What Happened at Midnight

what-happened-at-midnightJohn Mason did not like to be cheated and he swore he would find out where the money went, even if he was to go after his ex-betrothed. Though when John finds Mary he will see that she is not living like a woman who had gotten away with a large theft of money.

Miss Mary Chartley’s world fell apart when she found out what her father had done. Mary had to act fast to help her father one last time and to find a way out of trouble, which will only cause more hurt to those around her.

What Happened at Midnight is a novella by Courtney Milan. I liked this one a lot more than the previous novella, only because it was longer and I felt that I got to know the characters.

I liked John’s character. He was a man of conviction and wanted to do right by his sister and nephew. He believed the worst of Mary but I liked that he owned to his mistake and that he was able to move on. Mary’s character I liked but she was at times hard to like. Her character was almost too aloof at times. Though I suppose that was her upbringing. I did like that she loosened up and found who she really was.

Within the story there were plenty of problems that the characters face but Milan will give a good twist to make sure justice is served. This will help make sure Mary and John get their happy ending.

A Right Honorable Gentleman

a-right-honorable-gentlemanMiss Catherine Hooks is a well known governess but it is time for her to move on from her post. She will make sure to do it quickly as it looks like her employer wants more.

Edward Glennon did not want his governess to leave. He was finding that his life would not be complete without her in it, now he just has to convince her.

A Right Honorable Gentleman is a novella by Courtney Milan. I liked this novella but I wanted more from this story. This novella was short and I mean short. I read this story in about twenty minutes. I have nothing against short stories and I know that Courtney Milan can write a great story but this needed more.

I think that if this was a longer novella to novel everything would come together nicely as it did in this story but there would be more depth to the story. You would then feel more for these characters and really cheer for Catherine and Edward to find that love and passion they had kept from each other.

I decided to try another Courtney Milan novella, What Happened at Midnight, which I am reading next.

Winning Lord West

Winning Lord WestHelena, Countess of Crewe, had gone through nine years of marriage to a man she loathed. She wanted to be free and to just live her life. She did not want to find another man to be with but Lord West will tempt her with wanting more.

Vernon Grange, Lord West, has loved Helena but was too young to realize it at the time. After ten years West was finally going to pursue Helena and would not stop until she was his.

Winning Lord West is the third book to the series Dashing Widows by Anna Campbell. I really liked this story. I had been waiting for Helena and West because there was always that connection between them.

The plot surprised me with West. You knew that he wanted Helena and that he wanted marriage because he loved her, but West had gotten sick while in Russia. I was really hoping that the sickness wasn’t going towards a premature death for West. What I liked with West was that he did put his heart on the line with Helena. He pursued because he truly loved her. I also liked that Campbell went back to the picnic that was in the first book which let you see what was said between West and Helena. So Helena’s character is very much a woman who doesn’t want to be with anyone because she had enough hurt for the last nine years. She didn’t want to open her heart up again. I liked that she was brave to do just that and because of that she became a stronger woman emotionally.

There is an epilogue which goes into what is happening several years later. I like it when authors do that so as the reader I know a little more on the characters and whether they are happy or not. Overall this was a really good series to read but this series is not over as I had thought. There is another book out Pursuing Lord Pascal which I will be reading soon.

Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride

mr-darcy-presents-his-brideAfter reading all of Jane Austen’s stories I wanted to read just a little more but as I couldn’t get any more from Austen I decided to try a book that was a continuation of Pride & Prejudice. I had gotten Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride years ago for Christmas from my parents. It has been awhile since I read the book. I was happy to read this book again because it is really well written and a great sequel to a book I love so much.

The book is simply a continuation of the story Pride & Prejudice. Helen Halstead writes about the lives of Elizabeth and Darcy. She also writes about the family and friends that know Elizabeth and Darcy, along with some new friends they make in their come out as husband and wife.

I liked how Halstead wrote the continuation because it really showed how the characters lives had altered into a new way of living. I loved how Elizabeth felt overwhelmed but because of her charm she was able to glide through society, though it was still a struggle. She had to make sure not to embarrass her husband and to make sure they don’t lose their love for each other. It was interesting that Halstead gave each character a chance to have their own thoughts told on the page. You were really able to get to know the characters from Halstead’s words.

