“You honestly expect me to splash about in the brine, naked as the day I was born?” Darcy scoffed. “I think not.”
“Just because I prefer privacy and prudence does not signify I am prudish. I swim — without clothing, I’ll have you know — at Pemberley Lake.”
(from Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, “Spyglasses & Sunburns” by J. Marie Croft)
Quick Summary: Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer is Meryton Press’ first short-story anthology featuring eight feel-good tales of summer, most of which involve Jane Austen’s novels and characters in some way. Included in the collection are several takes on Pride and Prejudice, from a young Darcy’s education in becoming a great lover to Anne de Bourgh’s splash in the sea at Sanditon to the confessions of foolishness and love at a masquerade ball. Sun-Kissed also features modern-day takes on Persuasion and Northanger Abbey set on the beach and a sweet non-Austen-related story about how a chance encounter can turn one’s life upside down.
Why I wanted to read it: Short stories, particularly lighthearted, romantic stories with a Jane Austen connection, sound perfect for the beach…or at least when you’re dreaming about a beach excursion.
What I liked: The selection of stories was fantastic. I enjoyed the mix of period and modern-day stories and the mix of new-to-me authors and authors whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past. I also was impressed that Sanditon was included; Austen’s unfinished novel about a seaside resort begs to be included in a summer anthology, and it was nice to see those characters mingling with characters from Pride and Prejudice. I loved or at least really liked every story in the collection, and despite their brevity, I felt like I really got to know the characters, and each had a satisfying ending.
What I disliked: That there were only eight stories in the anthology. Don’t get me wrong, the anthology was the perfect length, but once I was immersed in the collection, I didn’t want it to end.
Final thoughts: Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer is the perfect summer read for fans of Austen-inspired fiction, with a little something for everyone. Hats off to the editor, Christina Boyd, for helping to create an anthology that flows beautifully from story to story and provides enough variety to both satisfy readers and keep them wanting more. Although I didn’t read this book at the beach, these authors and their delightful tales transported me to the sun and surf at least for a few hours.
Meryton Press will be releasing a holiday-romance-themed anthology late this fall. The short story contest for that volume is now open for submissions. Click here for further details: Official Rules
Disclosure: I received Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer from Meryton Press for review.
© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.