dislike of Wickham knows no bounds!!!! Questioning my own humanity and compassion I was hard pressed to put this book down.

For several minutes, he could do nothing but weep. Sometimes there is nothing else to do. There are moments in a person’s life when the agony of wounded emotions allows for nothing other than weeping, perhaps convulsively, perhaps in frozen shock. Mr. Darcy tried to slow the rushing thoughts that poured through his mind, but it was a useless struggle, for had he not felt the same sensations Elizabeth so acutely described? Had he not suffered the same, ridiculously hopeful illusion? That he might just wake up and discover life had not actually gone so horribly wrong? - Alexa Adams

Under the insistence of Lord & Lady Matlock, Darcy agrees to reside at Ramsey house, a mental institution with a difference exclusively for the gentry and aristocracy. With the mention of a familiar name, Mrs Bennet, Darcy's curiosity is piqued and it is sufficient inducement to go.
Upon his arrival Darcy is pleasantly surprised to find that Mrs Bennet is in fact Elizabeth and to his further amazement Elizabeth has kindly given up her own chambers for Mr Darcy’s stay. There is something in the room she is desperate for him to discover and as I do not want to spoil the story I am compelled to say no more.

Most of my guests, though a few are rather eccentric,” he chuckled, “are not really mad at all. Only lost. It is much like a spa, really, only I specialize in a very specific disease.”   ”Your Ramsey House, Sir Frederick, is not Bath,” she quipped. - Alexa Adams

This is the second JAFF to bring me to tears, heart-warming, melancholy, tears. Mr Darcy’s discovery is my favourite part of the book and I immediately wanted to read those parts again! I loved the fact that the premise challenged my own ideals, as Darcy and Elizabeth do not follow the usual course of disagreement, marry, produce an heir & live happily ever after. It was not until I read this that I realised I had a serious issue with any other way towards a HEA for Darcy & Elizabeth! 

I enjoyed the author’s style of writing, the light humour and the unusual premise. I liked that the residents at Ramsey house (some you may know already) were portrayed as people first, patients second. The authors attempt at reducing the stigma surrounding mental health is intelligently done. Through the background stories and personalities created for each of the residents, the reader can empathise at one level or another to the fragility of the mind.

I particularly liked the twist on Wickham’s story, as I like to believe deep down Wickham has a conscience, I mean he did marry Lydia after all (I know for ten thousand) but he married LYDIA!

I had no complaints except I wanted Darcy & Elizabeth together sooner and if the residents back stories had been told at the time of meeting them it would have cemented their stories better in my mind. However I really enjoyed this story and the different subject matter made for an interesting and heartbreaking story. It is never too late for a happily ever after!!!!

Scroll down for the giveaway winners of this intriguing book!

This book is worthy of 4 & half  hearts! - Mr Bingley & Mr Darcy

Thank you again to Alexa Adams for allowing me a interview and kindly offering 2 e copies of her new book The Madness of Mr Darcy. Thank you to everyone who stopped by or left a comment on The Madness of Mr Darcy interview & giveaway!

Congrats Ladies! Kaewink and Chiara you have both won an e-copy of The Madness of Mr Darcy by Alexa Adams. Please contact me using the 'contact me' link at the top of the page. Congratulations again!!

(Winners picked using