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Source: Review copy from author

Elizabeth Adams’ new Pride and Prejudice variation, The 26th of November, was an absolute delight from start to finish. It is subtitled “A Pride & Prejudice Comedy of Farcical Proportions,” and it definitely delivered! The novel is told from the point of view of Elizabeth Bennet, and when it opens, she has endured the Netherfield ball — her dances with Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy, the embarrassment of her mother and sisters, her father’s indifference to it all — Collins’s proposal, and the Netherfield party’s departure from Hertfordshire. But then Elizabeth wakes up and realizes it’s the day of the Netherfield ball — again.

As Elizabeth relives the 26th of November over and over again, she tries to figure out how to break the cycle. Is she supposed to somehow convince Mr. Bingley to delay his trip to London? Is she supposed to somehow improve her family’s behavior? Elizabeth examines the situation from every angle and takes various actions to get the timeline moving forward again, to no avail.

Elizabeth soon finds herself looking forward to her nightly dance with Mr. Darcy for their talks and their banter. She enjoys teasing him, surprising him, getting information from him. While he doesn’t realize that they have danced the same dance countless times before, Elizabeth does, and she comes to understand him — and herself — as she relives the day again and again.

The 26th of November was such a refreshing read. I loved seeing Elizabeth do outlandish things to try to fix the time line, and I loved how she stood up for herself and said certain well-deserved things to certain obnoxious characters. There were so many funny moments and so many sweet moments that I just couldn’t put the book down. It was my first time reading something by Elizabeth Adams, but it definitely won’t be the last!

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About The 26th of November

The Netherfield Ball: Classic. Predictable. Immortalized.
But, what if Elizabeth were forced to relive it over and over and over again? Night after night after night?

Elizabeth: Clever. Witty. Confident.
Suddenly, her confusion and desperation make her question things she long thought she knew.

Mr. Darcy: Proud. Unapproachable. Bad tempered.
In this world where nothing is as it seems, Elizabeth must learn to see through new eyes.

Including a man she thought she hated.

Let the hilarity ensue.

Buy on Amazon

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About the Author

Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams is a book-loving, tango-dancing, Austen enthusiast. She loves old houses and thinks birthdays should be celebrated with trips – as should most occasions. She can often be found by a sunny window with a cup of hot tea and a book in her hand.

She writes romantic comedy and comedic drama in both historic and modern settings.

She is the author of The Houseguest, Unwilling, On Equal Ground, and Meryton Vignettes: Tales of Pride and Prejudice, and the modern comedy Green Card.

You can find more information, short stories, and outtakes at elizabethadamswrites.wordpress.com.

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Giveaway

For the blog tour, Elizabeth is generously offering five copies of The 26th of November, five audiobook codes (each one good for one of her audiobooks), and two autographed paperback copies (reader’s choice) from her catalog. The giveaway is open until midnight on August 11, 2018. You MUST enter through this Rafflecopter link.

Terms and Conditions:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

One winner per contest. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international. Good luck!

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July 9 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

July 13 / From Pemberley to Milton / Guest Post & Giveaway

July 19 / Of Pens & Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

July 20 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

July 21 / My Love for Jane Austen / Character Interview & Giveaway

July 25 / More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway

July 28 / Just Jane 1813 / Book Review & Giveaway

August 2 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review & Giveaway

August 6 / Austenesque Reviews / Excerpt Post & Giveaway

August 8 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway

August 9 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway

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Source: Purchased

Jill Mansell’s Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay takes readers back to St. Carys, the setting for The Unexpected Consequences of Love. It was nice to see mention of those characters here and there, but Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay introduces a whole new cast of entertaining characters. The book opens with Clemency rushing to catch a flight, and she is forced to sit with a man whom she believes to be incredibly rude. By the end of the trip, she and Sam hit it off, but then a surprise revelation puts a stop to their relationship before it can even begin.

Fast forward more than three years later, and Clemency is a real estate agent on St. Carys, working with the incredibly handsome, totally sweet, and somewhat of a ladies’ man Ronan. When Clemency’s high-maintenance stepsister Belle returns to St. Carys with her new and perfect boyfriend, Clemency is gobsmacked to see that it’s Sam. Rather than listen to Belle go on and on about her perfect relationship and shoot jabs at Clemency for her lack of a boyfriend, among other things, Clemency convinces Ronan to pose as her boyfriend. After all, everyone in St. Carys thinks they’d be perfect together, and it’s not like Ronan is playing the field anymore, since he has his eye on Kate despite their disastrous one night together.

Even if the attraction between Clemency and Sam is still real, nothing could ever happen between them because of a long-standing pact between the sisters. While Clemency tries to hide her feelings for Sam, there is plenty of drama going on elsewhere, from Ronan’s curiosity about his biological parents to local artist Marina’s obnoxious ex-husband to Belle’s budding friendship with a fitness fanatic. Each of these stories is interesting on its own, but put together they create a rich story about friendship, family, and being true to oneself.

