Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.
Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past couple of weeks:
Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs by Mary Jane Hathaway — from Jerry and The Girl
Caroline Ashley is a journalist on the rise at The Washington Post until the sudden death of her father brings her back to Thorny Hollow to care for her mentally fragile mother and their aging antebellum home. The only respite from the eternal rotation of bridge club meetings and garden parties is her longtime friend Brooks Elliott. A professor of journalism, Brooks is the voice of sanity and reason in the land of pink lemonade and triple-layer coconut cakes. But when she meets a fascinating, charismatic young man on the cusp of a brand-new industry, she ignores Brooks’ misgivings about some work he offers her and throws herself into the project.
Meanwhile, Brooks struggles to reconcile his parents’ very bitter marriage with his father’s devastating grief at the recent loss of his wife. Caroline is the only bright spot in the emotional wreckage of his family life. She’s a friend, and he’s perfectly happy to keep her safely in that category. Marriage isn’t for men like Brooks and they both know it…until a handsome newcomer wins her heart. Brooks discovers Caroline is much more than a friend, and always has been, but is it too late to win her back?
Featuring a colorful cast of Southern belles, Civil War reenactors and good Christian women with spunk to spare, Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs brings the modern American South to light in a way only a contemporary Jane Austen could have imagined. (publisher’s summary)
Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin’ Cornbread by Mary Jane Hathaway — from Jerry and The Girl
Lucy Crawford is from a wealthy, well-respected Southern family with a long local history. But since Lucy’s mother passed away, the family home, a gorgeous antebellum mansion, has fallen into disrepair, and the depth of her father’s debts is only starting to be understood. Selling the family home may be the only option — until her Aunt Olympia floats the idea of using Crawford House to hold the local free medical clinic, which has just lost its space. As if turning the plantation home into a clinic isn’t bad enough, Lucy is shocked and dismayed to see that the doctor who will be manning the clinic is none other than Jeremiah Chevy — her first love.
Lucy and Jeremiah were high school sweethearts, but Jeremiah was from the wrong side of the tracks. His family was redneck and proud, and Lucy was persuaded to dump him. He eventually left town on a scholarship, and eight years later, he’s returned as part of the rural physician program. Now, they’re thrown together once again. While Lucy’s family still sees Jeremiah as trash, she sees something else in him — as do several of the other eligible ladies in town. Will he be able to forgive the past? Can she be persuaded to give love a chance this time around? (publisher’s summary)
Pride, Prejudice & Secrets by C.P. Odom — from Meryton Press
“Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.” — Jane Austen
It is always the completely unforeseen events that lead to the most unexpected consequences, and such is the case in this variation on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. One of the crucial points in Austen’s novel is Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s fiery and passionate refusal and denunciation of the equally passionate but infinitely more repressed Fitzwilliam Darcy. What might eventuate if the robustly healthy Elizabeth falls prey to illness for almost the first time in her life just when Darcy comes to call? Bemused by her illness, she hardly comprehends what Darcy is asking, and her simple nod of acknowledgment is misinterpreted as acceptance of his suit by a joyous Darcy. By the time Elizabeth regains her health, it seems that every one of her acquaintance and many outside of it accept that she has become engaged to the last man in the world she would ever have considered marrying. Can she openly demand her engagement to the amorous but prideful Darcy be broken, a course fraught with hazards in the social milieu of Regency England? In a maelstrom of confusion, choices have to be made and disclosures closely considered. Elizabeth knows that nothing in her life will ever be the same, and the consequences will likely spread further than she can imagine. (publisher’s summary)
Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland — from the author
British-occupied Manhattan, 1777. With her witty comedies, American actress Jennifer Leighton has been packing the John Street Theater, but she longs to escape the provincial circuit for the glamour of the London stage. When playwright General John Burgoyne visits the city fresh from a recent success on the Continent, she seizes the opportunity to court his patronage. But her plan is foiled by British intelligence officer Severin Devere.
Severin’s mission is to keep the pleasure-loving general focused on the war effort — and away from pretty young actresses. But the tables are turned when Severin himself can’t resist Jennifer Leighton…
Months later, Jenny has abandoned her dreams of stage glory and begun writing seditious plays for the Rebels under the pen name Cornelia, ridiculing “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne and his army — and undermining the Crown’s campaign to take Albany. By the time Severin meets up with Jenny once again, she is on a British hanging list, and Severin is ordered to find her — and deliver her to certain death. Soon the two are launched on a desperate journey through the wilderness toward a future shaped by the Revolution — and their passion for each other… (publisher’s summary)
The Highbury Murders by Victoria Grossack
Jane Austen’s Emma has been described as a detective story without a body – except for those who read carefully, there actually is a body, and the potential for an excellent mystery story.
Set about a year after Emma closes, The Highbury Murders pays homage to the wit of Jane Austen and the whodunits of Agatha Christie. You do not need to have read Jane Austen’s books to enjoy this novel, but if you have – if you regret that she wrote only six – The Highbury Murders is a welcome extension to her world. Pour yourself a cup of tea, settle somewhere comfortable, and indulge yourself with the proverbial good read. (publisher’s summary)
Revisit Mansfield Park: How Fanny Married Henry by Sarah Ozcandarli
It seems everyone at Mansfield Park is blind to Fanny Price’s great potential except Henry Crawford, who falls in love with Fanny and wishes to marry her. Despite her uncle’s disapproval, Fanny declines Henry’s proposal, and her uncle sends Fanny to stay with her own family, in much reduced circumstances, in Portsmouth. Henry visits Fanny there, and asks her advice – should he go to Everingham and work, or to London and play – and Fanny, in this reimagining of Jane Austen’s classic, gives her advice and changes everything. (publisher’s summary)
Darcy’s Days by Fitzwilliam Darcy
Darcy’s Days is a historical fiction that depicts literature’s favourite gentleman immersed in the world of 1796-1797 by the confessions of his own pen. This epistolary novel situates Darcy in the real history of England when Jane Austen first composed Pride and Prejudice. Darcy is a man of the world, a landed aristocrat with business concerns, a reader of science and literature, an advocate of revolution and the rights of man, and a citizen of a rising superpower involved in international warfare. He is also flesh and blood, and falls desperately in love with a woman of inferior birth and little beyond her wit and fine eyes to recommend her.
Darcy’s Days leads us through the turmoil of the early Romantic era as Darcy’s life moves in parallel with Wordsworth, Gilpin, De Quincey, Blake, Wollstonecraft, Godwin, and the baby Keats. The beloved and reviled characters of Pride and Prejudice assemble here to re-stage the original novel through the looking-glass of the hero’s perspective. Darcy’s confessions set off on an amusing, energetic romp through history, literature, and passionate love. It is a challenging novel that will appeal to pleasure readers and scholars alike. (publisher’s summary)
The Sherlock Holmes Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle
Fans of Sherlock Holmes are in for a treat with Volume 5 of British Mystery Megapacks – The Sherlock Holmes Collection: 4 Novels and 43 Short Stories.
A STUDY IN SCARLET
THE SIGN OF THE FOUR
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
THE VALLEY OF FEAR
Short Story Collections
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
His Last Bow – An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
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