Books

Book 557: The Brontë Plot – Katherine Reay

The Brontë Plot cover artThe downside with reading so many romance novels by the same author back-to-back is you quickly discover their strengths and weaknesses. As I read each of Reay’s works, they became less and less memorable even as I was reading them.

If I have to tie it down to the most basic its character development closely followed by pacing. I’m not one to need a “two months later” directional at every instance, but in Reay’s case it would’ve helped a lot. Toward the beginning of the novel the meet cute and the timing was so off I found myself having to re-read multiple sections to see if I’d missed the introduction or some major indicator of time having passed. (I hadn’t.)

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Books

Book 555: Lizzy & Jane – Katherine Reay

Lizzy & Jane cover artAs if reading a book about grief and death wasn’t enough, I unknowingly placed a book right behind it from my Reay reading binge that focuses on two sisters, one of whom is battling cancer, and one of whom is battling issues from their mother’s death from cancer.

After reading the first two novels by Reay (The Austen Escape and Dear Mr. Knightley) I wasn’t really sure where this one would fall. Would it be super religious/preachy or wouldn’t it? Would it be squeaky clean or would Reay let a little more spice into the work? Continue reading “Book 555: Lizzy & Jane – Katherine Reay”

Books

Book 553: Dear Mr. Knightley – Katherine Reay

"Dear Mr. Knightley" book cover artThis book is what I was worried of when I found out these were categorized under clean romance and Christian fiction. It could’ve been A LOT worse, but it was just enough to start to put me off toward the end of the novel. That being said, I know there’s a HUGE market for both clean romance AND Christina fiction, so I can’t really fault it too much because it was just a little too preachy for me at some points. I’ll talk more about this later.

I’m still not sure where to categorize this for my own references. I think they’d be more accurately described as inspired by Austen rather than the traditional fan-fiction/fanfiction. Reay does a great job weaving in the stories and characters from Austen’s works but doesn’t necessarily use them as frameworks or even plot outlines. I’ll read the other’s books in her oeuvre that are Austen/Brontë connected because they’re such quick reads, but I’m not sure I’ll follow her into the future.

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Books

Book 551: The Austen Escape – Katherine Reay

I picked this up at the library after reading about it on Jane’s blog greenish bookshelf, and wasn’t sure what to expect. I do occasionally like a clean romance, but let’s face it I also enjoy some pretty trashy and raunchy novels/works. I also wasn’t 100% sure where this would rank on the romance scale with it often being categorized as Christina Fiction, but I did ultimately enjoy the book. I have also complained multiple times about the books where characters jump right in to sex and living together and the whole book happens in two months. So basically, I don’t know what I want in a romance novel. But seriously though, coat it in Austen or Brontë, no matter how tenuous, and I’ll be happy!

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Books

Book 531: Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet (Perfect #2) – Marilyn Brant

This is the second novel in the two book series, Perfect. The first, Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet and this one are both just sort of okay. This picks up within six months of Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match and happens over three weeks.

I did really enjoy Brant’s characterizations of the Jane and Bingley characters from Pride and Prejudice, which is who this book focuses on. They’re the best friends of Beth Ann and William from the first book and the story revolves around their being best man and maid of honor at their wedding and the various shenanigans that ensue surrounding various bets they make with each other while trying not to kiss or kill each other.

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Books

Book 530: Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match (Perfect #1) – Marilyn Brant

I picked up a digital copy of this back in June of 2014. I never got around to reading it because it never caught my attention as well as it did when I first bought it. However, when I needed a book to kickstart my reading, as usual, I went to my Goodreads account and sorted by shortest to longest and this was one of the shorter novels on the list.

I think what I actually enjoyed about this novel is that it reminded me of the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie You’ve Got Mail (IMDb link). You can see more at this blog post by The Bennet Sisters talking about it as a pseudo-adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. You’ve got the scrappy upstart (Social Work student in this case) in Beth Ann Bennet and the rich haughty Dr. William Darcy (who does have a charitable streak) and the rest sort of plays out very similarly.

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Books

Book 529: My Own Mr. Darcy – Karey White

What I liked about this is that it wasn’t just a spin-off from the original Jane Austen novels, it was a novel based off of the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. The main character, Lizzie/Elizabeth (yes named after Elizabeth Bennet),  becomes obsessed with Matthew McFadyen and finding her own version of Mr. Darcy who mirrors him exactly. So is it fan-fiction of the novel or the movie? It’s hard to say, but what really did it for me was the character’s appreciation of the score of the film.

The appreciation of Marianelli’s composition and Thibaudet’s performance made me appreciate this book more than I probably would have. When I need something to play in the background that doesn’t have lyrics 99% of the time I go to this score. If I just need to de-stress I go to this score. I’m sure a lot of it is how much I enjoyed this version of the film, but it’s also just an incredibly beautiful score. I’ve pasted it in after the recommendation. I should’ve been listening to it the whole time I read this book.

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