Mansell has a knack for creating stories that perfectly balance romance, drama, and humor, and for introducing so many intriguing and well-developed characters in a single book. I’ve read at least a dozen of her books so far, and I’ve never been disappointed. Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay is a fun story, with a few surprises and plenty of sweet and awkward moments. It’s a great summer read if you’re looking for something light and fun.

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Source: Author ARC giveaway

Pledged is the first book in Rose Fairbanks’ Loving Elizabeth trilogy of novellas, and it is a delightful reimagining of Pride and Prejudice that greatly deviates from canon. Here, the Longbourn entail has been broken, as the Bennet sisters have an older brother, Samuel. He is in London with his father and sisters Jane and Elizabeth prior to his departure for a summer in Ireland with his school friends, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley. Elizabeth is just 16, but despite her youth, the 22-year-old future master of Pemberley is entranced. She can hold intelligent conversations, is not silly like Bingley’s sisters — but she is his friend’s sister, and one does not look toward a friend’s sister in a romantic fashion.

There’s a lot going on here for such a short book, and Fairbanks does a great job setting the stage for the next installments. Not only is there a growing attraction between Will and Elizabeth, there also is increasing tension between Will and his father over George Wickham. Meanwhile, Will is worried that Sam is involved with the wrong sorts of people, namely Lord Harcourt, whose attention to Elizabeth seems less than honorable.

Pledged ends with an important declaration, but most of the storylines will be resolved in the later installments. It’s a solid start to the trilogy, with a unique take on Austen’s beloved hero and heroine, intriguing original characters, and plenty of suspense regarding Wickham’s next move and Sam’s shady dealings. I only hope the next installments come out soon because I’m dying to know what happens next!

Disclosure: I received Pledged from the author’s ARC giveaway. While I have edited several of Rose Fairbanks’ books, I did not edit this one.

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Source: Purchased

Her eyes and expression were quite calm, but that serene attitude was only a cover for a will of iron, Charles was beginning to realise.

(from Mr. Bingley’s Bride)

Catherine Bilson’s novella, Mr. Bingley’s Bride, is a Pride and Prejudice sequel that focuses on Jane Bennet on the day prior to and after her wedding to Charles Bingley. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet appear but take a back seat to Jane and Charles, and I honestly didn’t miss them a bit. It was delightful to see Jane’s character develop in such a short period of time, from an apprehensive bride-to-be after hearing her mother’s horror stories about the wedding night to the strong, take-charge mistress of Netherfield Park.

There are some steamy scenes that chronicle their wedding night and after, but what makes this story delightful is the meltdown of Caroline Bingley the morning after the Darcys’ and Bingleys’ double wedding. Her jealousy of the new Mrs. Darcy gets the best of her, and what happens next is deliciously shocking! I had to read the scene twice before moving on because I enjoyed it THAT much.

How Jane handles the situation, on her own and as a source of strength and support to her new husband, was brilliant. Jane often is portrayed as overly nice and sweet, and she is, but Bilson’s Jane is both an angel, as Charles is wont to declare, and someone who commands respect. I loved this portrayal of Jane, as well as the glimpses of the Darcys and the surprising Mr. Hurst. My only complaint is that I didn’t want the story to end!

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Source: Gift from the author

“I will not lie to you, Mr. Darcy. Just now, I stuck my tongue out and thumbed my nose at you as well. You did not see, therefore, my actions were done with impunity.”

She could hear him draw in a deep breath before he asked, “Are you satisfied with the results of your actions?”

“I am,” she admitted.

(from Lost & Found)

I’m a big fan of the Pride and Prejudice-inspired novellas by Christie Capps (the pen name of J. Dawn King). These short and sweet stories are just the thing to help me relax when dealing with work-related stress and general busyness. Lost & Found is a Regency-era variation set at Rosings Park, when Mr. Darcy is fighting his feelings for Elizabeth Bennet. When a trip to Lady Catherine’s library ends with Elizabeth’s disappearance, only Mr. Darcy and Mrs. Collins are convinced that something is wrong. In search of Elizabeth, Darcy finds a secret passage, and in the darkness and confusion, he ends up locked in a wardrobe along with her.

In this unused area of the house, the pair are not likely to be found — at least not until Colonel Fitzwilliam returns from estate business and puts his childhood “hide and seek” prowess to good use. In the meantime, Darcy and Elizabeth slowly open up to one another, learning and helping each other through their darkest fears, discovering each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and realizing that their circumstances — though accidental — will have some serious consequences.

I thought this was a very touching story, with two very strong characters forced to reveal their weaknesses to one another. Their strange circumstances give Darcy and Elizabeth an opportunity to work through their differences in a way that propriety would not allow, and therefore, the foundation for their relationship is strong. I always find it interesting to see how they will work things out without the Hunsford proposal or Darcy’s letter. And all the chaos caused by their disappearance makes for a humorous scene at the end with Lady Catherine, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and the Collinses. I nearly cheered out loud for our dear couple!

Disclosure: A big thanks to Christie Capps for gifting me with a copy of Lost & Found!

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Source: Gift from the author

“My hope…my dream…is there is someone of that description for each of my sisters.” She shook her head. “Will I find such a man before I am considered on the shelf? I do not know. Will I find him before Kitty or Lydia are distracted by a handsome face in an officer’s uniform? I desperately hope I do.”

