Kim’s Guest Review of Pirates and Prejudice by Kara Louise

papklIf you’ve ever wondered what Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pride and Prejudice would be like as a pirate wonder no longer. Kara Louise has written a tale that puts Darcy aboard a ship on the high seas, while he pretends to be a well-known pirate captain. How he got there, why he agrees to the ruse, and how Elizabeth reenters his life are just three of the elements of this unique story you need to read about.

Creative, fun, and (at times) laugh-out-loud hilarious, Pirates and Prejudice is a story you’re going to want to get sucked into.

For a direct link to my review, click here.

#12 A Guest Review of Only Mr. Darcy Will Do by Kara Louise

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My newest Jane Austen fan-fiction review is up on the Austenprose blog today.  This will mark my 12th book review for the year and my sixth review for Austenprose! 

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do is a Pride and Prejudice variation, meaning the original storyline is changed, simply by asking a “what-if” question.  In this case it’s “what-if” Elizabeth’s Bennet dropped even lower on the social scale, and was forced to become a governess?  Would Mr. Darcy still throw away society’s notions of how the elite were to marry, and still propose to her a second time?

For a direct link to my review click here.

This is my sixth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

My Favorite Ten Books of the Year (Part II)

Here is the second half of my favorite books for the year! (Part I here)

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6.) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – Todd and I were bored one night and decided to see what movies/mini-series’ we could watch on instant Netflix.  We watched a BBC version of Gaskell’s North and South and I was enthralled by it!  North and South is the story of John Thornton and Margaret Hale, and the goings-on of the working class people of the small urban city they live in.  Thornton, a mill owner, is trying to keep his mill running amidst strike and union talks.  Margaret Hale, the daughter of a curate in the South of England, is forced to move to Thornton’s home town when her father decides to leave his job as a country curate and become a tutor. Thornton becomes a fixture in Margaret’s daily life, as her father becomes his intellectual tutor.  The two are filled with misconceived notions about the other due to their upbringing and constantly argue and throw slurs at each other.  Somehow through it all they come to realize their true feelings for each other and fall in love.  I have often heard Gaskell compared to Jane Austen; while they do share some similarities, it’s their differences that I find interesting.  Austen satirized the life of the upper-class while Gaskell wrote about the plights of the middle and lower classes.  I truly loved this book because of the realism that engulfed it.  Gaskell was a truly superb writer and I cannot recommend this book enough!!

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7.) A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs – I was already a huge fan of Augusten by the time this book was published, making this book a must buy for me.  I finally got around to reading it recently and was blown away by it.  Augusten writes memoirs that just grip you.  His life is truly fascinating and with the way he writes, you can’t help but become engrossed in his story.  A Wolf at the Table focuses on his early life living with his mother, father, and sometimes present older brother.  (His older brother is John Elder Robison, author Look Me In The Eye)  His early days were strife with an alcoholic father, one who tried to murder him, possibly on more than one occasion.  This memoir is filled with deeply sad and troubling situations, situations I’m sure have scarred Augusten in his later years.  While this memoir is darker than his other ones, it’s one of his best.  It’s a no holds barred account of a childhood most people would wish to forget. For my full review click here.

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8.) Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise – So yet another Pride and Prejudice sequel makes my top ten list.  Shocking. HA.  Anyway, this was one of the most original retellings that I’ve had the pleasure of reading.  Darcy and Elizabeth are thrust into each other company aboard Pemberley’s Promise, a ship headed towards America. Elizabeth is off to see her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner and Darcy is picking up Georgiana.  Elizabeth gets sick aboard ship and is struggling to get better below decks with all the other sick passengers.  Darcy realizes that the only way she can get better is to be taken away from the rest of the sick passengers, and that the only spare bed is in his room.  For propriety’s sake he suggests to Elizabeth that the two marry and that once back in England he will file the necessary paperwork for the two to have an annulment, with none the wiser of their fake marriage.  As you can guess the two fall in love with each other but have no idea how the other feels, since most of their marriage is a show for the other passengers.  Upon the ship’s arrival they are separated not sure if they will ever see each other again.  It is on their return to America that Austen’s original plot begins to come into play.  As I stated earlier this retelling was so unique and I truly enjoyed the change of pace that it offered me.  For my full review click here.

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9.) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – I re-read this book every single year.  I absolutely LOVE it.  (I’ve even convinced Todd to begin reading it! See here)  When most people hear the name Boleyn thy think of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII.  Most don’t know she had a sister who supposedly bedded the king before her.  The Other Boleyn Girl follows Mary’s story as she finds love, loses love, becomes a mother, is used by her family, and is betrayed by her own sister.  Philippa Gregory is truly a master at writing historical fiction.  Her novels are fascinating fusions of true history, embellished dialogues, and rich characters.  You love to hate her antagonists!  I truly cannot speak highly enough of this novel.  Even if you are not a fan of history you have to give this novel a try.  Gregory writes history but adds the dramatic flare to it to make it fascinating to read.  Definitely check it out and add this to your to-read list.