There was definitely some sad news that I didn’t like towards the end but you knew it would happen. Though I think Halstead brings it together to give you that happy ending which many have dreamed for Elizabeth and Darcy.

Well that is it for me with reading stories all related towards Austen, at least for now. I am sure I will come up with some more adaptations or inspired Jane Austen stories through my search of other authors to read.

Lady Susan

lady-susanI had only just recently heard about the short story of Lady Susan and the reason I heard about it was because my cousin had seen the movie Love & Friendship, which is Lady Susan in movie form. Well, needless to say when I heard about this story I immediately went to Amazon and found that it was free but I waited to read it until I was done with all of Jane Austen’s novels.

So, this book is about a woman, Lady Susan, who is going through town and finding mischief along the way.

I really liked this short story. It flowed really well once I got into the writing. What was different about this story was the format. The story was written in letter form. This kept my interest as I kept wanting to read what was happening with Lady Susan and what she was doing around town. Lady Susan’s character was an interesting character. She was more of a villain type than all other heroines in Austen. She was very much all about herself and her needs. Those needs did not extend to her daughter. I got the distinct impression that she didn’t really care for her daughter. Based on how she treated her daughter, she would certainly never earn any mother of the year rewards. What also made her different from other Jane Austen female leads was that she was the one pursuing the man but the man was younger and of course wealthy.

What bugged me about the story was that there was no inner thoughts from these characters. I wanted to know what Lady Susan thought or her daughter. I wanted more of a background of these characters. Though I suppose that would come if this story was longer and in a different format. This didn’t bug me to the point of not wanting to read the story but it made me wonder.

Well, I have finished with reading Jane Austen.  I have a couple other books related to the story of Pride & Prejudice that I am thinking about reading.

Persuasion

persuassionPersuasion is the one novel that I was not really anticipating to read from Jane Austen.

The book is about a young woman Anne Elliot who had broken off an engagement to a poor officer. Now eight years later that poor officer, Captain Wentworth, is wealthy. Anne regrets letting her family persuade her but she has to live with her consequence.

So, years ago I had tried to watch the movie and it just bore me to death. Although, I have to remember I was ten years old and any movie that wasn’t animated or comical would not hold my attention. Now, before I read the book I decided to watch the movie which was made in 2007 and all I can say was, I was captivated. There was no time in the movie I wanted to fast forward. Sure I wanted to shout at Anne to do what she wanted. To marry the man that she wanted. The ending had me smiling but I had wondered if that ending would ever happen.

After I watched the movie I was very much looking forward to reading the story. I really liked the story but saying that I wonder if I would have liked it if I didn’t watch the movie. By watching the movie before reading the story I was able to follow along when the writing got a little long in certain parts.

I will say that one thing which bugged me was how Anne’s character just did whatever her family had said or requested. Anne was always in the background but no one really noticed her. I wanted Anne to break free of that hold they had on her. Also, her family was just horrible to Anne, but Anne didn’t stop their behavior. Although there was someone, which was Captain Wentworth. I liked that even though he had been hurt by Anne there was still a good man underneath all the hurt. He helped Anne out because he was a kind man which I loved about him.  What kept me interested in the story was the interaction of Wentworth and Anne. There were both unhappy yet content to live their lives with how they were living. Though they will get it right, it just takes losing each other again to make them realize how they still feel.

I am reading my last Jane Austen novel, Lady Susan, next.

Northanger Abbey

northanger-abbeyMy next book from Jane Austen is Northanger Abbey. I was anticipating reading this book because I had seen a play on this story. The play captivated me and it intrigued to want to read the story.

So the book is about this young woman, Catherine Morland, who is going with a neighbor to experience Bath. Throughout this trip Catherine will meet many people and will learn that everything is not as she dreams it to be.

This book like Pride & Prejudice captured me with the first sentence. “No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine.” With that one sentence I was ready to read the book. I found Catherine’s character to have such humor with her silly imagination but she was genuine with her feelings. Catherine has an over active imagination that will get her into trouble. I liked that she learned from the mistake. Though in the end she was still a young woman with imagination but one that had grown up some.