“Would you recognize him if he stood directly in front of you?” His thoughts flowed from his mouth before he could stop them.

(from Elizabeth)

Elizabeth is a novella retelling of Pride and Prejudice set during the Regency era. Mr. Darcy finds himself captivated by a woman who despises him, and his efforts to win her over are thwarted by his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. Christie Capps (the pen name of J. Dawn King) takes the colonel out of character, giving him an inability to control his tongue. Imagine the colonel revealing Darcy’s involvement in separating Bingley from Elizabeth’s sister, Jane, before Darcy and the inhabitants of Hunsford Parsonage! After her violent outburst against Darcy, the poor but guilty man must determine how to make amends. As he begins to show Elizabeth his true character, she realizes her earlier assessments of Darcy were wrong.

Capps takes readers on a swift journey, watching Darcy woo his Elizabeth. Although Colonel Fitzwilliam is really out of character in this novella, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Every time he couldn’t keep his mouth shut, I laughed out loud, especially given Darcy’s reactions. Their brotherly relationship is on full display here, warts and all. Capps also shakes things up with Anne de Bourgh; all I will say is that I was shocked!

Capps promises short and sweet romances for busy readers, and once again, she does not disappoint! Stay tuned for my review of the other new Capps’ novella, Lost & Found, tomorrow. I do hope there are more of these in the works!

Disclosure: A big thanks to Christie Capps for gifting me a copy of Elizabeth!

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Source: Purchased

I’m continuing to make my way through the Holidays with Jane anthologies, which feature six stories that are modern variations of each Jane Austen novel. This anthology contained:

“Twice Upon a Sea” by Melissa Buell (based on Persuasion)

Anne and Finn are reunited after breaking up during her freshman year of college. Six years later, she is a media liaison for the Naval History Office, and Finn is a famous marine archaeologist. The story shows how their relationship began, the hurt they have experienced from the breakup, and the awkwardness of their reunion.

“Castle of the Sea” by Nancy Kelley (based on Northanger Abbey)

This story takes college student and historical romance writer Cat Morland on a two-week Caribbean cruise with her brother and the Thorpe siblings. She meets the Tilneys, Henry and Ella, who hope to start a fashion house. Cat and Henry bond right away over the general disapproval of their chosen professions, and the Thorpes, of course, throw some obstacles onto their path to happily ever after.

“An (Un)Even Exchange” by Jennifer Becton (based on Sense and Sensibility)

Nora Dashwood is a landscape architect who is immediately attracted to her new colleague, Edward Ferrars. They are forced to work closely by their matchmaker boss. Her sister, Marianne, moves in with her following a painful breakup. Marianne immediately distrusts Edward simply because he is male, and she hires a private investigator she meets while working at Mansfield Perk to uncover Edward’s connection to Nora’s obnoxious neighbor Lucy. This was one of my favorite stories in the collection. I enjoyed the interaction between Marianne and Brandon and the adorable awkwardness between Nora and Edward.

“Firecracker” by Jessica Gray (based on Emma)

This cute story takes place at Camp Hartfield, where best friends Emmalyn Woods and Ben Knightley are counselors. Emma takes the shy Melanie under her wing, with plans to make her Firecracker Queen and set her up with another camp counselor. Emma doesn’t believe high schoolers can really be in love, but her views suddenly change when Melanie sets her sights on Ben. I wasn’t sure this story would work, with Emma set at a summer camp with high schoolers, but I loved it from the very beginning. Reading the story in Emma’s voice really emphasized her character evolution.

“Mine” by Cecilia Gray (based on Mansfield Park)

I’m always curious how authors will adapt Mansfield Park given the close love between cousins Fanny and Edmund. This story has Fanny growing up in her aunt’s household with her husband’s family, including his son Eamon. The two become best friends over the years, and after watching Eamon go through relationship after relationship, she hopes that there is finally a chance that they will get together. But Eamon comes home from college in Ireland with the Henry and Mary, sabotaging Fanny’s summer plans — and even her relationship with the Brennan family. I had a hard time sympathizing with Eamon in this story (he was so unlikeable to me), but I thought it was an interesting modern take on Austen’s novel.

“Of Rivers, Rocks, and Rich Men” by Rebecca Fleming (based on Pride and Prejudice)

Set in Meryton, Georgia, Liz and Jane Bennet are wealthy due to the surprise trust funds set aside by their father before his death, but the time Elizabeth spent working as a writer in New York has made her despise wealthy men. So when she runs into William Darcy at Pemberley Acres, his agritourism venture where Liz is spending the summer, the two immediately butt heads. He’s everything she has assumed about rich men, until Jane’s relationship with his best friend force the pair to spend more time together and those assumptions are turned on their head. My only complaint about this story is that it was a story, and I would have loved to see more of the building of their relationship.

Overall, Holidays with Jane: Summer of Love is a solid collection of sweet stories for the Austen fan. I know I will be disappointed when I’ve finally finished all of the collections.

Previous Reviews:

Holidays with Jane: Trick or Sweet

Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer

Holidays with Jane: Spring Fever

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