Because it is Valentine's Day, I thought mini-reviews of some of the Regency romances I've read in the last few months would be appropriate.
A long time ago -- a couple of years or so -- there was a promotion in honor of Jane Austen where there were eight spin-offs of Pride and Prejudice free for Kindle. I snapped them all up and never looked at them again, until recently, shortly after having my baby, I decided I needed something mindless to read, and Mr. Darcy's Diary seemed to fit the bill. And, well, it did. While there was nothing wrong with the writing or the story itself, it just didn't entertain me. It was watered-down Pride and Prejudice without Jane Austen's stunning writing, from a slightly different point of view. I would rather have just reread Pride and Prejudice.
I saw The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen on NetGalley last year and eagerly snapped it up. I hadn't read anything else by Syrie James, but I'd heard good things about her, and was intrigued by the premise of the story. I hadn't realized that the book would actually contain the full alleged missing manuscript, but it turned out to be my favorite part of the book. To be perfectly honest, the first forty or so pages bothered me, and I was considering DNFing the book, but once the story moved past the frame story and into the missing manuscript itself, I was swept up and really loved it. I think it is ambitious of the author to try and recreate an entire manuscript worthy of Jane Austen (although the manuscript is repeatedly qualified as being an early, unpolished attempt by Austen), but I was pleasantly surprised at how well she accomplished her aim. Despite a rocky beginning, I found The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen to be an entertaining and rewarding read.
Warnings: Language, mild innuendo
My mom brought Edenbrooke with her when she came to help me after I had the baby, and for most of the first week she was urging me to read it. I kept putting it off -- I was in the middle of two other books that I wasn't enjoying that much, but I felt like I needed to finish them. Once I finally settled down to reading Edenbrooke, I was sad that I had waited so long. Set in Regency-era England, Edenbrooke is the story of two sisters and the pursuit of a young and charming heir. The story was absolutely charming. I loved the slowly building romance, which constantly made me giggle with giddiness. I finished the book with a feeling of contentment and a sigh. It is a perfect book for Valentine's Day and will also please those who love Jane Austen for the romance of her novels.