The other characters within the book were all very well written and there for a purpose. The ones that stayed with me was of course Henry Tilney (the love interest of Catherine) who was just a good man. The Thorpe’s were social climbers. Isabella Thorpe was a flirt and did what she wanted to get ahead. She cared for those until she could not use them. It wasn’t that she was a true villain but definitely not a true friend. Her brother was not any better. Personally he was kind of an idiot. A match between him and Catherine would have never been good.

I am reading Persuasion next.

Sense and Sensibility

sense-and-sensibilitySense and Sensibility is my second favorite story when it comes to Jane Austen’s story. Although this is only based on the movies, as in the past I have only read Pride and Prejudice. Based on the novels I have read from Austen I would rank them from favorite to least: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Mansfield Park.

So, this book is about a family who will suffer a loss in the family that will have them moving to a new home and trying to make the best of their situation, and how life has drastically changed for them.

I really liked this book. I thought that it flowed well and it pulled me into the story very quickly, which was unlike some of the other novels.

For me this story was all about the characters. The sisters were very entertaining. The way they were written and how they interacted I had no trouble believing they were sisters. I think that Marianne was a little too dramatic but she was still a teenager and was a hopeless romantic. She learns about the heartbreak of love but I liked that she learned from it and grew from the experience. Elinor was the levelheaded sister, who need to find that love to let loose a little. Although I liked that Elinor stayed true to her character and because of this love will find its way to her. The youngest sister Margaret is the adventurer but really for me she was overlooked in the book because a lot of the book does revolve around Elinor and Marianne’s love life and the trials they have to face when dealing with love.

Now, I have been going back and fourth about which novel I want to read next. I am choosing between Persuasion or Northanger Abbey. I think I will be going towards Northanger Abbey as I was intrigued by this story as I had seen a play and the movie not too long ago.

Mansfield Park

mansfield-parkI decided the next book I wanted to try was Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. This one has been a favorite of mine with the movie.

Mansfield Park is about a young girl, Fanny Price, moving to her relatives home who are much more wealthy than her own. The story will be about her life at Mansfield Park from a young girl to a grown woman, and the obstacles she faced while she lived there.

I liked the book. I will be honest that it took me some time to get through some of the parts. I felt there was a little too much detail on some of the everyday things that went on in life. From book to movie this to me felt very different but that was only with the detail. The movie told the same story but things were shortened or switched slightly around. It would have been a very long movie if all of the parts in the book were put into the movie. I think it was a good thing that I had seen the movie before reading this book because at times I felt that I was a little lost with all the detail. You can certainly understand what is happening but as I said before it is long in certain parts.

I will say that you got to know the characters a lot more in the book. Though in the movie you got to see how these characters acted but no that much on the childhood, so that part I thought gave some good insight.

For the next book by Jane Austen I am going to read Sense and Sensibility.

Emma

I have loved reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice since I first read it at age seventeen. Now I will be honest, I have not read any other works of Austen’s. I am not really sure why I haven’t before now, but that was the case. So I have decided to go ahead and read the rest of Austen’s novels: Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey. I am excited to try out these novels. I know what each one is about as I have seen the movies that have been made from these books.

emmaI have decided to start with the novel Emma.

The summary of this story is that there is a young woman, Emma, who plays matchmaker. This will get her into trouble. She will make mistakes and learn from those mistakes, which will lead her to what she had been looking for.

My first impression is that it was long. I liked it but there was a lot of detail in the everyday that was being written. With that detail it took me longer to finish. Now longer to finish is still only two days reading it in the evenings. I was happy that I had seen the movie of Emma, which let me keep track with what was happening. Personally for me I thought Emma was a little annoying and a busybody. She was thoughtless at times which caused her to not think about what she was doing. Although Emma was a young woman and we are all allowed to make mistakes. I liked that she did learn.

The other characters in the book were all well written. Of course I liked Mr. Knightly. He was a man you wanted on your side and he had some pretty great speeches in the book. Sadly they were a lot of the times telling Emma she did something wrong. With Frank Churchhill character, I felt he was the opposite of Mr. Knightly. He was just too immature. Then there was Mr. Elton who wanted more, which was not a bad thing. It just made me dislike his character as he went about it the wrong way.

I will have to say that Emma is probably not a book I will go running back to read like Pride and Prejudice, but it was a well written novel and true to Austen’s style.