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10.) Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin – This was a great, quick, fast-paced book that I really enjoyed reading!  Something Borrowed tells the story about Rachel, her best friend Darcy, and Darcy’s fiancée Dex. Rachel and Darcy have been best friends their entire lives, doing almost everything together.  Growing up next-door to each other in Indiana, they have been in a constant competitive friendship all of their twenty-five years together.  Rachel has learned to put Darcy’s needs and wants before her own to curb the competition.  Darcy on the other hand still feels the need to one-up not only Rachel but everyone she knows.  On Rachel’s thirtieth birthday she drinks too much and winds up in bed with Dex.  Rachel begins to feel guilty knowing what she did to her best friend was wrong. The more and more she thinks about it she starts feeling less and less guilty as she realizes that in fact it’s her who is right for Dex and not Darcy.  Rachel begins thinking back to her history with Dex.  The two went to law school together and became good friends.  They never dated because Rachel never thought she was good enough for him.  She introduced him to Darcy and the rest was history.  Rachel receives a phone call from Dex the day after they slept together and begins to get weird vibes from him.  He is not sorry that they slept together, nor does he feel guilty about it.  The two begin secretly seeing each other and realize that they are absolutely perfect for each other.  Rachel must decide if she is willing to risk her friendship with Darcy to be with the one she loves, or give him up and go back to being the friend in Darcy’s shadow.  Truly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it as a great beach read!  You can check out my full review here

Well there you have it my readers!  My favorite ten books for the year.  Leave me some comments below and let me know what your favorite books of the year were!

Happy Reading!

A Review of Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise

Darcy’s Voyage, Pride and Prejudice variation, was originally published as Pemberley’s Promise and is Kara Louise’s debut novel.  The main variation of Darcy’s Voyage is that Elizabeth and Darcy don’t meet in Meryton, they meet briefly in a carriage ride, and then again two years later on a boat headed towards America. It was during that carriage ride where the two unknown passengers left lasting impressions on each other.

Two years later Elizabeth and Darcy again meet while on board Darcy’s ship Pemberley’s Promise which is set to make berth in America.  Darcy is going to pick-up Georgiana while Lizzie is going to meet her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner. (Neither recognized the other as the passenger from that carriage ride)While on board Elizabeth fascinates Darcy with what living below decks is like, never knowing he is the ship’s owner.  A sickness soon begins to overtake those living below decks and Darcy becomes frightened for Elizabeth’s health.

“What do you know of Miss Bennet? I have not seen her yet today, and I know she has been aiding several down there who are unwell.  Do you know if she has taken ill herself?”

Darcy finds out that Elizabeth is sick, and that his stately room has the only spare bed on-board the ship. He proposes to Elizabeth that they marry strictly for propriety so that she can take the extra bed in his room and get well. Elizabeth agrees to the plan and the two are married. Darcy promises that upon his return to England that he will have the marriage annulled.   A week or so later she is completely well again, and starting to have feelings for Darcy.  Unbeknownst to her Darcy has also fallen in love.  The two believe that the other is play acting the role of doting spouse for appearances sake. On the final night aboard ship Darcy kisses Elizabeth.  Elizabeth quietly scolds herself for allowing herself to want to be kissed by Darcy, knowing that he doesn’t love her.  Embarrassed by her actions she hides from Darcy for the final night on board, awaking early to leave the boat and her fake marriage behind.  Darcy on the other hand cannot wait to tell Elizabeth that he loves her and wants to keep their marriage intact. Darcy returns to their room only to find it empty.  Distraught he drinks himself to sleep only to wake up and realize that Elizabeth has left the ship and possibly his life forever. Darcy vows to himself that he will not annul their marriage until he has found Elizabeth and told her how he truly feels about her.  It is through this path that we see more of Austen’s original storyline. (i.e. Meryton assembly, Jane getting sick and staying at Netherfield, Lady Catherine’s explosion)

Darcy’s Voyage is probably my favorite Pride and Prejudice variation that I’ve read so far. Louise created an original storyline that was able to incorporate all of Austen’s original characters and conflicts.  She chose different outcomes for some, most notably the Wickham/Lydia storyline, which made me exceedingly happy.  Mr. Bennet, the Gardiners, and Colonel Fitzwilliam were also given larger roles, much to this reader’s pleasure. The interactions between Elizabeth and Darcy are some of my favorite that I’ve ever read.  Louise got both characters really well.  She lets the reader into both of their heads for the whole story, which gave a lot of insight into the characters inner thoughts and workings.   

I highly recommend this for anyone who is a fan of Pride and Prejudice and would like to see what might have happened had Elizabeth and Darcy been thrust into each other’s company and forced to get to know each other.  The only negative comment I have about the novel is that it ended!!

5 out of 5 stars 

More reviews of Darcy’s Voyage at Diary of an Eccentric, Austenprose, and Austenesque.