Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favorite Jane Austen-Esque Romances

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!! What better way to celebrate the day than with a blog post all about classic love stories??? Today I’m tweaking a Top Ten Tuesday topic to fit JANE AUSTEN-like stories. Read on for more awesomeness.

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It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish.

The official topic this week is “Top Ten Favorite Romance Tropes/Types”. I’m bending this a little for a list of favorite Jane Austen-Esque romances, whether they be inspired or adapted from Austen’s works or have similar elements as her well-loved classics.

10 Favorite Austen-Esque Romances

Influenced and inspired by Austen’s heroines

Dear Mr. KnightleyLizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay1. Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

2. Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay

Both of these novels by Reay are influenced by Jane’s characters in general. And, they each pay homage to her stories (as well as other classics) in their own way. Dear Mr. Knightley features a fresh epistolary take on a romance and a coming-of-age story. Lizzy & Jane weaves a tale of sisters, their struggles, and a fitting chance at love (with some Persuasion-like moments <3).

Pride & Prejudice-like banter between heroine and hero

271385783. Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann

If ever there was a contemporary story to rival the tension, misconceptions, witty dialogue, and ardent love story of Elizabeth and Darcy, Told You So would be it. You need to meet Devin and Grace.

love-lace-and-minor-alterations-by-v-joy-palmer4. Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations by V. Joy Palmer

Similar in many ways to Pride & Prejudice, Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations is a light story with humor and wit fitting for its Austen similarities (and some sarcasm thrown in for good measure). The protagonists of this story contend with their own pride in several ways to overcome shortcomings and find happily-ever-after.

With Every Breath5. With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

The push-and-pull of rivalry and opposite personalities is brightly displayed in With Every Breath. And what a frustratingly fun historical romance/drama it is!

 

A “Regency Era” setting

_240_360_Book.1051.cover6. The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd

1816 England. Winter on the moors. Secrets. A spinster finding love. Inheritances, gambling debts, and a girls’ school. What more could you want in a novel?

the-tutors-daughter7. The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

A bit of mystery and romance combine in this story set in Cornwall, England. (Random BBC Period Drama fangirl moment: for a location visual, watch “Poldark”!!!!!)

Like Northanger Abbey

The Covered Deep8. The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance

Bianca is the Victorian Era equivalent of Catherine Morland. Combine her fascination with gothic literature and heros with her propensity for dramatics, and her learning journey paralells Austen’s heroine in many ways. And I think Paul’s gentlemanly, wise manner complements Bianca just as Henry Tilney does Catherine.

Like Emma

The Thorn Bearer9. The Thorn Bearer by Pepper D. Basham

I say this story is like Emma because the romance blooms from a strong foundation of friendship. The joy of it all is watching the characters grow and change for the better through the story, partially because of their friendship; much like Knightley encourages Emma to be a better version of herself. And the romance!! 🙂

Ensemble-like, influential cast

HesitantHeiress10. The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

While there are many reasons to love Dawn Crandall’s historical romances, one reason I enjoyed The Hesitant Heiress was its cast of characters. The broad personalities featured are always interesting and influential to the story. I think having the lens of a singular POV (the heroine’s, Amaryllis) adds dramatic suspense to the story and slants the view of all of the characters in a way similar to Austen’s understanding interpretation of family, friends, and even “villain” personalities.

 

~bonus: 3 upcoming releases~

second-impressionsSecond Impressions by Pepper Basham, releasing March 2017

This novella promises to deliver a modern Austen-Esque story in setting (Bath, England), humor, and romance. It releases as part of a novella collection titled Love at First Laugh and in July as a standalone. I’m excited to see how Pepper tackles modern England (and just what a bonnet has to do with it all 🙂 )!

jane-of-austinJane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge, releasing June 13th

This is a modern adaptation of Sense & Sensibility set in the south. I’m already in love with the artsy cover. AND Hillary is writing it, so I know there will be recipes (!!!!). I can’t wait!

 

the-austen-escapeThe Austen Escape by Katherine Reay, releasing November 2017

Reay’s literary-infused stories are always awesome (see above gushing). This one will be Austen and a best friends’ TRIP! Plus, the cover is adorable.

 

 

Your turn!!! Have you read any of these on my list? What are your favorite Jane Austen-Esque romances??? Or what are your favorite romance types???

 

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Review: “With Every Breath” by Elizabeth Camden

When I read Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden last year, I immediately became a fan of her writing. I’ve since acquired (but not yet read) several of her books in my never-ending TBR stack. The latest from her, With Every Breath, has a strong heroine, a unique (and accurate) historical setting and subject, and a captivating storyline.

With Every BreathSummary: In the shadow of the nation’s capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she’s bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor’s entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease.

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor’s past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future.

When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way?

The main characters, Trevor and Kate, are complex and realistic. Just below the surface, Trevor conceals a flood of emotions, though to Kate, it appears that he has a cold demeanor. This proves challenging as they work together and uncover their true feelings and fears: Trevor, afraid of being hurt or inflicting unnecessary pain; and Kate, fearing risk and the unknown.

It’s an interesting journey watching these characters change and grow as a result of their surroundings. Trevor is not your typical hero — in this case, that’s refreshing. He’s not bold, but quietly heroic and steadfast. Kate is strong and independent (but at the same time sweet), fitting for an era when an educated woman faced so many challenges. It is easy to identify with her character. The reader shares in her struggles to find happiness, purpose, and meaning.

Elizabeth shares an interesting and lesser-known bit of the history surrounding early treatment of tuberculosis in this story. Paired with suspense and dramatic events surrounding Trevor’s research, it gives this story a slight “medical drama” feel. This gives the story momentum and keeps the reader guessing.

In all, I really enjoyed this historical drama/romance. It emphasized how you can’t comprehend God’s plans or let mistakes from the past — or fear — steal the joy found only in Christ.

Connect with author Elizabeth Camden at her website or Facebook.

 Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: “Into the Whirlwind” by Elizabeth Camden

IntoTheWhirlwind“Sometimes it is the hardest things that make us great.”  This quote by a character in Elizabeth Camden’s Into the Whirlwind fittingly summarizes her novel. Set in the early 1870s in Chicago, Into the Whirlwind follows the story of a prestigious watchmaker’s daughter, Mollie Knox, who has inherited her father’s business, along with the responsibility of employing Civil War veterans who fought alongside her father. She faces many obstacles, including the historical Chicago fire, which challenges her business and brings two possible suitors into her life.

Into the Whirlwind was an exciting, fascinating read which captured my attention from the opening chapter.  Elizabeth Camden delightfully blended accurate historical facts with dramatic characters to paint a canvas of life as it was post-Civil wartime in Chicago. Her descriptions of the raging, turbulent fire were very realistic. The most dramatic events surrounding the fire reminded me of the burning of Atlanta in “Gone With the Wind”…. but the similarities end there.

The character Mollie must overcome the unexpected tragedy of the Chicago fire.  She does this with the help of two strong men – one, a long time “business-only” acquaintance Zack Kazmarek, and the other a caring, unexpected friend (who I’m not naming…you will have to read it for yourself!). Both men vie for her affections. I have to admit, sometimes I wanted to have a heart-to-heart with Mollie and tell her to open her eyes to see what was right in front of her. In the end, though, I think she made the right choice. I believe that the circumstances and challenges Mollie went through in the novel shaped her character and caused her to grow into a better person by the book’s end. God does the same thing in each of our lives – He uses trials and the people around us to mold our character and cause us to grow in faith and become more like Christ.

I have not read any of Elizabeth’s books prior to this one – but after this good read, I will definitely be keeping my eye out for her work!

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are solely mine.