She could never have envisioned an instance in which he would read it or, stranger still, that it would invite his addresses. Such had not been her intention — she had never desired his good opinion — but it flashed upon her with sudden, startling clarity, neither was his admiration unwelcome now that she gained it. The world pivoted on her answer.
(from A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories)
Quick Summary: A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories is the first volume in Renée Beyea’s Pride & Prejudice Petite Tales short story collections. It is comprised of five short and clean romances that successfully show the passion between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. “Words in the Wind” has Lizzy chasing notes that lead her to a graveyard. “A Fine Stout Love” puts verses penned by Elizabeth about Mr. Darcy into his hands and presents the story from both points of view. “Neither Slumber Nor Sleep” finds our hero and heroine in scandalous yet hilarious circumstances. “Gold, All Gold” is a supernatural sort of story in which Lizzy visits Mr. Darcy’s dreams. Finally, in “Eden Unashamed,” a poem written by Mr. Darcy to Lizzy makes its rounds of the Bennet household and has a dramatic effect upon each member of the family, particularly Mary.
Why I wanted to read it: I can’t get enough of Pride and Prejudice variations (obviously!), and lately I’ve been in the mood for short stories.
What I liked: A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories is a delightful collection of sweet and passionate stories that had me smiling and even laughing throughout. I enjoyed all of the stories, but my favorites were “Neither Slumber Nor Sleep” and “Eden Unashamed” because of the humor. Beyea’s writing is fantastic; it helps if you’ve read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but she manages to say so much about the characters in so few words.
What I disliked: I only wish there had been more stories! I can’t wait for the next volume, What Love May Come and Other Stories, due out this winter.
Final thoughts: A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories is like a love letter to Pride and Prejudice. Beyea’s love for Austen and her characters shines through, and the poetry showcased within the stories is beautifully crafted. It’s a charming and fun collection and a welcome addition to my library of Austen-inspired tales.
About A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories
Discover what happens when Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy meet fancy and fantasy in this novella-length ensemble of Regency stories.
– What if two inexplicable trails of words led to the Meryton churchyard on the same blustery morning?
– What if Darcy stumbled across suggestive lines of verse following Elizabeth’s stay at Netherfield?
– What if a rumored engagement so thoroughly shocked Lady Catherine that she could not interfere?
– What if Elizabeth learned the last man she would ever marry was the only man she could marry?
– What if every Bennet family member read the love poem Darcy intended only for his bride?
With all the intimacy and lyricism of a chamber concert, these five whimsical shorts will inspire the heart, prompt a smile, and entice readers to many happy returns.
About the Author
Renée Beyea holds an undergraduate writing degree from Taylor University and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary. She serves as full-time wife, mother to two sons, and ministry partner with her husband, an Anglican priest and chaplain. Her free time is devoted to crafting stories and composing poetry that delight the senses and touch the soul.
Giveaway of 8 copies, open internationally until May 19
5/2: Excerpt & Giveaway at From Milton to Pemberley
5/3: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
5/4: Excerpt & Giveaway at Half Agony, Half Hope
5/5: Review & Giveaway at The Calico Critic
5/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
5/7: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
5/8: Review & Giveaway at Delighted Reader
5/9: Review & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
5/10: Interview & Giveaway at Savvy Verse and Wit
5/12: Review & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813
5/12: Excerpt & Giveaway at Laughing with Lizzie
5/13: Review & Giveaway at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
5/14: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
5/15: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
5/16: Review & Giveaway at Margie’s Must Reads
Disclosure: I received A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories from the author for review.
© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.